“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”
– Michael Jordon
How many major sources of quality traffic do you have, and what % do they make up of your total online sales? If any source makes up more than 30%, how confident are you that that source will be a consistent, growing stream of revenue for the next two years?
If you’re not confident about it, do you have a backup plan?
If you are confident about it, do you have a backup plan?
Far too many retailers rely on one channel for a majority of their sales. For some, comparison shopping engines make up more than 50% of their sales. For others, Amazon makes up more than 50%. For others, it’s Google, and so on and so on.
It’s a very high risk position to be in, one that has the potential to be extremely destructive to your business if you don’t work to diversify your traffic sources and sales.
A Three-Step Guide To Fixing Your Ecommerce Weaknesses:
1. Open up Google Analytics, go to your ecommerce section, and look at the overview report. Look at all of your major sources of traffic and revenue.
If you don’t have an Analytics program set up…that’s your biggest weakness!
2. If any source makes up more than 30% of your traffic and sales, analyze the ecommerce market as a whole to find new opportunities.
Organic traffic, paid search, comparison shopping engines, remarketing, affiliate advertising, email marketing, social media – which channel for your business appears to be the lowest hanging fruit?
If you’re not sure, ask! Ecommerce consultants like me work with hundreds of retailers. Over time, we see trends for what marketing channels work and which ones don’t.
Or if you don’t trust consultants, you can check out opinions from other sellers in an ecommerce group. I recommend John Lawson’s Ecommerce Group on Facebook – full of merchants with a wide range of knowledge spanning across multiple marketing channels.
3. Create a plan of attack for the new marketing channels you’ve identified as low hanging fruit.
What’s the technical work involved? What are the costs? What’s your expertise in that field? Is there a learning curve? What’s the total time it will take you from start to finish to build an efficient campaign on that marketing channel? Do you even have the ability to make it efficient?
Marketplaces and CPA (cost per acquisition) campaigns like Amazon and Ebay are pretty straight forward, unless you have a lot of products. Integrate, add products, start selling.
If you have lots of products (200+), you might want to look at a solution that helps you load your products in mass to Amazon or other marketplaces.
CPC engines and natural traffic sources take a bigger understanding of the market, best practices, and technical skill to be successful. As a business owner, you need to be keeping the word ‘scale’ on your mind at all times. While many hats must be worn in early stages, taking on marketing channels that are completely new to you may not be the best use of your time.
Consider consulting vendors or outsourcing other tasks you have to interns or part-time employees in order to focus the right about of time, expertise and skill for each individual marketing channel to be successful.
Track your progress over 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. Look at your major traffic sources and over time you should see a more even distribution of traffic and sales. That’s a healthy business.
Secure your business and grow your profit by analyzing your ecommerce weaknesses and turn those weaknesses into strengths. Michael said so.