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September 17, 2021

Sales Down? Strategies for Fixing and Preventing Ecommerce Slumps

If you notice your ecommerce sales are down, what can you do to turn things around?

Sales slumps are a natural part of running an ecommerce business. But, there are methods on how to increase ecommerce sales — and how to avoid sales declines altogether. In this post, we'll look at the top tips for increasing sales and provide a blueprint for how to detect and prevent future downturns.

4 Tips for When Your Ecommerce Sales Are Down

If you're experiencing a sales downturn, you'll want to increase your marketing and conversion rate optimization efforts to reverse the trends. Try the tips below for boosting your sales.

1. Run Promotions

Limited time offers and special discounts can turn around declining sales. Buyers love discounts. Need proof? Look no further than the multitude of websites and services that help online shoppers find coupons and discount codes.

Limited time offers provide an immediate boost to sales by creating a sense of urgency. If a buyer is considering whether they should purchase an item, a limited-time discount could encourage them to go ahead and buy.

Countdown clocks and reminder emails about a promotion’s expiration also foster a sense of urgency.

2. Offer Free Shipping

In today’s world, buyers expect free shipping.

In fact, a recent ecommerce survey found that about two-thirds of U.S. shoppers said they are twice as likely not to make a purchase when the business doesn't offer free shipping.

Free shipping can boost sales by increasing average order volume by 97% and reducing cart abandonment by 18%, according to research from Nosto.

3. Add Subscriptions

Subscriptions provide a cushion for when sales are down. As a result, the subscription business model is growing in popularity.

Offering custom subscription boxes or repeat delivery is a win for you and your customers. Customers enjoy the fun and convenience of subscriptions while the business reaps the benefits of recurring revenue.

Our post on how to start a subscription box includes examples and step-by-step instructions.

4. Use Email Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool for ecommerce businesses. When sales are down, companies consider increasing their marketing efforts. But, when less money is coming in, it is difficult to justify spending more money on paid digital ads.

If you have the budget, search, display, and social campaigns are viable options for boosting sales. But if you're looking for a more cost-effective way to deal with down sales, consider email marketing strategies.

Hopefully, you already have an email list. If not, begin building your list by adding an email option to your checkout page and running a promotion giving people a discount if they sign up for your emails. Refer to our discount email examples as a guide.

Related reading: How to Grow Your Email Distribution List >>

For more effective email campaigns, add personalization so customers receive recommendations for the items they're most likely to purchase based on their interests and purchase history.

Using Data to Avoid Sales Downturns

The best tip for dealing with sales downturns is to avoid sales being down in the first place. Keeping a careful eye on your business's vital statistics and ecommerce metrics can help you catch and reverse downward sales trends before they become a problem.

Key business metrics to monitor include:

  • Conversion Rate. This stat measures how often visitors take the desired action. Ecommerce sites calculate conversion rates as the percentage of website visitors who make a purchase.

  • Abandoned Cart Rate. How often do people leave things behind in their carts and decide not to check out? Shopping cart abandonment happens more than you’d like. Calculate this metric by dividing the number of people who added something to their cart and didn't make a purchase by the total number of people who added something to their carts.

  • Average Order Value. This number is the average total price of an order. You can find this value by dividing your total sales revenue by the number of orders during a set time.

  • Refund and Return Rate. It doesn't matter if your sales are up if most customers end up returning an item. Tracking the percentage of orders that result in returns can help you identify and solve product quality issues. High return rates also can indicate your product photos and descriptions are inaccurate.

Looking at your site's metrics can help you spot trends. For example, if you notice your conversion rates start to drop and your cart abandonment rate is going up, it could signal a problem with your checkout experience.

Do people find the checkout process confusing? Are people leaving because you don't offer free shipping? Tracking your metrics helps you identify where the issue is, so you can solve the problem before sales go down.

Avoid Sales Declines with Nexcess' Sales Performance Monitor

Tracking your ecommerce success metrics is good — but having your website track and analyze metrics automatically is better.

At Nexcess, we include our innovative Sales Performance Monitor in our Managed WooCommerce plans.

The Nexcess Sales Performance Monitor watches your sales daily, measuring them against a predictive model based on your store's historical performance. Our intelligence engine sends you alerts on your sales trends. These alerts give you much-needed visibility and allow you to get back on track if store sales are slowing down.

The Sales Performance Monitor is a cost-free part of our plan. Sign up for a free trial of our Managed WooCommerce hosting to unlock the power of our premium hosting and sales analytics. Get started today.

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