Got an online business? Excellent. But why are some of us successful at online sales while the rest are failing when it comes to sales? In this article, we explore the key traps you need to avoid if you want your business to grow online.
Many of us are sold the dream that opening an online store is the easiest, most affordable way to be successful at online sales. It’s simple enough to get started, and as long as you’ve got a product everyone wants, you’re going to make a fortune, right?
Unfortunately, as with any type of business, there are pitfalls that are all too easy to fall into. To make sure you’re not just another statistic, let’s take a look at the common reasons why some businesses succeed at selling online – and others fail.
Zero Cash Flow
We can come up with all kinds of reasons to explain why any businesses fail, both online and offline. But what it all comes down to is a lack of cash flow – and knowing what to do with it.
Cash has always been King and remains so. If you run out of money, the chances are that you will no longer keep going.
How does this happen? One example might be an online entrepreneur who pools all of their cash into their inventory. While this might seem like a great idea at first, it means there is no money left for marketing. And without marketing, no one is going to find your store – and no sales will be made.
Businesses that are successful at online sales plan their expenses ahead of time.
They spread their payments out so that their cash isn’t cleared in one fell swoop. Top tip: aim for payment plans so that you pay for things in installments, as opposed to lump sums.
Lack of Payment Options
Not offering your customers multiple choices of payment is detrimental to the sales of your online business. Why? People like having a choice. This is especially true when it comes to handing over their information and money.
Having a customer-centered viewpoint means meeting your customers where they are. You can do this by using POS (point of sale) products like the Chip & Swipe Reader by Shopify. It enables you to accept Visa, MasterCard and more while selling in person.
Remember, 85% of customers still prefer shopping in actual stores and this is something that your online business must accommodate.
A Poor Website
Not good at website design? The best thing to do is hire a professional web designer. Otherwise, you run the risk of having an awesome product, but a lousy-looking store.
And just like in the high street, presentation is everything. Online, you also need to factor in usability. If site visitors can’t operate your website with ease, your conversions and sales will drop.
You also need to make sure that your website is mobile-ready. If it isn’t, you could be frustrating the 91% of mobile users who say that accessing content is super important to them.
No One Can See You!
While social media has made it a lot easier for us to take our content to our potential and existing people, you still need shoppers to come to you. Organic traffic is important to new online businesses, primarily because it doesn’t have to break the bank. Advertising your store on Facebook, conversely, can cost a small fortune if you’re not careful. If you have the money to advertise on Facebook, make sure you know what you are doing first.
The best way to get organic traffic via search engines is by having a good SEO strategy.
Successful online businesses reach out to bloggers for backlinks. However, if you don’t know what you are doing, this can ruin the reputation of your business.
This is why; sometimes it’s better to hire a professional SEO agency. They will be able to use SEO software such as Moz to “spy” on your rivals, for example. Making sure you are at the top of your niche in Google search.
You must ask around before you decide on what SEO agency to use. Seek out reviews, preferably from people or businesses that you already know.
Not Having A Niche
Lastly, unless you have a niche, you will struggle to make a dent in the online world. There are a lot of online businesses out there, and many are already dominating certain fields and products. If you try to take on the established guys at their own game, despite being so certain of yourself, you will quickly fail.
It’s important that you look for a niche. Find a niche and a product no one is pushing yet. Don’t simply look for a gap in the market – try to create one instead. But remember, there must be a demand for your product and/or service first.
These are 5 reasons why some businesses are successful at online sales while others fail. Got anything you’d like to add? Feel free to leave us a comment below!
Michelle Deery is a team member and content writer for Heroic Search in Tulsa. She helps businesses improve their online presence and grow their organic search traffic through writing content.