In this week's episode, I chat about what to do when things aren't going to plan in your online store.
I look at areas you can reflect on in your business and give ways to problem solve.
Tune in to hear hear how you can get your business back on track!
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Hello, and welcome to this episode of online store success with me Jodie Minto. Today we are talking about what we can do when things just aren't going to plan in our eCommerce business. Often when we start our eCommerce business or our online store, we're really excited, we're full of optimism and hope for the future, we're getting ready to hand in her resignation at that day job and just dreaming of this life that we've seen all over the internet and other people sharing, you know, the freedom and flexibility you get from having your own business.
The reality is though, that success doesn't just land in our laps. Launching your online store is like birthing the baby. Once you have that baby in your arms and leave the hospital, the real work begins and launching your online store is no different. Getting consistent traffic and sales online takes ongoing work and strategies. And often these are outside of online store owners skill sets or experience levels.
So today, I am talking to you about what you can do when things aren't going to plan - the four areas you can go back and check and and do a deep dive and problem solve what might be going wrong for you.
All right, let's get started. The very first thing I want you to look at if things just aren't going to plan in your online store is the current number of visitors you're getting to your store a day. I encourage you to look at unique visitors versus all traffic because 20 of those visitors, or traffic or those hits might actually be you or your team. So look at the number of unique visitors a day. And then from that, I want you to take a look at your sales per day and come up with your conversion rate.
Now there's lots of places online if you search how to google how to calculate my conversion rate, you'll be able to find that, but I want you to check what your conversion rate is and how it compares to the industry benchmark. Because you might already actually be hitting that benchmark, which is really, really low. I'll explain more on that in a moment. But maybe it's not as bad as you think, maybe it's just a case that you need more visitors each day to reach your goals. Because for those of us with online stores, we are in a numbers game and conversion rates are pretty low. You can expect if everything's going really well if you've got a proven product, and your website's really strong and built to convert, and it's been optimised and your messaging is really clear and your brand is on point, you can expect to hopefully make a conversion rate of around 2%. So that means if you want to get 10 sales a day, you need to reverse engineer how many visitors you want to get. More often than not people's, especially in the beginning, people's conversion rate isn't 2%, it's often lower. So let's say for argument's sake, your conversion rate is 1%. And you want to get 10 sales a day to hit those sales goals. You will need 1000 quality visitors each day in order to have any hope of achieving that. So if you are only getting a handful of visitors to your store each day, you can't really expect to make those sales. So the good news is that maybe you're not actually doing anything wrong, it might be just a case of more, you need more targeted traffic to come to your site consistently each and every day. So that's the first thing that you need to look at when things aren't going to plan, take a look at your conversion rate. Take a look at the numbers of visitors coming to your store per day and how many sales you're making off the back of that. Compare yourself to even a 1 or 2% conversion rate and see if you're making that. That's the first place.
If you're crunching your numbers, and you're looking and you are getting traffic to your website each day, but you're still not getting any sales. So your conversion rate might be less than 1%. Or it might be zero, you need to then consider the offer or what it is that you're actually selling. Because more often than not, this can unfortunately be the problem. Think about the products that you sell. Is it a proven product? Have you made sales offline before launching your online store? And did you get good feedback about people willing to part with their cold hard cash to buy your thing that you sell?
If that is the case, if you can take that off your list. Yes, I know people want my product. People have bought my product offline or they're buying it online very very occasionally. Well, we can then say right, okay, so there's nothing wrong with your product or perhaps the issue is how you are presenting your offer or your product. Maybe it's in the communication of what your product does, what transformation it provides your customers and whether or not you're doing that using clear messaging, and product descriptions on your product pages. And whether you are promoting that offer or that product in the best possible light through quality images and videos.
This challenge or this problem when the offer or the product is the problem is traditionally where drop shipping stores fall short. And when I'm talking about drop shipping stores, I'm talking about the drop shipping businesses that are reselling often poor quality clothing, or very average electronic goods that are a dime a dozen and you can get them everywhere, often there. I know in the States, not so much here in Australia, but there are lots and lots of courses and business coaches pushing drop shipping because yes, it sounds great, because you don't have to lay out any money for buying inventory, that what you're doing is often selling a subpar product and you're often cutting and pasting the description, the images straight onto your website and hoping that someone's going to pick you to buy it from. Then often what happens too is that product is then popped onto the slow boat from China. And the customer experience is terrible. And then there's no repeat business. I've not in my business experience seen anyone that has made a success of that sort of drop shipping model. Now, like I said, it's very popular in the US, maybe in the US, it's different in Australia, I've not seen anyone do it. And more often than not those business owners aren't engaged or even interested in the product they sell. It's just about them having their own online business and own online store. So there's usually no kind of thought or there's no kind of passion around the products they sell. And unless you're a master marketer or copywriter, that lack of kind of interest and passion about the product is pretty evident when someone hits your website.
Aside from, you know, drop shipping, again, the offer can be something you know, or the product is something that maybe you really love, but maybe there's no demand for it. And sometimes that, unfortunately, is the problem and it doesn't mean that your business has failed, that you have to throw it all in, it might mean that you need to pivot. And I'll give you an example of this. So over the past five years, I've coached many women with online stores, online fashion stores, children's wear, pet goods, art, all different things. But there was this one business that I worked with and she had her brand really great. She had a beautiful website, she had quite an engaged organic following. She was selling these beautiful leather children's shoes. What would you call them? I'm gonna say moccasins. I'm not a shoe expert, but they were really beautiful. And she had gorgeous imagery and, and all of the things but it didn't matter how many ads we did, how many, you know, promotions we did, how many discounts or whatever sort of marketing tactics we tried, we could not get the volume of sales through selling these children's shoes. And what we ultimately discovered was there wasn't that much demand for it. Yes, they were beautiful, but many mothers and this was the feedback that we were getting from many mothers of five year olds and eight year olds and whatnot didn't want to spend 60 to $100 on a pair of leather shoes for their children one because they grow at the speed of light. I know my teenagers are still growing at the speed of light and I don't invest especially on shoes because their feet just keep growing and growing and growing. But also kids they wreck stuff right they don't take good care of it. Despite these shoes being really hearty and long wearing and easy to clean. We just could not get this offer to work on the level that she wanted. My client wanted it to be in order to build a profitable business. What she actually did is started dabbling with ladies shoes and selling those obviously on the side of the same brand on the same website to the same customers because really the customers were the women or the mothers buying the shoes for the kids. Not very often and not nearly enough. But she already had this captive audience so she started designing again beautiful leather, flat shoes for mums and those products went bananas, she couldn't keep up with demand. I know now that she stocks her ladies shoes all over the country in different boutiques, she has a big range of different shoes and has sort of gone from like I said, I think they're moccasins, loafers to then slip ons, and everything in between, and has now this amazing business selling ladies shoes, which is totally different to what she started out with, with with children's shoes, I'm sure, I hope that's not the case but I'm sure she probably still has some of that inventory of children's shoes sitting around because I've been there too, when I've had to pivot in my business, and you end up with all the stock left over. But yes, it was an expensive and painful lesson. But the ultimate outcome of that is that she now has a thriving business, still under the same umbrella, still under the same website, the same brand with the same audience, but selling something that ladies really, really wanted and were prepared to spend more on these, you know, the lady shoes are double the price of the kids shoes. So if you find that there's an situation with your offer, I encourage you to try and put it in front of people in real life and see if you can sell it in person first, and even if that means you know taking them into if you're working in an office, taking them in the local office and showing that you know your colleagues and see if you can make a sale there, whether it's booking a table at your local market stall to try and sell some there. Whatever you can do to try and get some sort of proof of concept that you have a winning product and if you've tried that, and you still don't have a winning product, you need to think about pivoting. And the great thing about putting your product in front of people is that you get real time feedback, people will say to you, ‘Oh, I'd love this if’ or ‘wouldn't it be great if you could do these for women and rather than kids’ and that will give you lots and lots of information to so that will enable you to pivot and keep in mind if you're stuck in that situation and it feels really painful and horrible and that you're failing, with a slight pivot in six or 12 months time, you could have the business of your dreams. So just keep going. But we have to be open to change.
Now, the third thing, if you found your conversion rate, you know you're getting the traffic, but there's the conversion rate that’s still quite low and you're pretty sure that your offer is a winning product and you're still not making the sales that you would need in order to meet your sales goals, I would encourage you to look at the shop front. What does your website look like? I see this all the time where I work with members in Online Store Success or with coaching clients and they come and they say, ‘got this great product but people just aren't buying’ and I look at their website and think well, no wonder. I don't say that to them but I instantly look at it and go 'well no wonder I wouldn't buy from this website, either'. It looks really amateur, it looks outdated. It's not easy to use, I can't find what I'm looking for. When I land on a product I like there's one grainy image. There's a horrible description. It doesn't tell me what it's made from or how to care from it. I can't find any information on refund policies, or shipping costs or how long it's going to take. It's not just the aesthetics, but it's all that information that customers need to be able to confidently make a purchase. So if you have a strong product, but your website is lacking, your conversion rate will drop drastically and you certainly won't reach any sales goals. So if you have ticked off those other two issues and confirmed, yes, I'm on the right track, but you're still not getting the sales, I encourage you to look at your website, from the view of your customer or someone coming to it for the very first time because good enough, isn't good enough. In the case of online stores, people expect nice looking stores that are easy to use that look professional that build up that confidence and they feel safe and secure putting their credit card details into it. And no matter how great your product is, if your website is lacking, you are not going to make the sales unfortunately.
All right, the final thing I encourage you to look at after checking off those three elements of your business is your marketing systems. Are you consistently putting out quality marketing across a number of channels? Or are you just depending on one channel, for example, are you only depending on organic methods such as Instagram posts or Facebook posts or Tik Toks to drive traffic to your sales because if you are just relying on organic is going to be a very very slow uphill battle to reach your sales goals. Unless of course, you are an influencer in your own right with a super engaged following and then you have got a licence to print money, my friend go for it. However, most of us are not in that situation and relying on just one channel or one strategy will not be enough to drive that traffic that you need, in order to get that conversion rate that you need in order to make the sales that you are aiming for. When it comes to scaling your traffic and sales, nothing will do it faster than paid ads. I love Facebook and Instagram ads. Yes, it can be, you know, confusing and frustrating but when it worked when it's working well, it's amazing. And I would not have the business I have today, if I didn't invest not only in this on the skills to manage the ads myself, but also the dollars to try and reach new audiences. So I encourage you to be open minded when it comes to all thing mark, all things marketing. Don't put all of your eggs in one basket. The same goes for don't just rely only on Facebook ads to do all the heavy lifting. You also need to have organic methods to be drink bringing in traffic as well.
So I hope these four tips are these four elements of your business to check when things are not going well or as planned or helpful to you. These are just some of the things that I teach in my online programme called Online Store Success. It's currently closed. There's a waitlist for it, but I encourage you to pop your name on it. It will be re-birthed this year with lots of new juicy lessons and strategies. And I hope that you enjoyed this episode. Enjoy the rest of your week and I look forward to chatting with you again same time, same place next week. Bye for now.
My mission is to help other emerging fashion entrepreneurs crack the code of eCommerce success for a life of uncapped income, flexibility and fun.