No one likes to fail. That’s a given; we all enter into ideas and endeavors with the idea that they’re going to work out well for us. Why else would we do it? We want to make a success of things, so we back ourselves and hope it’s going to come off.
The problem with the fear of failure is that it can make us ignore the truth in front of us. It’s far harder to admit your ecommerce venture – be it a store or direct selling – isn’t working out the way that you hoped it would. You don’t want to acknowledge it’s not working, so you tell yourself one of the following pleasant lies:
You can get so caught up in what you think are the answers that you fail to acknowledge what’s right in front of you. Whatever business sense you once had has vanished into the ether, and you’re left clutching empty promises of a future that will be… better. You might even try and tell yourself that it’s being smart, planning for the future, being a businessperson and knowing what comes next – and maybe it is! But if you’ve been telling yourself these things for a long time, then it might be time to acknowledge the unfortunate truth.
Your ecommerce business is failing, and if you don’t do something about it, then it’s going to continue to do so. All that work will be for nothing.
So rather than continuing to try and convince yourself that everything’s fine, why not fight back? It’s unlikely that your site is failing for some unique reason that has never befallen those with ecommerce businesses before! The issues you are facing have been faced down by countless other entrepreneurs in the past – so you can do the same.
This is one of the biggest bugbears of every internet user the world over. Times have changed; we used to sit and wait a couple of seconds for an image to download without a thought. Now, we’ll skip right through to the next site or store that grabs our attention.
So if your site is slow to load, then people are going to bounce right off it – and probably never come back.
The chances are that you can’t actually measure your site speed. You already have the cookies on your computer, so it’ll load quicker than it will for a first time user. So clear everything out or – even better – use a different device to access your site. Bear in mind that there will be occasional surges of traffic to your site (after an advertising campaign), so even if it loads well right now, that doesn’t mean it will in the future.
Your site makes absolute sense to you… because you’re the one that put it together. What you think might look simple and self-explanatory might be very different indeed to other people.
It’s worth spending an afternoon looking at popular websites in their niche. What do they have in common? Most frequently you will find a combination of:
Flick between the competitor site and your site – does anything change?
You can even consider paying someone to judge your site for you. This is usually best done through forums dedicated to ecommerce.
Registering an account with your site has many benefits – for you. It gives you a chance to collect customer data and keep track of orders without another thought. So of course, you expect anyone who decides to buy from your site to create an account at the same time.
The problem? Users hate that. They hate it so much people dedicate blog posts to getting around it. People don’t want to have to type out their details into each individual site, especially not when PayPal and/or Google can do that for them.
Don’t force people to create an account. Make it sound like a good idea in the text surrounding the checkout section, but allow people to checkout as guests if they wish to. You can still include a checkbox for them to tick (or have to untick) if you’re trying to up your email subscribers, but ultimately, this is about not infuriating people!
On one hand, not allowing people to leave reviews on the products you’re selling seems like a good idea. If the reviews are bad, you are right to conclude it will persuade people not to buy the product – so why would you want to risk that? Surely it’s far better to not allow reviews, and just publish a few carefully-selected customer testimonials somewhere on the site?
Well, reviews are so common now. They are expected. If your site doesn’t have them, there’s a few good chance a user is going to assume there is a bad reason for that. It translates to encouraging users to think: “what are they hiding?”
Or what about the flip side and you do allow reviews – and they’re all positive? Nothing could scream “fake review” faster than a slew of 10/10 reviews and literally nothing else, even if they are genuine!
You have to allow reviews and allow them to be organic for your ecommerce site to succeed. If you don’t allow feedback, then how are you ever going to know what’s wrong with your products? It’s information you need and your customers will expect to see it, so including it is a no-brainer.
Here’s a product. Here’s what it does. Here’s how much it costs.
Job done – right? Who needs more of a description than that?
The answer is pretty simple here… it’s everyone. Everyone needs more information than that. For every item listing you have, it’s important to try and include as many of these details as possible:
People like information. They don’t want to be guessing at something, especially if they have never bought from your site before. So give them all the information they could possibly need and you might be able to convince more people it’s worth taking a chance.
The last problem isn’t one that has an easy fix, but it’s worth mentioning as it can be the downfall of many a business: bad luck. Sometimes, you can be doing everything right, but you’ve just not broken through yet to the success that you deserve.
There’s no way of knowing if you will manage to make a go of it, but the most important thing is that you acknowledge what you’re doing right now isn’t working. Make your own luck and invest in more advertising, marketing, or whatever your gut says might work.