Every retailer has ups and downs. Sometimes it is a seasonal shift, which is natural (and planned into your sales strategy), but now and again customers just seem to disappear for no reason.
When this happens, it can be very worrying and confusing, but it is not the time to panic.
It may be that your competitors are also struggling, but some creative thinking could give you the advantage if you can get out of the slump before them.
There are plenty of ways to shake new life into your business and boost sales back up again, and this guide highlights just a few of them.
Look at the budget
When sales are down, it is more important than ever to keep a close eye on the finances of the business.
Take a look at your outgoings to find out where you can cut unnecessary costs and monitor your cash flow and inventory carefully.
Create your own event or holiday
A lot of retailers will make a fuss about national holidays such as Christmas or July 4th, but we all love to celebrate, so why not create one of your own?
If you can think of a quirky and fun theme that is connected to your brand you can create a marketing campaign around it and build up some anticipation.
Perhaps you could run a flash sale to celebrate the day or weekend and encourage people to shop with you in a 24-48-hour period?
Increase your advertising
While you should be keeping an eye on your outgoings, some types of advertising are low in cost and relatively easy to retain control of.
For example, pay-per-click (PPC) adverts appear above organic results in search engines when users search for the keywords you have targeted.
In the case of Google Ads, you bid on the keywords you want to appear for and, if your bid is successful it will be displayed.
You will only pay for the advert when someone clicks on it and is sent to your website.
Reassess your pricing
It may be time to revisit your pricing strategy.
You should be able to buy goods and products at a price point that enables you to charge the customer a competitive price, but still retain a profit.
Being priced too high may cause customers to go elsewhere, while being priced too low will not bring in much money and might lead customers to doubt the quality of the product.
Look at your website design
The design of your website is crucially important when it comes to converting visitors to paying customers.
It should be attractive, easy to navigate, and functional, while leading people towards a purchase.
This is not a simple task and there are many specialist companies and professionals who devote their careers to website design, so do not be afraid to seek professional advice.
Communicate with your customers
It may be time to go straight to the source and ask your customers what they think.
A customer feedback survey sent to people who have bought from you in the past may help to highlight issues in your sales process or problems with the product they received.
Alternatively, sending newsletters, special offers, vouchers, or information about your products by email may prompt people to visit your website again and will show them that you value their custom.