I hope you enjoyed some kind of break over the holiday period and were able to switch off from your business for a while, it’s so important. If you didn’t, take the time now to schedule in some down time in the next month to avoid burnout.
Before we jump in to setting goals for 2023, it’s important to reflect on 2022 and the goals you set at the start of the year. Quite often we get so caught up in chasing the next goal or milestone that we forget to stop and see just how far we’ve come.
Look back at your stats for the 2022 period and write down everything you improved on in the 12 months from increase in social media followers, email subscribers and of course sales.
Goal setting – it’s one of those things where I kind of cringe when I see the words! Like oh great another chance to write down some big goal that won’t come through or set an unrealistic New Years Resolution! Did you know that January 13 is National Quitters Day – so named because it’s the day most people are likely to quit their New Years Resolution!
So when I say goal setting I’m talking about working out exactly what you need to do in your business this year to move the needle and get you to where you’d like to be. So in a little under 12 months time when you’re reviewing 2023 you’re smiling, nodding and ticking off your list, thinking hell yeah I did it!
Now make no mistake, I’m not saying you have to think small, not at all. What I am saying is you need to have a plan behind your goals – because goals without action are just wishes but when you make goals around what you really want for you, for your business, your family, your life and have clear action steps to follow well that’s where the magic happens.
Working out what you want
One of the hardest parts of goal setting can actually be working out what it is you want.
I want you to think about your typical week, what it looked like last year and now what you want it to look like this year.
Think about tasks that you don’t enjoy, that you may be able to start outsourcing this year. How would it feel to remove those from your week? What else can you change? Do you want to start later? Finish earlier? Have a day off? This year I’m starting with taking Friday afternoons off to spend with my little one to have a mummy daughter afternoon. I want to transition to taking the whole day off when I can.
Thinking about all the things you want to do, or not do, what will it take to make that happen? Write down all the steps you need to take, what you’ll need to outsource, or what new systems you’ll need to implement.
Profit over revenue any day
My mum has always said “money equals choices” and she’s so right. If you have money in your business, you can choose to outsource tasks, pay yourself more, hire people to work so you can take a day off, pay for software that will save you time or hire a cleaner so you can spend your time off doing things you enjoy.
So let’s talk about financial goals. So often we’re guided by what we see around us and pluck arbitrary numbers like “I want a 6-figure business” or even a 7 figure business. But honestly your profit, and what you get to pull out of the business at the end of the day is far more important than how much you turn over.
One of my best friends said to me recently, she turned over more than $600,000 last year… Now most of us would be so happy to do that. But when you lift the curtain that meant for her juggling lots of clients, lots of staff, multiple projects, all in the same year she had a baby. I know first hand it was a super stressful year for her and what did she take home at the end of the day for all the hard work she put in… $20,000.
Now I don’t know about you but for $20,000 I’d rather just work at McDonalds a few days a week and not have any responsibility at all. So if you’re like my friend and perhaps things looked great last year until you worked out how much YOU actually earned, not your business. Then like I said to her, it’s time to cut down on expenses – go at those with a chainsaw until you cut them all right back. The longer we’re in business the more expenses creep in. We sign up to a great new software, we hire staff to do things and then perhaps hire more we didn’t need. Or as things change we don’t adjust our expenses to accommodate the changes.
Now the biggest thing you need to do if this sounds familiar to you is forgive yourself.
My first year in business I lost over $100,000. The money wasn’t even mine – it was my mum’s divorce settlement which she leant me to start my business. Sure we had a lot of fun, as she likes to remind me – and now we call it my university degree – BUT it hurt like hell losing that kind of money and my confidence took a huge hit.
So if you’re struggling with any kind of money mindset issues I’m a huge fan of Denise Duffield Thomas’s book “Get Rich, Lucky Bitch” it’s all about money mindset, specifically for women in business. This book was absolutely life changing for me and got me out of my funk when I needed it most.
Another great book if you’re looking to take control of your finances this year is Profit First by Mike Michalowicz.
For me I used to always think I wanted to make a million dollars a year.. Sounds great doesn’t it? But this year what I’ve done is work out exactly how much I want in my pay each week. I calculated how much I need to pay my mortgage (allowing for more interest rate rises), how much I need to pay my bills each week, and then how much I wanted left over to have the freedom to do the grocery shopping, buy petrol and then eat out if we want to, take my little one to do something fun or GASP enjoy a date night! Then I want to be able to save for a holiday each year. Once I worked this all out I realised I don’t need to make a million dollars at all to live the life that I want.
Next I put together a spreadsheet for budgeting. I calculated all the expenses in my business, so I know exactly what it costs me each day, week, month and year to run it. I include all my software, internet, insurance, subscriptions, staff costs, website, advertising everything.
You want to include things like Shopify, Klaviyo, ad spend, and scheduling software you use, packaging, stock costs, printing, stationary, insurance, photoshoots – everything you can think of. List all of these under operational expenses.
Then in line with the profit first model I also allow for the tax that needs to come out for annual business tax and the PAYG tax for staff and GST for BAS. I then put in the owner drawings – which is going to be my wage.
You can then put in your estimated income each day, week, month and year based on 2022 sales.
This is all in a Google spreadsheet so I then duplicate the sheet and do another version based on what I want the numbers to be in 2023. So the first sheet may only allow you to pull a wage of $2,000 a month, but if you want $5,000 a month then write that in there. Change all the expenditure to what you want it to be. You may increase some things like staff costs if you’ll need to hire some help to grow, or decrease some costs if there are some subscriptions you can get rid of.
Then, if we’re increasing all the outgoings we’re going to need to increase the incoming so this is where we start to increase the sales until we can cover the desired expenses. Remember if you’re increasing sales, you may need to increase your advertising budget to the same percentages to suit.
Now you should have a more accurate picture of exactly how much you need to bring in, to reach your desired wage. This is your revenue goal for 2023.
So write down your revenue goal for the business, and your owner drawings goal – your wage.
Key Metric Goals
Next we use my free eCommerce calculator to see what we need to do to get there. If you haven’t got a copy of my free eCommerce calculator yet you can grab it now.
Start by inputting your real data for 2022.
You’ll include your average monthly website traffic, your average conversion rate and your average order value.
Then the yearly revenue should be close to what you did in 2022.
Now comes the fun part, we start to change these stats until we reach the desired yearly revenue for 2023. This is the business revenue, not your income.
Website Conversion Rate
Start with the website conversion rate – this is the number of people who visit your website who go on to make a purchase. If your conversion rate is under 2% then the first thing I want you to do is increase it to 2% – as that is really the baseline for where you need to get it. If it’s between 2-3% then increase it to 3% as that’s an achievable goal. Now if your conversion rate is already at 3% or above this is quite healthy, and although you may be able to make a small increase (maybe aim for 10%), your focus should be more on getting more traffic and increasing your average order value as your conversion rate means your business is ready to scale.
So how much did changing your conversion rate change your yearly revenue? If that’s gotten you to where you need to be then that’s your primary focus for the start of 2023.
See what happens to this example when I change the conversion rate from 1.5% to 2%.
Average Order Value
The next thing to adjust is your average order value. You want to get this to a minimum $50 if you can to have the best success with paid advertising, which is how you can start to scale your business. If it’s under $50 this needs to be a focus for your goals. If it’s already over $50 see what increasing it by $10 or $20 does to your yearly revenue. Pretty cool hey? You can make a dramatic difference to your bottom line simply by getting each customer to spend that little bit more.
See the increased revenue when I put the average order value up $20. It generates an extra $24,000 a year in revenue.
To make up the rest of the gap between the current yearly revenue showing and your goal revenue, increase your monthly traffic until you get there. There’s no limit on how much you can increase that as there are lots of ways to drive traffic to your website, and you can use paid ads to send as much traffic as you need.
Keep in mind though you don’t want to start spending money on traffic until your conversion rate is at 2% and your average order value at least $50.
Now if I wanted to hit a goal revenue of $500,000 for this business I would need to increase the traffic to 20,850 visitors per month.
Publish your metric goals
Now you’ve got the calculator spitting out your goal yearly revenue it’s time to write down those goals in the workbook. So fill in:
“In 2023 I want to get my conversion rate to X”.
“I want to increase my average order value to $X” and
“I want to increase my monthly traffic to X”.
Now each of these things: increasing your conversion rate, your average order value and your website traffic I’ve covered in other blog posts and podcast episodes. I also cover them in depth in the eComm Ignitor program.
So use this training to help you create your goals, and your action tasks around each goal. For instance if you want to increase your average order value and decide having a bundle is your best plan then your action item will to be to implement the bundle on your website.
If you want to increase your traffic you may want to start posting more consistently on Instagram and that could be one of your goals. Make it specific like I will post 3 times per week on Instagram including one reel. Or if you’re at 2% conversion rate it may be time for you to implement a Facebook ad strategy so that could be a goal for you.
Now once you’ve written out all your goals you need to put some timelines against the action items, otherwise you won’t get very far if you leave it until the last day of the year to do them!
I recommend focusing on the next 90 days rather than the whole year and working towards achieving everything you can in those 90 days. This will really kick start your 2023 and give you the best results for the whole year.
I hope this has helped to you get clear on your goals for 2023 and what you need to do to make them happen.
And if you’re really serious about taking 2023 to the next level and achieving those goals and you want my help I’ll be running a live 12 week eComm Ignitor program from February where you’ll get weekly live calls with me to answer all your questions and make sure you implement the training so be sure to join the waitlist to find out all the details and get a super special saving when it goes live.
Let me know in the comments which metric is your focus for the next 90 days?
Both of these things help you to make more revenue from your website traffic. So it’s really important that you focus on these two things first, before you turn your focus to more traffic.
If you’re website is traffic ready, carry on!
Know your audience
It’s really important to know who exactly your ideal customer is, and this will determine where to find them. So if your audience is 18 to 24 year olds interested in fashion, then TikTok may be the best place to find them. If your audience is moms in their thirties, they might be spending more time on Instagram.
And if you’re looking for people who are renovating their house and looking for inspiration, they may be over putting together, an inspiration board over on Pinterest.
Now, I know that you might’ve just cringed when I mentioned TikTok, I’m definitely guilty of digging my head in the sand a little bit when it first came out. Hoping it was just a fad that it was passed just as quickly as it came. So I didn’t have to learn yet another platform.
Yes. I can see you nodding. Well, it’s time to turn this around and start thinking of TikTok as another opportunity to find potential customers as it has grown exponentially.
And for now, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. TikTok actually received more searches last year than Google. Just think about that for a moment. The most popular search engine in the world was out searched on TikTok so, yes, I think that is deserving of a little bit of attention. So for now, I’m going to make the assumption that you’re already super clear on who your audience is and where they hang out.
But if not, make sure you put some effort and some time into figuring this out as it will make all of your marketing easier and more effective and help you to drive more traffic to your website.
Once you know who your audience is, how do you drive them to your website?
Organic Social Media Strategy
Firstly, you can have an organic social media strategy. I say strategy because just posting ad hoc on a platform is not going to get you very far and won’t drive much traffic to your website.
And no, you do not need to be across every single social media platform unless you have a huge brand with a full-time social media person or people. And this just is not possible to have a quality presence. So do your research and choose the platform or platforms that your ideal audience is using. And then you can focus on building a really solid presence there, you can start with just one and then, add another one once the first one is going well, but don’t feel like you have to do it all.
The algorithms behind the scenes of the social media platforms decide who sees, which posts and they all love consistency. You’re better to post three times a week consistently than every day for a week, and then none, and then twice in a day, and then nothing for a few days and so on.
Once you’ve decided on your platforms commit to a posting schedule, how often you will post every week. I recommend aiming for daily if you can, or five times a week say, if you don’t want to do the weekends, remember you can schedule these out. So you don’t actually have to be sitting there posting it. When posting, think of your ideal customer avatar.
As I mentioned, this is your audience, and this is something that I teach inside eComm ignitor, where you can narrow down your ideal audience to just one person. So then when you’re writing your content, you write it just for them as if you’re having a conversation with a person rather than writing it for everyone helps you with marketing to be more engaging and helps you to connect with your target audience.
Focus on Community
You want to build a community around your profile. So you use language that encourages conversation and engagement rather than just talking at people because that’s just boring. Be sure to use a variety of post types. So you’re not always posting promotional posts. Let them in behind the scenes of your business, and ask them for their opinion on new designs or what products they would love to see you bring out.
And don’t be afraid to showcase yourself, people buy from people. So the fact that you’ve got a small brand is actually a really good advantage for you because you can showcase yourself easier. It’s much harder for big brands to do that. So think of it as an actual selling point. And the great thing about social media is it really allows people to connect with brands on a much deeper level. So let them in.
Now always prioritize your community management and reply to people promptly when somebody is on Instagram and they comment on your post, you should reply. Even if it’s just to thank them for sharing it with a friend and do it in a timely manner. If you’re replying days later, they may have forgotten you by then.
You need to strike while you’re still front of mind and build that connection. Make sure you use your bios to really communicate who you are and what you sell. Tell them what makes you different and use a call to action to drive traffic to your website. Not just shop now. So thinking about Mason hats, we’d go find your perfect hat at masonhats.com.au, rather than shop.
You could say, find jeans comfy, you wouldn’t want to take them off at …..com. See how you could write that for your store, giving them a reason to go through and shop. So the idea behind your social media strategy is to be discovered by more people, connect with them through engagement on your profile, and then provide calls to action for them to go to your website.
Now, if organic content is your main marketing strategy for driving website traffic, it can be a slow burn, but if done right, it can be very effective.
One way to grow your following faster is to collaborate with other users. Instagram has a fantastic collaboration tool where you can actually select a collaboration partner for your posts, and then the post shows on both your feed and theirs.
This is fantastic if you’re working with influencers, and if you are already definitely add this into your contracts because it ensures people can go straight to your profile and check you out rather than them just posting and people not being able to find your brand, This way it automatically shows up on your profile.
They have to request to add you as a collaborator, and you’ll get a notification to see the content before you agree to it going on your profile. So it’s not like people can just add anything they like.
Another way to grow your following is to run a competition. This works great to give away your product as then, people are also getting to see what you have to offer.
Instead of just win, I would say win one of our Merino wool hats, your perfect travel companion, scrunch it in your bag, and it’ll just pop back into shape. See how this is then telling everyone one of our key selling points without being salesey, as I’m giving it away in a competition, but then even if they don’t win, they’ve learned more about the product. Encourage people to share the competition with their friends, to help you increase your reach.
You can also collaborate with other brands to run the competition. I encourage our students to team up with other brands who have the same target audience but are complimentary not competition. Such as a brand that sells dresses, teaming up with a brand that sells bags, and another that sells earrings. Then they can then run a competition combined with all of their products.
You are then exposed to each other’s audiences and you can use the competition to grow all of your brands. One of our students Corbin, from Three Warriors Tan did this very effectively and collaborated with a lot of brands that were bigger than him at the time. And now he has over 74,000 followers on Instagram.
Another way to get people to find you on social media is to encourage your customers to post user-generated content. So user-generated content or UGC as you might see it referred to is content that was taken by your customers rather than you. Photos of them wearing or using your products and posted to their own profiles.
This is fantastic for social proof as it’s word of mouth by happy customers, which is always more believable than a brand talking about this.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is optimising your website to be found at the top of organic search results. There are many search engines, but the main one is Google. SEO can be a very successful way to drive traffic to your website.
I’m not talking about wanting to rank when someone searches for your business name. But ranking when people are searching for something they want to buy. So for instance, Mason Hats would like to rank for Merino wool hats, ladies hats, mens hats, things like that. If people are actually searching to buy those, I want Mason hats to come up first, above competitors.
Black Hat v White Hat SEO
There’s black hat SEO and white hat SEO. Black hat is a lot of different strategies and things that people do that go against Google’s rules. They’re kind of cheating. Not only are they frowned upon by Google, but with every update to their algorithm, they’re always trying to combat the new strategies that people are using.
These are things like link farms, with fake people and dodgy websites that are sending links back to yours. Very black hat. Once you get found to be using some of these black hat strategies, you actually get penalised, and then you’ll end up at the bottom of the search results, never to be found again!
Make sure that you’re only using what they call white hat strategies. These are things that will naturally help Google understand what you sell and who it’s for. One of those strategies is schema data.
Without getting too technical, schema data is information sent to Google from your website. It tells them what your products are, how much they cost, what brands they are, what they are made of – anything you include on your product pages. If you’re using an SEO-friendly platform, such as Shopify, this is all done for you automatically. You want to think about what the names of your products are, and what your descriptions have got in them. Are they using words and keywords that Google will recognise? Will they be shown to people who are searching for your type of product?
You don’t want to just keyword stuff all of your descriptions so they don’t actually read well for humans. My theory is that if you write properly and if you write for your avatar and you’re writing all the things that they would love, eventually you will be found on Google for those things.
If you’re selling, for instance, makeup. Yes. You might find it very hard to rank at the top of Google because you’re fighting against a lot of big brands with big budgets. There are things like domain ranking, how long your website has been around for. A brand new website is going to find it harder to rank as well as one that’s been going for years and years and doing the right thing.
The more niche you are, the easier it can be to be found. You can do other things like naming your images and your alt tags and using your keywords in there to make sure that you can be found rather than image 3, image 4, image 5, etc because that doesn’t mean anything to Google.
Another way you can show up on Google is to appear in the Google Shopping results. You can sync up your website for Google shopping so that all your products feed through and can be found in search results when people are looking to buy something. I highly recommend that you do this because these results can be very helpful for people searching with the intent to buy.
Email marketing is so important for an eCommerce store. It’s still one of the top marketing things that you can do to drive traffic to your website. And checking emails is the number one thing that people do online. So you want to make sure that you have a chance of being in their inbox.
We can’t just ask people for an email these days and expect them to give it to you. They’re holding onto it that little bit tighter these days, as they’re getting so many emails. So you have to incentivise people to give you an email. You can do this with discount coupons or my favourite is by running a competition.
I recommend Klaviyo for eCommerce email marketing.
I’ve talked about a lot of the free strategies you can use to send more traffic to your website. Now I want to talk to you a little bit about paid ads. If you want to fast-track the process of getting more traffic, the best way is with paid ads.
Again, it’s very important that you’ve already got that good conversion rate before you start any paid advertising. Otherwise you are literally just wasting money. There are lots of different platforms that you can run ads on. I specialise in Facebook and Instagram ads, and that’s what I focus on on the eComm Ignitor course. However, you can also run ads through TikTok, Pinterest, Twitter and Google.
The important thing is, regardless of which platform you’re using is that you set up an eCommerce funnel and that you’re serving the right message to the right person at the right time, because that is the core of marketing.
The idea with your eCommerce funnel, is that the message that you showed to someone who is discovering your brand for the very first time is different from the message that you’re going to show to somebody who’s already been to your website or already interacted with you on social media.
You can start to be a little bit more salesey to a warmer audience than to someone who’s never heard of you. When they’ve discovered you, maybe added to cart they’re very warm. Once they’ve purchased from you, they become a very hot audience. Those people are actually far easier to get to come back to your website and purchase again, rather than always going after new.
There are 3 key metrics you can increase to sell more on your online store.
You can get more people to your website (traffic), you can get more of those people to buy (conversion rate), or you can get them to spend more (average order value).
If you have an online store that gets 10,000 visitors a month, your conversion rate is 3% and your average order value is $100 your store would make $30,000 revenue a month. If you could increase that average order value to $120 by getting each customer to spend an average of $20 more your revenue would increase by $6,000 to $36,000 a month.
That’s an extra $72,000 a year without extra overheads as you’re already using a shipping bag, already packing and shipping their order, already writing the thank you card and providing that person customer service – they are just buying more.
So how do you encourage your customers to spend more?
Product bundles are a great way to encourage customers to buy more than one item. You can bundle the same product together and provide a small discount for buying in bulk.
Or you can bundle complementary products together to help people get everything they need. This is perfect for a starter pack if they are new to your brand.
You can also name your bundles to make it super easy for people to choose like Three Warriors “Summer Essentials Pack” and “The Glow Get ‘Em Pack”.
You can choose to discount slightly when people buy a pack, but it’s not compulsory as for some it’s just the convenience of getting everything they need. If you do discount make sure you point it out!
Offer Bigger Quantities
Some customers, particularly those who may have purchased before, or know exactly what they want don’t want to have to buy regularly, they want to just purchase in bulk. Make it easy for your customers to select how much of your product they want. You can make it cheaper, the more they buy to encourage them to choose the higher quantity.
Suggest Add On Products
You know your product collection better than any customer. Do the hard work for them and let them know which products would be a great addition to the one they are looking at. This works great with an app that helps them add it to their cart at the same time.
Taccac do this really well by suggesting people purchase their bag along with the patches and carabiner. The bundle app allows users to select the patches and colour of their carabiner and add all to cart from the bag page rather than having to search all over the website and add individually. It also includes a discounted bundle price.
McDonald’s line “would you like fries with that?” adds millions to their bottom line every year. So how can you offer your customer fries? What have you go that is the perfect add on to your products? If you sell sunglasses you can add on a cleaner or cloth. If you sell dog collars, suggest they add on the matching lead.
Earrings are the perfect upsell to clothing and earring backs or earring storage are the perfect upsell to earrings.
You can also upsell to multiple of the same product like Pure Peony does.
After Purchase Add Ons
The moment someone has just placed an order, they are a super hot audience. They have just gone through your funnel and decided to take action and purchase, unless you sell anti fungal cream they are likely pretty excited about their purchase. This makes it the perfect opportunity to sell to them again – yes already!
I recently purchased a T-shirt from Kind is Cool, on the confirmation page they offered me a special deal on a kids tee for 10 minutes. Did it work? Bub and I are going to look so cute in our matching tees!
These kind of add on offers work best if they create urgency (the timer) and are incentivised with a decent discount. Remember you’re already going to be shipping this person something so if you have shipping built into your pricing you can afford to give a discount to someone you’re already sending to.
Give Them A Chance To Add to Their Order
Have you ever made a purchase online only to click buy and then find something else you wished you had added to the order? I have.. more than once but usually I don’t purchase again as I don’t want to pay for a second lot of shipping.
If you do this and I do this, chances are your customers do this too. So what if you offer them the chance to add to their order and get free shipping? You can set a time limit based on the average time it takes you to pack and send an order after it’s placed.
Increase your free shipping threshold
A free shipping threshold is a great way to encourage your customers to spend more, while still providing free shipping.
I know a lot of people track their website visitors – some are even guilty of watching them live through their analytics and get excited when someone jumps on only to be disappointed as they leave without buying again.
As tempting as it may be I don’t recommend this type of tracking as it’s not a productive use of your time!
The percentage of people who check out when visiting your website is called your conversion rate. So if for every 100 people who visit your website, one person buys you have a 1% conversion rate.
A good conversion rate, and one I get our students to aim for is 3%. I’ve seen websites convert much higher, which is awesome, but 3% is a great place to be to have a profitable eCommerce store.
I recommend you hit at least 2-3% conversion rate before you focus on driving traffic to your website, and definitely before you spend money on paid ads.
There is no point in spending money to drive traffic to a website that is not converting.
The only exception to this rule is if you’re wanting to collect data, perhaps you have a new store, or you’ve just made some major changes and you want to find out where your conversion rate is now.
Then it’s OK to run ads, but have data as the main reason for your ads, not sales.
Now your conversion rate might fluctuate a bit, especially during promotions – you should find your conversion rate goes up. Katrinia from Bask and Bloom sees a consistent conversion rate of 4% which is excellent, but during peak promotions, this gets as high as 10%!
If you’re not sure what your conversion rate is you can check your analytics either in your Analytics dashboard if you’re using Shopify, or on Google Analytics which you should definitely be using!
OK so now that you’re tracking your conversion rate let’s talk about why it’s such a big deal.
If you get the exact same amount of traffic, your average order value – or the amount people are spending stays the same but you just increase your conversion rate, you’ll make more money – pretty cool right?
So if you currently get 1,000 visitors per month and have an average order value of say $100 and a conversion rate of 1% you’ll make $1,000 a month. If you up your conversion rate to 2% you’ll double your revenue to $2,000 – get it to 3% and you guessed it, your revenue goes up to $3,000 a month.
Do this with a website that gets 10,000 visitors a month and you can take your revenue from $10,000 to $30,000 a month just by increasing your conversion rate from 1%-3%.
Tripling your revenue without spending money of extra traffic – sounds pretty good right?
OK OK so now that you’re convinced that your conversion rate is suuuuper important, let’s talk about how to increase it.
Firstly you want to make using your website a nice, easy experience for your customers.
There are several ways you can do this.
Build For Mobile
First make sure your website is built for mobile – the majority of your website visitors will be viewing on mobile, yet we still see people building their site for desktop and then hoping it looks OK on mobile.
You can actually look at your Google Analytics stats and see firstly how much of your traffic is on mobile, and secondly your conversion rate on mobile compared with your conversion rate on desktop. This can be quite an eye opening experience.
You’ll see above that this store gets over 60% of its traffic from mobile, however, the conversion rate on mobile is only 1.82% compared with 2.13% on desktop. If we get the mobile converting as high as the desktop it will mean extra revenue without any extra traffic.
Optimise Your Menu
Next we want to make it super easy to navigate and find what they are looking for. Optimise your menu to help them find your products – instead of the default home, shop, about, contact use your menu to showcase your categories like tops, bottoms, dresses or rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
As with all changes you want to use data to make these decisions, so look at your Analytics and see which pages people shop by. Do they go by men, women, kids, or tops, bottoms, dresses? If you’re not sure change it to one way and then look at your stats after a month to see if people are moving through your categories how you thought they would.
A cool tool you can install is a heat map tracker. This tracks how people use your website and shows you where most people scroll and where they click. You may be surprised how people use your website compared to how you think they do.
As we always say here at Unstoppable “Until you test, it’s just a guess”.
If you have a lot of products you can make finding the perfect purchase easier by using filters in your category sidebars.
The 3 Second Test
You want to make it quick and easy for your visitors to know that they are in fact in the right place when they land on your website.
To do this we ensure it passes the 3 second test. What’s that I hear you ask?
The three second test is a quick and easy test you can do to see if your website is doing it’s job.
Show someone your website for just 3 seconds, no scrolling just 3 seconds on your home page above the fold.
Then after 3 seconds ask them 2 questions: What do you think I sell? Who do you think it’s for?
Then if they get it right, you pass and if they don’t you have some work to do.
Now don’t go asking your mum, your sister and your favourite aunty – ask people who you haven’t told all about your business. If the local butcher is not keen you can jump in my free Facebook group – Unstoppable eCommerce Entrepreneurs and post a screenshot to get some fresh eyes to do the test for you.
Your home page should clearly showcase your products and your target audience with one clear hero image – not a slider.
You want a heading and sub heading that sums up exactly what you sell and who it’s for.
“New Collection out now” is not helpful as some people are coming to your website for the very first time, if they don’t know what you sell what good is it to them to know your new collection is out? You can promote that to your warm audience – shout it from the rooftops on socials and definitely send it out in your emails – just not your home page hero image.
See how these headings tell you exactly what it is that they sell. They all get bonus points for ditching the default and using custom call to action buttons.
Another huge thing that will impact the user experience is the speed of your website.
You want your site to load in under 5 seconds, 3 is optimal. People are so time-poor and always in a rush, they are not going to sit and wait for your site to load. Use the Google speed test to see how long your website takes to load. Be sure to check the speed on desktop and mobile.
If your site is running slow look at compressing your images to make them smaller and therefore quicker to load. Also delete any plugins or apps you’re not using as each one will slow down your site.
If your website is terribly slow and you can’t get it down, look at using a new platform such as Shopify which is designed specifically for eCommerce with speed in mind.
It’s all about Trust
Now you’ve optimised your website to make it easy for customers to use we need to answer one big question for them – why you? Why should they buy from you? What makes you different? Why should they trust you?
Now it’s important to remember people buy from people. So put yourself out there as the face behind the brand, don’t be scared to show your face and share your story. Gone are the days when you have to pretend to be big – people like shopping small and knowing where their money is going – who it is going to.
They would rather help you put food on the table for your family than help some bazillionaire buy another private jet!
This is why I encourage our Ignitor students to put themselves on the home page with a link to their full story. Share behind the scenes of their business on socials and don’t be afraid to let people in.
Not only do people want to buy from people, they also want to know they are not the first person to do so! They want to know that other people have bought from you, that they go their products and they loved them. This helps build trust and reassure them that they too will receive their products and that they will love them too.
To help build this trust be sure to have reviews on your product pages, your home page and your cart page. Reviews add lots of trust and are simple to set up with a plugin such as Yotpo or reviews.io. If you haven’t got a lot of reviews yet then just use brand reviews about your great customer service or fast shipping times and put them on all the product pages until you have more.
Even better than just showing written reviews is showing user generate content. This is photos or videos taken by your customers of them with your products. Photos and videos are far more believable than just words so user generated content is gold for your website and your socials and particularly on your product pages. You can encourage user generated content through a competition or set up a review app to ask for a photo when they leave a 5 star review.
Ride Proud Clothing instantly add trust by showcasing these pants have had 45 five star reviews. Importantly, if you click the stars it takes you to the bottom of the page where you can see all those reviews. Make sure your reviews are genuine – making up reviews is a shore fast way to loose trust.
Visual icons are a great way to simply showcase key things about your business to add trust. I recommend using these on your home page and on your product pages. On your home page highlight 3-4 key things about your business such as handmade, made in Australia, made from the tears of unicorns! Whatever makes you special.
You can also use the icons on your product pages for things like vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free if it’s food products and also to add trust around security like secure checkout.
Stand Behind your product
If you want people to trust you enough to buy your product then you need to trust your product enough to offer an awesome Guarantee. And when I say awesome I mean awesome for the customer, not for you!
You want to offer a simple returns policy. One of the biggest objections to shopping online for people is “what do I do if it doesn’t fit, or it’s not right.” If you can overcome that objection by backing your product with a great guarantee then you’ll find it will generate enough extra sales to cover the odd return – this is of course as long as you have a great product.
Offer Free Shipping
The other big objection to people shopping online, one that can really affect your conversion rate is your Shipping charge.
If you’ve ticked off everything else in this list and haven’t seen an increase in your conversion rate it may be necessary to look at your shipping fee and see if you can lower it, or at least offer a free shipping threshold.
So there you have 7 ways you can increase your conversion rate to turn those visitors into customers. Which one will you implement first?
Last year, less than a week before I had my baby I got a strange text from the ATO that went something like this “Your ATO account has been disconnected from MyGov, if this wasn’t you call us”. I was 37 weeks pregnant, fat, tired and still working! The last thing I felt like doing was calling the ATO but thought I better. Lucky I did, turns out someone had stollen my identity, called the ATO, convinced them they were me and proceeded to change the contact details, change the bank account linked and disconnect my account so I could no longer access it on MyGov. Why you ask? Well they then made a number of amendments to my tax returns and activity statements so it looked like I was due over $60,000 in refunds which they then tried to withdraw to their newly added bank account! 😲
Fast forward to today and last night my 17 year old step daughter had her Instagram account hacked, email changed so she can’t reset the password and now someone is posting stories that look like she’s boasting about her BitCoin returns! 🤦♀️
Unfortunately there are shit people in the world that do crap like this all the time. I must admit I’m pretty savvy when it comes to online stuff so didn’t think this was going to happen to me.
Now my step daughter had a couple hundred followers and had only posted a handful of images, but this kind of hacking happens to large businesses. I’ve seen businesses crushed when all of a sudden they loose access to their account of tens of thousands of Instagram followers which they rely on for sales. And if I’ve learned anything, it can happen to you too.
So let’s take a look at some ways you can avoid being the next victim of a cyber criminal.
Always Use 2 Factor Authentication
This is a must! Most social media and email apps have the option to turn on 2 factor authentication – DO IT!
This means each time you log in on a new device (or someone else tries to) you will have to confirm it was you with a code – either a text to your mobile or using an authentication app. It may seem like a pain, but this small thing can save you a much bigger hassle – trust me!
If you use a device all the time such as your phone or home computer you can save the browser so you won’t be asked for a code th next time you login. But if you’re using a shared computer, the library, school or anywhere someone else can access be sure not to save the browser when logging in.
To turn on 2 factor authentication go to your app, go to settings, find the privacy or security settings and look for “turn on 2 factor authentication”.
Use Secure Passwords
If you’ve been using the same password since high school it’s time for a change! Your password for every application you use should be different and they should include a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols to be secure.
I recommend using an app such as LastPass to store your passwords so you don’t have to remember them. With LastPass they securely store your passwords and you only have to remember one – your LastPass password. Then You can use the Lastpass extension on your browser and app on your phone to fill in your username and password details whenever you log in.
LastPass is also great for sharing log in access to third parties as it allows them access to log in but doesn’t share the actual password. You can then remove their access at any time.
Avoid connecting your apps by logging into an app with another such as using Facebook to login to Canva. Wherever possible use a separate login username and password instead as if one gets hacked (it does happen, even to the big guys) it can affect all your connected apps.
Review Third Party Access
When you use an app, let’s say Facebook, you often give permission for other apps to have access to your account – such as an integration plugin like Zapier, or a game (looking at you Candy Crush fans).
Over time you give lots of other companies access to your information and sometimes these companies can be dodgy – or get hacked themselves.
Be sure to review your list of authorised apps and remove any that no longer need access.
In Facebook Go to Settings and Privacy > Settings > Security and login > Apps and websites. Or click here. Once you’ve cleaned out your apps and websites, check your Games tab and Business Integrations too.
Tighten Up Your Privacy Settings
Hackers use personal information they find on social media to hack your accounts or steal your identity. Next time you see a meme asking you to state your first pet and the street you grew up in to find your Ninja name don’t fall for it! These memes and just phishing for information you would use in your security questions.
On Facebook go to https://www.facebook.com/privacy/checkup/?source=settings_and_privacy to do a privacy check up of your account and be sure to tighten things up so that only your friends can see what you post and not the public. You can adjust these setting on a post by post basis so have them set as tight as possible and then if you need to spread a message far and wide you can make a post public.
Be sure to up your privacy on all your social media accounts.
Use an Anti-virus Software
Another way hackers get in is by sending viruses. This can be via Messages or email. It can be as easy as a friend’s account getting hacked and them sending you a funny video to watch – you click the link only to install the virus all before you can say #$!@ o&#!
To protect your computer from viruses install a reputable anti-virus software such as Norton, Avast or McAfee.
Now this can be hard if you’re an overly optimistic person and like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt! But when it comes to online – always be sceptical of any emails or messages that don’t look quite right or you weren’t expecting.
I opened some new bank accounts last month and then the week my new cards arrived I got a scammer message to active my card via text message. I did a quick scan of the message to realise it wasn’t actually from them. But the scary part was they new I had new accounts, and cards and which bank I had signed up with.
If you’re not sure about an email always look at the from address. They can make an email look very official but usually the from email is @officialcompany.somethingrandom.com.
Anyone can create a subdomain so it is the word directly before the .com or .com.au that needs to be official. For instance @support.facebook.com is an official email but @facebook.emails.com is not. Also look for .gov.au or .org.au as it’s much harder for hackers to get these domains.
Avoid public wifi
Public wi-fi is readily available to you – and hackers! It’s also much less secure and easier to hack. If you must use it don’t log on to anything secure such as your bank account, email or Shopify backend.
Save all your important transactions for when you’re using your own password protected wifi if possible.
So there you go, just a few ways you can stay vigilant and protect yourself and your business from security attacks online. Make the time to implement these now before it’s too late.
Getting ready for the Movers & Breakers conference by Business Chicks I prepared the business for me to have 4 days off. What I didn’t prepare for was to have another week off after, as I caught the dreaded Covid!
When you run your own business often you wear all the hats and the thought of getting sick? Well you just don’t have time for that, do you? Unfortunately life doesn’t always go as planned, and sometimes we do get sick – usually at the most inconvenient times.
So after a whole week off, without a voice and with many days in bed I wanted to share some ways you can prepare your business in case you need to take time off without notice for yourself or your family.
Pre-Schedule Your Content
In a perfect world we would always be at least a month ahead in our social media and email content, just to feel organised. However when I fell sick, knowing that my socials wouldn’t just run bare was a huge relief.
If you’re still on the content hamster wheel of posting every day or week now is the perfect time to put a scheduling day in your calendar and actually do it. Taking one day to batch your content and then schedule it out saves so much time and being a month ahead will give you the peace of mind that you have a content buffer if you do fall ill.
One thing I wasn’t ahead with was my podcast, and even now I’m starting to feel better, I still can’t record an episode as my voice hasn’t returned!
If you do need to get someone in to help while you’re unable to work you don’t want to have to train them up while feeling like crap. You might forget important things, or you may just not be able to.
Having SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) in your business is so important. You should have one for any task you do more than once. This can be as simple as a one pager with some screenshots and some notes. The idea is that anyone can access the SOP and do the task the way you want it to be done. SOPs are perfect for things like posting to social media, community management, sending an email broadcast, setting up a Facebook ad, picking and posting an order, writing a thank you card or contacting a customer via email.
Write a list of all the regular tasks you do in your business and then next time you do it film yourself doing it, or take screenshots and put together a document with instructions. Include any little details it would be important for someone to know. Imagine you won’t get to speak to the person and this document is the only communication you have.
Some documents that support your SOPs are your Marketing strategy and your brand guide. These documents will give someone an understanding of your business and how each element plays a part. They should be able to follow these guides and know which colours and fonts to use to make an image, what your brand voice is and who your customer avatar is. The more detailed the better as you want someone to be able to write as if they were you.
Automate Where Possible
Are you still doing tasks that could be automated? Sometimes we like to just do it ourselves but there may be tasks you’re doing every day or week that could be set up once and then automated. This won’t just save time while you’re sick but every day!
Have a look at https://zapier.com/ to get some inspiration for some tasks you may be able to automate. If you write handwritten thank you cards for each order, get a stack printed with a pre-written message in a beautiful script font for times like this. You can always go back to your handwritten messages when you’re feeling better.
I know this may not yet be possible for you, but outsourcing can be a great way to take a load off your plate – it may stop you getting sick in the first place if you’re suffering from burn out.
To decide which tasks to outsource first, make 4 lists.
In one list write all the things you like doing that you are good at. In the next write all the things you like doing but aren’t good at. In the next all the things you don’t like doing but are good at. Finally all the things you don’t like doing and aren’t good at.
That last list should be the first thing/s you outsource. Not only will it get something off your plate but it’s something in your business you don’t enjoy that you can pass on to someone who does. It can be incredibly freeing when you start to outsource the things that aren’t your zone of genius so you can focus on the things that are.
Get a Business Buddy
If outsourcing to a staff member or a temp is not yet possible, consider getting yourself a business buddy! Just like the old school buddy system, a business buddy is there to make sure you and your business don’t get left behind.
Make an agreement with your buddy for them to look after your business if you get ill, and vice versa. If you have all your content scheduled out in advance there won’t be too much for them to do and they will know what to do as they can just follow your manuals and SOPs.
Need a business buddy? If you’re in the Ignitor program be sure to use the Buddy System thread to find yourself a business buddy – they’re great for keeping you motivated and productive too.
Although I can’t stop you getting sick, if you follow the steps above at least your business will continue to thrive while you are and it will be still be there waiting for you in good condition when you get back. This way you can actually take the rest your doctor (or your body) proscribes and truly rest and recover. Be kind to yourself x
Karyn (“with a Y!”) is an eCommerce marketing specialist with a knack for high-converting Facebook ad funnels and website optimisation. Through her eCommerce marketing agency and on-the-pulse training programs, Karyn’s helped hundreds of eCommerce store owners across the globe boost profits, generate more revenue, and achieve an ad-spend ROI of their dreams.