A sudden decrease of sales is a worrisome moment for any marketer or e-shop owner. A small decrease can be just a fluctuation that will pass on it’s on, but if a more radical drop takes place, it’s surely time to investigate.
The good part with online sales decreases is that they can be manageable. If you have prepared for this moment and you have tracking systems, finding out what is happening is just a matter of hours.
Which factors might be at play?
From big retailers to online e-shops, anyone is influenced by economical trends and events, as well as consumption patterns. But if the economy has suddenly gone down, or if there is pubic holiday and everyone is out of town, you will surely notice it and rule it out.
This brings us to the other factors that might generate a sudden decrease:
– a shift in the number of visits
– an on-site blocking factor or something that drives potential buyers away
– a change made to the offers or the stock of products
The traffic scenario
So, you’ve bought traffic as steadily as ever and yet the number of conversions is dropping?
You can start by exploring your traffic sources per channel and see if sales are drastically decreasing for a certain segment of users. If yes, you already have a very important clue. Go again over your ads; see if the copy is impactful enough, if there are any copy mistakes or if the ads don’t point to the most appropriate page.
The blocking factor scenario
Something as simple as a broken navigation link can also hinder sales. If visitors who arrive on site and start searching for products encounter a dead end page, there is a strong possibility they would immediately leave. Start investigating your e-commerce funnel and see if there are any broken pages or links. At the same time, you can use analytics to see if there’s a pattern among exit pages. Identifying conversion breaking points and fixing them will reestablish the sales you’re used with.
The average order value scenario
An alarming decrease in revenue doesn’t necessarily point to sales. At the root of everything can be a decreasing Average Order Value. If this is a metric you already follow, it will be easy to see immediately what’s happening on your website.
AOV can decrease when a product that was usually bought along with many others goes out of stock. A flaw that appears in the product recommendations can also influence negatively the AOV. A change in the shipping and returning policies is another factor that can drastically influence the shopping decision to buy more products or items whose value surpasses a certain threshold.
A drop in sales represents a moment of crisis for any type of online business. But if you constantly monitor changes that take place on the website and the most important metrics, these crises can be safely passed through. Stay close to your analytics data and even the worst case scenario will be solved easily.