12 Ideas to address declining ecommerce Earnings

For several online retailers, business conditions are tough. What do you do if your earnings are falling and you can not work out how to reverse the slide? Here are 12 ideas to help.

1. Solicit Feedback from Clients

Useful feedback from clients not only helps your enterprise. Additionally, it makes excellent copy for search engines, especially when the clients use descriptive, search-friendly terms. These terms appear in search results and if you include the client’s name and place, it can be discovered by local clients; some of them might even recognize the person providing the testimonial. This may make them feel confident enough to buy from you for the first time.

2. Refresh your Copy

Take a fresh look in your product descriptions. If you saw the product for the first time, do it appeal to you? What would overcome your resistance? Would it make sense? Has something new happened because your product was first launched, such you have won an award, made a how-to movie, received radio and television coverage, or attained a milestone in customer use (“over 10,000 happy customers”)? For those who have resellers, they’re all-too-likely to replicate your copy so that you need fresh material in order to not be penalized by Google.

3. Upgrade your Images

If you have used the very same photos for the past couple of years, odds are your products are looking a bit tired. Maybe all that is required is some Photoshopping? You can test-swap your main hero photograph for one more shot to present a different angle — literally. There are a number of photographers who focus on providing inexpensive product photography. Or you might inspire your best customers to picture themselves using your product to win a year’s supply of merchandise in a contest, for example.

4. Upgrade your Search Engine Optimization

Potential customers might not know about your merchandise just because they don’t appear on Google. Hundreds, if not thousands of online retailers, myself included, have been affected badly by Google’s frequent algorithm changes. Watch the excellent articles written by Practical Ecommerce’s Jill Kocher about the best way best to address this.

Another thing which may well help your search engine optimization is broadening your social media reach. Pinterest is a favorite medium for image-heavy products. The ones that have intriguing, even contentious facts, may do better on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Products which include a how-to facet can burst in popularity with YouTube. You may outsource regular social networking updates to overseas employees from oDesk (a market for freelancers) and such, for a couple hundred dollars or less per month.

6. Bundle It

If you sell items which are a natural match like battery chargers and smartphones, or candles and votive holders, bundling is too straightforward. But what about if your products are basically standalone, one-time purchases? Use the old”Spend over $X” advertising and individuals will find something different to add to their cart. They can have a friend who is also searching for an outside shed, need another couch for their office on the job or have a series of weddings to attend for which they want numerous gifts.

7. Speak to your Drop Shippers

If you currently have drop shippers that represent your goods and accept orders — but keep no inventory — contact them. Based on how much cash you will need to get in the door, you can offer them a greater margin, such as 35 percent instead of 20 percent, or tell them the new price is (temporarily) much lower, if they market your product.

8. Run a Group Buying bargain

While less popular than their heyday around 2010, there are still countless group purchasing sites seeking deals for their clients. I’ve used these as a customer (many times) and as a provider (formerly ). If you can offer the inventory promptly to the clients redeeming the bargain, and a hefty discount (generally at least 50 percent ), you might get half that (25 percent of the initial price) after fees to the deal supplier. You might also grow your company with additional clients, but do take that the majority of these can only respond to additional discount deals.

9. Find a Wholesaler

If you sell products which are essentially commodities, you should easily find a wholesaler who will purchase (some of) your stock. You may only just cover your costs, but it is much better than having it sit there, collecting dust, which makes no money in any way. Can’t think of an expected wholesaler? They are your opponents, selling similar inventory. Even in the event you create unique, personalized items, they could be quite happy to take them off your hands at a fantastic price. Alternatively, check if you’re able to sell them back to the manufacturer.

10. Organize Public Relations and Publicity

Good public relations can launch you facing thousands and thousands of possible customers. It is possible to use free PR services like PRLog, pay-by-project companies or commission companies ranging in size from boutique to multinational. Television exposure is golden, but may be tough to obtain. Writing your own media releases may be free, but you are unlikely to have the ideal contacts — or even the most powerful ones. Magazine articles can take anywhere from six weeks to five months to appear: Do you wait that long to make more sales? Competitions create awareness about your site and your products, but the participants seldom turn into continuing clients.

11. Call a Business Specialist

Consider retaining a marketing expert, a retail specialist, or a business coach. Many may see obvious issues which are preventing consumers from purchasing your products. These specialists may make a significant difference, but they could cost tens of thousands, if not (tens of) thousands of dollars and might take longer than you can afford for their recommended changes to make a difference to your bottom line.

12. Sell your Business

The most extreme option, if you can not reverse your sales decrease, would be to offer your website. You may read the excellent articles by Manny Shah on the groundwork necessary to offer your internet business. As he rightly points out, too many owners attempt to sell when it’s just too late to do so successfully. Having said that, a declining business, if it is in a market, can still market, although infrequently for the price you want.

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