There’s no question about it: when sales are slow, business feels hard. You may be dealing with a lack of motivation, building frustration, and a general sense of “why isn’t anything working?!”
I want to start by reassuring you that it (most likely) isn’t your fault. Even the best, most established businesses deal with “sales slumps” from time to time — and the reasons are often completely out of our control, such as the annual summer slump that occurs when everyone is out of the office and on vacation (hence…not buying), or residual after effects from COVID-19.
With that being said, there are always actions you can take to begin the process of recovering from your sales slump and regaining momentum. I’ll be walking you through some of my best advice surrounding what to do if you’re in this position, so keep reading!
To get the word out about your business and encourage purchases from new customers, turn to your existing base of customers and ask them for help in the form of a referral or recommendation. If you aren’t sure whether or not your customers will do this out of the goodness of their heart, you can always incentivise the deal by setting it up so that your customer gets a kickback or special gift for each person they send to your website who ends up making a purchase.
To encourage customers to make additional purchases, utilise the “upsell” feature on your eCommerce platform that allows you to promote recommended products when they are going through checkout. This way, you can subconsciously ‘sell’ them on products they may not have considered buying before.
The best way to get your customers involved and excited to buy from you again is to host an exciting, engaging event — like a giveaway for a big ticket item or bundle. This can also help you bring more leads into your social media community or your email list, in turn allowing you to nurture and convert a brand new group of prospects.
If momentum has dropped recently, why not bring some excitement back by hosting a timely sale or promotion? Consider the time of year and any upcoming holidays or events. For example, if you’re experiencing a sales slump in the summer, you may want to discount items that you KNOW your customers will want to have ready for the fall. For more tips on how to run a strategic sale, check out this blog post. You may also find the OJC calendar of upcoming eCommerce events in 2022 helpful as well.
If you’ve been in a sales slump for what feels like a long time, it may be a sign that your content marketing strategy needs a makeover. Start thinking about ways you can provide your customers with even more value and entertainment. For eCommerce business owners, product demonstrations, user-generated content, and fun “hacks” are a great way to showcase the benefits of your product. Check out this blog post for more information on content marketing and how to create a strategy that will work for your business.
It’s likely that there are a LOT of people browsing on your website and adding things to their cart, but not actually following through and making a purchase. To combat this, you’ll want to take your cart abandonment strategy (the actions you take when a customer “abandons'' their shopping cart) up a notch. The best way to go about this is by adding more incentives to your checkout pages. For example, program your site to anticipate when shoppers are about to desert their cart with an exit pop-up containing an enticing offer such as a discount or free shipping with no strings attached — IF they purchase within the next 5 or 10 minutes. You can also send them a reminder email that an item was left in their cart and to go back and complete their order in the event that they just forgot to hit “purchase.”
During a sales slump, you may feel like your #1 priority is attracting and converting NEW customers — when in reality, focusing on your existing customer base is a great way to increase customer loyalty and spark new sales. Show your loyal customers how much you appreciate them by rewarding them for each purchase they make. A great example of this is Sephora’s iconic Beauty Insider program, which allows Sephora’s biggest spenders to rack up points and redeem them for products and money off down the line. And if introducing a full-on rewards program isn’t in the cards for your business, brainstorm other ways you can give back, such as gifting customers on their birthday or offering a gift card for milestone purchases.
A natural response to slow sales is to up your marketing and visibility efforts. The more people you’re in front of on a regular basis, the more sales you will land. So think — how can you expand your existing marketing strategy in a new and innovative way? What this looks like is up to you. A full-blown campaign, platform expansion, influencer partnership, content shift…the world is your oyster. I also suggest using this as a time to get more innovative with your marketing. Try new things and experiment while your sales are down — see what leads to improvements and what doesn’t work as well and carry that data over into your overall strategy even when sales are looking up.
Are you ready to break out of your sales slump for good? Working with a 7-figure business consultant (hey, that’s me!) is the fastest path to gaining major clarity and direction in addition to a winning plan-of-attack that will take you out of your sales slump in no time. If this is what you’re looking for, book a strategy call with me today!