I went to several different sites and tried to purchase some things. When I clicked on them I received the message "this product no longer available". I just spent a few hours searching for the specific product only to receive that message. I was rather annoyed. So I searched some more, found something else, only to find that it was no longer available either.
One of the biggest crucial things for survival in this overly competitive time of the season is to make sure you have enough products available. If you get quite a few sales a day, you should make sure you have hundreds of products available.
Make sure that you keep an updated inventory list at all times, and make sure you only allow yourself to get down to a certain amount of product availability.
This brings me to another thought I had today as I was scanning around. Overall presentation of your site. There are so many more shopping sites online now. What makes you decide to buy from one place over the other even when they may have the same products for the same price? Does one site appear more professional than the other site? Does it look like it has been around longer? Does it look like it is a more trustworthy site? What kinds of questions run through your head before you make that final choice?
The bigger name stores like Walmart, Toys R Us, Macy's, Big Alots, and others can afford much more leeway in certain things than the smaller businesses. But does that mean they deserve all of the business then?
That is where the creative thinking/marketing comes into play. You need to find something unique to offer. Free shipping is a big one. If you can't afford free shipping because you are working with a dropshipper who doesn't offer it, can you find a cheap product that people may like and want to add for free? Free gift wrapping? I have a company I deal with that doesn't offer free gift wrapping, but it is cheap so it is worth it to tell your customers it is free and you pay the little bit of difference. If it means the difference in sales or not for only a few dollars, it is worth it.
In these times as everyone surfs around looking for gifts online, it may get discouraging to the young new shop keeper trying to make a name for himself. They may feel like they really can't compete. But Rome was not built in a day and neither was any other business. You need to keep perservering. Keep learning and practising something new in regards to advertising and marketing every day, don't allow yourself to have any negative thoughts, and just believe in what you have set out to do. Take out your mission statement. Read over again what you had planned for your 5 and 10 year terms. Remind yourself that you are still on track, and will remain that way providing you keep going as planned. Something is only a dream without a reality if you have not properly prepared for it, and envisioned it as such. This is not a dream like winning the lottery. This dream is a future you have planned and prepared to work for long and hard no matter how it may seem from one day to the next.
So take care. Keep your ideas going. Don't be afraid to try something new. If anyone has any questions don't be afraid to post a comment. I'd love to share ideas and concerns.