Driving Traffic but No Sales? Here's How to Diagnose and Improve Your Store

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

In an online store’s early days, it’s not uncommon to draw hundreds, even thousands of visitors, but for some reason... no sales. (If you're part of the BOLD BUSINESS mentorship, please simply let your mentor know and he/she will work with you to bring your sales back up!)

Assuming you're driving the right traffic, figuring out exactly what is stopping these potential customers from making a purchase can feel like solving a mystery with few clues.

There are a number of factors that play a part in a customer’s decision to make a purchase, from details as small as the color of your "Buy Now" button to choices as big as the way you weave your brand story. 

Like any diagnosis, you need to objectively evaluate every potential cause in order to root out the actual problems before you can fix them.

So take a step back from the online store you’ve poured hours into building, look at it with fresh eyes, and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is your main navigation easy to use?

  2. Can you move any non-essential pages to the footer navigation?

  3. Does your visual brand look professional?

  4. Does your homepage have a clear call to action?

  5. Does your website copy speak to your target audience?

  6. Does your website look just as good on your mobile phone?

  7. Does your business seem trustworthy?

  8. Are shoppers adding products to their cart?

  9. Are shoppers abandoning their cart?

  10. Is price or payment options stopping them from checking out?

  11. Are you remarketing to your website visitors?

  12. How are visitors scrolling, clicking, and searching your website?

  13. What else could be stopping you from making sales?

Navigate your store like a new customer

Your website won’t be the first experience your potential customers have with online shopping.

Much in the way you expect the fitting rooms in a brick-and-mortar clothing store to be located at the back of the shop, there are certain conventions that users have come to expect from a website. While some may seem obvious, a misstep can easily result in lost sales.

Is your main navigation menu easy to use?

In most cases, users find their way from your homepage to your product page to your checkout by using your navigation menus. These are typically found at the top (the header navigation) and bottom (the footer navigation) of your website. 

Depending on your business, you can also include links to other pages customers might want to visit before making a purchase, such as:

About Us, for customers who want to learn more about your business or your founder story

Contact Us, so customers can reach out to you with any questions or concerns

FAQ, to answer some of the most common questions customers have about your products 

Shipping, so customers know how much they’ll have to pay on top of the price of their purchase 

Size Guide, to help shoppers confidently order the right size and reduce returns for yourself

Can you move any non-essential pages to the footer navigation?

Even though it’s tucked away at the bottom of your website, visitors frequently consult the footer navigation to find out more information about a company. 

Footer navigation menus are another best practice for online stores. The links found here are different than those found in your header. Links to secondary information, like your returns and exchange policy, customer reviews, privacy, and terms and conditions, all belong in the footer of your website, and not the header. 

Make sure both your header and footer links are working correctly. Test each one to make sure the title matches the page it links to. A broken or incorrect link is an easily fixed mistake that could be hurting your sales.

Be honest about your homepage

Your store’s homepage is like the display window of a physical store. It needs to simultaneously reflect your brand in the best light, while also encouraging customers to enter and start shopping.

Does your visual brand look professional?

Your brand is on display on your website homepage—everything from the font you choose to your color palette is used by shoppers to understand who you are as a company and whether they should become your customer. Ask yourself:

Do you have a professional logo?  (BOLD can design this for you!)

Do you build a strong visual brand identity with consistent colors and fonts? (For BOLD PRE-BUILT sites, this won't be the case!)

Are your images high quality and clear (avoid blurry or pixelated pictures)?

Is your text easy to read and, more importantly, scan?

Luckily, piecing together these visual elements of a brand doesn’t need to be complicated.

Does your homepage have a compelling call to action?

Just like a navigation menu, having the right calls to action on your homepage can help orient customers and direct them from the front of your store to the checkout page. A call to action is a strong line of copy supported by a clickable button. They work together to draw attention and encourage action from a website visitor.

Ecommerce stores typically feature their main call to action through their homepage banner. The main banner typically catches a customer’s eye first and is used to promote your best-selling product or most compelling collection. 

If you have a secondary message to promote, like free shipping or a discount on certain items, the best place to surface that call to action is often with an announcement bar. Announcement bars typically show up at the very top of your website page in small text, so as not to compete with your main banner.

Does your website copy speak to your target audience?

Another important element of any good homepage is the copy—the text that persuades and directs visitors to shop with you.

Copy should be persuasive and to the point. Unnecessarily long sentences or big paragraphs can make users lose interest in what you’re trying to sell. Most big online retailers tend to keep their homepage copy to a minimum.

One of the most common copywriting mistakes is not having an ideal audience in mind. Your target customer should be able to land on your homepage and say, “This site is for me.”

If your homepage copy tries to speak to everyone, then it speaks to no one.

Selling online is all about trust, and nothing looks as unprofessional as a glaring typo on a website’s homepage. Even if you’ve proofread your own website, it’s worth borrowing a friend’s fresh eyes or your mentor to go over the copywriting of your site. 

Does your website look just as good on your mobile phone?

The problem with troubleshooting your own website is that you’re likely not seeing it on the same screen as your potential customers. The majority of ecommerce website traffic now comes from mobile devices, where your website can look very different than it does on a desktop. All BOLD prebuilt sites come pre-optimized for all devices, mobile, tablets, pc, and desktops.

- BOLD STAFF will be adding to this topic!

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