7 Reasons Why Your E-Commerce Store is Not Successful
I’ll admit, I have been complicit in the retail apocalypse.
Since the growing popularity of online shopping, I just don’t find myself going to the department store nearly as much. If I need specific items, I just end up looking on Amazon or Ebay first! It is this explosion in online stores that has influenced the closing of retail and department stores across America. These online stores have ushered in the success of countless small and large businesses alike. However, like their brick and mortar counterparts, online stores are just as susceptible to road blocks. Here is an example; let’s say you want to catch the e-commerce wave. Many times, the scenario plays out like this:
1. You hear about the success of starting an online business, so you take the leap and set up your online store.
2. Originally, friends and family are your first customers and give your products a shot.
3. As time passes, you find that you are receiving fewer and fewer notification of sales.
4. You realize that it has become more costly just to keep the online store open so eventually you decide to close shop.
WHAT HAPPENED?! WHAT WENT WRONG?
1. Poor Images. Images are often the first impression a potential customer will have when evaluating your products. You only get one chance to make a first impression and if your images are low in quality, pixelated, poorly shot, etc, customers will believe that the quality of the actual product will mirror this. There have been countless times where I’ve been dissuaded to buy a product all because I didn’t like the look of the images. My advice would be find a photographer, shoot your products the right way and watch your sales increase!
2. No SSL Certificate. Have you ever gone to a website (maybe it was yours…don’t be ashamed) and you were greeted by a “Not Secure” label in the address bar right before the web address? This often sends warning signs that this is not the type of site visitors would feel safe using their card number. Enter the SSL Certificate! An SSL Certificate or Secure Socket Layer Certificate, is a digital certificate that protects your website from hackers, shows trust and encrypts sensitive information. A safe SSL site can be identified by a web address beginning with “HTTPS” rather than “HTTP” and the display of a green or grey lock.
3. No Return Policy. With the increase in online stores, it’s no wonder that return policies have become more relevant. Having a solid return policy shows that you stand behind your product and you strive to satisfy your customers. As a result, your store develops a sense of trust. Think about it, there is a certain reassurance when you know you have 30 days to return a product and get your money back guaranteed. Interestingly enough, these policies influence way more permanent sales than having no return policy at all.
4. Customers don’t know what to do on your website. If your customers don’t how to get from point A to point B on your website, what makes you think that they’ll buy anything? I see this situation a lot with online stores that have a more advanced purchasing process. Say you have a website with customizable products but the process appears so complicated that the customer gets overwhelmed. Congrats, you lost a sale. Get around this situation buy going through your ordering process in multiple ways. Ensure that the process is SIMPLE!
5. You aren’t reaching your target market. There is nothing more frustrating than targeting the wrong market and even worse, never knowing it. You put all the effort into creating ads and marketing plans only to find out that all the work is falling on deaf ears! Don’t let this happen to you! Before creating any marketing material, make sure that you have decided who you primary customer is and what message you want to send them. These messages should be focused and intentional. And one last thing, if you try to market to EVERYONE, you will reach NO ONE!
6. You aren’t mentioning pain points. What is a pain point? Is it painful? In a sense, yes. Pain points are common issues that your target market typically faces on a regular basis. These pain points vary as much as your perspective customer so make sure you’ve chosen the right one! An example of a pain point is mentioning how going shopping for clothes at a department store takes time, gas, effort and there’s no guarantee that what you are looking for is even going to be there! After mentioning these points, now you can mention how convenient it would be for customers to shop at your online store. Additionally, using these pain points is a great opportunity to show your customers why they should choose you.
7. The price is WRONG! Wrong pricing can be one of the most egregious mistakes you can make with your online business. Prices that are too high will cause customers to look elsewhere and prices that are too low will cause customers to think your products or services are cheap. Try researching your industry to see where you want your price to fall. Additionally, make sure you are creating enough profits per product to keep your business operational. One notion that has helped me maintain the right pricing is to know the value of my product and never stray from that!
These are 7 reasons why your online store is not successful. While there are more possibilities, these are a great place to start!
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