Finding your low performing products isn’t always simple or easy. You can sell a lot of a product and still lose money on it. And even if something is selling for a high amount, that doesn’t necessarily matter if your costs are also high.
So how can you identify low ecommerce performers? Analytics.
But the data can be overwhelming if you’re not sure what to look at. Here are a few things to focus on to efficiently identify and address low performers.
Do you know how much you’re bidding on keywords or ads? Which channels are the most expensive? By adding cost reporting to your analytics dashboard, you can see you much you’re spending on specific products and compare this to what you’re making on them to determine profitability.
A drop in conversions may indicate a problem that needs to be fixed… or simply that a particular product is no longer in style. Track for conversions, and you can stop paying to promote products that just aren’t selling anymore.
Your costs are low. Your conversion rate is high. Sounds like a great product, right? Not so fast! First, check your return rate. It doesn’t matter if a product is selling like hotcakes only to be returned due to some kind of issue. Products with high return rates offer the illusion of profitability because you see them bringing in money… but may not notice it going back out. Even the cost of exchanging an item may make it less profitable than you realize.
Cost of Sale Percentage (COS%) and Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
These are powerful metrics for weeding out products with too slim of a margin. By understanding exactly how much you pay to achieve a sale, you can identify products that are simply not cost-effective to continue promoting with your current strategy.
3 Ways to Cut Ad Spend Loss
After you pinpoint low performing products, you need to take action to improve your bottom line. You have several options.
1. Change your ad spend.
Depending on the specific problem you are addressing, you may want to cut your costs by lowering your ad spend or make a push for that product by increasing your marketing costs. You can also adjust the way you are marketing your product, such as using different keywords or focusing on a different channel.
2. Lower your prices.
If your conversion rate is low, decreasing your price can be an effective solution to move more of the product, particularly if it places your product as the lowest price available on a particular marketplace. In some cases, it may even make sense to simply get rid of your stock, even at a loss, because you will no longer have the cost of managing that inventory and it can make room for newer, better performing products.
3. Suppress products.
If the previous options don't yield your desired results, suppressing your products from your feeds may make more sense than continuing to pay for listings on the products that just don't sell.
You may have noticed that there’s something in common with all of these: they require you to pay attention and take specific, individual actions. But part of the problem is the difficulty of finding the bandwidth to focus on individual product performance at such a granular level. Knowing what to look for makes it easier to pay attention, but you still have to take the time to research and address the problem.
Or do you?
With GoDataFeed, you can go beyond merely setting up alerts. You can create rules that help spot under performing products and even take action on your behalf if specified thresholds are reached. In other words, you can do many of the things discussed above automatically. And you can still receive alerts about how things are doing and what actions are being taken, so you can adjust those rules or take manual action as you need.
For busy online merchants, this kind of automated handling of product performance metrics can mean a significant increase in annual revenue with the added bonus of little ongoing effort.