Who is to blame for slow sales? Seasonal shoppers? Brexit? eBay? Amazon? Chinese Sellers? All of the above?
Or is it YOU at fault?
The truth is there are a million and one factors that may influence your online sales regardless of your reputation and status – newbie or long established seller.
Your product price, the state of the economy, holidays, competitors, search algorithms – all of these can affect your ecommerce business and it’s easy to pass the blame, but before you sit back, sigh and decide that there’s nothing you can do about any of these factors because they are out of your hands, take a moment to examine your business thoroughly to make sure that you are doing everything possible to create a strategy that will allow year round sales.
For a start, how many of you actually examine your seller performance metrics? Oh, they are easy to dismiss as meaningless figures, but if you are selling on eBay or Amazon then your performance standards are vital – particularly on Amazon when it comes to getting the Buy Box – and if you don’t meet the set standards then you risk your status being lowered, less visibility and of course poor sales.
It’s important you check your standards regularly so that you immediately see where you may be falling down and make the necessary changes to keep your metrics up to par.
What about errors in your listings? Well, there shouldn’t be any, that’s the straight answer, but on occasion mistakes can happen. Unfortunately this means your listing may be totally invisible!
For example, if you make an error in your Amazon description, such as an incorrect MPN, miscategorisation, wrong photo size or misspellings, Amazon will actually supress your listing until you resolve the error.
So, as you can imagine, this can potentially be a major disaster for sales and it’s important that you triple check your listings are up to scratch and amend any errors without delay.
And that brings me on to your actual listing visibility! Ask yourself if you are absolutely sure that you have done everything in your power to make sure your products can be seen in the search results on your chosen sales platform.
Keywords are vital! Get them wrong and again, you may as well be invisible. Product title keywords are the most important, so your title needs to be accurate, descriptive and concise.
Put yourself in your customers shoes and create friendly titles that are specific. You may need to tweak your titles until you find the perfect balance of keywords that works for your product and brings you the page views and sales – this is perfectly normal!
But improving the visibility of your product with clear titles and relevant keywords is only the online equivalent to a potential customer opening your shop door and entering.
Now they need to actually make the decision to purchase – and that’s where your product description comes in. It needs to be tip top – clear, honest, descriptive, accurate and persuasive. If you haven’t updated your description recently or even read it through from a buyer’s point of view, then you should. A sloppy description can easily hamper sales.
Ok, so let’s make no bones about it, your price is going to have some sway with sales – of course it is! Your product price needs to be competitive in order to attract shoppers to buy. But, selling online brings competition, often from sellers listing identical products and with titles and descriptions that are extremely similar to yours!
So, what can you do? Well, monitoring your competitors and tweaking your prices appropriately should be at the forefront of your ecommerce strategy. Don’t be tempted to get into price wars – that doesn’t benefit anyone – but keep your eye on the ball when it comes to competitors pricing.
Finally, what about customer feedback and testimonials. Look at your feedback and reviews. Are there any gripes or complaints? Is there anything you are ignoring that you can improve on to avoid poor feedback? Positive feedback instils trust, credibility and loyalty and can quickly banish scepticism so should be a key part of your ecommerce sales strategy. It’s easy to overlook information that is staring you in the face, yet that could help you increase your online sales!
Invigorating your business is yours to breathe new life into – and these few simple checks I’ve talked about can help you thrive.