As more and more guru’s promote courses to wantrepreneurs that desire to escape their 9-5 hell holes, the number of small Shopify e-commerce businesses has exploded. In the last year alone, Shopify has gone from 300,000 active stores to well over a million. That’s a lot of new stores trying to make money online and most are doing it completely wrong, despite those courses hand holding them through the entire process.
Today we’re going to talk about the number one question I see plastered all over the Shopify forums, ‘Why is no one buying from my store?’ At the time of writing this, there is over 20,000 threads and hundreds of thousands of posts on the topic.
If you’re asking yourself the same question then fear not, this is the brutal truth as to why you’re either not making money yet or will never make money from your store.
I’m going to assume you’ve got your traffic generation/ads down to a fine art.
1. Your Theme Sucks Ass
Sorry to be blunt here but this is the biggest problem I often see with small Shopify sellers. They design their store how they think it should look vs what consumers want to see.
Those pretty colors, huge banners that slow your site down and those overhyped premium themes need to go.
Your theme should look amazing on both desktop and mobile. I can guarantee if you’re getting a high click through rate but few add to carts, your theme looks dreadful on mobile. You must test your store using various sizes from small iPhone screens to large 27″ monitors. The easiest way to do this is to use Google developer mode.
Above The Fold
Next you need to ensure your title, image, price and stock availability are above the fold. Fold is the first time the user has to scroll so a quick tip is to load your product page and see what they see by default.
I’ve seen many of the premium themes out there look amazing on desktop but on mobile you have to endlessly scroll to see all the important information. It’s not difficult, fix it with a premium theme that focuses on ‘above the fold’ such as eCom Turbo. It’s probably the best $97 you can spend on your business.
2. Stop Directing Traffic To Homepage
Unless you’ve got a huge social media following and are a household name (like Walmart or Best Buy) you should never direct traffic from campaigns to your homepage (when you’re starting out). It’s actually scary how many people create an awesome looking Instagram or Facebook ad and then direct traffic to the homepage.
This is a big mistake!
You’re taking a somewhat targeted prospect and saying, here’s our store, look around by yourself. We showed you a cool product but now you can buy anything.
Guess what? They probably aren’t going to buy anything either.
One Product Only
If you’re just starting out you must direct all traffic to a specific product page. If you’ve ever heard the name, Russel Brunson then you’ll know why Clickfunnels is so popular in the IM world.
It’s the same principal.
By forcing your visitors to view a specific product with no distractions they don’t have the chance to lose their attention. You’ll notice your add to carts increase when you stop directing traffic to the homepage.
3. Your Popups Are Annoying
I’ve spent months testing different popups including the infamous wheel of fortune, mailing list subscriptions and other countdown timers and for me, having a maximum of one popup has seen the best results.
Are you currently running multiple popups? I guarantee these are pissing off your customers and they are hitting the back button right away. No one likes to be bombarded by these and if your customers are on mobile, they will quickly realise how damn near impossible it is to find the X button.
Be smart here, why do you need to collect the email address at the product page if they are actually going to convert to a buyer? An email address from someone who took action is worth hundreds of future dollars to you than a freebie seeker trying to save 10% on a $25 product.
There are plenty of plugins that will offer cart recovery services by storing the customers email address that was collected on page one of the Shopify checkout page.
4. Your Fake Stats Are FAKE
Another suggestion that is up for debate but I personally believe those fake stats and countdown timers make your website look like absolute shite. The reason being is the themes aren’t smart enough to display those stats on individual product pages.
Let’s say your customer does navigate to another product, oh look, ‘this product is also on sale for only 15 minutes more, also has 3 units left in stock and another Maxwell from Maryland just bought another $50 product.’
Now when you look at most of those million Shopify stores we mentioned before, lots of them are doing the same. It quickly becomes obvious from a consumer perspective that you’re faking them.
I’m all for scarcity but there are far better ways to achieve this if you use your imagination. To give you an idea, offering same day shipping if they order in the next 25 minutes, a waiting list and ‘XX people added this to their wishlist today.’
5. Does Checkout Actually Work?
Okay, it’s probably an obvious answer but it’s always amusing to see the comments that state the checkout didn’t even work properly. Have you actually tested your checkout process?
Does it work with both credit card and any other addons such as Paypal or Braintree? Does your shipping rate, tax rate and other fields work depending on where your customers are located?
Do your shipping rates accurately allow buyers to checkout? Are you using Shopify’s live shipping rates properly? Probably worth a check if you’re not sure.
Test Your Checkout Properly
I had a client who was setup in Europe and had individual shipping rates setup for different countries.
He tested his own country but was running traffic to all 27 countries and 26 of them couldn’t actually select their country from the drop menu.
In hindsight it’s probably something you never thought to check until you spend $1000 on traffic and get no sales.
6. Where’s Your Phone Number?
The number one method to increasing your add to carts and subsequent checkouts is to actually add a phone number to the header of your theme. Now before you start freaking out about putting your cellphone number on the store front you can actually buy a virtual number for $10 per month.
Simply buy the number, record a quick voicemail such as, ‘Thanks for calling XYZ Store, all our help desk team members are currently assisting other customers, please leave your name, number, order number (if applicable) and a message and we’ll return your call.’ You’ll be surprised to see hardly anyone leaves a message but it’s a nice gesture to increasing customer satisfaction and adding authenticity to your store.
CallHippo offers virtual numbers in 50+ countries including USA, Australia, UK, Canada, Ireland and more. You can buy numbers worldwide from any country for around $6 per month.
7. Your Shipping Is Too Long
It’s easy to drop ship using Aliexpress but as you’ll probably have discovered consumers can wait up to 60 working days for their goods to show up. With companies such as Amazon and eBay offering nationwide delivery in under 3 working days it’s easy to see why consumers don’t want to wait much longer than a week.
I’m a firm believer in clearly stating your delivery times on the checkout page to avoid chargebacks and endlessly tickets logged through your customer service helpdesk. If you can’t hold local stock or use a local fulfillment center or supplier then you need to carefully reword your delivery information.
Rather than state delivery takes 3 weeks, how about adding an estimated arrival date or a pre-order. There’s plenty of apps in the marketplace that offer this service.
Amazon is the world’s leading example of being totally honest about shipping on all product pages. Prime members know they will receive free two day delivery on all products.
It’s amazing how many Shopify stores force customers to click to the cart, then checkout and finally put all their billing details, shipping details just to find out the shipping price. Most of the time they dislike the extra fee and will click the mighty X.
If you can ship for free then make it obvious on the product page. If you can’t ship for free then either build the cost into your price and offer it for free or simply state the shipping price on the product page.
Go on, try it.
9. Product Description/Images Suck
I had to stop myself from stating your product sucks as this isn’t a post about finding winning products. If you’re using those poor quality Aliexpress ones littered with the suppliers logos and trademarks then you probably ought to look for some better ones. If you can’t find any on Google then how about buying the product yourself and a little photography kit from Amazon and actually taking your own?
I had to ask my girlfriend for some advice on this one and her biggest issue when buying clothes is not seeing the piece on an actual person with actual sizing. This is something ASOS has done so well with, they hire models and state the actual size of the model and what size they picked.
When I buy t-shirts I’m a large in Europe and a medium in USA. It’s nearly impossible at times to tell where the stock is coming from and this actually puts me off buying. Is your store the same? How about some clever photos and stating the actual dimensions and model size.