TheMadScientist - 8:15 pm on Jun 14, 2010 (gmt 0)
I would guess targeting has something to do with it, but does the economy also have an impact that could be causing issues with actual sales?
Also, you probably know, but even regular searches are personalized by default, so make sure you clear cookies and stuff when trying to find 'clean' results to give you an idea of what others are seeing... One of the tough things about personalization is you really can't tell what other people are seeing unless you're them, which IMO makes if very difficult to diagnose when traffic is the same.
Have you made any changes to the site since last year (design, checkout, cart, processor, etc.) or thought about trying some split testing to see if layout changes, edits, etc. could help you increase the sales numbers and trouble shooting your end a bit more extensively?
I would double check every aspect of the sales process repeatedly to make sure there's not an error there where only a few people are getting through, because I've seen issues before where people were trying to do something and simply couldn't for one reason or another, even though things were working the way they should for a few people.
I would think with traffic, if the economy is not stonewalling you, it might be possible to increase sales through site changes and onsite trouble shooting... It would suck to see you go down while having traffic, so I'd try to find a way to work with what you're getting somehow, even if you have to simply accept advertising or something until you recover.
Seriously, if you find everything is working the way it should in the sales process and you can't increase your own sales with design changes, process changes, etc. then shift gears and forget about capitalizing on your specific product for a bit and figure out how to capitalize on the traffic, maybe with 'related but not competing' products or advertising... IOW: Think about capitalizing on the site and traffic more than how to capitalize on your specific product(s) with something 'complimentary' or 'clickable' that could help keep you going until the sales come back.