I’m sure you’ve seen at least one episode of the reality show where failing restaurant owners call upon the bombastic Chef Ramsay for one last shot at saving their sinking ship. Unfortunately, most of the restauranteurs turned a blind eye to their problems long before they called Gordon.
It’s only natural that nobody wants to admit failure, but there are times when you just have to suck up to the fact that your food is crap, the décor is outdated and your service leaves a lot to be desired. But episode after episode, restaurant owners sit back and wonder why their business is failing when the answer is right in front of their eyes.
Substitute the word “kitchen” in the show’s title and this format can be used for just about any kind of business. You know where I’m going with this right?
Your eCommerce store is in the shit, as Ramsay would say, and you’re wondering why. Let’s turn your store into a restaurant for a moment and see why sales are so bad.
As Gordon lands on your website we suddenly hear, “Good God, what’s that smell?” He takes a few more sniffs. “Jesus, this site looks like it was designed by some poof with a degree in cosmetology rather than the fu**ing web.”
First impressions count. If your website doesn’t have a crisp, clean, up-to-date look you’re turning customers away at your front door. A website should be redesigned every 18 months. Keeping your site fresh with the latest features, a new coat of paint and the latest standards in coding results in better conversions and a fast loading site that people want to shop from. And use a professional designer please, your next door neighbor’s kid may be nice, but leave this job up to the people who know what they’re doing.
After a few minutes of clicking around, we overhear Gordon say, “F**k me. What is this?” Whoops, he hit an item page that has no product description, a small image that won’t enlarge when clicked, and has a price of $99 on it. “They want me to buy this but they can’t tell me what it is? Wow, they’ve got bollocks.”
You’re not doing anyone any favors by not having complete and accurate product descriptions written for each of your products. That description needs to be unique to your store rather than copied from somewhere else so you get the best SEO bang for your buck. Photos need to be clear and professional and always upload a large image that can be enlarged to show detail.
The chef has seen enough and is ready to confront the owners.
“Are you guys f**king blind? You’re site is old, your product pages are lacking vital information and there’s nobody buying. Is your head in the f**king sand?”
In order to get a handle on what’s going on here, the chef needs to see the operations.
Here comes our first order. It’s a small one, but it’s an order. Owner one looks at it and does nothing. Owner two prints it out and places it on his desk. Four hours go by.
“Are you going to let that sit there until it grows a pair of f**king legs and boxes itself up?” the chef asks.
In the mean time the phone is ringing, but nobody is answering it. Another one goes to voice mail. “You don’t need my help, you need a miracle. I may be too late,” Gordon says.
“Please help us, we need you chef” the owners wail.
“Then get off your asses and start working you lazy piece of shit!” the chef screams.
After witnessing a horrible first day, Ramsay and his team go to work to help save this failing eCommerce company. They work through the night and greet the store owners the next morning.
“Here we have a brand new website with all the latest features that are designed to get your customers to buy more. We’re now collecting email addresses at the checkout so you can market your customers after the sale to get them to come back to spend more money.”
Gordon then unveils changes in the operations, “We put in an order processing system that automatically batches your orders and sends them to the warehouse so they can be packed within a few hours, not days. We are also emailing your customers tracking information as soon as that box is sealed. How is that for service?”
The store owners look at him with amazement.
“Look at this. Gone is voice mail. Your calls are now being taken by a call center who’s goal is to get the f**king order. Not let the customer walk away. Look, here comes another order from the call center.”
The store owners look at the chef and say, “Wow, this is amazing. We never could have done it without you.”
As Ramsay walks away he says, “Amazing. Simply f**king amazing. Here’s a business that has so much potential but the owners just don’t get it. I gave them all the tools for them to make money, lets hope to God they use them. F**k me.”
Sometimes all it takes is another set of eyes to take a look at your business and see what’s wrong. No, you don’t need the great chef to come in and do that for you, just don’t wait until it’s too late. If you’re sales are down, start asking why NOW while it’s still early and your problems can be addressed.
If you’ve got a failing eCommerce business and need some advice, well…. you’ve got my contact info.