7 Reasons- why your sales stopped while it was doing really well
I launched my eCommerce store a few months back and it was all good with decent sales coming almost every day. About a few weeks ago, everything just grounded to halt. I am wondering what could be the reason because I am still investing the same on advertising and other things.
Sounds familiar? If yes. Don’t worry because it’s not an alien problem. You are experiencing the same that almost every other eCommerce store owner faces at some point in time.
There could be an unlimited number of reasons for why you sales stopped suddenly while it was doing really well a few weeks ago. I have compiled a list of all possible reasons that various experts suggest in this situation. Hopefully, it will help you to identify the situation and adopt suitable measures to reestablish the sales.
1. Have you checked the funnel?
Gavin from Zetya says, if you have set up the Google Analytics then the first thing to check would be the funnel (visitor path through to checkout). This would help you to get an insight of exactly where people are dropping off your site. Let’s say if you start from the top of the funnel-check that are you getting the same number of overall visitors? If the answer is “NO”, then you need to look where you were getting the traffic referrals earlier and then backtrack it to see why the traffic has stopped suddenly. It is completely possible that there might be a technical issue. You can easily find out when you notice the bounce backs between the product page and cart. You can check the same funnel analysis for mobile devices. Maybe the mobile version is not doing its job properly. On the whole, focus on finding out the bounce rate and see if it has increased significantly over the past few weeks? If yes- where in the funnel?
2. Have you considered the possibility of off-season effects?
It has been only a few weeks. Diane Knight from littlemissmarmaladeclothing suggests that there is a possible chance that you are experiencing the off-season sales halt. Off-seasons are really bad for your business. However, it would be so early to reach a conclusion right now.
It would be better to keep doing what you are doing and see if the sales are reestablishing as the sales season arrives back.
3. Are you still offering your best seller products?
Sales are always due to super-hit products and their continuous availability.
Johnson from sneekis says, maybe a few weeks ago, your best selling products went out-of-stock and they are still out-of-stock.
Have you analyzed your best selling products? Can you identify them? If yes, did you conduct a check if you are still offering those products?
Because it might be possible a few weeks ago, it was because of these products your sales propelled and when these products vanished from the stock, there was nothing more of interest for the customers.
Sounds obvious but could be a strong reason for your sales decline. Maybe an A/B test by replacing your “Out-of-Stock” message with “Pre-Order” would give you a better insight. Obviously, you don’t have to just replace the text but also implement the Pre-Order feature too.
4. Are you crashing computers with your un-optimized site?
A similar problem was reported by a website owner on the shopify forum. I was surprised to read the reply from Steve, a forum member. He checked the site of the reporter and this was the reply-
“Your site has technical issues. It crashed my computer when I tried to load your page. Something is not working right. The images are large and should be optimized. I have a very high-end computer system and am a web developer and a website has not crashed my computer in the past.”
So basic and fundamental but still got dropped off the website owner’s mind. It’s not his fault. We often concentrate on giant issues and possibilities so much that we tend to forget the basics of website designing.
So, it is definitely a strong case where your website speed must be killing your conversions.
5. Have you checked the basics?
In the previous point itself, I have mentioned how we often miss the basics. There are few more that you should always check before considering the enormous factors:
- Have you checked the sales funnel if all elements are working well? The product page CTA, virtual cart, pre-checkout, checkout. There is always a lot more to consider while analyzing your checkout.
- Have you checked the Ad URLs you were using? There is a possible chance that these URLs might have changed accidentally.
- Have you a track of what website changes you have performed in the past few week? Maybe, something from these changes is not proving conversion friendly. Did you A/B test before changing?
Sometimes the most basic things are the first to get ignored. It is always beneficial to identify these mistakes in the beginning itself, as they don’t ask fortunes for a fix. They are easy to spot and fix as well.
6. Are you notifying your customers about back-in-stock products?
This was a really nice suggestion by Eugene from thedroneproshop.
“ I don’t always have every item in stock, but I never indicate what items are out of stock for the simple reason that I do not want my customers to abandon me just because I don’t have stock”
Ask these questions to yourself:
- Have you tried shopping on your own website to experience what your customers are experiencing on your site?
- Do you like what you’re experiencing?
- What would you do if you went to a website where you found several items were out of stock?
- What would be your personal impression of the site?
- If you visit a brick and mortar shop and find out of stock notice for several items, would you even enter there?
Before going any further just think about the answer to these questions from your website’s perspective and evaluate what else can you do. If those products which are out-of-stock are one of your best seller products, it would not be wise to simply show the out-of-stock message. Alternatively, you could have implemented a back-in-stock notifications system.
This is a simple solution that would have provided your customers an option to subscribe for an email alert when the product was back-in-stock. It looks something like this:
Once the product is back into stock an email alert something like this would help you to regain the customer.
7. What’s your SEO condition?
the newly built websites usually take the help of paid traffic through Ads like Bing Ads, and Google Adwords. The paid traffic is crucial and great, but have you considered your website organic traffic? You can’t rely on paid traffic in a long run. There you need to make sure you are generating enough of the organic traffic.
So, there is a possibility that you might have been dropped in the search rankings because of some penalty or any algorithm update. And due to this drop, you are experiencing a setback in sales because people are not able to find you in the search results.
For example, back in March, Google had released an unconfirmed but a crucial update which was being termed as Fred update. Maybe this Fred update might be the reason if you are experiencing a drop in search rankings.
Moreover, stay aware of Google’s other algorithms. Google Penguin – yes! you heard it right. Since it is now a part of Google’s core algorithm, it continuously checks and penalizes the sites with spam and bad links. Check if you are hit by Penguin by any chance.
I understand that this is a problem of all. Therefore I have tried to compile all possible reasons and suggestions to cope with the setback. Hopefully, these expert advises will help you identify the key issues and help to recover from the setback.
Don’t forget to read our post on “Why you should and shouldn’t sell on Amazon and eBay?” Perhaps a shop on a marketplace is all you need to boost your sales.