Running an ecommerce website can be a great way to make money, whether it’s a personal side project or your entire business. We’re sure you have some great products for sale and that your customer service is impeccable.

Are your sales numbers looking especially poor though? Have you not been making as much money as you would like? There’s more than one reason why an ecommerce website may not be doing well. Sometimes, it’s the season (Christmas is always the busiest, so it’s normal to see a slump in sales in January). However, if it’s the busy shopping season and there’s still no sign of your loyal customers, that’s when you need to re-examine your website and figure out what’s wrong. Today, we’re going to look at potential reasons why no one is buying from your ecommerce website and how to address and fix these issues.

Reason 1: The Product Descriptions Stink

Product descriptions should really do more than simply provide a customer with the size, price, and “Buy here” button. The best product descriptions we’ve seen go the extra mile in describing the product, usually telling a story or setting the scene in which the product is used to the customer’s benefit. The worst product descriptions either don’t gel at all with the product they’re talking about, or they don’t exist, period.

If the latter sounds too much like what’s on (or not on) your ecommerce website, get some good content written that will influence your customers to make a purchase.

Reason 2: Your “Out of Stock” Products are Showing

Nothing feels more discouraging than finding the perfect t-shirt, size, and price range on a website only to discover it’s out of stock or, even worse, discontinued…to top it off, there was nothing to indicate it was either of those things in the first place!

This is an all-too-common problem that ecommerce websites have, especially since most of them sell purely seasonal products. If you have seasonal products that are going to come back the following year, don’t be lazy and show that they are available on your website year-round. This is guaranteed to frustrate your customers, leading to severe mistrust between them and you. Take the out-of-stock items and hide them from view, or if you can’t, add a visible notice saying “Discontinued” or “Out of Stock”.

Reason 3: The Photos Stink, Too

Having an eye for photography isn’t a requirement to run an ecommerce website, but images of your products still matter. If the photos aren’t good, chances are the customer will not think your product is good either. Having zero images is the worst idea, as well. No one wants to order something online only to find out what they got isn’t what they bought.

If it’s the images that are the problem, double-check to see if any are representing the appropriate colours, sizes, and products themselves, and if not, get them fixed. Use larger photos so people can view the products from multiple angles. If the photos you have are small, get a zoom feature so people can take a closer look. Most importantly, make sure the photo matches its description! The last thing your website needs is a photo of a planter put next to the description of a sundress.

Reason 4: Everything is Complicated

Whether it’s trying to add items to the shopping cart or there was a specific product in mind and it needs to be found, your ecommerce website should be straightforward and easy to use. If making a purchase requires too many clicks or blanks to be filled in before confirming an order, that’s a big red flag telling your customers that you don’t care about their experience.

If you want people to find specific products, enable a search bar option as well as efficient breadcrumbs, i.e. a secondary navigation system. This way, since you have a lot of products and content to share, your customers will not get lost or directed away from their shopping cart.

Reason 5: You’re not on the Phone

By that we mean your website is not visible or mobile-friendly in terms of usage and design. To this day, shopping online takes place on mobile first and desktop later, according to a recent study. The worst thing your ecommerce website can be across different platforms is slow and unresponsive! A mobile-friendly site should be fast, easy to use and navigate, and secure.

Reason 6: You Don’t Look Special

There are basic cookie-cutter templates for ecommerce websites, but the one-size-fits-all template for websites is beyond outdated. If your website looks all too similar to another business in your neighbourhood, your customers will think—and rightly so—that you’re cutting corners when it comes to your marketing strategy.

The most unique ecommerce websites don’t rely on cookie-cutter templates and instead go for a more customized look and feel, all while aligning with the business’s brand. For example, if you’re a florist website, there are some sites that look the same because they use an identical template. There are ways you can format and show off your products without using the same template; just look at Turley’s Florist’s website compared to a few others, and you’ll get an idea as to how Turley’s is staying ahead of their competition.

Long story short, it’s better to be unique than to be a copycat when it comes to your ecommerce website’s design.

Reason 7: I Can’t Tell How to Pay for This

One of the biggest signs an ecommerce website needs help is seeing a severe lack of payment options available to would-be customers. Not everyone wants to use their credit card online, but not everyone has a Paypal account either.

Not only should your ecommerce website feature multiple means of payment, but also these forms of payment should be visible from the get-go. Placing this information should be inserted into each web page’s header or footer, depending on what you’re going for design-wise. Ditto for your social media.

Speaking of…

Reason 8: I Can’t Find You, At Least Not Online

Transparency is one of the most important features an ecommerce website must have in order to stand out above the competition. If you’re not on Facebook or Google, or you have accounts but are not displaying the links in plain view, consider yourself as good as non-existent to the rest of the world. If you don’t want to be on Google, at least be on Facebook and Instagram; you can add links to both those social media accounts and your website, building transparency, visibility, and trust as you go.

Reason 9: We Find Your Lack of Content Disturbing

Content is so crucial to a website’s success, whether it’s B2B or B2C. If you don’t have a blog or are not distributing content that shows off your business’s uniqueness, how are your customers going to find out what you really can offer? (The answer: they won’t). Having a blog on your ecommerce website, offering discounts and sales promotions via e-mail newsletters, sharing your blog posts and videos on social media, hosting contests…these are all excellent ideas for content that will engage with your customers even after they’ve checked out.

Reason 10: You Can’t Remember When You Tested it Last

Ecommerce has increasingly changed as far as design is concerned in the past few decades. Testing and re-testing ecommerce websites is a must if you want to ensure every link works, every form is easy to use, and every piece of information is secure. If you have either launched a new website and it was never tested, or you can’t remember when it was tested last time, or the design was done 10 years ago…well, we hate to break it to you, but it may be time for a website overhaul, or at least a professional’s eye.

If we’ve described more than half of why no one is bothering to buy from your ecommerce website, you definitely need help, and we can do just that. Give us a call at V3 Media. If you’d like, we can consult with you one-on-one about how, if it’s necessary, we can help give it a makeover, or if you’re brand new to selling things online, how to make you a good one!