Whether you’re launching a new e-commerce site or offering an online service for an existing retail shop, there can be plenty of challenges to overcome. For those that are just starting out, there can be several reasons for poor sales. Here’s 5 of the most common with some easy to implement solutions.

No visitors

More often than not, a lack of sales is directly proportional with poor SEO. You could be selling the most enticing products at rock-bottom prices, if no one is visiting your site, you’ll never generate business.

Before implementing SEO strategies, try to get into the mind-set of your customer. What content would they be searching for and what social media posts would they find the most engaging? Paid advertising can also provide a quick fix, especially for those in niche markets. Don’t rely on this method in the long term, instead place emphasis on SEO best practices.

Poor conversions

If people are visiting the site and not buying, it could be due to a number of factors. To gain an insight into user behaviour, your first port of call should be Google Analytics. This free software can show you how long is being spent on the site, and at what point users click away.

If you discover that visitors are leaving within a few minutes of clicking onto your landing page, there could be a problem with the home page. You can now implement design changes and see if it has a measurable effect. Alternatively, take a more scientific approach by carrying out an A/B test. This experiment allows you to change one element of a page and test its effectiveness simultaneously with the original.

Abandoning a full cart

As you get one step closer to the conversation, customers will place items in the cart and go through to checkout. If they abandon this ‘full’ cart and leave your site, it’s often due to a poor checkout process. To avoid this cart abandonment, always provide a reliable and well-known payment provider. The customer must feel secured handing over their card details.

Alternatively, the issue may be due to a lengthy registration process. Consumers have very little patience to fill out in-depth forms. Remove any information fields that are unnecessary, to make the sign up process as streamlined as possible. You can also offer a guest checkout service which avoids the need to register.

Finally, expensive and unforeseen shipping costs could be culprit. Don’t leave it until the checkout process to reveal the delivery charges. It can come across as sneaky and disingenuous. Highlight the shipping costs on each product page and throughout the site.

High expenses

It’s a common misconception that an e-commerce website is costly to run. Of course, this may be the case depending on the scale of your business and the design requirements.

However, for those with a small retail shop, you needn’t spend the earth. Platforms such as WordPress offer an affordable solution with the WooCommerce plugin. This has an impressive array of features and is surprisingly easy to use. Even for the novice developer, you’ll be able to make changes along the way and update the shop in real time without the help of a professional.

Lack of trust

This can be a major stumbling block for new businesses as consumers look elsewhere for that peace of mind. Overcome this issue by generating customer testimonials as soon as possible. These should be posted to sites such as Trip Advisor, Yelp, Google Reviews and TrustPilot. A quick search of your company, and customers can get assurance from these third-part sites.

Finally, be sure to comply with all relevant e-commerce legislation. Provide a highly visible returns section on your site and describe all products as accurately as possible. This transparency should convey a feeling of trust and honesty.