Whether you’re a new dropshipping store owner or a seasoned ecommerce retailer, there’s a good chance you have one common goal: increase your store’s sales. Unfortunately, there are some common mistakes that both new and experienced online business owners make that can have a negative effect on sales. In this post, we’re going to share solutions to those problems – solutions that should help boost your revenue at any stage of your ecommerce journey.
- #1. You didn’t do enough research
- #2. You don’t know who your customer is
- #3. No one can find you in search engines
- #4. Your niche is too broad and competitive
- #5. Your store doesn’t have a Unique Selling Proposition
- #6. You aren’t on social media
- #7. Your store has User Experience issues
- #8. Your product descriptions aren’t detailed enough
- #9. Your store doesn’t instill trust
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#1. You didn’t do enough research
Market research is the analysis of a business’s industry and ideal consumers. As an ecommerce store owner, market research could allow you to get to understand how popular a niche is to help you decide whether it’s worth diving into. With this knowledge, you can create a unique selling point (USP), product lineup, and marketing strategy that differentiates your store from the rest, giving customers a reason to buy from you.
If you didn’t do market research before you launched your online store, it’s not too late to get started. You don’t have to write a formal business plan (although it’s recommended), but a deep dive into understanding your potential customer should give you insights into what products will be a hit with your target customers and how to make your online store more visible to your target customers. While you shouldn’t spend all your time in the research phase, a little bit of research can help make you make sure you choose a profitable niche.
#2. You don’t know who your customer is
If you want to write blog posts, product descriptions, social media updates, emails, and other marketing messages in a way that best appeals to your target customer, you have to know who your customer is. Many businesses craft buyer personas to help – these fictional characters represent the characteristics of your target customer – their background, demographics, professional life, and interests.
To create a buyer persona, you will need to refer back to your market research and everything you learned about your target customers. Using that information, create a buyer’s persona by answering the following the questions.
- What is your persona’s name?
- What does your personal look like?
- What do they do for work?
- What do they do for fun?
- What problems does your persona have?
- Does your persona make purchasing decisions?
- What publications does your persona read?
- What social networks does your persona use?
- What networks does your persona trust?
As you can see, knowing the answers to these questions about your target customers will allow you to create marketing and advertising campaigns that speak directly to them. Show them you understand them, their challenges, and how to create solutions for them and you’ll gain a new customer. Don’t be afraid to experiment with Facebook ads targeting options too as they can help you find out who your customer is.
#3. No one can find you in search engines
Can you find your online store in Google search? If you’ve been working towards better rankings via search engine optimization, you should be able to find your store by searching for it by name. As you begin to optimize your online store for search, you should be able to find it by searching for keywords that relate to your products and content.
Not appearing in search for your store name or main keywords? You may need to troubleshoot some SEO basics, such as making sure your store’s search settings are configured correctly. You may also want to take additional steps, such as signing up for Google Search Console, submitting your sitemap, and using additional webmaster tools to see where you could make some improvements to your website optimization. Don’t forget to optimize your blog and product pages for relevant keywords.
#4. Your niche is too broad and competitive
There’s nothing wrong with having an online store that sells t-shirts. But chances are, if you don’t have a large-scale marketing and advertising budget, you won’t be able to rank highly enough in search for such a competitive term (t-shirts) or get recognition in a category so broad that it is inclusive of major brands like Macy’s, Cafepress, and TeePublic.
Instead of focusing on a broad, generic term like t-shirts, aim to rank for more specific terms like vintage t-shirts, funny t-shirts, custom t-shirts, and other variations that are specific to your products. This will allow your target customers – the ones searching for the specific products you sell – to be able to find you with ease in search engines and on social media.
#5. Your store doesn’t have a Unique Selling Proposition
If someone were to ask you about your store, and what differentiates it from your competitors, what would your answer be? Out of the millions of search results for buy jeans online, how could you describe your store to make it more intriguing to your target customer?
Your store’s USP (unique selling proposition or unique selling point) is a sentence that describes what it is that makes your store better than your competitors. Does your online store sell the most comfortable jeans on the market? The most professional? The longest lasting? Focus on these types of unique traits in your marketing and advertising to make yourself memorable to target customers. You can also differentiate your brand in the way you offer customer service or provide value. Maybe you have the best return policy or you market your brand in a really cool way.
With 1.4 billion active daily users (on Facebook alone), social media networks allow you to reach audiences on the platforms they use regularly. If you have done your market research and created a buyers persona as suggested earlier, you will know which social networks your target customers use most, allowing you to focus your activities on the networks with the most potential to lead to sales.
Speaking of sales, social media doesn’t just help you chat with your target customers. In an in-depth study of social commerce – 529,000 sales from 37 million social media visits – Shopify found that social networks drove average order sales of $37.63 (Pinterest referrals) to $65 (Instagram referrals). You can get started with social media in as little as an hour a day to start tapping into your target customers via organic marketing (creating profiles / pages, posting updates, managing communities, etc.) and social media advertising with Facebook, Instagram, and other top social platforms.
#7. Your store has User Experience issues
Knowing who your target customers are and getting them to your website is half the battle. Once they arrive, you have to convert them from a website visitor into a customer. Even if you have the best product on the market, you stand a chance of losing customers based on UX (user experience) issues.
To ensure that your store’s UX is helping convert visitors and not impeding them from making a purchase, be sure to check the following.
- If you publish a link to your website anywhere, click on it to test it. This will prevent a lot of lost traffic due to a typo from social media profiles, posts, and other content.
- How quickly does your online store load on desktop browsers and mobile devices? Studies have shown almost half of people expect a website to load within two seconds, and 40% of people abandon a website that doesn’t load within three seconds.
- How logical is the organization of your store’s navigation? Can customers find the products they want in just a few clicks and using your store’s search box?
- How easy is it to make a purchase? Try making a purchase through your own shopping cart on multiple platforms to ensure that everything works correctly.
- Do you have too many popups or apps that can affect the shopping experience for your customer?
- Do you have all the necessary information a customer needs to make a purchase such as size charts, pricing, clear call to action, or even a countdown timer to create a sense of urgency?
You can use your store’s Google Analytics to help troubleshoot potential UX issues. If you notice a high bounce rate on specific pages in your online store, review them to see if there’s something on those pages that might cause a visitor to leave, such as a slow-loading image or other issue.
#8. Your product descriptions aren’t detailed enough
During your market research, you probably visited a few of your competitor’s websites and gotten a feel for how they sell the types of products your store has to offer. If you didn’t, visit a few of your top competitor’s stores and see how they describe their products.
- Are product descriptions short or long?
- Do they offer technical specs or details?
- Are text sections organized in tabs or with headers?
- Are there multiple photos or videos?
- How do they describe the product?
- Are the product descriptions SEO optimized?
You shouldn’t copy your competitor’s product descriptions word for word. But you should offer similar, thorough information on your own product descriptions. The last thing you want is for your target customer to find a product in your store, but end up buying it on another store because the other store had a more complete description that helped the buyer make their decision.
#9. Your store doesn’t instill trust
Trust is crucial when it comes time for customers to enter their credit card information to make a purchase. Your store must make customers feel their information will be secure and that their product will be meet their needs. If it doesn’t, customers may not make their purchase.
You can improve your store’s credibility by making some improvements such as using a custom domain, getting a professionally designed logo, adding an about us page, obtaining trust badges and site seals, incorporating reviews, and creating easy to find pages with details about shipping and refunds.