Why Your Store Isn’t Getting Any Sales

August 25, 2020

Hana Drdla

Why isn’t my store getting any sales? What am I doing wrong?

First, I encourage you to read my article. "11 Mistakes that Shopify Beginners Make (and How to Fix Them)" which may address some simple design mistakes you have made that can improve the overall look of your store.

Supposing that you have had your store running for some time, and have put some effort into driving traffic to your website, let’s see what we can do to get people to purchase your awesome products.

How to get sales on Shopify

Determine the problem

There are some key questions that need to be answered to better understand where your problem lies.

  • Are you receiving traffic to your store?
  • Where is this traffic coming from?
  • How long are visitors staying on your store website from each of these traffic sources?
  • How many pages are they visiting on average?
  • What percentage of visitors are adding to their cart?
  • What percentage of those who add to cart are checking out?

By understanding where in the shopping process we lose our customers' interest, we can better identify the problem in our store. If you're not receiving any traffic yet, this article isn't for you. This article is about identifying where we can make improvements in the customer shopping experience.

Walk in the customer’s shoes

Someone recently told me that they were receiving a lot of abandoned carts and didn’t know why. So, I took a walk in the customer’s shoes. I saw on their announcement bar that if I purchase 2 items, I would get free shipping. Great! So I added two items to my cart and went to check out. Wait... what was that coupon code I had to enter again? I clicked back on my browser and saw the code, “FRSHP2020”. Ok, that is definitely not the easiest to remember although it does have some logic to it (no vowels). I tried to copy the code to make sure I got it right, but upon trying to copy, the announcement bar was linked to a different page, and I got sent to continue shopping. My checkout process was disrupted yet again. I memorized the code and went back to checkout. I entered the code and the message I received was “Invalid code”.

This checkout process was not smooth, not fast, and ultimately did not deliver the promise of free shipping. As a customer, I abandoned my cart.

The Solution:

First, make the checkout process as effortless as possible. My suggestion to this store owner was to make free shipping automatic. Why should a customer need to enter a coupon code for something that you are promising for free?  You can do this by adjusting your shipping rates based on weight or order price.

The second lesson learned from that was to make your coupon codes as easy to remember as possible. "SHIP20" would have been better than "FRSHP2020". The shipping code isn’t a secret, is it?

The point is, put yourself in the customer's shoes and go through the purchasing process. Identify any steps that are inconvenient, any critical information that is missing (size charts, material, shipping times), and ensure that shipping options are available.

Your customers don't understand your product

Your customers should know exactly what you sell within a few seconds of landing on your website. Focus on design above the fold. Above the fold is the space you see on the screen when landing on the page. Think of newspapers that are folded in half on the newsstand. Buyers only see the top half “above the fold” and will make a purchase based on that, and only that. Think like a newspaper. This is your prime real estate space.

Areas to focus on:

  • Navigation: The is valuable space above the fold on every single page, and a space to communicate exactly what you sell. See my article on "How to Design a Navigation Menu that Sells".
  • Imagery: Do your images clearly show people what you sell and keep them interested? Use a mix of product and lifestyle photos to sell your product. Stock photos don't make for strong branding.
  • Text: Text should describe exactly what you do. What problem does your product solve, who is it for, and what makes it special? Make sure that customers understand what you offer within a few seconds of landing on your page.

Following this, consider, do you know what you are selling? I see too many stores selling a variety of things that make no sense together. Are you having a garage sale or are you running a business?

And remember, it’s not always about the product that you are selling, but about selling how you make people feel. Sell them the lifestyle, not the product.

You don't know your target audience

You need a crystal clear idea of who you are selling to, and what that person values in their life. Target exactly that person in your ads, images, and text. Your branding is not only your logo and packaging. It is your brand voice, the style of your pictures you post, and the tone in your newsletters.

Consider how people should feel before they buy from you and when they are on your website, or reading your posts. What is your brand mission and how does your target customer relate to that? Ensure that you understand who your customers are and communicate clearly to that exact person. Don't dilute your messaging by trying to reach difference audiences. "Pick a horse" as my wise friend once told me.

Your presentation sucks

If the design of your product and website don't stand out, it will be tough to price your products at what they're worth, and tough to stand out from the competition.

If you think you have a quality product, then show people. Your presentation is the first indicator that people have of the quality of your product. Imagine yourself walking into a store in the mall. The store design pulls you in, makes you curious and the quality packaging indicates to shoppers that the products must be of high quality as well.

Can you make sales on a free theme like Debut? Of course you can. But it will be much easier if you already have a loyal following from Etsy, or locally. The best is to speak to a web designer who is experienced in e-commerce to understand customer psychology and proven methods of getting more sales. When you’re ready, you can invest in a premium Shopify theme (at minimum) or a custom theme that will really give your customers a unique and memorable shopping experience that will keep them coming back to see what’s new in the store.

This is also true of people who don’t put in the effort to take pictures of their product in use, or of models wearing the product. If you as the business owner aren’t willing to invest in professional pictures, then why should people invest in your product? You haven’t sold them on the purchase.

Missing information

What are the key things that people need to know when purchasing your product? If it's clothes, your customers need a sizing chart and need to know the material the product is made from. A huge deciding factor comes from customer reviews. Here they can get a better understanding of the quality and fit. Make getting customer reviews a priority.

Alongside product details, customers need to know if you offer any quality guarantees, refund and exchange policies, and shipping times. Communicating all this from the beginning will allow your customers to see you as a legitimate business and you'll gain their trust.

Customers are bombarded

Pop-ups are the enemy. Websites often have 2 or more popups happening at a time. First, a cookie policy to accept (not really avoidable) and immediately a newsletter signup. Why would anyone want to subscribe to your newsletter if they haven't seen what you're offering yet? Customers have a difficult time entering your store and they're not happy about it.

Still lost?

If there’s still no clear issue, there's a way to get a clear (and kind of creepy) look into the customer journey. Heatmaps and screen recordings. Using heatmaps will allow you to understand customer behaviour on your website. These apps follow the customer's mouse to see where they are hovering and clicking. This way you can understand what customers want to know, and what caught their attention.

These same apps often offer screen recording where you can actually see everything the customer did on your website. A little creepy, but useful. You'll find out the flow your customers are following, where they may have encountered a barrier, and even what prompted them to leave.

Having data from Google Analytics is great in all, but this qualitative data will allow you to continue to improve your design based on the customer experiences observed..

Conclusion

To understand why your store isn't getting any sales, you need to determine the problem and investigate it. Look through your traffic sources and see which have the highest bounce rates. Walk in their shoes to determine the problem.

Find out what is and isn't working on your site and make the purchasing process as easy as possible all while giving your customers confidence that they'll receive a quality product.



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Tags: shopify shopify 101

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