[intro] In this Guide, you’ll learn what the common causes are for sales on your EKM online shop decreasing. There’s ultimately plenty of reasons, but by working through the list below, you should be able to identify the causes on your own shop and rectify these to encourage sales again.

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When you first launch your EKM online shop, it’s a proud moment where your last few weeks or months of work have come to fruition and you now have an online platform with which you can retail your goods online. However, to make a successful online shop takes more than just building and creating; daily maintenance and research still need to be invested in order to ensure it’s longevity and profitability. By working through the different aspects listed below and answering them honestly, you’ll be able to quickly ascertain what is missing and be able to rectify the issues to encourage sales on your EKM online shop.

Shop Content

The first area to consider is the content of the shop itself. Incorrect settings, bad customer experience and missing content can quickly cause visitors to avoid your shop instead of buying from it. 

1. No domain name

Don’t launch your shop without a domain name, and when you have added the domain name, ensure that this has been pointed correctly with the domain name displaying on every page of your EKM online shop. This is done by creating two A Records on the domain with your domain provider, which you can read more about in these Guides. If your domain has been purchased from EKM Domains, it should be pointed correctly at your shop automatically. 

2. Non-responsive Theme

You may be attached to the Theme you’re using on your shop at the moment, but if it’s not responsive, you’re already creating a bad user experience for customers visiting your shop using mobile phones, tablets and pads. This can put potential customers off from shopping with you. You need to upgrade your Theme to a responsive one to include these visitors and encourage their patronage. 

3. Shop Incomplete

Missing Product Images, Webpage text, unformatted Product Descriptions, uncustomised settings and generally unfinished content conveys exactly that to your visitors - the shop is unfinished, therefore it may not even be trading yet. Objectively review your contents and rectify any issues where information is missing, unformatted or incomplete.

4. Limited Product Details

If your Products have very short Descriptions with no indication as to weights, brand and attributes, this too can put customers off. We recommend that Product Descriptions are 200 words long minimally, whilst Google recommends a minimum of 500 words up to a maximum of 2000. You can read more about the ideal standards for Product Descriptions in this Guide

5. No Trust Signals

Visitors to your EKM online shop - and indeed all online shops - expect to see certain aspects to confirm a level of trust and authenticity. On the most basic level, these are contact details, such as a phone number and address that they contact you with, and an About Us page where they can read details about the company that is behind the shop. Not including either of these aspects does not instill trust or confidence, as visitors will be reluctant to part with their money - especially for high-demand and high-priced items - when there’s no company background or contact details to use if there are any issues with their order. 

6. Shop not Tested

Testing your EKM online shop is an essential step which needs to be completed ideally before you officially launch it. Testing consists of making test orders using incognito/in-private browsers and different devices - including tablets and mobile devices - using any discounts and promo codes that you’ve set up, as well as checking that any delivery methods are applied correctly. You should also perform regularly speed tests using sites such as Pingdom Tools which will highlight any issues (such as images that have not been optimised for example) that require your attention. If you’re not sure how to do this, contact our Customer Support Team and request a Site Review and speed test and they will be able to complete this for you. 

7. Content not updated since it was initially launched

‘Build and they will come’ does not apply to any kind of website and especially online shops. Once a website, blog or ecommerce shop has been built and a search engine has crawled it, the site can enjoy popularity for a limited period of time, as search engines typically recognise the content as being new. However, if that content is not constantly updated with newer information, then search engines will ignore it, viewing the content as potentially being out of date or irrelevant because no updates have been performed. 

Zero Marketing and Research

8. No Social Media presence

Whether you use social media yourself or not, social media presence is essential for the promotion of your EKM online shop. This is especially the case on platforms such as Facebook, where many users prefer to search the internet within the platform itself. Of course, what platforms you choose are entirely dependent on your Products and your Brand, but you do need to create a presence to represent your shop for users of each platform to be able to contact you and to promote your Product lines. This Guide explains how to install the Social Plugins feature, with links to other Guides which will help you set up social media for your EKM online shop. 

9. No regular blog posts

During the set up of your EKM online shop, it’s recommended that you attach a blog. Whether it’s via the Wordpress feature on the platform or something external such as Google’s Blogger, the aim of a blog is to provide back links to your shop content whilst simultaneously providing potential customers with regular updates involving offers, new Product lines and behind-the-scenes features.

A good blog is designed to reflect the style and Theme used on your EKM online shop and is updated regularly with quality content. These blog posts can then be shared on your social media profiles and used to encourage readership and ultimately, sales. A single ‘welcome to my new blog’ post is not enough to garner interest or instill confidence, whereas a well put together succession of quality posts promoting different aspects of your shop is highly recommended. 

10. Competitors

When building your EKM online shop, it’s essential to research your competition. If the type of Products you sell are unique, look for other shops who sell similarly themed items and note them down. Pay attention to how these shops promote their Product lines and promotions and the kind of content that they provide for their own potential customers. 

If you own EKM online shop is beginning to dwindle in sales, sometimes the cause of this is because of the success of another online shop. Perhaps they’re running a promotion that drastically undermines your own prices, or they’ve had a whole re brand or redesign which has made their shop more pleasurable to visit. Maybe they have invested in an online marketing campaign which is bringing in new customers from social media and search engine results. If that’s the case, you need to look at your own shop and ascertain what you can do to compete with your own competitors. 

Online Advertising

11. Email Marketing

Utilising email marketing is a very effective way of encouraging customer loyalty and promoting your Product lines on a limited budget. Email marketing can be used to highlight upcoming promotions and discounts, new Product lines, and any other subjects that you feel would compliment your brand whilst still being of interest to your target customers. Click here to read the EKM Email Marketing Guide, or alternatively, contact Matt directly on the EKM Email Marketing Team on 01772 957166.

12. Ad Campaigns

Regardless of the size of your budget, you need to invest in an online ad campaign. In today’s commercial market, your EKM online shop is competing in a marketplace filled with smaller shops, household named brands and everything in between. Whilst it is possible to create a small following of loyal customers by investing time into a strong social media presence, this method only offers a small return long-term and instead should be considered as a firm foundation to a paid advertising campaign.

Investing in Google Ads or a campaign on Facebook or Instagram attracts customers who have not yet discovered your shop, and can provide results very quickly. You can create and manage your own ad campaigns if you have the time to learn how as well as the money to invest, or alternatively contact Iain on our PPC Team who will be able to advise you further on 01772 957 173 ext.1107.

Zero effort = zero reward

Ultimately, regardless of which platform you have used to create your own online shop, simply building a presence is not enough to guarantee success, longevity and profit. Managing your own online shop takes regular maintenance in the form of updating content, creating regular offers and promotions to garner interest, planning engaging social media content, investing money into paid ad campaigns, creating email newsletters, responding to customer queries and countless other tasks - it really is not as simple as a ‘build it and watch the money roll in’ situation, no matter what you may read online.

Nobody expects you to know how to do everything successfully right away and it’d be silly to expect yourself to do so, especially when many of the tasks you need to complete in the building and long term management of your online shop are careers in their own right - graphics designer, copywriter, social media marketer, ad campaign manager, photographer, shop manager, buyer - the list is endless. However, if you regularly invest time into promoting, managing and learning about how to run your EKM online shop, you stand a better chance of making it successful.

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[contact] If you need our help with your EKM online shop, contact your Account Manager or Customer Support, who will be able to point you in the right direction. We're open from 8am-6pm weekdays and 9am-5.30pm on the weekends. If you'd like to suggest a feature or an upgrade on any of the EKM platforms, please let us know on the EKM Suggestions board. If you have a non-account specific question ask the EKM Team, join us in ekmCommunity.  [/contact]