If you’re relying on customers to come flocking to your online products without ever telling anyone they’re online to buy, you’re definitely missing out on potential orders.
We’ve seen first hand the power of good SEO (Search Engine Optimization -adding text and keywords to products to help customers discover them through a search engine like Google). However, SEO takes time and may not result in sales right away. It’s true that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers, so you should also help your current customers buy from you even easier.
If you’re not happy with the amount of sales your business is getting online, let’s examine some reasons why:
1) You haven’t told your customers you’re selling online.
If you’ve been in business for any period of time you’ve likely got customers that visit you in person or follow you on social media. Have you told them (explicitly, not indirectly) that they can also buy from you online? Keep your online shop top of mind, so when they’re ready to make a purchase they have options to buy from you in the way that is most convenient for them. Other methods that require more effort- stopping into your shop, calling you on the phone, or sending an email to make a purchase may prevent a possible sale.
2) When you post on social media you’re not providing a link for them to buy online.
We know you’re excited when you’ve got a product update or received a new shipment in and want to blast it out via social media to your followers, but often you’re not giving them a link to buy your newest items online. Most of your customers are not able (nor do they want to) stop into the store each time you’ve got something new. Make it easy for them with a link to the exact product you post, and you may convert some thumbs up’s into actual orders.
3) You ask your customers to “comment sold” via social media.
We know there are some programs out there that may help turn comments into customers or you’re trying it out on your own, but also understand that other potential customers may not want to post a comment for everyone to see that they’re interested, including stating their clothing size, etc. to the world.
These same customers would likely already be interested in buying from you online, you just haven’t given them that option. While this may be an extra step for you in the beginning it saves you from commenting back and forth, creating an invoice, waiting for them to pay, etc. Let them place an order online and you just need to fulfill it.
4) You’re worried about running out of inventory.
We know inventory control is a problem for businesses that run storefronts and are also selling online. We get it. The worst case scenario is that you’ve sold something online that you’ve sold out of in store. Now what?
- Is there a way to drop ship it from another provider right to the customer?
- Will the item be back in stock soon? If so, you could notify the customer and see if they’re ok waiting a bit longer?
- Lastly, you can always refund the customer. This is as simple as a few clicks of a mouse. While we know this isn’t the best case scenario and we want to make sure users have a good experience with you online, keeping your shop empty due to FOSI (Fear Of Sold Inventory…yes I just made that up) is almost just as bad.
Customers WANT to buy from you online and when they go to your online shop and see it empty, they leave empty handed. Unless they’ve got a lot of time to spare, it’s unlikely they just pop on over to your shop, and will likely just buy online elsewhere when they can’t buy online from you.
5) Your special promotions are in store only.
Most of us work a 9-5 and when we’re not working we have obligations to our family, friends, and others that prevent us from attending all of your in-store specials. We WANT to be there to support you and snag a good deal, but realistically, we end up missing out and you miss out on possible sales.
Give your busy or non local customers a way to get in on the fun by creating online promotions too! You can put items in your shop on sale temporarily or run a coupon special for certain categories.
- Make it easy for your customers to buy online by GIVING THEM THE LINK to your online store.
- Make it easy for customers to buy what you’re promoting by first adding the item to your online store, then add the link in the post.
- Don’t make your customers comment to buy and have to pay an invoice. Eliminate the extra work and just give them a link to purchase when you post.
- Don’t be too scared of inventory control to publish online. Monitor your shop 1 x per week and delete any products that you no longer carry.
- Run online promotions and let all your customers take advantage of your specials.
If one or all of these are true for you, we recommend you make changes to increase online sales.
Need help or not sure where to start? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org! We’re more than happy to help you sell more online.