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“Dead” Online Stores

RIP

Presume the following situation:

You have been busy  working on your online store for half a year now and for one reason or another it just does not take off. However you already have a few sales every week, you certainly can’t live off it. Perhaps you are already thinking about stopping with the online store…

I hear the above often in one-to-one conversations. I also experienced this with my online store. I call such online stores “Dead online stores”.

However the entrepreneur may be actively working on his online store every day it just looks like nothing is going on when viewed from the outside.

This mistake can often be traced back to two causes. Today we discuss the first possible cause.

Stuck continuously improving the online store

Because we made online stores for others I regularly had the possibility to observe how they use their new online store.

Online stores that quickly generate a nice turnover mostly follow these “steps”:

  1. Completion of the online store
  2. Thanks Kees, but we still have a few questions and modifications
  3. Generate Traffic, Generate Traffic, Generate Traffic

The “dead online stores” mostly follow these steps:

  1. Completion online store
  2. Thanks Kees, but we still have a few questions/modifications
  3. Thanks Kees, but we have a few more modifications
  4. Thanks Kees, but we have a few more modifications
  5. Thanks Kees, but we have a few more modifications
  6. Thanks Kees, but we have a few more modifications
  7. Etc.

The online stores that become successful relatively quickly are mostly focussing on generating traffic. They know that if 1% (a quite low conversion rate) buys in the online store, they need to direct 500 visitors to achieve 5 sales per day.

Once their online store is online they prefer not to look too much at its appearance, they leave their links everywhere, set up an Adwords Campaign and subscribe to Comparison Sites, etc.

I have seen online store that succeeded at messing up their whole home page with ugly texts and pictures. But they didn’t mind and continued what they started: Generate traffic. However this sometimes really hurt me I had to admit they were at least right in their focus!

The dead online store stayed a lot more focuses on the appearance. Hours were sometimes spent to give a page another shape. They also worried about things that only make a difference when you have a high turnover: Bulk Discount from suppliers, cheaper shipping costs, etc.

Plan for your EcommerceIncome!

Of course, your online store is never finished. But some people need a plan not to end as a dead online store (myself included).

Set yourself a few targets related to traffic or turnover and don’t stop with generating traffic before you reached that target. Only when you have the target amount of visitors/turnover you can focus again on improving your online store.

  • 100 daily visitors
  • Make improvements
  • 200 daily visitors
  • Make improvements
  • 400 daily visitors

Or,

  • 1.000 Dollar Turnover per month
  • Make improvements
  • 2.000 Dollar Turnover per month
  • Make improvements
  • 4.000 Dollar Turnover per month

Some online  stores work a year on achieving the above, others achieve it quicker/slower. That doesn’t matter, but do know what you are working on!

 

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