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Fourth day without an order--what would you check?
dickbaker




msg:4191645
 9:55 pm on Aug 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've had a relatively good month for sales. However, from Saturday through today I've had absolutely nothing. I don't think I've ever gone four days without a sale.

I've checked the shopping cart by using a remote desktop service I subscribe to, and used different OS's and browsers, and the sale came through. Looked at the stats and the number of people going to the cart was the same, except nobody completed a sale.

I know that just about every online retailer goes through a slump, but I'm just wondering what others do to make sure there isn't a technical problem.

 

dpd1




msg:4191763
 4:17 am on Aug 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm not surprised... Three weeks ago I could barely keep up. After that, it's like crickets over here. Hardly anything for the last week. Last minute vacations before school starts or something I think. I just start working on other stuff and try not to stress. I finally figured out a problem with a product today that was bugging me for a year, which I never had time for before. So it's not all bad.

HRoth




msg:4191888
 11:10 am on Aug 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Crickets here, too. Yesterday I had one sale. I can't complain too much, though, because although I have had 15% fewer sales than last August at this time, people have bought 20% more stuff. 'Course, last August was pretty much a disaster for me. This is always a slow time of year for me as people are spending money on back to school if they are at home and taking vacations if they are not. A lot of my customers shop at work. And with unemployment running out for people, things are bad for a lot of folks.

When it gets exceedingly slow, I usually use the cart to buy something. I ask a friend to go look at the site and see if they see anything wonky. I check where I am in Google search. If everything is jake, I try not to think about it and work on other things, like writing content for the site, adding products, or other projects. Retail is just mysterious sometimes. I think that is why so many people have a difficult time with being retailers and give it up. It takes a toll on a person, because often you have absolutely no idea why business is going the way it is--not because you are not informed about your business, but because there are so many unknowns.

dickbaker




msg:4192047
 4:46 pm on Aug 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replies. The curse was broken, and a couple of orders came in.

What's odd is that I talk to the owners of brick and mortar retail stores in my niche almost daily. Some say that their sales are slow, and some are busy as can be.

I always test the cart and it always works. I guess there's no way to know what people are thinking.

dpd1




msg:4192150
 7:25 pm on Aug 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I knew the big slowdown was guaranteed, because it was humming along so well before, that I decided to buy some new equipment. So of course the huge slowdown came a week later. What else would happen.

Kind of sad actually... This use to be my favorite time of year. Now it's my least favorite. That and Christmas. Which was also one of my favorite times of year. I hate being an adult.

dickbaker




msg:4192207
 9:52 pm on Aug 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Kind of sad actually... This use to be my favorite time of year. Now it's my least favorite. That and Christmas. Which was also one of my favorite times of year. I hate being an adult.


I loved holidays when I was working for someone else. When I became self-employed, holidays became days when I couldn't make any money.

HRoth




msg:4192235
 11:38 pm on Aug 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Lol, I like them. Yes, it's slow, but I can take a day off without any guilt at all!

dpd1




msg:4207162
 6:37 pm on Sep 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well, I guess now it's my turn. This is freaky... No questions, no comments, no nothing. It's like everybody disappeared. And this stuff always happens all at the same time too... I wake up the other morning and find an invoice from a vendor that I've bought the same parts from for years... only this time, the bill is like, twice what it normally is. I scan down the page and realize all of the parts have had their prices raised by like, 20-40%. So I call them up and ask what the h**l? They acted like... 'what's the problem'? Like it's no big deal.

When it rains it pours.

backdraft7




msg:4207180
 7:33 pm on Sep 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

We've been discussing this in the Google "throttling" topic, but no definite answers. My sales are WAY off from this time last year and it all started with the Google's Mayday update on May 18th 2010.

We had a semi recovery in June, July and August, but then around September 1st everything just shut down again. Our traffic is the same or better than last year when we were doing 10 to 20 sales per day. Now it's 4 to 6 sales per day if we are lucky.

There have been no changes to our site and I've even included coupons in an attempt to promote sales. The bottom line is that our traffic, that has been great for the last 10 years is now either very un-targeted or from foreign countries. Our logs show that our traffic levels have not dropped at all.

I have notice a large increase in sales from places like Australia, and South Africa. Weird! I feel for all those who are suffering the same drop in sales, you're not alone.

It's my opinion that the recent introduction of Google Instant has everything messed up again.

dpd1




msg:4207196
 7:58 pm on Sep 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well, I don't know... I don't think I really depend that much on search traffic, so I'm not really at the mercy of the system. It just seems psychological to me. People just not buying. Traffic is pretty much the same. As I said, I'm not even getting questions. Normally I open my mail to numerous questions each day. Last few days... Nada. Weird. Can't last forever, but it makes you nervous.

jecasc




msg:4207201
 8:18 pm on Sep 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thats a funny coincidence. On Thursday my sales dropped 80%. Since it was a sunny September day I thought maybe people simply were not sitting in front of the computer. On Friday I got a little scared. I have had such drops before - for a day. But not two days in a row. Worse sales than on christmas eve. At that rate I would sell in a week what I usually sell in a day. I did the usual checks, everything fine. I decided to wait for a day before starting any changes, like tweaking my adwords ads.

On Saturday however - everything back to normal. Today sales are normal too. So I hope it was really only the weather.

backdraft7




msg:4207203
 8:29 pm on Sep 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I hope it's a temporary glitch, but so far it has been three weeks of progressively slower sales.

dpd1




msg:4207249
 12:08 am on Sep 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well, on the plus side... If traffic is the same, maybe all those people will be back and buy next time. It's funny how things go up and down though... A couple weeks ago, one of my most expensive items disappeared going overseas, and I was dreading how I was going to deal with that. I had written it off. Then out of the blue the guy says it just showed up. So I was all happy about that, then the big plunge came. So it's always a roller-coaster.

backdraft7




msg:4207262
 12:30 am on Sep 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I never was a roller coaster until the past few weeks. Today is complete wash. 1 sale all day. Last year, same day 16 sales. This is complete BS! We made no site changes. This is all courtesy of G.

gpilling




msg:4207268
 12:42 am on Sep 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

sales last week did not equal the friday before. Nothing in the last 3 days.

dpd1




msg:4207288
 2:51 am on Sep 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

How can it be Google if many people are experiencing the same thing though? Like I said, my sales are not really tied to searches that much. I watched my email all day and there was nothing. Nobody talking, zero... Not even spam for hours and hours. So it's not just sales. I actually checked my email to make sure it was working. For whatever reason, it just seems like people are doing something else. I can't explain it though.

backdraft7




msg:4207300
 3:27 am on Sep 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

@dpd1 - I agree, I am seeing the same thing with my email too, even my spam rate is way down if not non-existent. It's almost as if there is a major router outage. So this prompted me to check out the Internet Traffic Report
    http://www.internettrafficreport.com/
which indicates a much lower than average level for the United States. Maybe EVEYONE is online and choking the system with video and huge downloads. If you check the North America section, it shows 7 routers at 0% and the traffic graphs as unusually flat.
I think you may be on to the root cause...hardware.

piatkow




msg:4207381
 8:12 am on Sep 27, 2010 (gmt 0)


Maybe EVEYONE is online and choking the system with video and huge downloads.

I came across a post on a music forum a couple of days ago complaining about youtube being slow. You might have the answer there.

backdraft7




msg:4207401
 10:05 am on Sep 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I checked with my hosting company gurus regarding the internettrafficreport.com index and they replied :
That is an unusual low index for the US as it is usually in the green so it does look like there are some issues with some network. It looks like Level3 is currently having latency issues. I can confirm that our network is currently operating without any issues. So yes, any traffic that is being routed through some of these networks that are having these issues would experience latency problems.

My server is located in Chicago, but with 7 routers OOS, I' say that erratic traffic could be expected anywhere.
I've read how this latency problem may get worse in 2011.

RhinoFish




msg:4207467
 12:44 pm on Sep 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I hope this weekend was everyone taking a break before they begin ramping up for Q4.

dpd1




msg:4207637
 7:04 pm on Sep 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Kind of getting back to normal today... Few inquiries, couple orders so far. Couple more talking about ordering.

As a friend of mine said... Birds do it... Fish do it... Why not people? For some unknown reason, sometimes creatures all just decide to do the same thing. Who knows why.

HRoth




msg:4208453
 11:20 pm on Sep 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Glad to see I am not the only one who has been experiencing some kind of weird slowdown in sales.

Re the internet slowdown, I have been having problems such that I get a "slow network" popup from Opera. I also did some tracerts the other day because various sites were very slow. Partly it was my own isp, but partly it was failures of AT&T routers--timing out. So maybe the problem is not people not wanting to buy but just gettin frustrated with slow connections and timeouts.

ponyboy96




msg:4209001
 8:23 pm on Sep 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Slow here too. Some weeks its just like that, then all of a sudden I get a ton of orders. Traffic is higher than normal as well. I've found that my higher traffic weeks are not my stronger sales weeks. Funny how that works.

jecasc




msg:4209493
 6:24 pm on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I checked my Adwords stats for this month and it's a little odd. Add impressions and click through rate are steady, but conversions are a roller coaster. One day 7%, next day down to 1%, next day up to 6%.

Rannos




msg:4209500
 6:29 pm on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

1st time post.. long time lurker :)

Our sales dropped off substantially for no reason last Friday.
Only thing we did was change a "add to cart" button slightly so my immediate thoughts were that was the cause. There seems to be no real pattern to the recent on-again / off-again sales either. I know for sure I do not like the new "Google Instant" and I'm wondering if this isn't partly to blame for the roller coaster sales we are having.

Test this, test that... It's enough to give someone a heart condition!

backdraft7




msg:4209511
 6:51 pm on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yesterday was double digit sales, but today is very slow. Unless this straightens out soon, there will soon be a lot of website owners in the poor farm. SERP positions the same, traffic volumes the same, but sales in the gutter. The weird thing is the sudden ON / OFF behavior. It's not the economy. Our sales typically INCREASE when the economy tanks. My conclusion is that Google is broken.

dpd1




msg:4209557
 8:25 pm on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

The internet in general still seems very poky to me... Very little activity on most forums and lists... Low email amounts. Typically when I see that, I see less sales.

Hiredguns




msg:4209754
 6:25 am on Oct 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah it's hard to say. I've been watching my sales daily for the last 3 years and i've noticed trends that shift from the year before however this year has been by far the most inconsistent.

It could be that people are using the internet differently than the year before and so general user behavior is changing. Maybe mobile, facebook, twitter, google instant, etc. are having an effect?

Anyways, my solution to this is to expand my product line into europe and start ranking in those markets. I'm hoping that it will help my sales grow as well as make it more consistent overall.

dpd1




msg:4209772
 7:13 am on Oct 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I agree... The more stuff you have the better. I'm working on a new product right now. Hopefully have it done next week. Seems like it always take ten times longer than I planed though. It's funny how you can feel about this stuff... Some months I feel like everything is great. Then other months it just seems like all negativity. The amount of sales accounts for how I perceive other things... At the beginning of the year, I was so busy... I had a couple knuckle-heads post some negative stuff about a couple products, but it didn't even phase me. Now months later, with lower sales and more time on my hands, I found myself thinking about those posts and having it annoy me more then when it actually happened. I did a search and realized that the two negative posts come up almost first. All the dozens of positive posts pages lower in ranking. How the heck does Google do that? It's almost like they have some sort of negativity algorithm in place that searches out negative comments. But these are things I grind my teeth over when there's not enough to keep me busy. :-)

HRoth




msg:4209833
 10:47 am on Oct 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've noticed the general slowness too, dpd1. Blogs I regularly read not being updated much lately, for instance, and forums quieter. Like people are holding their breath.

This 94 message thread spans 4 pages: 94 ( [1] 2 3 4 > >
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