Failing with sales/conversions on my own website

9 replies
Hi,
one of my income streams in a last 3 years was selling my own built software. To be exact - plugins for one of the well known e-commerce systems. I have more than 20 different products, and I sell these plugins on the e-commerce's owner's marketplace.

Sales numbers are not massive, but they're ok, considering that I don't do any kind of marketing at all (700+ sales in 3 years, some products have 100+ sales and great reviews).

When I started building plugins I also built my own website/blog ( imakeitwork.net ) - I wrote articles how to use the e-commerce system etc., and couple of years ago I also added an online store to the same website, so visitors could get plugins directly from my website.

At first I had some sales from my own website, but sale numbers were poor, and I started tweaking my online store - add better pictures, longer descriptions. Every time I changed something sale numbers went down even though I thought I'm improving the store. Now I have 600+ blog visitors per month (almost all of them come from Google, looking for solutions and useful information about e-commerce platform), but I have almost no sales at all, and I have no idea why.

Sales on the e-commerce owner's marketplace are stable and fine, so I'm sure my products are relevant and useful. But what's so wrong with my own online store? What should I improve to convert blog readers to customers? Any tips?
#failing #sales or conversions #website
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  • Profile picture of the author Benjamin Ehinger
    Originally Posted by wpresser View Post

    Hi,
    one of my income streams in a last 3 years was selling my own built software. To be exact - plugins for one of the well known e-commerce systems. I have more than 20 different products, and I sell these plugins on the e-commerce's owner's marketplace.

    Sales numbers are not massive, but they're ok, considering that I don't do any kind of marketing at all (700+ sales in 3 years, some products have 100+ sales and great reviews).

    When I started building plugins I also built my own website/blog ( imakeitwork.net ) - I wrote articles how to use the e-commerce system etc., and couple of years ago I also added an online store to the same website, so visitors could get plugins directly from my website.

    At first I had some sales from my own website, but sale numbers were poor, and I started tweaking my online store - add better pictures, longer descriptions. Every time I changed something sale numbers went down even though I thought I'm improving the store. Now I have 600+ blog visitors per month (almost all of them come from Google, looking for solutions and useful information about e-commerce platform), but I have almost no sales at all, and I have no idea why.

    Sales on the e-commerce owner's marketplace are stable and fine, so I'm sure my products are relevant and useful. But what's so wrong with my own online store? What should I improve to convert blog readers to customers? Any tips?
    Keep testing and tweaking. I would go back to what was getting some sales before you changed anything and start there. It's hard to advise further without knowing what you're selling and how you are getting your traffic.

    You could be getting traffic that's not really all that geared towards the products your selling, even though they are coming to you for a solution to something, it may not be related to the products you are trying to sell them.

    With 600 visitors per month, you'd probably be better off building an email list to sell your products to. Give something away for free and you'll have a list to start marketing to instead of just hoping they buy. For most, if they could get 6 sales out of those 600, they'd feel pretty good, but they want to collect another couple hundred emails lists to sell to with the rest that didn't buy up front.

    Benjamin Ehinger
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by Benjamin Ehinger View Post

      Benjamin Ehinger
      Still quoting the entire post after being asked nicely to be more judicious in your quote level. This seriously clogs the forum, especially for those accessing it on their phone.

      I's unfortunate that you can't be a little more considerate to other members of the forum, but not surprising.

      Cheers.
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      "He not busy being born, is busy dying." - Bob Dylan • "I vibe with the light-dark point. Heavy." - Words that Bob Dylan wishes he had written.

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      • Profile picture of the author Benjamin Ehinger
        Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

        Still quoting the entire post after being asked nicely to be more judicious in your quote level. This seriously clogs the forum, especially for those accessing it on their phone.

        I's unfortunate that you can't be a little more considerate to other members of the forum, but not surprising.

        Cheers.
        Do you say this to everybody that quotes a post? Seems like something you could have said to me in a message not on a post where you're not contributing to what the OP was asking.
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        • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
          Originally Posted by Benjamin Ehinger View Post

          Do you say this to everybody that quotes a post?
          No, I occasionally mention it to people that repeatedly demonstrate a less than judicious use of the quoting feature. It should be used intelligently. I read most of your posts. You seem like a reasonably intelligent individual. Would it be so hard to do the right thing and possibly set an example for others? Or would you find that to be nothing but a nuisance?

          Seems like something you could have said to me in a message not on a post where you're not contributing to what the OP was asking.
          Yes - I could have, but by intent was that possibly, by mentioning it for all to see, it might prod someone else to consider how they use the quoting feature. It really wasn't just about you, but I possibly made a wrong assumption that you'd do the right thing and not feel that you were being singled-out and attacked in some way.

          You might have noticed that I also posted a mention of this in the suggestion forum. That is, of course, if you have any interest in suggestions that might make the forum a better place. Only you know the answer to that.

          Do as you like. That seems to be how most people operate. Hooray for me and screw everyone else! lol
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          "He not busy being born, is busy dying." - Bob Dylan • "I vibe with the light-dark point. Heavy." - Words that Bob Dylan wishes he had written.

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  • Profile picture of the author King Manu
    I think there are a couple of things that might happen and it's worth that you have a look to see what's happening.

    First of all, you say that you post informative posts about how to use that e-commerce platform. While that is extremely valuable for your visitors and I am sure it brings lots of traffic, that traffic isn't necessarily interested in getting premium add-ons. Your visitors might be people that just started out using opencart, and they are not exactly interested yet in investing in paid extensions.

    You should focus more on your audience. Who is your audience? Who wants to buy those extensions?

    After you figure out who is your audience, then you can ask yourself what information my audience needs? And after that, you can write specific articles that your audience might need. For example, how to save time and simplify administration (you can throw as a last example your paid extension). I don't know, I don't have experience with this, but you get the idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author colorado1850
    That's cool that you develop extensions!

    It looks like you've listed some features / benefits for each product on your page. That's a good start.

    Looking at a couple of competitor sites, one of the things I can see that might help is social proof.

    In other words, testimonials and/or counts of how many customers you have. And the ideal testimonial is one where the customer actually talks about how it helped them get more sales, save time, etc.

    Next, and this is equally important, is to address the questions a buyer is going to have. If you study sales pages that work, they do a good job of answering objections.

    Will the extension work for me?
    What if I need to return it?
    Who developed it - and why should I buy from him rather than the other guy?
    Why do I need to pay for this - aren't their free options?
    At what point in my business do I need this?
    How can I pay for it?
    Will there be updates?
    etc.

    [[[You might want a page per product and then don't be afraid to write 2 or 3 thousand words answering all these questions. It seems like overkill, but it's not.

    Lastly, I like the product images you created. It might be useful for people to see either screenshots or demo video of you using the extensions. ]]]

    UPDATE: Nevermind those comments in brackets. When I landed on your home page, I didn't see the sub menu with all the various extension pages. Plus, I figured the 'Get Opencart Extension' buttons were taking me to the checkout page.

    It might help to make those buttons say - "Learn More" or something in case someone else has the same impression I did.

    Let me know if you need a hand. Happy to help.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Sales numbers are not massive, but they're ok, considering that I don't do any kind of marketing at all (700+ sales in 3 years, some products have 100+ sales and great reviews).

    Do exactly what you did - with the same energy - during these 3 years. Sales will grow because you kept doing what works, and all expands from there.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by wpresser View Post

    Hi,
    one of my income streams in a last 3 years was selling my own built software. To be exact - plugins for one of the well known e-commerce systems. I have more than 20 different products, and I sell these plugins on the e-commerce's owner's marketplace.

    Sales numbers are not massive, but they're ok, considering that I don't do any kind of marketing at all (700+ sales in 3 years, some products have 100+ sales and great reviews).

    When I started building plugins I also built my own website/blog ( imakeitwork.net ) - I wrote articles how to use the e-commerce system etc., and couple of years ago I also added an online store to the same website, so visitors could get plugins directly from my website.

    At first I had some sales from my own website, but sale numbers were poor, and I started tweaking my online store - add better pictures, longer descriptions. Every time I changed something sale numbers went down even though I thought I'm improving the store. Now I have 600+ blog visitors per month (almost all of them come from Google, looking for solutions and useful information about e-commerce platform), but I have almost no sales at all, and I have no idea why.

    Sales on the e-commerce owner's marketplace are stable and fine, so I'm sure my products are relevant and useful. But what's so wrong with my own online store? What should I improve to convert blog readers to customers? Any tips?
    Keep testing, but also track the results. If possible do an A/B split test at the same time so you better and more consistent results.

    As for the visitors who aren't buying, perhaps they are just looking for free info and not actually buying a product?
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  • Profile picture of the author wpresser
    Thanks guys for the great advice, especially colorado1850 .

    I already made some small changes on the homepage, and next steps will be adding testimonials and number of sales for every extension. Will update after some time how and where it's going.
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