We're spending more time at home, and we've found ourselves improving many aspects of our
home lives. With the store mostly closed, observing less open hours, and avoiding
crowds, we've turned to online shopping more than ever before.
I've bought many things this year via websites. Some of them include clothes, masks,
cleaning supplies, supplements, and more. Nearly the only thing I don't have delivered
via a website or app is my groceries. I even just bought a couch last night.
Okay. Let's forget about the couch for now...
I'm not going to out them publicly, but one of my favorite local businesses to buy cool stuff
from has probably the worst e-commerce website I'm able to find online right now. I've
bought some masks and shirts from there. However, the website is so difficult to use,
doesn't load on a phone, checking out is a painfully long process, and the inventory is
always wrong. Oh, and they usually only have a single grainy photo of each product.
The only saving grace here is that if I message them directly on Instagram or
Facebook, they'll respond quickly with more images and availability.
Sometimes seeing a price has even been an issue. Ugh...
Another website I love to visit when I want some hot sauce has similar issues. On many
of their products, they're either missing information entirely, or have a single image for
the sauce. I wish I could say contacting them helps, but they rarely respond to
messages. However, there are many hard-to-find sauces on their website and the
deliveries always arrive on-time.
Do you know what I'm getting at yet? It's actually pretty simple...
Another website I visit frequently is a major website that every single one of you have
visited. In this case, the website allows vendors of various sizes to sell their
products. However, there are several items I've purchased where I wanted to know
dimensions or some other minor detail. It was simply not there. I'm not
nit-picking either. I see the same questions I have asked by other people in their
crowd-sourced question section.
Have you figured it out yet...?
Keep Your Catalog Updated
Whether it's images, inventory, descriptions, dimensions, or other useful information, I have
a very important piece of advice for you.
Update your products regularly!
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
If you don't add more images...
If you don't add more descriptive content...
If you don't update your inventory...
If you don't pay attention to these and other details, you're missing the shots.
It's impossible to measure how much money you're potentially losing, but it's a very safe bet
that the majority of your customers are not new. They're existing people and fans that
already trust you. This is not a way for any successful business to grow. You'll
never scale the business.
The most common excuse I get is some version of, "I'm just super busy trying to keep my
business running." That's a great problem to have and I appreciate the sentiment, but
you may have set some wrong priorities.
Assuming you have great products for sale, if your catalog had a process and/or person(s) to
keep it updated, then you're going to make more money.
More money means less stress.
Less stress means less burnout.
Both of those mean that maybe you can hire an intern or a part-time person to do this stuff
for you. Heck, you could even hire someone offshore. Something like this is
perfect for that.
Now that you put in the hard work to actually grow your business and have someone doing that
for you moving forward, you can return to those other things that you previously thought
were more important.
In summary, update your catalog and keep it updated. Do it as often as necessary.
It's not the sexiest part of your e-commerce business, but it's definitely one of the most
important parts of your business if you want it to scale and allow you to have peace of mind
when you go to sleep.
Follow this advice, and this will be you by the end of the year...
What do you think though? Is there another glaring mistake I missed? Let me know in the