My Shopify store is getting traffic, but why am I not making any sales?

My Shopify store is getting traffic, but why am I not making any sales?

We have heard many dropshippers asking this question over the years:

I’ve got tons of traffic for my Shopify store but there was no conversions. What’s wrong?

It is a frustrating experience that occurs to everyone at some point of time in their dropshipping journey.

Because there are so many factors that could impact sales, trying to figure out what went wrong without knowing where to look can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

People often struggled at converting their traffic because they have missed out on making significant changes that their business needs.

They may also have focused on irrelevant issues because of unhelpful advice, or they are not following a systematic method to pinpoint the root cause.

So, we want to share with you one such method to analyze the issue and find ways to recover from it. We have developed this method from the combined experience of many successful dropshippers whom we’ve interacted with.

They went through the same thing when they launched a new store, and they were able to overcome it and grow their business.

The 3 Elements Of Customer Journey

It’s not possible to learn this method without first knowing what a customer journey is.

Usually, a customer visits a store because they have seen an ad from a marketing campaign you run about a product they are interested in.

When they click on the ad, they’re redirected to a landing page where they could see more details about the product.

When browsing through a product’s details, customers also tend to check if there are any discounts or freebies that come with it. If they like the offer they’re seeing, they will then proceed to add the product to their cart.

After adding a product to the cart, customers may do either one of the two things.

One, browse other products to add to their cart. Or two, proceed to checkout and enter the details needed from them to complete their purchase.

And voila—it’s the end of a customer’s journey in your store…

…except that it’s grossly simplified, and it’s the ideal customer’s journey that you would like to have.

In reality, a customer could abandon the cart—never to return. Or he is never even interested in your ad in the first place. Or he might take days viewing your ad, visiting your store, and one day decide to make a purchase all of a sudden.

When you analyze such different customer journeys, you will begin to notice the recurring elements:

  • The Landing Page
  • The Offer
  • The Marketing

All the factors that impact sales in a customer’s journey could be classified under the three elements mentioned above.

The Landing Page

A landing page is a page on your website that is the entry page for your visitors.

While it may seem like a standard webpage that shows a product with images and details for some, it’s different from other pages. It’s where you make the offer to the customers, so a bad landing page design could jeopardize your sales.

To experienced dropshippers, however, the landing page is usually not where the problem lies. Among the three elements, it is easiest to get the landing page right. This is because it requires less technicality, testing, and guesswork as compared to, let’s say, running a FB marketing campaign.

However, we will discuss the landing page first because it’s considered a maintenance factor.

If you have a bad landing page, customers will lose the motivation to purchase from your store. When this happens, it would be hard to tell whether your offer or your marketing is working or not.

As an analogy, a restaurant opens at a location with a lack of parking space. Customers will turn away even before they can taste the food.

Therefore, it’s crucial to get the landing page right first before you start evaluating other elements that impact sales.

That said, here is a checklist of what to look for on your landing page:

Branding

  • Nice shop name
  • Simple logo design
  • Good first impression to reduce bounce rate
  • Three-color palette, which is normally the best choice to have a consistent theme color
  • Trust badges
  • Basic pages (About Us, Contact Us, Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, Shipping & Return, FAQs) to make your store professional looking
  • Clear business policy to gain the trust of readers

Images

  • High-quality product images

The top mistake beginners make: using bad-quality or photoshopped promotional images given by suppliers.

An example of low-quality image with bad English
An example of low-quality image with bad English

Copywriting

  • Social proof (e.g. photos of successful purchases or customer reviews)
  • Clear text and messages

User Experience

  • Fast page loading speed to retain impatient readers
  • Easy navigation
  • Comfortable user interface

Checkout Flow

  • Optimized checkout process
  • Offers payment methods that your target audience can or would like to use (e.g. Afterpay in Australia)

If you’re using the Shopify platform, however, there’s not a lot that you can customize as Shopify uses a fixed checkout process for all their sites.

Service

  • Customer-friendly

This may affect return sales and words-of-mouth, but it’s not that important as compared to other factors mentioned above.

As you can see from the checklist, designing a good landing page requires you to understand customer behavior and have good design sense. Now, there are two things you need to be careful with when it comes to fine-tuning your landing page:

  • Reviewing your store on your own is risky. You may think that your design is good, but it’s actually bad in the eyes of your customers. Always remember that user experience comes first before anything else, which is why you should design your landing page for the customers.
  • Asking family members or friends to review your store is usually useless. Doing so only helps when the reviewers can give frank and unbiased opinions, something that those who are close to you might not be able to do in fear of hurting your feelings.

TIPS: You should bookmark the stores of your competitors to benchmark your landing page and store design. Use this information to come up with a landing page design that works for your business.

You might also find it worthwhile to try out a user interaction recording tool like Hotjar. You can use Hotjar to observe how customers interact with your page and tweak your landing page based on their activity (taps, swipes, etc.) while browsing your store.

The Offer

Gary Halbert is a master copywriter from the ’70s who penned the famous series, “The Gary Harbert Letter“. He taught the world the art of copywriting, the skill that has made him rich.

When asked by his readers, “what’s the most important element in sales?” He answered:

Your offer (think of it as a business proposition) is by far the most crucial element in the entire sales message we are constructing here. You should think more about how to “sweeten” your offer than any other aspect of writing copy.

Writing “copy” is less than 1/10 as important as learning to think about new offers and getting them down on paper as I just did. I can’t say it often enough or strongly enough… It is the deal… The offer… The proposition you are making that is the heart and soul of great copywriting!

The days of advertising by sending letters to people’s doorsteps were long gone, yet his wisdom remains because it is human psychology at work here.

Today, we often see that dropshippers place a big emphasis on the technical details of a Facebook campaign. They try A/B testing on so many different ads, targeting just to make a random product sell.

However, the fact is that winners are rare. The competition is getting steeper and steeper in dropshipping. It’s very likely that your target audience may have already seen the product you are trying to promote or even a better offer.

If you believe you have done everything right, from marketing to store design, yet you still aren’t making sales, the offer is usually the place you should look at to improve on.

You can do that by checking out your competitor stores or advertisements. Is your product offer on par with theirs?

If you find that they are selling the same thing, albeit throwing in a lot of attractive freebies, it’s time to re-examine your offer or even change your product.

Product

  • It should be attractive and truly unique.
  • It should have good quality.

Pricing

  • The starting price of your product should be set around what your competitors are offering.

A sign that the pricing is the problem is abandoned carts. Visitors may like your product, but they think twice about buying it because of the price.

Audience

  • Your product should address the need of the audience.
  • Offer discounts if the audience likes sales. Make sure that the coupon code is working correctly.
  • Make use of the scarcity technique, where you offer your product in limited pieces or as a limited-edition item to capture the attention of buyers.
  • Offer fast shipping time and low rates.

For example, the US audience prefers shorter shipping time as compared to the EU. And everyone likes free shipping as well.

Timing

  • Make sure that it is the right season to promote a product (e.g. selling duvet in winter).

The Marketing

Believe it or not, people tend to excessively tinker with their marketing without realizing the product itself may be the problem. Thus, we keep this section last among the three.

Your marketing campaign’s metrics should indicate if it is truly working. Usually, it should have a high clickthrough rate (CTR) of more than 2%, as well as good quality engagement through comments and shares.

After A/B testing for 3-4 days with poor metrics and no sales, however, you should refer to the checklist below to see if you’ve run your ad campaign correctly:

  • High-quality product images and videos
  • Ad copy that targets the emotion of the audience
  • Effective call-to-action (CTA)

Targeting

  • Target customers with buying intent.

If you are using FB Ads, you should always make use of Facebook audience insights to perform audience research.

  • Perform demographic research to narrow down your targeting to a specific demographic segment.
  • Do a lot of A/B testing with different videos, images, and ad copies.

Campaign

  • Your campaign length should cover the purchase time window, which is usually 1-7 days.
  • Run retargeting ads.

Only 2% will generally make a purchase on their first store visit, which is why it’s important to capture the attention of the visitors who haven’t converted yet via ad campaigns.

Social Media

  • Consider having a Facebook page, Instagram account, or blog to increase your social proof.
  • Actively manage your FB page if you are using FB Ads

It gives your ad viewers a bad impression when they visit a non-active FB page.

  • Actively manage your IG account if you are using IG Ads or influencer marketing.

Remember that there’s no credibility if the number of your followers on IG is less than 1000.

  • Actively update your blog if you are doing search engine marketing (SEM).

This is to let people know that you are keeping up with the latest trends, and you are paying attention to what they are interested in.

Summary – how do you probe “high traffic low sales” in a systematic way?

Here are the steps that you can take:

  1. Double-check your landing page design. Make sure that you have everything in place to gain enough trust from your customers to buy from your store. This will also help make your problem analysis easier.
  2. Use Google Analytics to see if the traffic you’re getting from your store’s visitors is of bad-quality. If it is, then there is a problem with your marketing campaign. Otherwise, there is a problem with your offer. Good-quality traffic is defined as the following: less than 80% of bounce rate and average session duration of more than 30 seconds.
  3. If you have a marketing problem, improve your ads and targeting. Use A/B testing to find the best advertisement and audience to target. As long as your budget allows you, run a campaign that is long enough to cover your customer’s purchase time window. Having better images and videos can also make a difference.
  4. If you have an offer problem, make sure to tweak the price of the product within a reasonable range or change the offer/product into something that your customers would like most.

Stay tuned on our blog for more Q&A on dropshipping!

Trisha Ymbang

A guest blogger curious about all things on starting up a new business. Her writings are both insightful and in-depth, provoke discussion at a deeper level.

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