An online business opens a door of opportunity and broadens your market range exposing your brand to a broader demographic. You can sell products to anyone anywhere globally as long as you can ship and meet clients’ expectations. If you've been running a successful business, but sales have declined lately, it's a concern to address quickly.
Sometimes economic downtimes cause a business to slow down, but if you suspect it's only your business that has been affected by the decline, it's time to evaluate your processes and find out the cause. Here are some of the reasons that lead to declined online sales
An Ineffective Platform
Your e-commerce platform is the most powerful tool you have, and when not professionally designed, you'll be losing a lot of money. To make the platform effective:
Ensure the platform is user-friendly and potential clients don't spend a lot of time finding the information or products they need.
Once you make the exercise difficult for your clients, they will quickly move on to the next user-friendly platform. And because your clients don't know you, make your platform speak on your behalf.
Let them understand the type of business and person you are and offer as much help as you can. Engage them throughout the buying process, answer their questions, reply to emails and request feedback on their experience on the site.
Potential clients also check the security measures you have in place on your platform because they wouldn't want to expose their personal or financial information to cybercriminals. Ensure you have tight security measures and continually assure your clients of the effort made to make the whole process safe and convenient.
An outdated and unresponsive website design that is not mobile-friendly or not professional enough will quickly lead to sales' decline.
Not Adequately Meeting Your Clients Needs
To keep your clients coming back for more of your products, you have to keep on reinventing the wheel. Customers are always looking for more features, benefits and improved processes. Have your clients gone quiet, or have they been complaining recently?
Not paying attention to your customers' needs forces them to look for better services and products elsewhere, leading to reduced sales. To avoid this, keep an active engagement with your clients so that you learn their needs, detect issues and learn how to solve problems fast.
Also, work hard to make your products stand out, which means that customers will always prefer your brand over your competitors. To keep unique products, stay in touch with your competition and offer better quality products and services.
Also, constantly check customer reviews and request feedback after a sale. Happy customers will always have positive remarks but don't ignore the disgruntled ones because they expose weaknesses or gaps in your business that help you improve service delivery.
When customers go quiet, reach out to understand the reasons. Loyal quiets don't disappear without a good reason. Probably they were disappointed with the service delivery or product's quality, issues you can quickly solve and win them back.
Poor Working Conditions
Probably you're wondering how your employees' problems can affect online sales, but they do. When employees are disgruntled, underpaid or overworked, they tend to be less motivated. Demotivation affects production by lowering quality and quantity.
Demotivated employees work slower, which reduces the number of goods produced, and you're also dealing with a high employee turnover. You're probably not meeting customers' demands, leading to dissatisfied customers.
Unhappy employees also don't offer quality customer care services. The key to happy clients is maintaining motivated employees.
Scaling When Not Ready
Running an online business can tempt you to scale up when you're not ready. You'll probably not spend a lot of money opening your doors to a broader demographic region, but there are cost implications that you might not be ready to handle yet.
For instance, marketing your products in a new area might force you to modify the packaging or even the product to meet the market's demands. You might also incur more costs in shipment, brand marketing, taxes and new regulations.
You might also hire new employees in anticipation of increased sales, but the business doesn't pick up as fast as you anticipated. This might mean that you'll be digging deep into your pockets to pay employees, and it will eventually affect productivity and business growth.
Another issue is investing in equipment in preparation for more production. Still, people don't buy your products as fast, meaning that you will have loans to pay but not enough money coming in, affecting your business.
Reduced Marketing Efforts
Operating an online business exposes you to more competition than you would when running a brick and mortar store. It means that you have to continually market your brand to make it more visible, attracting more potential clients.
There are many digital marketing strategies to employ if you want to create more brand awareness. When you don't market your products, no one knows of your existence which means that you don't make any sales.
If you don't have money to invest in paid ads, think of free marketing strategies such as more social media engagement, email marketing and providing fresh and detailed content on your e-commerce websites. Sales will start declining when your marketing efforts go down; therefore, remain consistent.
Not Dealing with Customer Conflicts Professionally
Conflicts come up, and most often, disgruntled customers expose the issues to thousands if not millions of web users. How you handle disputes determines whether you'll win back the client and the trust of thousands of other silent followers watching your actions.
When an issue comes up, acknowledge the mistake, apologise and make amends by offering a refund, replacing the product or giving the client a discount or gift voucher. If the allegations are baseless, stay professionally and support your arguments with facts.
Increased expenses can also lead to decreased production leaving your clients unhappy or disappointed. Critically look at the business expenditure to ensure your money is going into the proper channels, and you're in control of all the finances.