So your sales are down? And maybe that scared feeling in the pit of your stomach is starting to get a little bigger? Are you worried that you are literally sitting back and doing nothing as your income shrinks? You have a few options.
You can sit in a corner with a pint of ice cream and wait for sales to go back up. Or you can take care of some necessary business that will increase your online sales. One of those choices will make your business better. The other just tastes amazing. The good news is that you can actually eat your ice cream while you focus on these 12 tips to set your business up for success and increase sales.
1. Sales often increase after you revamp your SEO.
When sales slow down, it’s a great time to revisit your listings on Etsy, Amazon or your website and update any items that haven’t sold. Do some research and make sure those keywords you picked for your titles and tags are still the phrases people are really using to search for products. Tweak things that haven’t sold yet. But don’t touch things that are selling, even if they number of sales have dipped a little.
Any time you update your SEO it takes some time for Etsy, Amazon or Google to get a good idea of what the changes mean and where your item should rank. An SEO revamp could be just the thing to help your sales start to pick back up, or perfectly position your shop for being found in search.
2. Slow sales can give you a chance to increase product development.
When you are busy cranking out orders it is nearly impossible to sit down and come up with new products for the future. But if we aren’t creating new product and staying on trend we could be in big trouble down the line. Use the time when sales dip to get ahead creating product for the next busy season. Do your product research. Get inspiration from the trends happening around you.
If you have a customer Facebook Group, this is a great time to show them some new design ideas and get their feedback on what they would like to see. This may even result in sales from your Facebook group if you are able to create a frenzy around this new product. And it has the added benefit of getting you excited again for the things you are creating!
3. Increase sales by selling to your social media following.
That’s why we work so hard to BUILD a social media presence, so that we can sell to them. Schedule a live sale for a couple of weeks away if your audience is only mildly engaged and start promoting it. If your audience is super engaged, announce a spur of the moment sale and make some money now.
You could do a dinged and damaged sale or an overstock sale. Try to make up a few different products for the upcoming season and use the live sale to determine which items people love that will need to be listed in your shop.
4. Develop and schedule content to increase engagement on your social media.
Content that is engaging leads to more sales. But let’s face it, content can be tough to plan out and get ahead of when you are busy fulfilling orders. When things slow down, let’s get to planning posts and content for our pages.
Use tools like Canva you can batch create content and get it scheduled a couple of months in advance on your Facebook page and in your group. You can use schedulers for Instagram and Pinterest as well. The more you create and schedule now, the less you will have moments like those nights at 11:48pm when you finally lie down only to remember, “Oh Shoot! I forgot to post to my business page today!” And the more quality your content can be as you really think about the purposes of each post.
5. Increase profits and sales by learning knew things.
Chances are there is some aspect of business that could bring you more money, or make your life easier, if you only had time to research it, figure it out, and implement it in your business. BUT WHEN DO YOU HAVE THE TIME TO LEARN HOW TO SAVE TIME?
If you are in a slower season of orders, take the time to go through that course or challenge you signed up for but never got around to. Watch some videos or tutorials to learn how to implement something. Reach out to your business buddies and connect to figure out what is or isn’t working for them in their business. Read a book or listen to an audio-book to get yourself educated or motivated for some aspect of business that can really move you forward. This is a great time to learn. And learning will help yield success.
6. Add another stream of revenue to increase your online sales.
Maybe you have figured out exactly how to make Etsy work for your business, but you’ve been wondering if you should add your own website, or try Amazon Handmade or strengthen your social media presence. Now is the time. This off-peak seasons for our business can be a great time to experiment with adding another stream of revenue to bring in more sales and more income for us.
There are some big differences between Amazon Handmade and Etsy. Do some research and figure out another stream of revenue that you could learn and implement. Get inspired.
7. Check out how others are using trends to increase sales.
When we are busy creating, we can actually lose touch with our customers and the trends that are changing around us. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by reaching out during less busy times to see what is happening outside of your craft room or workshop.
Scroll through Pinterest. Check out Facebook and Instagram accounts that you love to follow. Go to brick and mortar stores and walk through their displays.
If you do home decor, go to home and garden events, pic up a decorating magazine, or walk through some model homes. If you create jewelry, go window shopping, go to a conference for other makers, or order some catalogs or fashion magazines to see what the trends are.
Whatever your industry, make it a point to get inspired. That inspiration is going to lead to the future of your business.
8. Update pictures to make your product look great.
Often our pictures begin to look dated. And if there is ONE single aspect of selling online that you must consistently focus on, it’s pictures. Check out the competition. How do your pics stack up? Chances are there are at least some that could use an update. Do you have multiple photos for each listing? Are the photos bright, color accurate, and appealing to the buyer. Do you have too much background stuff going on? Is your staging dated by yesterday’s trends? Or are your photos too plain compared to your competition.
If photography isn’t your strong suit, take the time now to try to find a photographer or brand rep who can partner with you to get stunning photos of your items. And begin updating photos of the items that will be popular in the next 1-6 months.
9. List more product.
When sales are slow, it can seem like nothing is working…but a sure fire way to get your products in front of new eyes, is to list new product. Not only do you grab new keywords with your listings, but some platforms like Etsy actually give new listings a tiny boost in search so that they can see how customers interact with the listing.
This can be just the boost you need to get some sales. And when you update with new listings, it has actually been shown to strengthen and bring more eyes to your old listings as well. So your entire online shop benefits from a little extra attention.
10. Know your up and down times for online sales.
Remember that selling online is cyclical. Know your cycle. Are your slower sales the result of a typical cycle for your shop or out of character for the way things normally go for you as a seller. What do I mean by that? If you sell wedding items, you likely have a shop that booms from February through the summer. But your fall and winter months may be more slow. If you are primarily selling gift and decor, you might have a super slow Spring and Summer season, but barely be able to keep your head above water in the fall and winter months.
After a couple of years of selling, you start to recognize the pattern. And you can typically tell if things are running normally or not. If this is just part of the sales cycle for your products then you have two options.
A. You can accept it and get ready for when the sales will pick up.
B. You can add a product line to capture sales during a season that typically would not have many.
People are always buying. But they aren’t always buying the same things. Maybe you need to add travel or family vacation style t shirts if your shop tanks in the spring and summer. Or maybe you need to add ornaments and gift items if your wedding related items tank in the fall. If slower sales aren’t typical for you at this time of year then the other suggestions in this post can help.
But knowing the way your sales typical cycle is vital to knowing what to do next.
11. Update listing quantities and items that are out of stock.
Even the most diligent sellers sometimes forget to relist items. One task that may be getting pushed to the back burner is relisting and changing quantities of items that may be out of stock or close to out of stock.
It’s not the most glamorous job in the world to tidy up your listings, but it can have a big positive effect on your shop. And it’s something that can be done while you binge watch your favorite show, so that is a big bonus.
12. List upcoming products so they have a chance to start ranking before they need to sell.
One of the best things you can do during a lull in your shop is to LIST items, especially items that need a couple of months sitting in the search algorithm to gain traction and be perfectly poised to become top sellers for you as soon as the season hits.
Grab your list of items that you’ve meant to get listed throughout the year and cross check it with your actual shop. Taking care of it now while you have a spare minute will pay off with bonus points as your traffic starts to increase.
It can be frustrating and scary when sales slow down, even if it’s typical for the time of year. No matter why your sales are slow, you can increase your online sales by picking one or more of these areas and doing the work to make your business grow. You are in control. Go make it happen!
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