3 Common Reasons Why Your Online Store Isn’t Selling
Build it and they will come… or will they?
You hired a designer or developer to build your company website, or maybe you built it all by yourself. You uploaded your products to your online store catalog and you set up your cart and checkout pages. You launched your live site, spread the word with your friends and on social media. Ta-da! Your work is done. Sales should start pouring in any moment now. Any… moment…
You look at your calendar. It’s been DAYS. Analytics show a handful of visitors but no sales. Weeks pass. Months pass. No one buys your products or services. At night, you go into fetal position and cry yourself to sleep. Or maybe you are looking at online job boards because your business venture is capsizing. Should you give up? The thought makes your stomach turn.
Stop right there!
Before giving up on your goals, let’s have a look at your website. Let’s see what went wrong in your efforts to capitalize on growing online shopping trends. Afterall, now is the time to take your business online. You should have the wind in your sails!
For the last decade and a half, we’ve professionally analyzed hundreds of websites and online stores for our clients. While some issues and challenges require experts to solve them, you’d be surprised to see how many common issues are easy to fix. So easy in fact you can probably do it yourself! So before you walk away from your dreams, or take your wallet out and throw all your savings at a creative agency, have a go at the recommendations below. They might just be the solution you were looking for!
Here are three common issues we often encounter with our clients’ online stores and ecommerce that result in little to no sales:
Your website’s navigation is chaotic and counterintuitive
Poor user interface is an all too common issue that affects millions of websites and online stores. Bad navigation specifically can be summarized as what happens when your visitors can’t find their way around your store. They’ll spend a few seconds scanning your site trying to find information about your business, products and/or services without success. When they can’t find what they were looking for because of your store’s messy interface, your visitors will leave, frustrated.
What does bad navigation look like?
- Your main menu lacks crucial links people most often look for such as Home, Store, Product Categories, Services, About, Contact, etc.
- Your navigation is not where most visitors expect it to be.
- Your homepage doesn’t list featured products, best selling products, featured services, contact information, and other useful links that can facilitate your customer’s journey.
- You forgot to setup a cart button in your main navigation or in your site’s header, so when a visitor leaves the cart page (accidentally or on purpose), they do not know how to return to it.
- Your main navigation is overcrowded (10+ links) and has no sub-menus.
- Links are badly named, confusing and/or irrelevant to your target audience and average customer.
- There is no search bar.
What can you do to solve these issues?
- Make sure your store’s main navigation is concise, easily accessible, and contains links to the most important sections of your website.
- Use your homepage as an opportunity to prominently feature the most popular products or services you sell, enabling your visitors to access them more quickly.
- Set up a prominent and ever present cart icon alongside your main navigation and consider optimizing your whole checkout experience to increase sales.
- Structure your navigation to include clear link names and sub-menus for larger sites.
- Set up a search function and search bar that will make it easier for your customers to search for products by use of keywords or tags.
Your online marketing is inadequate
“Build it and they will come” is one of the worst pieces of advice to rely on. In fact, it’s so blatantly false that people who solemnly share this maxim as if it was some ancient Greek proverb forget that it is in fact a misquoted segment from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams. Here’s what the world actually looks like: There are over 2 billion websites on the internet and the vast majority of them receive little to no visitors. There are plenty of amazing products and undiscovered business services out there that lay dormant because no one has ever heard about them. Any great idea will be limited or empowered by its ability to sell itself. Online marketing is a crucial part of any serious business owner’s toolkit.
What does bad online marketing look like?
- You have no sales strategy in place for the online component of your business.
- You don’t know who your target audience is and/or you don’t know how to reach them.
- You only occasionally post updates on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram, unconcerned about your performance, followers or engagement.
- Your social media posts contain no links to your products, services, articles or offers.
- You don’t look at marketing data and/or you don’t know how to interpret the data you have.
- You use Facebook or Instagram Boosts instead of Ad Campaigns.
- You don’t have a newsletter and do not keep track of customer data.
What can you do to solve these issues?
- Prepare a proper marketing plan, or at the very least put together a sales strategy that clearly identifies your target audience and lists proven ways to reach them online.
- Keep track of all visitor data and conduct frequent analysis of important markers such as who visits your online store, what do they buy, how do they land on your website, and how likely are they to return.
- Post regular updates on social media. Consider using social networks not only to promote your services or products but also to connect with your followers in a genuine way with useful tips and advice, if applicable for your brand.
- If you advertise on Facebook or Instagram, always choose Facebook Ad Manager over the easy (but very misleading) Boost button. Boost gives you very little control over the outcome of your promotions. Properly targeted ads through Facebook Ad Manager will give you more data, more targeting options, better allocation of your budget, and more.
- Capture your customers’ emails and use email marketing to sell your products and services. If you have no newsletter, you may be missing out on thousands of dollars in annual income.
Your store is not optimized for mobile viewing
We’ve written a lot about the importance of mobile optimization. You would have thought that by 2020 all websites would be optimized for mobile browsing, right? Wrong. While most website templates and ecommerce buildings tools are usually responsive out of the box, changes to the default templates by inexperienced users in the form of adding new content, images and modules often lead to chaotic results. Most business owners are not web designers or web developers. They don’t realize that worldwide, the majority of web browsing happens on a mobile device. As a result, they don’t know that they should always test their online store’s interface on the most popular mobile devices before going live. They also don’t know know how to fix bugs when they arise and, as time goes by, they then to pile up.
What does poor mobile optimization look like?
- Your online store’s main navigation is not adapted for mobile viewing and core links are not easily accessible.
- Most images, scripts and files on your website are large and not optimized for speed, leading to delays when a visitor tries to access your website on the go.
- Your pages are designed with mobile viewing in mind, resulting in crucial information, products, services, links and promotions not displaying correctly or displaying too low on the page.
What can you do to solve these issues?
- Test your ecommerce website on several devices and/or a testing platform like Browserstack to identify glaring mobile user interface issues.
- Optimize images, scripts and files for smartphones so they load faster. This will result in a lower bounce rate and it will also increase retention.
- Use good mobile design principles when designing your online store. Think of your mobile ecommerce display as a user interface separate from the desktop experience.
The Next Steps
Everything suggested in this article are tips and tricks that a web savvy business executive and/or their employees can use to improve their online store within a few days to a few weeks. That being said, creating, launching and managing a profitable ecommerce is no easy feat. Everyone can set up a shop. Most people will not see a single dollar coming in. Outside of the realm of technological improvements, companies who seek to take their sales online need to ensure that they have a solid brand, good customer relations, and a good sales strategy. Ecommerce are sales engines that require constant involvement and fine tuning for optimal results and profitability.
If you have any questions about the content of this article or if you need help setting up your online store, contact us today. We got your back.
Do you have an ecommerce that needs saving? You found your hero. Vervex helps business owners like yourself increase their online sales with better strategy, design and marketing.Contact us to request a free consultation