In the modern business world, it’s easy enough to believe that running an online business should be easy. After all, you can setup a store in an afternoon with various pieces of software and your own domain name. Add this simplicity to the fact that buying habits are changing, with more and more customers making the switch to online shopping, and it seems like success with an online store is inevitable.
Perhaps that was what you felt when you setup your own online store. You had the idea, the determination, the stock, and the tech-savvy to ensure your site was online. With all of that established, surely all you had to do was sit back and waiting for the customers; if you build it, they will come, etc.
Yet somehow, it’s not quite worked out like that. Your store is online, you have a few customers… but you seem to be stalling, failing to obtain the growth that you truly need to get your business off the ground. This was meant to be easy, but you’re finding it a non-stop grind of issues: what exactly is going wrong?
No One Knows Your Business Exists
You can have the best business in the world, but if no one knows about it, then your business is going to struggle. Promotion is vital for any kind of business, but particularly for online retail stores. The online retail market is so saturated that you have to go the extra mile to ensure that customers know how to find you.
There are a variety of ways to do this. You can learn about promotional and marketing techniques for yourself. Alternatively, if you find the learning curve is too steep, you can outsource to the likes of Lemonade IT and allow the professionals to put together a strategy designed to spread the word about your business. It’s also beneficial if you pay particular attention to your social marketing strategy, as social marketing is a lucrative, inexpensive way of ensuring more potential customers are aware of your business’ existence.
You Haven’t Identified Your Unique Selling Point (USP)
As mentioned above, the online marketplace is hugely competitive, which means you are always going to be competing with other businesses to be seen. How successful you are at this competition depends massively on your unique selling point: your USP.
What does your online business do differently to all of the other stores out there? Do you offer a unique product, a unique experience, a unique price point? If you can’t automatically think of at least two things that are specifically different about your online store, then this might be the problem. Learning how to differentiate your business from all of your competitors is integral to your future success.
The Ordering Process Isn’t Intuitive
If you receive a high number of visitors to your store but substantially fewer purchases, then it’s worth investigating your checkout process. There may be something in your checkout that is putting customers off, so it’s worth hiring research companies who will test your online experience and then give you feedback about how simple the process was. UserTesting.com and various other sites provide this service, so it’s worth considering if you want to get to the bottom of why your sales aren’t converting.
If you can iron out the issues above, there’s a good chance that your online store will get into gear, and begin to show the returns you have been hoping for all along.