by Laura Thieme
I often get calls to analyze ecommerce performance data, on why sales have changed in a short time period.
Initial ecommerce data points to review:
- cost to sales
- return on ad spend (ROAS)
- conversion rates
- year over year data
- 13-16 month trends
Search marketing data points:
- organic / SEO visibility; and if anything has changed
- paid search visibility
- shopping search
- Google paid vs organic vs shopping search
When an ecommerce retailer calls, it’s often an all-out SOS for help on how to increase daily ecommerce sales.
Troubleshooting Lower Ecommerce Sales
- Look at what has historically driven your best sales. Chart it out however you need to visualize what drives volume, and highest average order. This data is usually available in Google Analytics under the Ecommerce tab.
- Look at year over year ecommerce data, including the data points indicated above. Has anything changed? What’s dropped? Begin your documentation here.
- Have you lost visibility? Has inbound traffic changed from any medium/source by double digits (>10%)? If you can see the source/medium and if possible and relevant, the keyword(s) that have caused a traffic decline, then go fix those sources/mediums and keywords.
- Has traffic stayed the same by ecommerce conversion rates (CVR) declined by >10?
Have there been any website changes, product detail page changes, checkout design/flow changes?
Have phone calls increased at the same time that ecommerce conversion rates have declined and that a site change was made?Additional Notes: If you have 100 clicks to a page, you have enough data to analyze as long as the data/medium/sources are not different, or substantially different in your date range comparison. Test the previous page, vs the new page – make sure that’s not what’s causing the major drop in sales. Make sure you can quickly backup a previous landing page version. Another option is to have a live person service on the website that can help with any challenges using a new landing page. Lastly, a good idea is to always test with a small group of people before rolling out, especially if it’s during a key season. How hard is it for people to find your phone number on your website? Put it in the masthead (top of every page) and in your contact us page.
Once you’ve audited your data (if you need help call us at the number shown above on our website), and you’re sure about what has caused the problem, here are some quick fixes.
5 fast ways on how to increase your online/ecommerce sales
- Google AdWords
Note: Typically takes 8 minutes from the time you set up your campaign & keywords to show up in Google. It’s usually the fastest documented, proven way to offset sales decreases, due to sheer traffic volume and searcher intent. Obviously, you want to ensure you are using the right keywords, ads and landing pages or you’re going to continue the conversion rate problem if that’s an issue as mentioned above.
- Google AdWords remarketing
Note: If they’re not converting on the first visit, get them to come back with an easy to setup remarketing incentive. Offer 10% off their order, or remind them of why they need to buy from you. Remarketing is not great on mobile apps and may eat up a lot of money, so prefer to use content (non adult, non-gambling, non-freaky) websites. Use text & image display builder ads. Test quickly to see which ads bring traffic, that stays and converts.
- Adroll remarketing
Note: you can use that makes people see your brand information right after they leave your website, on Facebook.
- Facebook boosted posts and/or Ads Manager
Note: Target audience & messaging is important here, but if you have 1,000+ loyal followers on Facebook, do a product-oriented sales promotion to a landing page that converts. Product pages can be good, unless you’re having a conversion rate problem due to redesign or something else. Create a new landing page that emulates the best converting pages and test.
- Email marketing
Note: often forgotten. These are your customers. Email promoting 1-2 products driving thousands in sales with a low cost per transaction. Just don’t send too many emails and watch your spam words. Use a professional template, and program to monitor click-thru rates. Make sure your email encourages a click. Open rates aren’t really a good indicator as many people have email previews.
Bonus consideration: Have you changed anything else about your offline marketing that would decrease your online sales? Direct mail piece, timing, audience, other promotions that were done last year, that you’re choosing not to do this year? All of these items can have a potential negative impact on your sales this year.
Each of the five ways mentioned above to quickly increase daily sales has their own set of pitfalls as well as opportunities. If you need help on any one of the audit items, or promotional methods above, please contact us by phone (see above), contact form, or reach out to us on our Facebook page.
Coupon code for custom audits: needsalesfix (expires 9/21/15 at 5 pm Pacific, no exceptions). Get your free 10-minute SEO visibility audit & Bizwatch account, if you don’t have one already by clicking on the image or this link. Then you will be able to order the full-custom audit for $5,000 (and get a $500 discount) if you order online by 9/21/15 and 5 pm Pacific.