What to Focus On During the Ecommerce Slow Season
Every ecommerce business owner has been there. Despite the extreme highs of sales cycles, every shop will hit a slow season eventually. But a lull in your business isn’t necessarily a negative if you use the time to restructure your foundation for success. Not sure where to start? Here’s what to focus on next.
Email list building should always be a priority but can fall to the wayside when ecommerce business is booming. Use the down season, sale slumps, or post-holiday shopping craze to focus on refining your list. Launching a contest or promo code for a flash sale are a few ways to start. And simply revamping your online presence & featuring your Call to Actions (CTAs) more prominently can also boost your list.
If you’re having trouble gaining those sign-ups, get innovative with video. Creating a video of how your products work generates more clicks than without. CTAs should also be placed prominently on your social media channels to generate more sales & sign-ups. Research shows that adding CTAs to your Facebook Page can increase the click-through rate by 285%.
Clear Out Your Inventory
A down season in your ecommerce business gives you the chance to reassess your inventory. Make a list of what sold & barely stayed in stock, which sales were slow & steady, & which didn’t move at all.
Unfortunately, knowing how much inventory to order can pose a challenge for ecommerce shop owners. Not fulfilling orders in a timely fashion hurts your brand’s credibility & negatively impacts the customer experience. But having too much inventory in stock compromises your profit margin & bottom line.
Instead of pre-ordering inventory, use a dropshipping, white-label, or print-on-demand service like CustomCat. We fulfill & ship your orders when they’re purchased. Your shop gets to sell as much as possible without worrying about inventory shortages or surpluses. Read more about how our ecommerce print-on-demand service works.
Sell at In-Person Events
One way to offload excess inventory & spread the word about your business is to sell at in-person events. Whether it’s an outdoor market, pop-up stand, or charity event, focus on raising awareness for your store offline & recover the loss of excess inventory. Make sure the event aligns with your brand & the target audience you want to sell to. You can also set up your own MeetUp Group or sale event with like-minded entrepreneurs & shop owners in your area.
Once you’ve sorted out your list building plans & inventory, turn to your ecommerce analytics. Dig into Google & your store platform’s statistics to figure out where traffic comes from the most, where it lags, & which products and website pages perform the best. The more you understand where buyers are finding your ecommerce store, the more you can refine your approach for success. Launch Facebook ads, Google ads, or reach out to influencers & websites to enhance your efforts & increase long-term sales.
Rework Your Images & Copywriting
Swapping out images, product descriptions, & coming up with compelling sales copy takes time & resources business owners don’t always have. Set aside a few hours a week during your slow sales seasons to refresh your assets & give your online presence a facelift.
While you’re revamping your copywriting, focus on infusing SEO best practices to give your organic traffic a boost. Read more here: Ecommerce Writing for SEO.
Revamp Your Content Marketing
Content marketing helps bring in organic traffic, keep audiences on your site, & earn more conversions. You can outsource or do it yourself for a cost-effective strategy that’s worth the effort. Blogging, gift guides, podcasts, & videos are just a few places to start.
Some content marketing methods also prove more effective than others & require some experimentation. Research shows that 87% of video marketers reported video gives them a positive ROI.
Go Nuts with Customer Service
Your downtime is the perfect opportunity to create a better customer experience. Dig into your emails & check-in with loyal customers, add chat functionality to your ecommerce store, & take a critical look at your website’s User Experience (UX).
The User Experience is the overall experience a person has using a product, website, or app. The more accessible & more pleasing it is to use, the better the user experience. If you’re not sure where to start, ask yourself these questions:
- Is your store easy to navigate?
- Can customers easily find the products they need?
- Is your checkout process straightforward?
- Is the overall look of your website easy to read & digest information?
Making some tweaks to your ecommerce store is well worth the effort. Research shows that 88% of online shoppers say they wouldn’t return to a website after a bad user experience. The more you refine your UX, the more likely shoppers will stick around.
Tap Into New Audiences
Want to make more ecommerce sales during the down season? Expand your reach by tapping into new audiences. If you have an advertising budget, targeted Facebook ads get your products in front of your ideal audience. But you can still expand your audience without a financial investment.
Bolstering your content marketing & SEO efforts to attract organic traffic is one way to start, but it is also a long game to see results. Generate buzz more quickly with your ecommerce store by pitching yourself as a podcast guest, amplify your social media, sell at in-person events, & connect with influencers with a targeted following.
Obsess Over Mobile
If you’re not entirely obsessed over mobile, you’re leaving money on the table. Mobile ecommerce sales are predicted to reach $3.56 trillion in 2021. Fortunately, most selling platforms like Shopify already come with mobile-ready store templates. Remember to check the size of your images, videos & how your content looks mobile. Everything should load lightning fast, be easy to read, & have short blocks of text.
Not sure how your site looks on mobile, aside from your own device? Use Google’s mobile-friendly test tool to see for yourself.
Take Time to Rest & Reflect
Don’t let all the success stories, productivity statistics, & podcasts evangelizing online success fool you. Everyone needs time to reflect, rest, & regroup to stay balanced and avoid severe burnout. The Harvard Business Review reports that 25% of entrepreneurs said they were moderately burned out, 3% felt intensely burned out. The majority of their sample said they experienced some level of burnout.
Take some time to slow down & reconnect not just with loved ones but for yourself. Being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle, but part of your success should also include balance & time to enjoy what you’ve worked so hard to build.
What about you? What do you focus on when your ecommerce sales hit a slow season? Let us know by leaving a comment below.