You’ve heard that e-commerce is an incredibly easy way to make money selling products, so you set up your site…and yet all you’re getting is crickets. You think your products are pretty unique, so what gives? Why aren’t you raking in the money?
Likely you’re making one (or more) of the following mistakes. Fortunately, they’re all easy to remedy.
1. It’s Not Easy to Make a Purchase
If you log into your analytics, see where people are leaving your site. You might find that they’re actually putting products in their virtual shopping carts, but then not completing the transaction.
It could be that the checkout process is arduous and people get frustrated. Considering that they can buy something on Amazon within seconds, you’re going to have to ensure that buying a product is easy and fast.
It might be because navigation is clunky and difficult to use. It could also be that there’s a link that doesn’t work.
Pretend you’re a customer and go through the checkout process to ensure that everything is functioning correctly, and pay attention to how long it takes. If you can simplify, for example, the number of screens they click through to complete the transaction, you may instantly see an uptick in sales from this fix.
2. You Come Off as Unprofessional
Maybe you got the free domain name that came with your e-commerce package because you didn’t want to spend money on one. That could be a big mistake. People pay attention to small details like the website name, and if you were too cheap to buy a $10 URL, that may make it harder for potential customers to trust you.
The same goes for your business email address. If you’re using Yahoo or Gmail rather than @yourcompanyname.com, people may not take you seriously.
It’s such a simple thing to buy a domain name, and it comes with free email with the domain name, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of making your business look more professional?
3. Your Prices Aren’t Competitive
It’s sad to say, but e-commerce is often a race to the lowest price. Amazon has made it harder than ever to realize a hefty profit margin when you’re selling products online. On average, e-commerce stores see between 30 and 40% gross margin, but you might be lucky to get even that.
Test out lowering your prices and see if that attracts more sales. If you can’t afford to lower your prices, find other ways to provide value. Can you offer a free gift with purchase or free shipping? The more enticing your offering, the more you’ll sell.
4. Your Product Pages are Lackluster
If you were a shopper visiting your site, would the product pages spur you to buy from the site? Or are your photos dim and out of focus, your product description nil, and your add-to-cart button nowhere to be found?
Your product pages are where you shine the spotlight on the things you sell. You need professional product photos, to start. It’s worth the investment. But if you want to DIY them, at least put effort into making the photos great. If you’re willing to really make your site stand out, try using explainer videos to highlight the product or service and increase customer engagement.
The description copy is what tells visitors more about your products and helps them decide if they want to buy them, so go all out. Include keywords that help search engines find your product pages and describe in detail both the physical aspects as well as the benefits. Include dimensions and weight if applicable.
Every product page needs to include the ability to add the product to the shopping cart. Otherwise how can you sell?? It may also be helpful to include a shipping calculator on each page so shoppers know up front what they’ll pay.
5. Search Engines Don’t Even Know You’re Alive
Search engine optimization is your new best friend when running an e-commerce company. You need Google and other search engines to be able to quickly scan your site, figure out what it sells, and rank it high in search results.
That doesn’t happen without a little effort.
Each page should have one keyword focus. Your home page might have the keyword “organic dog treats” used throughout the copy, while one product page might use “vegan dog bones.” One keyword per page is all you need; more will confuse search engines and drop your ranking.
Simply slapping up an e-commerce website isn’t going to make you a millionaire…or even a single sale. You’ve got to continually put effort into building your website and making it more user-friendly. Over time, if you do the right things, you’ll see sales. Happy customers will come back for more, and tell their friends. Have patience and be willing to put in the work.