We have an established brick and mortar retail store. Part of the business has an e-commerce facing aspect that I feel has tons of potential, but I just can't seem to get any traction. The site is for selling wall art that we produce in house from vintage imagery. Much of it can only be found through us, and we know that people like our products from our in-store sales. I can't seem to get any sales online- even offering free item codes (for testing out our web-order process. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I should mention that after working on it for almost 5 years and spending a good amount of money, I'm hesitant to put much more time or money in a direction without knowing that it's really going to work. We don't have much of a budget. Help?
I have been helping startups with their digital strategies.
Looks like you have a niche product. Go find that niche market. Best way to get to target markets today is to find the same in Meetup.com I am sure you will find enough groups associated with art in there. Start posting pics and links to your store. Similarly, start using pics along with some good slogans in facebook and other social media like instagram.
Start a fb page for your store and build likes through your customers and friends. Have a console or pad in store where you can ask your customers to login and like your fb page every day after every sale.
If you are really niche with good products, I am sure you will do well.
If you need further help, please feel free to contact me.
With warm regards,
Short answer: No one can help you without knowing more about your website.
Long answer: There are two sides of your e-commerce business and either or both could need improvement. You have visitor acquisition (getting people to your site) and conversion (turning those visitors into customers). I'll touch on each just a little.
Visitor Acquisition: How many visitors do you have to your website? Where are they coming from? You want qualified traffic... meaning the people visiting are actively looking to actually buy some art. You can buy 100,000 clicks on Fiverr but it won't convert. You can find targeted qualified traffic on paid search engines like Google or Bing, on Facebook and other social channels, and through organic search engine optimization. Once you've got a good stream of traffic to your site then you can look at converting them into customers...
Customer Conversion: The average e-commerce conversion rate across all verticals is around 2%, but it's much lower for luxury goods, high priced items, electronics or any other products that typically require more thought that goes into the purchase. What's your e-commerce conversion rate? (if you don't have e-commerce tracking setup in Google Analytics you can just take your # of sales / number of unique visitors over a period of time).
There are a lot of factors that affect conversion. Is your site trustworthy? Is it secure? Are your products featured well, so visitors can get a really good idea of what they are purchasing? What is your return policy? How much is shipping? When will customers receive their items?
There are lots of reasons why your site might not be converting, but without seeing it I can't make specific recommendations. If you are getting lots of visitors (thousands per month) and making no sales, you need to focus on improving your website to increase your conversion rate (also known as Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO). If you don't have much traffic at all, like just a few hundred per month, then you need to focus on getting more qualified traffic either through social media, PR, organic search engine optimization or though paid ads.
Love your positioning assuming product is quality. You're starting w an advantage in that you have unique product vs competing in reselling others.
Love to see the site / Products to know more. Message me the url if you'd like.
This is an interesting question and one that I was just discussing at the IBMAmplify conference last week which I attended as a VIP Futurist of Commerce.
There are a significant number of options you could consider, and to list them all here would be a disservice to you as implementing a strategy that will work needs to be catered to you and your needs specifically. I am a big proponent of niche categories, and looks like you have a good niche based on your offline sales as you mentioned.
You can look to offer your products through various marketplaces, as well as stepping up your social presence on various mediums. The right marketplaces and social areas are where you need to spend your time, not your money. You can also integrate these with your online store so that it automatically pushes content to them.
I do believe marketplaces and social may be a lower cost solution to getting things started, then once sales start to happen you can look to other avenues.
I normally do not solicit phone calls through the Q&A section, but believe that we need to talk further, as I have more questions, but also have some thoughts on some marketplace partners that would allow you to spend little to no money to further implement.
Let me know if you would like to discuss further.
Branden Moskwa, B.ASBE, CAPM
Principle & Founder - nadimo.com
Twitter Handle: @bmoskwa
Commerce Futurist - VIP & Influencer
Business Excellence Awards - Finalist
Best Business of the Year - Semi Finalist
Small Business Leader of the Year - Nominee
My suggestion would be to focus on some quality, organic SEO. Since your budget is limited, you can apply search engine optimization yourself and for limited funds. You just need to learn the ins and outs of SEO and apply it to your website and products one by one.
I recently recorded a podcast on the subject and if you are interested, you can find it here:
Sounds like you have a compelling product with sales, congrats! The first thing I would do is talk to your existing customers and ask them why they buy from you. Or better yet, have someone else ask so they will tell the truth, everyone says nice things in person... Use the underlying cause that resulted in sales and weave the story into the content of your website.
Content marketing is the next generation of marketing that is shareable (others talking about you is best form of marketing). Build an eMail list of offline customers to send your new content, past customers or friends of past customers are most likely to be your next sale with the lowest acquisition cost. Allow shoppers to understand the story behind the art, the artist, and what goes into creating your products to better understand the value you are creating.
The next wine party they host, they will tell your story for you and be your sales person, but you must make sure the story is easily digestible to travel.
Start to grow an email list. You can put a sign up form in your store. Then, offer exclusive sales on your website just for email subscribers.
Sign up for a Mail Chimp or Convert Kit account (they are either free or low cost email providers). Once you have some people on your email list, develop an "email drip" to automate your email marketing to them.
I also recommend investing in online advertising, especially social media advertising and content marketing, but you can start an email list for free to get it going as a first step.