Did you know? 99.9% of marketers will freak out when sales are stagnant.
Okay, I made that statistics up, but stagnant sales are scary!
After all, stagnant sales can transform into lost revenue quickly. As tempting as it to hit the panic button, stay calm. By identifying what’s not working in your sales strategy, you can get back on track and look for new digital sales tactics that catch your customer’s attention.
Setbacks are common no matter what sector of business you’re selling in. The important thing is that you’ve noticed sooner rather than later. Here are 3 questions you should ask yourself when sales have become stagnant.
- When did this problem begin?
The first step in overcoming the problem is identifying it. When revenue is looking grim and improvement is nowhere to be found, it’s time to take a look at your strategy and reevaluate your plan of action.
Look at your analytics and try to pinpoint when sales started to stagnate. Pull up your marketing automation or sales system and observe the graphs.
Better yet, head on over Ahrefs and look at your traffic overtime. For example.net, things aren’t looking so hot.
By looking at the Ahrefs backlink overview, we can see that example.net has experienced a loss of reffering pages and is just recently recovering from a loss of referring domains. If you were the owner of example.net, it’s be easy to see that things started to drop off around May.
Now back to you.
Once you’ve discovered when your sales growth began to drop off, ask yourself 2 questions:
- Is busy typically slow this time of year?
- Did I recently deploy any new sales or marketing tactics?
If sales are typically slow, it’s time to start creating new strategies to increase your sales and ‘fill in the gap’ for your fiscal year. If the situation is quite the opposite, it’s time to take a look at the tactics you’be deployed and improve (or remove) them for your campaigns.
- Am I not delivering value to my customers?
According to Oracle.com, 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following after a bad customer experience. Which means if you’ve got holes in your customer experience, it’s time to fill them.
Generally speaking, you should follow this model when considering customer value.
Address all the aspects of the customer value cycle and if you still can’t quite pinpoint your problem, turn to the most valuable resource you have: Your customers.
The best way to determine whether or not you deliver value? Simply ask your customers.
Here are a few channels you can use to ask for reviews of your product and buying experience:
- Social media reviews
- Email follow-up after purchase
- Follow-up calls
- Incentivized review for longer surveys
Warning: Asking your customers will result is a few less than favorable responses. Try not to take them personally. Instead, look for a way to overcome the flaw they’ve outlined and rebuild the relationship.
- Does my product stand out of the crowd?
You may have noticed that the internet is a little more crowded nowadays. For customers, that’s great! There’s hundreds of options to choose from.
From ecommerce marketers and business owners, it’s a problem. Not only does that mean you’ve got a lot of competitors selling in the same space, it means you need to stick out in a crowd of over 1 billion websites.
The best way to determine whether or not your product stands out? The squint test.
Pull up Amazon and conduct a search for your product. Once you’ve found your listing, take a few steps back from the screen. Squint your eyes and take note on the portion of the website that draws the most attention.
If that portion isn’t your product, it’s a good idea to take a look at the way presenting your product to the public. The average user doesn’t stay on the same page long, so if your product doesn’t drawn attention when you squint try looking for creative ways to differentiate yourself from the competition.
No matter what the market’s climate throws your way, stay calm. The worst action you can take in any situation is to panic. Take a breath and look at your business objectively. Evaluate the strategy, set-up, and realign your business goals to overcome the challenges of stagnant sales.
How have you overcome ecommerce setbacks? Offer your advice (or ask for some) in the comments.