Sometimes getting businesses to engage with marketing can be a hard task, especially if everything is going really well and sales are flourishing. Interestingly, it’s often when things aren’t going so well that it becomes a topic of conversation i.e online sales decreasing.
There will be a time, or maybe you’ve already been there (and we’d love to hear your feedback if that is the case on what you did about it), when your sales, enquiries, site visitors or whatever you measure your online success by either start to flatten out or to decrease. This can be a very stressful and worrying time therefore it’s important that you know what the causes are so that you can turn that line, or curve, the other way up as soon as possible.
Now, presuming here that your website is in good nick, and by that we mean it is up to date, responsive (for mobile traffic), secure and generally works as it should… by the way, when was the last time you used or placed an order on your own site? How was that for you? This may immediately throw up a few obvious problems.
Here are 5 things you can look at that may help:
1.Look at your Google Analytics, or have them looked at, this will give you an initial feel for what’s going on.
Your analytics will give you some useful insight if you do have online sales that are decreasing, (as long as you have it setup correctly). Things to look at:
- Organic traffic – view the year and compare to last year.
- Keyword analysis – are you still ranking well for your top keywords?
- Paid for traffic – as above – has your budget increased, decreased? what does the conversion rate look like?
- Campaign traffic – as above -has your email marketing been generating less traffic recently?
- Site speed – important if you are now getting more traffic from mobile especially, has this slowed?
- Behaviour – Have a look at your bounce rate, your top exit pages – what does this tell you? how does it compare with the same period last year?
- Ecommerce conversion rate – when did the decrease begin? can you attribute that to anything?
Granted there is a vast amount of data you can gather from here and so try to focus on the above initially. Do ask for help if you don’t understand something – it can be overwhelming, but it may just give you insights you haven’t had until now.
2. Your server configuration , site speed and up-time
All a bit technical so one you might want to push on to the company that handles this for you. Is your site slow? unresponsive, goes down regularly? Ask your hosting company to audit it and tell you if they recommend upgrades or a newer model altogether. A server runs software the same as other IT systems cloud or no cloud, is it up to date, secure?
3. Your offer
Have you made any changes recently that fall in line with your online sales decreasing? Price increases? Less promotions? Less savings on promotions? Online shoppers are very savvy these days, they will shop around for the best deal and the best service, is that you and what you have to offer?
4. Your products or service
Can you tie the problem in with any changes you’ve made to your products or service? Do you ever ask for feedback from your customers? what are they saying? What about your team have any key people changed recently? Are your products or services available via third parties? – if so, what is their pricing and marketing strategy? this may be negatively impacting your own efforts.
5. The competition
How closely do you monitor this? are there any new entrants to your market space that you weren’t aware of? are they undercutting you or offering better value for money, better service, focusing more on marketing?
Have a good old googling session and find out what’s out there, what do your customer search for? it might be that you are being hammered online by a competitor with a bigger budget – worry not size isn’t everything!
Do you sell via third parties? are they better than you online? slicker site? or big site like Amazon? or are there people selling your products you weren’t aware of? and you’d be surprised how often this happens. Important to note, please don’t confuse this with any affiliates you may find. An affiliate, either direct with you or via an affiliate programme will be sending traffic to your site but will be displaying your products and running their own marketing activities.
Having greater exposure on a stores like Ebay and Amazon can be a good thing as long as you have control over that..by this we mean, price control, stock variance, keep your full range back for your own site is worth consideration.
Sometimes, small changes can make a big difference once you actually know where the issue is and if that means you need to review your pricing strategy, target audience, product offering or customer service to stop your online sales decreasing then that’s what it will take to get you back on that nice positive curve again.
We must add that there are obviously many more impacts to consider for a business that is generally struggling, and we’re not covering every single possibility here, just the initial areas that you may look into for your online success.
We’d love to hear from you, so if you have any comments, or feedback please do get in touch or comment on social – you know the drill @ourphilosophi
If you’d rather have an old fashioned telephone conversation, let’s do that, you can get us on 01326 567182.