Low e-commerce sales are the biggest worry for any start-up entrepreneur trying to navigate their way through the competitive and crowded world of online selling.
It is no surprise that there are so many people having a go at making a buck through e-commerce, either—there is the potential to build solid revenue (and perhaps even a bespoke brand!) with very little initial overhead or effort required.
With platforms such as Shopify and Prestashop and the powerful third-party integrations available, it is possible to generate sales globally around the clock and, depending on your product, have orders automatically fulfilled by external vendors, something that eliminates running costs such as staff!
5 Possible Causes of Low E-Commerce Sales
Just because setting up an online store and putting items up for sale is an easy job doesn’t mean that generating sales is, though. Plenty of new stores struggle with low e-commerce sales and struggle to make a profit.
If this sounds like you, here are 5 possible causes.
1. Low-quality product images and descriptions
Customers shop with their eyes online more than they do in physical brick-and-mortar shops. Remember, the only indicator of a product’s quality online are the images and product descriptions you provide.
It is important that your images and descriptions are attractive, of a high-quality, unique, and likely to convert people into customers. If you can’t do this, you will not sell as many products as you could. Taking lots of HD pictures from different angles and creating unique and interesting descriptions are just two ways to stand out.
2. Having a complex website and checkout
Potential customers aren’t going to spend a long time trying to navigate a badly-designed or built store or fight to enter their billing details at the checkout stage. If they cannot browse your store with ease or finalize their purchase quickly, they will look elsewhere.
It is the checkout process that can be most frustrating for customers. Never require registration for checkout and make the process as short as possible—only require information that you need to fulfill the order and make the rest disclosable at the customer’s discretion.
3. Don’t hide your shipping fees
There’s a running joke that people are happy to fill their carts up with hundreds of dollars’ worth of items and then as soon as the shipping fee is added, their tone changes. This isn’t just a joke, though—it’s the reality.
Shipping rates are a leading reason for shopping carts being abandoned and therefore a leading cause of low e-commerce sales. Be transparent and up-front about your shipping costs, only charge what it costs you (or less), and have an offer such as “Spend $X and shipping is free!”.
If you can afford to, offer free shipping across the board!
4. Customers are not engaged
You should be engaging with your customers wherever and whenever possible, especially through social media pages such as Facebook and Instagram. Remember, these platforms are where most of your target market spend a lot of their time and the best way to increase sales is to engage with them personally.
Doing this helps to keep your brand front, center, and fresh in the minds of people who may swing by and make a purchase in the future. Don’t just talk to customers, though—get involved in current trends, curate entertaining posts, and get involved with industry-related issues, talks, and discussions to capture the attention of your audience.
5. Your pricing is off
Just because you think your product is worth $X does not make it so. Too high (or even low) a price is a leading cause of low e-commerce sales.
Price a product too high and customers won’t think that the product is worth it. Price a product too low and customers will think they are getting something cheap that will break or not work as intended.
Only you can decide on your product’s pricing, though, and this is where careful market research—something you should have carried out prior to opening—comes in. Take a look at your current product(s) pricing and have a think about whether it is quite right or whether it could use some tweaking and further consideration.