I remember starting my first business. I’m using “business” here very liberally. I played guitar in a band when I was fifteen, and I launched my band’s website where we sold CD-R’s burned with our demo recordings. Staring at my WordPress metrics and Paypal account waiting for orders to come in was a little heartbreaking. After a week, the only orders we had were our closest friends and my mom. I assumed success was as easy as putting up my website, posting my product, and then figuring out how to spend my fortune.
I never became a rock star, but I did become a lot more knowledgeable about selling online. I didn’t have the skill to turn my first side hustle into a significant income, but now I’m able to meet small business owners all over the country and teach them how to gain conversions on their ecommerce websites. That first harsh lesson was one I had to learn to get to this point. Here are three other harsh realities sellers need to accept in order to increase their conversions.
Traffic Doesn’t Matter
This is a little hyperbolic, but it’s a harsh reality nonetheless. Business owners often talk about trying to get more traffic. That’s important, but it’s not nearly the end of the story. You can get tons of traffic and no conversions. Tons of shady companies offer expensive packages to increase your traffic through borderline unethical techniques, but your bounce rate will be high. You also risk your website getting bumped down in search engine rankings.
It’s just not worth the risk. It’s more important that you get the right kind of traffic. How do you draw more traffic that converts? Pay-per-click advertising is expensive but demonstrably effective. Producing helpful, SEO-focused content for your website on a consistent basis will create long term growth in organic traffic searching for your product and more likely to convert. Conversions still slumping? That may be more of a problem with your website itself than with how many people are coming to it.
It’s All About Price
Customers are typically willing to pay a little more for faster shipping or a better product, but let’s be real. What a conversion comes down to for most shoppers is price. If I were shopping for a sofa cushion at a big box brick and mortar, I’d probably just buy whatever cushion they had, but online, the hunt for a lower price is just a few clicks away. If your customer finds it, they’re likely to convert on someone else’s website.
There are a lot of different things to keep in mind about ecommerce pricing that can increase conversions. Using customer surveys and pricing diversity are proven methods to make your prices more attractive. Automatic repricing tools are a great way to stay competitive. Automating the pricing process gives you an invaluable edge over the competition. Offering free shipping on all orders is another way to get totals low enough to encourage buys.
Monochannel Isn’t Enough Anymore
If you are clinging to hope that your singular website or your Amazon store is enough for your business, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. Monochannel selling is past its prime. Adding a new marketplace to your business has been shown to increase sales by up to 50%. You should be reaching your customers wherever they want to buy. Some people prefer Amazon, others prefer eBay, others still prefer buying from unique webstores with their own domains. To maximize your conversions, you should employ as many channels as possible.
Multichannel selling can be difficult to manage on your own. When you’ve got dozens or even hundreds of products listed, expanding to a new marketplace can take days. Some business owners have even hired part time help to assist them with this. Automated inventory managers are a key component of expanding to new channels. Software systems will manage your inventory, listings, and sales orders in a single stream, integrating your channels in one location. This makes pushing listings to new channels as simple as the push of a button. It’s multichannel made easy.
These are the realities I wish someone had explained to me when I first launched my band’s website. It would’ve saved me a lot of hassle and heartbreak. Becoming the best seller you can be is not always fun and games. It’s sometimes hard times and hard lessons. The faster you can accept them, the faster you can start seeing your sales increase.