Small Business

5 Ways to Destroy Your eStore Sales

You work really hard. It’s not easy to drive customers to your eStore. It takes time, money and skill. Yet, you may be making simple mistakes that destroy all your hard work.

eCommerce is always changing. Now we don’t just worry about our online stores but our mobile sites too. Throw in new technology or outdated practices and it’s a constant battle to stay on top of your eStore’s management. To help you increase your sales this year, here are five common eStore mistakes and how to fix them:

1. Your Pictures are Too Small

Customers want to see what they’re buying. Or thinking about buying.

Sometimes it’s difficult not to fill your sales space with words. You want to sell your product and could write a 1000 word testament to how awesome it is. This is the Brochure Effect. Remember those? They always had a ton of information crammed into tiny boxes and no one ever read the entire thing. They just skimmed the headlines.

One study shows a 9% sale increase simply by offering large images. That’s 9% from doing nothing but showcasing larger images. Not increased marketing, just better visuals. Make bigger pictures and you’ll get more sales.

2. Your Pictures are Uninteresting

Not only do your pictures need to be bigger, they also need to be more interesting. Lackluster pictures don’t grab consumer’s attention.

Here’s an example of a Victorinox watch that’s sold on Amazon:

victorinox1

When discussing this particular watch on Reddit, someone left the following comment:

“That’s a great picture. It looks so much better than it does in that Amazon listing. I wouldn’t give it the time of day just going by the Amazon page but your picture…”

victorinox2

It’s easy to see which one would draw consumers in. While you may want to have a clean picture example, also consider having something with more substance. More oomph. The kind of picture that makes your product stand out from the millions of others they could choose from.

3. You Make Them Register

There are a few parts to this nightmare. The first are insane websites that make you register before you can even look at their products. I hate this. Here’s the popular kids retailer, Zulilly, when I tried to look at their eStore. I’ve never actually seen what they offer since I’d have to register first. Over my dead body will I give someone my email address just to see their products.

zulily

Secondly, there are those that make us register before we buy. We know that email is powerful, but today’s customers want the option of guest shopping. You can offer the choice of signing up for sales, coupons or your newsletters. But never force them to do something that gets in the way of a potential sale.

Here’s a great example of Marc Hayden’s eStore which uses Selz’s “Buy It Now” button to sell photography presets:

marc-haydens-estore

4. You Don’t Explain Your Shipping Practices Upfront

No one wants to be caught at the end of the checkout process and then be slammed with some ridiculous shipping costs. In fact, 28% will flee your shopping cart faster than a speeding bullet if you try this annoying tactic.Shipping isn’t easy to figure out and is directly tied to your prices. But there are many shipping strategies that don’t drive customers away, including free shipping (obviously the fan favorite) and free shipping for orders over

Shipping isn’t easy to figure out and is directly tied to your prices. But there are many shipping strategies that don’t drive customers away, including free shipping (obviously the fan favorite) and free shipping for orders over a specified amount. Whatever your shipping policy is, never try to hide it until the last step of the checkout.

5. You Don’t Offer a PayPal Option

Not only is PayPal extremely trusted, it’s also the highest in converting online buyers at a rate of 87.5% (the next payment option was only 36.4%!). This is a really important factor but doesn’t tell the whole story.

eCommerce is slowing evolving into mCommerce. Shopping directly from a smartphone or tablet is growing every year. On any given day, 28% of all PayPal transactions come from a smartphone. That’s over 4 million transactions per day!

The reason behind this is pretty obvious. Shopping from a smartphone is much simpler if you only have to click the PayPal button and not input your credit card. Whatever your eCommerce system, always give consumers the choice of using PayPal at the checkout.

Unless you’re Amazon and you’re big enough not to care.

Stop Losing eSales!

eCommerce isn’t something you can set up and forget it. It’s something that has to be tested, tweaked, and constantly improved. It’s an ongoing practice to achieve better sales each month. So start thinking about your eStore’s management like a marketing campaign.

“Marketing’s job is never done. It’s about perpetual motion.
We must continue to innovate every day.”
– Beth Comstock

The same is true for eCommerce. Because if you want to increase your bottom line, your eStore is never done.

 

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Liesha's a freelancer by day and Kyokushin Black Belt by night. A late-blooming academic, she's happiest teaching business and globalization at UoPeople. Her newest project is Work Mobly, an online magazine called which helps freelancers find freedom, happiness, and profit while working from anywhere.Get in touch with Liesha on Twitter

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