A novelty of the internet is anyone with an idea and a strong work ethic can make money selling online. This isn’t easy money, of course. Running an online business takes guts. Entrepreneurs must welcome changes and respond to them accordingly. Because even the most successful online ventures encounter various roadblocks and challenges along the way.
If your store has been sputtering as of late and you’ve reached a glass ceiling in sales, one or more of these four things may be the catalyst you need to start growing again.
A/B Test Conversion Details
There is a wealth of details to stay on top of when running an online business. Brands won’t get them all right from the get-go. However, it’s inexcusable to forego A/B testing. How else will you know if something isn’t working or could perform better?
The beauty of A/B testing is there is no limit to the number of details you can test. Everything from typography, calls to action, types of offers — if you can change it, you can test it. Just don’t make the mistake of testing multiple details at once or you won’t know what impacted the change.
Audit Your Product Pages
Many entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners get into selling online because of the flexibility. For example, Shopify defines what an e-commerce platform is as a site dedicated to transactions that take place between consumers and businesses. The relationship can be business to consumer (B2C), business to business (B2B), consumer to consumer (C2C) or consumer to business (C2B). The modes of commerce can range from retail and wholesale to dropshipping, services, subscriptions, and physical or digital products. No matter what matrix your business falls in, the online real estate you use to facilitate transactions needs to be top notch.
Your product pages are where buying decisions are made. These pages need to be aesthetically pleasing, containing a proper use of whitespace so the user isn’t overwhelmed. Product images need to be high-quality and illustrative of every angle and detail someone would want to see. But they also need to be compressed without sacrificing this quality to make the page load quicker. Any information users would want to know (or that you want them to know) should be displayed prominently. For example, if a product is eligible for free shipping, customers shouldn’t have to work to find it.
Include More Social Proof on Your Website
Online stores can make all the claims they want about their products and features, but the persuasion won’t ring as loudly in the ears of potential customers like validation from your existing customers. Social proof was coined decades ago, but it’s as relevant as ever in today’s research-heavy online-shopping ecosystem. According to one study, nearly two-thirds of consumers indicated they’re more likely to purchase from a site featuring product ratings and reviews.
If your sales have been flatlining, maybe it’s because potential customers aren’t convinced your products or services are what they need. Highlighting product reviews and showcasing customer testimonials adds credibility to a business. Potential customers feel more comfortable buying something because they know others have done so before them and experienced a positive result.
Overhaul Your Content Marketing Strategy
No matter the type of online business, content marketing can be a focal point of the customer journey. Many brands struggle to succeed with content because it’s a long-play strategy. Results usually aren’t seen without consistent publishing over a duration of time. It can also be difficult to create content people will find resonant and useful.
If sales are getting stagnant, your content strategy might need some tweaking, or possibly a complete overhaul. Adjust your content marketing plan to include various types of content, including user-generated content. Doing so will inject fresh life into every stage of the sales funnel.
This is because prospective customers would prefer consuming content from a real user than someone within a company. Why? It all boils down to trust and relatability. A company blog post written internally can be considered biased. When a customer creates content, however, users usually digest it more holistically.
Experiencing a sales plateau shouldn’t trigger alarm bells, but it should cause store owners to go back to the drawing board to improve choice business areas. These four strategies are great places to start.