Time for a Tune-Up

What do cars, guitars and your online store have in common? In order to perform properly, they all need a tune-up now and then.

Set aside 20 minutes next week, at a time when you can give your store your full attention, to review each of the areas listed below. Any time you spend now, will go a long way toward getting your store ready for the holidays, which will be here before you know it.

 

 

IndieMade e-Commerce Store Tune-Up

 

Customer Experience Check:

Do you know what it’s like to be a customer in your own store? Spend a few minutes clicking on links, then go through the process of buying a product. If you don’t want to “pay” yourself, create a fake free item in your store (you can keep it private if you’re worried about someone hitting it by accident), then complete the entire checkout process.

Pay close attention to any hiccups or spots that are unclear. Read the confirmation pages and emails and look at how your payment processor reports the sale.

It’s also good to have a friend who’s never bought from you walk-through the process. If you share screens through an app like Skype, you’ll eally see what it’s like to be a new customer.

 

Social Media Check:

Click all of your social media buttons: your buttons at the top or bottom of the page, and the sharing buttons at the bottom of a product page.

Do all of the buttons go to the right place? I’m always checking the Twitter and Facebook buttons on IndieMade stores so I can follow you on social, but a large number of buttons go to the wrong account or no account.

Social media is a good way to stay in touch with customers. You don’t have to have every kind of account. Just pick the ones that you enjoy and make sure the icons are properly configured.

 

Inventory Check:

Review your inventory, both on your dashboard and by skimming through your store pages.

Look for:

  • Prices that need to be raised or lowered
  • Shipping prices that need to be adjusted
  • Items you’ve discontinued but forgot to remove
  • Bad photos that need to be replaced
  • Headlines and text that can be switched up or improved upon
  • Holiday or seasonal items that could be featured

Take a little more time to review the items that have sold over the past few months. Could you make variations of these same products? Is there a pattern to what’s been selling and what hasn’t.

If you have items that haven’t sold in the past year, it’s time to remove them from your inventory and replace them with a fresh idea.

 

Branding Check:

When was the last time you updated your branding? Do you even have a “brand”? The graphics and colors that worked for you when you were starting out, might not fit now that you’ve been doing this awhile. Are you making a personable but professional impression? Do your colors and graphics fit the mood and style of your work? A bright red banner certainly catches the eye, but it will only confuse the customers if your brand stands for tranquility and peace.

 

Growth Check:

The last thing I want you to do is think about growth. What can you do to increase sales and visibility?

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Blog more often.
  • Start a newsletter.
  • Add a wider range of products to the store.
  • Create a special, holiday line
  • Network more – both online and offline
  • Offer discounts customers who refer a friend
  • Brand your packaging

And so on. . . .

That’s it. When you’re done with the tune-up, reward yourself, because your store isn’t the only part of your business that needs some extra TLC now and then.

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