If you’re in the business of selling online, then most likely you’re always on the lookout for new ways to grow your sales. To convert more website visitors into paying customers.
I’ve written loads of blogs about how to increase your sales. From improving your eCommerce website, to getting Facebook ads working for you, to implementing a solid email marketing strategy.
But if none of that’s really working, and you’re pretty sure your product doesn’t stink, then maybe it’s time to look at why customers AREN’T buying?
Don’t do what these two online stores did…
Typical reasons why customers aren’t buying from you
There are numerous reasons why customers aren’t buying from you. Here are a few common ones (and it’s worthwhile reviewing the list objectively against your own website):
1. They can’t find what they want on your website. Make sure your navigation is really simple and intuitive, and that customers can figure out what you sell immediately upon arriving at your website.
2. They don’t feel secure. This one should be a no-brainer, but if you don’t have an SSL certificate, or you don’t use secure, trusted payment methods, then that’s a big red flag for most shoppers.
3. They found a better price elsewhere. No explanation required here.
4. They got distracted. If you have kids, you’ll know exactly what I mean with this one!
5. They didn’t know what to buy. Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re choosing the right thing, so rather than make a mistake it’s easier to buy nothing.
6. They didn’t understand the value of your product. This is particularly relevant to those of you who sell niche products, or new innovations that aren’t common. But also with higher priced products, you need to make sure you clearly communicate the value of the product.
But none of these reasons were the issue during my recent shopping experience…
A doomed (online) shopping spree
I love shopping online. I don’t particularly like having to go shopping in actual shops. (Except for shoe stores!)
Shopping online is so easy and convenient. I don’t waste time getting stuck in traffic and I don’t have to lug bags around from store to store or back to my car.
So it goes without saying, during the busy back-to-school period, I did a lot of online shopping.
Even better, there were loads of sales on, with incentives to shop online. Yippee! I can save time AND money!
Except, that’s not what happened at all. It was a complete disaster!
The first of my two doomed shopping experiences was really weird – nothing I’ve ever come across before in all my years of working in the digital space.
I was hunting for a specific brand of earplugs (my husband snores!), and they’ve been discontinued in most places.
But I found exactly what I wanted on one website – at a price 4x higher than the price I used to pay. (I didn’t care – I’d pay any amount to not hear hubby snore!)
I excitedly added the product to my basket and went to checkout, only to find out that they ONLY take payment in the form of Crypto Currency!
Maybe I’m an old fart (?!), but I’m pretty sure that the majority of the world still don’t deal in Bitcoin yet…
This actually reminded me of something I learned the hard way in my own business.
Originally, I used to only offer PayPal as the payment method. My thinking was, even if a customer didn’t want to pay by PayPal, they could still use PayPal to pay by credit card.
What I didn’t initially realise was, this was a bit confusing and offputting to those who didn’t have a PayPal account.
When I added in a separate credit card processor, my sales increased dramatically!
Lesson #1: Make sure you offer the right payment options, and offer more than one option. I recommend PayPal, Stripe (or other recognized credit card payment processor), and Afterpay (or similar).
The Crypto Currency experience was weird, but this second experience actually pissed me off quite a lot.
As my kids were starting at a new school this year, I needed to attach name labels to a big pile of new school uniforms. (Ugh, so boring. This is like the WORST kind of online shopping to do!)
So, when I saw a ‘back to school’ sale on iron-on name labels, I jumped online and ordered up big. The website promised delivery within 10 business days and that left me with plenty of time.
Except, two weeks into the school year and I still haven’t received the order.
I’ve tried emailing customer service and the replies I’ve had made absolutely no sense at all.
I tried tracking the parcel with the tracking number I was provided, but the tracking number is invalid.
I’ve phoned the company and been given several sob-stories and excuses as to why my order has not arrived. And they still couldn’t give me a valid tracking number.
Now, I’ve been in business a long time, and I know that customer service can be hard and it can be draining. But you cannot ignore your customers or lie to them and expect them to ever come back and buy from you again.
I remember in my last business, our customer service team was so well loved and well respected, that we used to get customers of our competitors calling us up because they’d heard we could solve any problem!
Lesson #2: Customer service is king! Your customer service is SO IMPORTANT if you want to succeed in business. It needs to be right up there with an awesome product!
Make sure you have a phone number on your website, as well as email address. And actively encourage your customers to contact you with any questions or issues. Do not wait for issues to crop up, because this just invites negative feedback and word-of-mouth.
What do you think?
A bit of a different blog from me today. But I’d love to know what you think? Tell me about your worst online shopping experiences and why they sucked.
(Or, if you’ve had some outstanding experiences – please do share those as well and brighten up my day!)