eCommerce Cultivated | Episode 005

The Real Reason Your Products Aren’t Selling

This is a struggle for a lot of shop owners – ultimately you want to sell more products for your business. Maybe you have invested in various solutions to find out that they didn’t work. In today’s episode, we go over what’s the missing piece to your brands’ focus and give you some tips on how to change that so you can stand out in the market.

In this episode

  • Why you need to explore your brand foundation first.
  • Get to know your target customer’s wants
  • Why knowing about your competitors is healthy
  • Positioning your brand to stand out
  • Plus more!

Links mentioned

Thanks for listening

If you enjoyed today’s episode don’t forget to leave a review it’s quick and easy and helps us reach more people in the community to grow their brand. You can also connect with more to discuss developing your on Brand Strategy by contacting me to book a complimentary conversation.

Show Notes

Ready to reduce abandoned carts, convert more traffic to sales, plus more welcome to Brand Cultivated a podcast dedicated to helping your e-commerce lifestyle or beauty brand grow.

I’m Karen, the founder and creator behind The May Creative, which is an e-commerce web design and development business that reimagines possible ideas into reality. I’m excited to have you here. So grab your favorite class and let’s dive in.

Hey, welcome back to today’s episode.

We’re going to be talking about something that’s really important that a lot of shop owners face and go through because it comes up in so many conversations that I have with shop owners.

It’s crazy, like the struggle is real and that is, how can I sell more products or Karen I have my shop for a while, but it’s just not converting at the rate that I want it to, like, what is the problem?

And so then they begin to self diagnose themselves and think, oh my gosh, I need a new website. Oh my gosh, I need new branding. Oh my gosh, I need this. I need that. And they start to try to solve this problem on their own. And it usually results in them making these investments that don’t give them any return because they have decided for themselves like this is the problem.

And then they go and try to hire out or DIY something and pull it together and find out that it doesn’t work. And so today we’re going to be talking about what that problem is and give you some solutions on how you can fix it, because it’s really important and it’s definitely a miss when it comes to establishing your brand online and things like that.

So if you’ve ever felt like your sales conversion in your business were just not working for you and that your customers are not actually turning into customers, like people are clicking off your website and they’re just not engaging, then you definitely need to listen.

The number one thing that brands are missing that are facing this dilemma is a lack of a solid brand strategy.

And you may be thinking, Karen, what the heck is the brand strategy? What it’s not is the visual identity of your brand, such as just your logo, your colors, the fonts that you’re using and things like that. But what it is, is establishing a core message, a core mission in your business that you can build a strong foundation on. And that is important because in order to stand out, in order to stand out and attract the type of customers that you want, you have to be different than everybody else that’s selling something similar to what you are selling.

And as e-commerce brands come up on the Internet every single day, every single second, and as people are building more and more of their businesses online, there’s going to be a heavy influx of competition, giving consumers a lot of options in choosing where they are shopping. And so when you don’t stand out, when you aren’t saying something that is unique to the type of customer that you want, they are not going to give you their money because they can’t tell you apart.

And so with brand strategy in place, meaning that you have a solidified foundation in place, they will be able to understand that, hey, you are talking directly to them and that you understand what their needs are. So overall, that is what brand strategy is to me. It could be called something different with another person, but for me is brand strategy. And I’m going to tell you more about what that entail. One of the areas that brand strategy entail is defining your core customer, who is the type of customer that shops with your brand.

What does their day look like? What type of lifestyle are they living and what types of behaviors are in place when it comes to how they shop? Are there certain words, certain things that really bring attention to them so that they know like, hey, this is something that I want to invest in looking at their behaviors? How do they shop? Like looking and exploring what that looks like for them and then thinking about what type of journey they’re taking.

Where are they at currently and where do they desire to be when you’re selling a product, know that most of your customers are looking at a future version of themselves.

I mean, we’ve all been there like maybe you have a Dream car that you want, right?

So it’s not that you don’t appreciate the car that you have right now, but you when you think about your dream car, you’re thinking about the future version of yourself and what your life will look like. And we make a lot of decisions based on a future state of who we want to be. So when people invest in a luxury brand, they want to feel more luxurious, more luxe. They want to have this sort of status in place, or when they invest in certain brands that, you know, are more socially conscious, they want to feel like they contributed, that they gave back to the community.

So whatever it is that their future state is that they want to be, and that’s how they connect a lot to how they choose to invest. And so we look at what your customers journey is and what is important to them, and then we look at how your customers are finding you.

Yes, you may be posting on social media, but what types of hashtags are they’re using if they’re finding you want Instagram to discover who you are, or are they typing into their search and seeing that you pop up because you put certain words and things into your bio? Or are they finding you and discovering through ads? Or is it because a customer or a past customer has, you know, promoted you on social and so now they’re just discovering you?

However, that is we look into how people discover your brand. And so overall, your customer analysis portion of your brand strategy is important because you need to understand who your customers are and how they shop, what their behaviors are and how they find you.

That’s going to give you the necessary tools to help you attract more of them. Next, you need to be aware of your competition and what it is that makes them stand out and then what it is that they have opportunities in. If there is opportunities that they have within their brand, you should be aware about it so that you aren’t making those same type of opportunities. You can actually use those opportunities to leverage and help you grow and experience more impact in your own brand.

So being aware of what your competition is doing is not only smart, it’s healthy. So you don’t have to be studying them like every day seeing what they’re doing. But you need to be aware of who your competition is. And then by being aware of who competition is, it’ll help you stand out and be different from them because you don’t want to be like them. If you start blending in with everybody, nobody’s going to be able to tell the difference between you two.

And they start to then say, well, how can I? As a human brain, the human brain likes to compare. How can I tell? The differences, you know, and so then they start like, well, this brand looks the same as this brand. OK, so now how can I compare and eliminate something? Well, then I start looking at prices and reviews and things like that. So if you want to stand out, you need to know what makes you different.

And so being aware of your customer, you’re not your customer, but your competition is going to be a really important. Next is you want to know where your competitors are spending their time online? How are they marketing and connecting with customers? Are they really engaged with their audience? If they’re not? If you see that their audience is asking questions on their Instagram feed and nobody is responding that, you know, that they aren’t into engagement. So that is an opportunity for you to know that if people are asking you questions on your Instagram feed, you need to be really quick about responding and you need to have engaging answers and also look at the quality of the responses that your competitors are giving.

Are they just giving, like little two word responses? Thank you. I mean, somebody just interacted with your brand and you’re just saying thank you. If they have questions, are they answering questions, things like th Look at what your competition is doing and how they’re engaging with their audience. And then where you find the opportunities is where you will spend your time to amplify, make sure that you aren’t doing the same thing. All right. Next is to look at bigger brands.

You can learn a lot from bigger brands, even though you might not have the same marketing budgets, the same the same size team. You can still get important information from them so that you can incorporate those into your own business. Being able to incorporate things that you learn from bigger brands is helpful, it keeps you aware of what some of the trends are and things like that. So definitely explore what bigger brands are doing. Don’t think because you’re not as big of a brand that it does not matter.

And of course, what’s important is your own brand positioning. So brand positioning is where you are in the position of the market. How are you planted in the market in which you exist and you need to explore what your mission statement is like? What is your mission statement means? Like what is the values that represent your brand? How is it the cornerstone of your business?

What makes it stand out in the sea of same? If you have a solid brand mission that speaks to who you are as a brand, then it will connect more to the type of customers that you want to attract because they understand what the mission is. Being well positioned will help you to command higher attention and it will help you stand out in the market. So next is to clearly define what your how your brand is different, what makes it unique, what helps it stand out.

And those things could be like maybe you have a unique brand story of how you started, how you’ve founded your company, how you, you know, impact the world, whatever that may be. Those are part of your differentiations that customers will be able to easily identify with. Maybe the founder has a really cool story or something like what is it that makes your brand unique? Maybe you serve a certain type of customer, maybe you solve a certain type of solution, whatever.

That case may be clear on what makes your brand different. And then the next thing is your creative plan, like what is it that you’re going to make sure that you have in place to have a solid marketing strategy, specifically where to place your focus, where you should be showing up that is going to be in front of your ideal customers and what types of marketing activities you should be doing. Remember, we want this to be the most effective type of marketing for your audience.

What is going to get you in front of your target customer on a consistent basis? And once you have that solidified, make sure that you are consistently doing it and then start to look at other marketing avenues in your business are great opportunities. If you listen to previous podcast episodes, we talked about E Commerce SEO and we are also in a future episode going to talk about email marketing because that again is another important aspect of your business that you should be executing on, because it’s going to give you that close and immediate relationship with their customers versus social media where they aren’t always going to see every single post that you’re doing, which means that you’re probably spending a lot of time on social media because you are constantly churning out content in hopes that people will discover your product.

Now, once we have solidified your foundation and your mission, your competitors, how you stand out, what makes you different is then it’s time to go into your visual aspect of your brand, because that, again, is very important. It is an attractive piece to your customers. And so having a solid visual presence is going to contribute to that. And so then we start to really take into account the psychology of your customer, what types of colors and things that they’re going to be attracted to, because there is a thing called color psychology.

Certain colors evoke a certain level of emotion. And if you get that wrong, you could be thinking that you’re sending out a certain message when you’re really just attracting something opposite of that. And so being aware of what types of colors are attractive to your ideal target audience and things like that is going to be important. It’s going to better align your brand with the mission that you have in place. And then we start to think about more of your other important aspects of your brand, and that is your website and how your website layout should be focused so that when customers land on their home page or land on some sort of page on your website, it is easy for them to understand what to do next and what the intended purpose is that you want them to do.

It’s clear. It’s simple. It gives clear. Call to actions and call to actions are just things that you want them to do next, add to cart you want them to add their product to their cart. If you have up sells, you want them to grab those things. If you have related or like items, you want them to add those things to your carts. If you want them to sign up to your email marketing newsletter, then that should be clear.

Whatever the action is that you want them to take is also important when it comes to thinking about your brand strategy. All of these things pull together is going to give you a better conversion rate. And when I say conversion rate, that is more people buying more of your products and so that you can continue to sleep well at night and not really worry about, is my business being profitable? Is my business going to be enough to cover my bills?

Is my business going to be able to support my family? Is my business going to grow and allow me to accomplish other goals? So if that is something that’s been on your mind, I hope that you have taken some notes on all these important elements that you need to have in place so that you can grow your business, reach your dreams. And if you are like Karen, that’s a lot to do. It is. And it’s really important that you get it right and that you spend time here.

A lot of people just want to immediately go into creating a website, creating a brand because they like certain fonts and certain colors and they they like that pretty because it’s like it gives them that what I want to say, it gives them that instant thing of like it gives them it gives them a sense of feeling like they have accomplished something like we have a website. You’re like, yes, I got the website done. But is it effective? Is it going to help you grow your business?

And then it’s like, well, I have a new logo. Well, is the logo speaking to your audience? Do they even resonate with it? I mean, because your best friend and your sister or brother, if they’re not your target audience, they’re not they’re going to be like, oh, yeah, I like it within your target audience. It’s like that doesn’t speak to me. So having those things in place and really understanding the reason why behind it is going to be critical in helping you to sell more products.

Now, if you’re like, Karen, I don’t know where to start and things like that, then you definitely need to reach out to me, because this is one of the things that I do with clients, because it’s been such a huge problem. Clients come to me and I think, oh my gosh, I have a website and they don’t think about the real bigger problem to a solution that they need. And so this is one of the first areas that I start with, with clients in that is going through a brand strategy process.

And so if that is something that sparks interest to you, then you definitely should reach out, hit me up on or you can email me. You can also connect me on Instagram. And I would be happy to talk to you about it because I think this is critical.

Before you even go into your website strategy, before you go into your website experience, anything like that, you need to have a solid brand strategy in place, because if you don’t, everything else is not going to make sense. Everything else is not going to flow and you’re going to end up being frustrated and feeling like you wasted investment that you really worked hard to pull together. And it’s not giving you the results that you want. So in that investment doesn’t always add up to money.

It could be time that you spent building your own presence or it could be time that you had to take away from friends and family because you needed to build this business and things like that. So I definitely want to encourage you to reach out, connect with me. I’d be happy to answer questions, but I hope this was helpful and go back, take some notes. And then if you are like again, if you have questions, let me know and I’ll be happy to chat.

I hope you found today’s episode valuable and that it inspires you to take action toward growing your brand. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes. Also, I invite you to connect over on Instagram @themaycreative to continue the discussion and remember your ideas can become reality until next time.


Hi, I'm Karen, the founder + strategist/Shopify expert behind The May Creative. I help growing luxury, lifestyle & beauty product-based business owners craft an elevated Shopify website experience. So they can scale their business & reach their next level of success. Connect to learn more about working together. Or check out the episodes below or dive into some insightful eCommerce articles.


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