Here is a fact – the web drives product sales. A recent study revealed that 81% of web users research online before making big purchases. The internet proves to be the first choice for getting relevant information in terms of products and the companies that market them. With an increase in the percentage of people trusting the internet for product and company information, it is essential to have an e-commerce store that is optimized to provide proper product information that people are looking for.
You have your e-commerce store already set up and you have been waiting patiently for your first sales. However, as the days went by it seems that your store has lots of views but no conversions. Why is this so?
There are many factors that may cause no sales regardless of your sales platform. We have investigated and found out five main reasons why your store is not making sales. Here are the 5 main reasons below:
5 Main Reasons Why Your Store Is Not Making Sales
- Problems with your store
- Your store hasn’t established trust
- Problems with product presentation
- Problems with the product page
- Problems with your shopping cart and checkout page
These five main factors offer more specific reasons why you are not making sales. Let’s take a look at it further.
Factors that make potential customers look away from your store
1. Loading speed. If your store is set on a website, your website’s loading time must be taking too long. A survey by Akamai says that web users abandon a site if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. This means that you are losing sales and potential customers too. This is also why on eBay “active content” is restricted (check out our 2017 eBay update article for more info on that), it takes a long time to load and potentially will lead to users leaving the site.
2. Inappropriate design for your e-commerce store. Your choice of design or theme should clearly show what your store is all about. Choose a template suitable for the products you sell. If you have your own website, make sure to have a web design that matches your e-commerce store. Proper designs and templates prove to entice visitors to become potential buyers.
3. Bugs and errors. Test your store for any errors. One of the things that frustrate buyers online are errors and bugs where they either cannot get to the page they need to see or the store appears unclear and unprofessional. That is also the reason for many sellers to choose to work with big marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy etc. over starting their own store, this is also one of the reasons for these marketplaces to charge a high sales fee in exchange for the flawless service they provide. Yet, today there are self-website building platforms like Shopify and Wix which allow users to build their own bug-less store websites.
4. Poor user interface. If your store is not user-friendly, expect visitors to turn away from it and rate it poorly. So make sure that users can easily navigate through every nook and corner of your e-commerce store.
5. Unclear contact information. It is essential for potential customers to communicate with you. They want to know that you actually exist and thus providing essential contact information like physical address, phone numbers, email addresses, and such serves as a proof that your business actually exists. On a platform like eBay for example, you have a way of communicating with your buyers and the platform will be the one with all of those details.
6. No clear terms and conditions stipulated. If your potential customer is not able to find terms and conditions to secure their purchase, they’re most likely to look for another website or another store that provides security on their purchase. The terms and conditions, aka business policies, provide some kind of assurance that buyers can get their purchases and likewise sellers are shipping orders in good faith. tip: selling on eBay? take a look at our e-commerce business policies guide.
7. No customer testimonials or customer reviews. Potential customers want to make sure that other people have tested your products or at least bought through your store. That’s why some people would like to see proof that you have actually made sales in the past. Genuine customer testimonials, customer reviews, and customer feedbacks help your store make sales.
8. No social accounts. Social accounts serve proof that you are an existing business. A website without social accounts questions the credibility of the business. Getting your products into social media is also a helpful tactic in making sales because you are actually putting your products in front of countless social media users who could be possibly potential customers.
9. No SSL certificate. If your store runs on a private website, it is important to use an SSL certificate. This is a technology that makes sure there is a secure transfer of information between a browser and a web server. Web users who don’t see an SSL cert on your website questions the security of their financial and private information once transaction takes place. If you’re not sure what is it – look for the green padlock icon next to the URL.
10. No trust seals. Customers would like to make sure that your website can be trusted. Trust seals are among the ways that you can establish trust. Trust seals mean your website had been assessed by reliable companies and found your site to be secure and legitimate. The SSL should be first and foremost.
11. Product images are not appealing. When you don’t have a clear product image, people will most likely turn to the next seller. Customers would like to have a better view of the product they are eyeing to purchase. So it is a good idea to add images in high resolution. The images must show the details and features of the product you are offering clearly.
12. Products are not in season. When was the last time you have updated your listings? Note that as a store owner you have to go with the flow of the season. Update your listings by searching for products that sell for the season. You can check Google trends to know what’s people are looking for and what products are really selling. If your products are not in season, there is a high probability that customers are not going to by. Therefore it is important to know what products are trending to update your store.
13. Product categories are not helpful. Websites should have well-thought product categories. Make sure that your potential customers can easily find products by organizing categories. If your store is running on e-commerce platforms like eBay, make sure that your product is under the right category.
14. No search forms or filters. Customers would like to find what they’re looking for at the quickest time possible. And a way to do that is through the search tool in your website. If you don’t have that, you are making it difficult for your visitors to look for the items they are looking for.
15. Product titles are too long with confusing words. Weird product titles that are too technical and too long will more likely turn off potential customers. Inject some keywords into your title and keep it within the character limit required which is usually at 80 characters limit. Instead of using technical terms about the product, use simple words that are more socially understandable.
Want to know more techniques on creating product titles? Read our eBay listing titles optimization article.
16. Incomplete product description. Product descriptions are as important as having good pictures for your product. Having incomplete details regarding your product will prompt potential buyers to ask. What is the size? What are the colors available? They look for more specifications not listed in your description. Complete details will give your potential buyers all the information they need. Without enough details, customers will look for it elsewhere and thus will be leaving your site.
17. No related products offered. For products that are selling on giants like Amazon or eBay, notice at the bottom of the page that there are related products being offered. Related products are important to help the customer find what they are looking for. If you are running an e-commerce store on a self-hosted website, feature a related products section on your product page to provide more options to those who are browsing your web store.
18. Buy now button is not obvious. You may have a buy now button but it could be too small or not too obvious that potential customers are not able to locate it. Strategically add your buy now button in your website where it is visible and easily seen by visitors of your page.
19. Unresponsive shopping cart. It is important to check your shopping cart features. Make sure that there are no glitches or errors. It can be frustrating for a customer to click on the add button and then nothing happens. Once you tested and your shopping cart has issues, contact your web developer. If you are running on eBay, Amazon, or other e-commerce sales platform and find this issue, contact their support to have it resolved immediately.
20. Too many forms to fill out. This issue usually happens for stores running on a self-hosted website. There are too many forms to accomplish! These forms, although serve a good purpose for your business, are frustrating and time-consuming for your buyers. It’s understandable that you will have to be registered but if the forms ask for too much information, that can raise flags and cause your potential buyers to just leave your site annoyed.
21. Limited payment gateways. While there are buyers who prefer to pay directly through their credit cards, there are some who are not comfortable giving out their financial information. Some buyers prefer to pay via PayPal because it offers the added security. So it is a good idea to support various payment gateways in order to serve your customers with various preferences.
22. The store is not mobile-friendly. Almost all of the reports about e-commerce are showing that at least 50% of online purchases are done using mobile phones. There are so many kinds of smartphones and mobile-devices that it is imperative to make sure that your store is responsive and mobile-friendly. This is also one of the reasons why so many sellers choose to open their stores on the big platforms.
The web can be a powerful tool for you to make sales regardless if you are into dropshipping or selling your own handcraft items. In order to be successful, optimization is important for any web store regardless of the sales platform you have chosen. Test your store from time to time to check for errors, update your product listings, and make sure you have the right tools to make it easier for your customers to find your products and make a purchase.
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- Michelle is an SEO expert, she is a content curator for the DSMagazine since 2016 she is producing e commerce related content for drop shippers around the world via multiple channels including the DSMagazine. When not working to keep drop shippers up to date with the most recent news, Michelle loves to sing, dance and take care of Feline, her cat.