I started my online clothing store 8 months ago. Once the excitement wore off, I was nervous about a lot of things. Do people care about my clothes? Is the competition too steep? How will they even find me for crying out loud? I didn’t have a large budget and had tried some small social media buys, word of mouth etc., but that was it.
To my surprise, after about 3 months or so, I was getting amazing inbound numbers. People were actually finding me! This was a huge achievement, but sadly my bank account wasn’t exactly celebrating yet. I was drawing all of these people but my clothes weren’t selling. Sure I had the occasional “window shoppers”, but looking at my stats, I could see some people were checking reviews, FAQs, and generally showing a deep interest in my product. So what gives?
Here are some facts I looked up as to why I wasn’t making those sales:
1.My Shipping and Handling was too high.
I was sure my prices were fair and way under the competition, so why would people abandon ship! That’s it right there…” ship”.
My S/H prices were way too much and they weren’t flexible. I was so focused on the actual product prices, I failed to realize the amount that adds up in shipping. I shifted some numbers around and was able to make certain purchases include free shipping. There are lots of ways to fix shipping to make it more appealing. You may even want to include a countdown time so people have a short window to snag the zero-dollar transport deal.
2.What Return Policy?
Yikes, I slowly realized that people are much more apt to make a purchase with a return policy. Sounds like a no brainer right? Maybe, but at first my thought was that I didn’t want to deal with it or lose money but in reality I was losing customers. So I found a way to limit the policy with certain rules attached so that people wouldn’t take advantage. I also included size charts to reduce the amount of returns I would have to deal with. I rarely have returns because my clothes are awesome, but also because I do the most I can to alleviate issues before the purchase.
3.A Photo of Me and My Dog Was Not Enough to Gain Trust
I mean, it’s a great picture and we both have trusting eyes, but this may not be enough for some people to feel secure enough to enter their credit card. Doing a little research I found that a lot of people are nervous these days when it comes to online payments and transactions. So I decided to get third party security involved and make sure my customers knew that we had their safety in mind. This is especially helpful for the log in and shopping cart areas.
4.I Wasn’t Mobile Friendly
It never occurred to me how many people would be online shopping on the bus, at the nail salon, at work, in line at the DMV! I had figured well, I can access my store on my phone but when I really sat and looked, it was super tiny wording and you could hardly see the pictures! So I had the site redesigned to include mobile and even tablet layouts. Now you could easily see everything, click side tabs to search different products etc. Heck if we get big enough, we may even create an app!
I just had too much to say. Words and names and buttons… it was just too much visually to take in. When I redesigned the site, I noticed more pages being explored and more time spent on each. Cleaning up my messy room, deemed to be a crucial part of my online success!
A Little Help From Your Web
A lot of people rush into building their stores (like I did!), and forget to do a little research as to how it can be better and what steps can be implemented to make your customers have an overall better experience. My big issue was all look and no buy, but with a little elbow grease and a lot of coffee I was able to figure it out.
One tool I used to alleviate my shopping cart runners was the Magento Abandoned Cart Email Extension. I was able to email those who ditched their cart and bring them back to visit my store. Plus, I could also see why they left which gave me the great insight I have shared with you today. Happy Selling!