9 Reasons Why Your eCommerce Sales May be Plateauing or Declining

Downward and to the right. No one wants to see that on a Revenue chart. Here are some of the top reasons why you might be seeing that trend and hopefully this will give you some ideas of how to turn it around.

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1. You view marketing as a cost, instead of an investment
Acquiring new customers costs money, a lot of money. Wait, scratch that! Acquiring new customers is an investment – one that pays off in the long run. When it’s done correctly, a customer acquisition strategy will reap a positive ROI when considering the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Ultimately, you need to be investing heavily in marketing to maintain growth. If you’re not, your competitors are. See number 9.

2. Your website design is outdated
Web users judge a website in the blink of eye. You’ve done it, I’ve done it, we’ve all done it. So what does your website design say about your brand? Does your website look trustworthy, professional, easy to use? If your website’s design doesn’t meet or exceed your audiences expectations, then they will shop somewhere else. It’s as simple as that!

3. You are not continually generating customer-centric content.
One of the best ways to expand your SEO footprint is to publish content that will inform and delight your customers. Let’s say you sell intergalactic real estate. You may be able to appeal to your audience by writing a blog post on “The Pros and Cons of Buying Real Estate Near a Blackhole”. Content can come in different formats: blog posts, white-papers, and infographics and can help to establish your brand as an authoritative voice within your industry. This is a great way to attract new traffic, new customers, and grow sales.

4. You are not optimized for mobile
This is very simple, mobile usage surpassed PC usage in 2014 and it’s never looking back. Is your website optimized for mobile? We suggest building a responsive website so that your website looks great on any device: from a smartphone to a TV. Unless you want to say goodbye to half of the internet, you need a mobile friendly website. No exceptions.

5. Your website is too slow – poor system architecture
One element that contributes to customer satisfaction (and SEO) but is often overlooked, is site speed. Do your products and images load quickly? Does your site search provide prompt and accurate results? Operating an enterprise eCommerce website at peak efficiency is difficult due to many technical challenges, but it can and should be done. A slow site ranks lower in Google and frustrates customers, which inevitably hinders sales.

6. You are relying on the same channels
All things remaining equal, your revenue will not grow if your sales channels are not growing either. What if you had a corner lemonade stand and found that you are maximizing your current channel and wish to reach more customers. What are your options? You do some research and find out that there is another busy corner a few blocks away, so you could open a second stand to extend your reach. Or you could partner with the nearby convenient store – they have some empty shelves and would be willing to stock and sell your lemonade, for a cut of the profits of course. Or you could pay commission to a local restaurant critic to point her fan-base towards your stand. These same concepts apply to eCommerce via third party storefronts, product feeds, and affiliate marketing. Expanding to new channels and giving customers more ways to find your product is a must if you are expecting growth.

7. You are relying on the same products
Similar to the concept above, if all else is remains the same, you cannot expect growth if you are not growing your product line. You sell lemonade? Your customers may also like pink lemonade (or mimosas, yum!). Again, this is a simple concept but it can be easily overlooked.

8. Poor Customer Service
A great Customer Service experience leads to repeat customers, loyalty, and word of mouth recommendations. On the other hand, a poor experience may prompt complaints, abandoned shopping carts, and negative PR. Do a quick check: Is your contact information easy to find? Do you provide multiple ways for customers to contact you? Does your Customer Service team respond promptly and resolve issues quickly with a friendly demeanor? Or, do you outsource your Customer Service team, rely on a contact us form, or respond slowly to inquiries? If you are not putting priority on providing topnotch Customer Care, your competitors are. Which leads me to my last point.

9. Ignoring the competition
Finally, your sales may be slowing because you are losing ground to your competition. Take time to research your competition. Place orders through their websites, contact their customer service team, process a return, shop their website on multiple devices, subscribe to their email list. All of these are easy to do and help you keep up with the changing landscape. Ask yourself if you do it better than them and if not, figure out how.

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