A short, although not 100% accurate, answer would be that it is being affected the same as every other business.
This has some truth, but there is more to the story.
All Businesses Feel It
These are tough economic conditions and, for most businesses, that fact shows on the bottom line.
Ecommerce businesses are suffering along with the brick and mortar businesses and, overall, sales are down.
Even giants, such as eBay, are reporting a decrease in revenue for the last quarter. It isn’t rocket science: people are spending less, so revenue will be down.
Still, there are ways to help your ecommerce business stay on track.
While people are shopping less, they are still going to do some shopping.
Draw shoppers to your ecommerce site by offering extra value for their money. This doesn’t necessarily mean slashing prices. Instead, consider free gifts with purchase, a coupon for a percentage off a future purchase or free shipping.
Make the customers feel like they are getting more for their shopping dollars.
Many business writers feel like broken records when it comes to this point, but the importance of good customer service cannot be overstated.
With so many struggling companies competing for customers, if one feels that they have been treated poorly, it is very easy for them to give their business to another.
It is just as important to provide good customer service as it is to provide a good product or service.
Some ecommerce business owners are instituting price cuts, but that is not always the best way to keep the sales up.
Yes, some customers shop based on price alone, but most do not.
You will find that effective marketing will do much more for your bottom line than price cuts will.
Some business owners make the odd choice to cut back on advertising and marketing when things get tight.
Why cut the one thing that has, perhaps, the biggest direct effect on your bottom line?
If you must make cuts, do it in areas other than marketing and advertising. Also, keep your marketing efforts fresh.
If you send the same emails, people will start to not even see them anymore. Change things up every now and then to attract the maximum amount of attention.
New Ways of Measuring Success
As mentioned earlier, eBay’s revenue went down in the last quarter. To some, that is a failure. But this is still a company that still had sales in the billions.
Is that really a failure? You need to look at your business the same way, but on a smaller scale.
Yes, the goal is growth, but in these current economic conditions when businesses are folding left and right, if your business is still making a profit – even a smaller profit than this time last year – you should consider that a success.
The economy will bounce back. In the meantime, keep your business alive so that you’ll be in a position to maximize your sales as consumer confidence goes up again.