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All the Traffic but No Sales: 5 Things You Might Be Doing Wrong

September 9, 2018

All the Traffic but No Sales: 5 Things You Might Be Doing Wrong

Your e-commerce website site is shiny, ready, and that fresh marketing campaign is driving traffic like gangbusters. Newsletters are flying out, and your tweets are picking up tons of action. But, you do not see any pickup in sales.

All that marketing spending is just going in smoke, and it’s got you down.

We get it, and nearly every e-commerce store has been there. Driving traffic was supposed to be the hard part, so what’s gone wrong? Where’s the breakdown?

The bad news is that there are hurdles throughout the process that you might not be clearing. The good news is that you can definitely overcome them. Let’s look at five of the biggest to get you started in matching sales with the new traffic boom.

Getting the Wrong Traffic

Most e-commerce stores believe that traffic is the key. As long as they’re driving eyeballs, then they’re golden. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case because you have to drive the right eyeballs to make a sale. Your traffic must match the content of the site and the offer you provide.

Here are three of the most common disconnects in this space:

  • Targeting the wrong people for your product (right product, wrong people)
  • Sending your target audience to pages or content they aren’t interested in (right people, wrong product)
  • Targeting people not interested in your core offer and sending them to landing pages that don’t focus on your core offer (wrong people, wrong product)

You’ll need to do some customer research to find out who is most likely interested in your products. Start with this data and get as much demographic information as possible. Use that to build your ad campaigns and your social targeting.

Next, review your messaging and sales funnel to ensure that this new audience of people who need your core products are being sent to pages highlighting those products. If you’re sending someone to the wrong stuff, they’re more likely to click back to the page they came from instead of browsing around your site.

Having a Complicated Site

Another big sales killer is a website that’s hard to use. Most office this means it is too complex for the visitor. Complexity hurts in a few ways.

First, it can make your site load slowly. More than one-third of visitors will leave a site if its images don’t load quickly and about half of your audience thinks your site should load in two seconds or less. Second, complicated sites can impact how they display on mobiles. This can harm you if you’re in one of the categories where mobile accounts for at least half of total ecommerce spending.

And the final note about web design is that 75% of your audience will judge your credibility and trustworthiness based on your web design.

When sites get too complicated to use easily, they cut against the engagement and trust required for a sale. Address this by simplifying your website, working to reduce load times, and keeping your product images and “buy” buttons clearly visible toward the top of each page.

Missing Pertinent Product Details

If you were buying a product you’ve never tried before, would you get a small, medium, or large?

We know what you’re thinking: “It depends. Tell me more about the product.”

That’s exactly right. You need a wide range of details to understand any product. Plus, you also need information about why it is a right fit for you and, often in the e-commerce space, if this product is the right style for you too.

Customers who don’t understand your offer or get these details aren’t going to buy.

Approach each one of your products and the pages that host them to see if you’re providing the right details. Here are some of the bases to cover:

  • What problem does the audience have?
  • How does this product solve that?
  • Are the available options able to do that for this particular visitor?
  • What do they need to narrow down the options? (Think size charts, how much liquid a cup holds, etc.)
  • What does it look like? What will this visitor look like or feel like using the product?
  • Why do they want to look/feel like that?
  • How can they easily buy it from you?

These questions will give you the structure to present the customer with an idea about their problem and how you solve it, convincing them that you have the right solution based on how they want to look or feel after the purchase. Everything else is designed to help them make their choice.

The faster you can do this, the better.

No Clear Differentiation

Many e-commerce stores offer a similar selection of products — this is even more true if you’re drop shipping.

Do a quick online search of your business area and specific products to see how your competitors are describing the products and how close their offers are to yours. If you’re one of many talking about products in the same way, or are using the same stock photos, you won’t be creating a clear reason for a visitor to make a purchase from you.

Tell a story that highlights what you like best about the products and match it to your overall personality. Align that with your target market, because it may create a personal connection with a site visitor who would then be more willing to buy.

You need to show brand and product personality to stand out. It can be difficult in the e-commerce space to do that because you’re often working with limited products. However, the design you give your site and the way you talk about your products can go a long way. If you need inspiration on how to feel different, look at websites from the brands themselves. Don’t copy their style but find things you can emulate while adding your own flavor.

No one needs just another bland catalog on the Internet.

Problems at Checkout

The final place to check is your purchase process. Messy, complex, or broken checkout systems are often a cause of failed sales. Again, you want to be as simple and straightforward as possible.

Show users the price of the goods and have their cart follow them throughout. You can indicate expected costs like taxes or add a note to the cart overlay text that says, “plus shipping and handling.” This way there is less of a surprise jump in price when checkout time comes.

If you offer free shipping or have a partner who guarantees speedy ecommerce delivery, then note this information on the page to help customers feel more comfortable with the purchase.

Breaking the process into multiple steps also helps people stick with it, instead of getting overwhelmed by long forms. You can see this practice on most leading e-commerce sites, especially Amazon. Another trick to grab from Amazon is to show product detail summaries on your checkout pages, including things like size, color, and quantity.

One final note to consider is that you might not want to force customers to create an account. Ask for an email to send the receipt, but wait on making them choose a password. You can use the receipt or “thank you” email as a place to ask them to create an account. It reduces the burden and can increase your overall subscription volume too.

Here’s hoping these 5 tips will help you onto the path of greater sales.

About the author

Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.


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