There is tremendous opportunity to generate revenue online. There’s an endless number of products and services you could sell. Yet, so many online businesses still end up failing, and yours might be at risk, too.
It’s not too late to turn things around though. If you can pinpoint the reason why your online store is failing, you can take the steps needed to transform your business outcomes.
No one knows your online store exists
First and foremost, people need to know your ecommerce site exists if it's going to succeed. If you’re not giving marketing enough attention, your online store is no doubt going to fail.
“Build it and they will come” doesn’t apply to ecommerce.
First, you need visitors. THEN, you can get buyers. And to get visitors, you need marketing ideas.
Dedicate time, human resources, and budget to marketing. You don't need a huge team or a ton of cash, but you do need to make marketing a priority.
Make sure you’re actively promoting your business on social media. Take out social, search, and banner ads to get your brand out there. Consider giving away freebies or starting a contest to attract attention. Team up with partners and influencers for promotion. And get good at SEO – showing up on Google’s search engine results pages will make a big difference.
They know it exists, but they don’t care
This comes down to business sense. Sure, anyone can start an online shop but that doesn’t mean everyone should.
Have you done your market research to determine if there’s a need in the market? It all comes down to supply and demand, after all.
Do you know who your target audience is? Are you targeting the wrong types of consumers?
If you’re selling products literally no one in the world needs or you’re trying to sell to the wrong people, you’re probably going to fail.
Before you invest any more in your online shop, ask yourself some questions:
- Do people want my product?
- How does my product help people? What value does it offer?
- Who would be most likely to buy what I’m selling?
- What are they willing to pay for what I’m selling?
- How do I find and attract the people most willing to buy what I’m selling?
It might not be a bad idea to ask a business consultant for some guidance if you’re unsure. The honest truth is some business ideas are duds and some products should never go to market. The faster you find this out, the better. It’ll help you save money and adjust your strategy to sell something that people actually want and have a need for.
The shopping experience sucks
It’s actually tough to create a beautiful, frictionless shopping experience. Consumers’ expectations are pretty high these days, so you have to impress them.
There are tons of things you can do to improve the shopping experience:
- Improve the quality of your images and product descriptions.
- Use ecommerce tools to improve your online store. There are plenty of tools that will help you offer personalized suggestions, offer a loyalty program, send out out-of-stock notifications, etc.
- Improve the customer journey so people find shopping fun and stress-free (product placement, search bar, navigation, categories, etc.). You never want people to be frustrated because they can’t find something or the page is loading too slow.
- Ensure consumers can browse and shop seamlessly on mobile.
- Simplify your checkout process (delete unnecessary form fields, offer one-click checkout, etc.). You might not realize that people might hate your checkout process right now.
- Accept more payment options, like Apple Pay, WeChat Pay, and instant customer financing to ensure customers can pay their way . Some people are really loyal to their fav payment methods.
When it comes to ecommerce, the shopping experience is EVERYTHING. It can truly set you apart from your competitors. It can ensure customers not only browse but shop. It can turn shoppers into regular loyal customers who come back again and again.
But if your shopping experience is frustrating and annoying, you’re going to struggle to succeed.
You don’t care about your customer
Sure, you care about sales. You care about money. But you shouldn’t care about these things more than you care about your customers. Or they’ll be able to tell.
Consumers today love supporting small brands and mom and pop stores, and a big reason for this is because smaller businesses can offer better customer service. They take the time to show their appreciation to their customers. They care.
And this brand-customer relationship is key to success, especially when you’re just starting out.
So, take the time to add a personalized thank-you note to your shipping boxes. Offer a loyalty program your customers will value. Engage with your customers on social media. Show them you care.
If you’re only thinking about sales right now, your online store is probably failing.
So, is your store failing?
It’s time for some introspection. Take the time to really think about these four common reasons why online stores fail. Are you making the same mistakes? If so, your store’s future might be at risk.