eCommerce stores are a funny little beast, one-minute you are snowed in under waves of orders and the next you are checking to see if your email is broken. If you are in the first 3-5 years of your business or if you have just taken your brick and mortar store online, these are both familiar events. So how do you get to that sweet spot with regular incoming orders every week?
The bad news is there is no magic formula, no finite rule book you can follow to the T and get the results you want. If there was a step by step pathway to roaring success, everybody would be doing it. eCommerce is hard work and your results depend on so many things like your industry, your products and the type of store you have.
But there are definitely things that could block your sales pathways, let’s tick them off.
Customers Don’t Trust You
Online shoppers are savvy these days, they can tell the crooks from the cowboys and if there is anything on your website that feels a bit off, they run for the hills. Make sure your website has an SSL Certificate installed. (Look for the little padlock icon on the browser bar next to the URL) If your site is not secure, they are not going to hand over purchase or payment information. They are free and will secure your site for all transactions.
Are you using a well known and trusted payment gateway? Do you have multiple payment options? If you just accept Paypal or just accept bank transfer as a single payment type, you might have got your customer to checkout, but when they can’t pay with their preferred method or don’t recognise the payment gateway, you lost them. They would rather pay more somewhere else for the convenience of their preferred payment method or recognised payment gateway.
Shipping Costs are Too High
Ever get to check out only to discover that shipping is 4 times the price for the single item you want to buy? Unless it is a product that the customer needs and can’t get anywhere else, you can be assured that they won’t checkout. If they absolutely need the product and do checkout, they will feel resentful and angry and you know what a resentful, angry customer does? They tell 200 of their closest friends on social media about how they “were ripped off” by you.
It may pay to review your shipping costs as well as your shipping T’s & C’s., Negotiate with your courier or offer incentivised product purchases, customer loyalty or free shipping on single items. Things like “Just add 1 more item to your cart to qualify for free shipping” is going to have a more positive effect than slamming customers with a $40 shipping fee when they get to the cart.
Your Customer Service isn’t So Hot
If your customer service is hot as, you will know about it. Your customers will gush, they will refer their friends, orders will pile in and social media will be awash with your glory. If none of that is happening it may be time to find out why. Bad reviews can make or break an eCommerce business so are you going the extra mile to impress your customers?
Are you doing out of the box things to make their shopping lives with you easy, convenient and valuable? Ask yourself as a customer, what kind of service you would like to receive, then start there.
Shipping Times are Too Long
eCommerce has an air of instant gratification to it and customers are becoming more confident in their expectations and will also pay more for shorter delivery times. So if shipping and delivery is taking 10-12 working days as standard lead time, you are going to lose those customers who can get the same products faster elsewhere.
Even if dropshipping is part of your business model, you may want to consider keeping stock of popular and faster-moving items on hand or review the location of the warehouse. If your lead times are too long because of your courier service, shop around.
Your Website is Hard to Use
Your analytics reports will give you a clear picture of what users experience when they navigate your website. If your customer journey has been mapped out intuitively, visitors to your website won’t need to think about what to do next, you will have paved the way for them. They won’t be looking for information, it will all be right there at their fingertips. Analyze what people are searching for on your website and map our their journeys to find out where they are getting stuck.
A website audit is a fantastic way to get a professional report on the efficiency of your eCommerce store. Before you think all is lost and throw in the towel, why not book your site in with an audit with the team at Pixel & Ink? Often it is just a few adjustments needed to get those sales flowing again and the quick wins will be all yours.
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