Is Your Ecommerce Site in a Slump?

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March 8, 2013 at 9:57 pm #338

Key Master

You can’t put your finger on it, but something about your San Diego business’s website sales seem off. It’s not a drastic decline, but your site’s ecommerce sales just don’t seem as healthy as they used to be. You’re wise to be worried. A few subtle warning signs can signal problems in your ecommerce site’s sales that, with prompt action, can be fixed. The key is knowing what to watch for. Here are some red flags:

Abandoned shopping carts. Sure, some abandoned carts are normal—there will always be customers who window shop online. But if your abandoned cart rate is growing or is higher than industry norms, make sure you’re doing what you can to stem the tide. First, use triggered email messaging to reach out to customers who abandon their carts. Start with a gentle reminder (in case it was an honest mistake). In your next message, offer a discount code if the person acts on the purchase within a certain time frame.

Limited search. Are customers using your search feature enough? Active use of search can help spark more sales as customers get inspired to buy things they may not have known they needed. Make sure your search feature is easy to find and works well. Use sort features (such as the ability to sort by size, color, price or popularity) to enable customers to narrow down their results so they don’t get overwhelmed and leave the sites.

Not enough upselling. Features such as “You might also like” or “Related Items” or “Items Frequently Purchased Together” can suggest ideas for other products customers may want to add to their shopping carts. Ideally, make sure customers don’t see just the one product they’re looking at, but a bunch of related items to the right or below.

Excessively high bounce rates. Are customers bouncing off your home page without ever digging deeper? Watch your analytics closely to see what shoppers do after reaching your site. If they’re leaving at a higher rate than desired, consider whether you have adequate calls to action on your home page; whether your site design is too confusing (either too busy, or so spare that shoppers don’t know what to do); or whether your navigation is unclear. In general, don’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to an ecommerce home page—use navigation conventions that are widespread in your industry so that shoppers know what to expect.

Dwindling average order cost. If the same number of people are buying, but they’re buying less or placing smaller dollar-value orders, you have a problem. To fix it, try upselling (as mentioned before), reaching out to shoppers with targeted emails based on their past shopping history, or even increasing your prices.

Keep an eye out for these warning signs, and you can keep your San Diego business’s ecommerce sales healthy—and your business wealthy.

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