So, you’ve set up your ecommerce store, found a reliable supplier to send you products to sell, and have thrown some money at online marketing – but your sales are still not as hot as you were hoping. And, despite much head scratching and contemplation, you can’t figure out why.

The truth is there could be a multitude of reasons, but in my experience, you are likely to be falling for one of the several common pitfalls of setting up an online store. If this situation sounds familiar, read on – I’m going to talk you through where you might be going wrong.

Your website sucks

One of the first things you will need to look at – and I mean ‘really’ look at – is your website. You can throw all the money at marketing you like, but ultimately, if your site sucks it will all be for nothing.

You need to go through the entire user experience and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Check your analytics and find out where people are leaving your site – and tweak it, so your results improve.

Put a little more effort into creating more beautiful pages, too – impressive and detailed images, razor sharp, compelling copy that highlights the benefits of each product, and an easy checkout process.

Your visitors don’t trust you

You have to show customers they can trust you in several different ways. Make sure you are displaying your security credentials as a start, and also include a registered business address and telephone number.

Finally, ensure they know that you know what you are talking about. Use your blog to build up industry authority, offer helpful advice about your products, and you will develop higher levels of trust with your ideal customers.

You’re targeting the wrong metrics

Be careful of the measures you are using to achieve online success. Take traffic, for example. There are plenty of rogue SEOs and agencies out there who promise to increase the traffic to your site, but numbers don’t mean much – it’s the quality of that traffic that is important.

The same goes for any other digital marketing company you might be using – ensure they understand who your audience is, and are focussing your marketing efforts on those people. While the number of visitors to your site might drop, the quality will rise – and you should end up making considerably more sales.

You aren’t controlling your stores/warehouse accurately

Behind every successful online store is a robust and efficient inventory process. A customer places an order, you pick and pack it, and it gets delivered within a matter of days. That’s the theory, anyway.

All kinds of things can start going wrong if you don’t have good systems in place, or your stock control software doesn’t link in with your retail management system. Products can go missing; your system says you have something when you don’t, and the result is often disappointed customers who will never use your service again.

Stock problems also result in higher costs – which won’t go away as your sales volumes increase. So, a final point: sort out your warehousing, and you will improve your business no end.

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