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Are These 5 Mistakes Killing Your Sales?

RetroSupply March 31, 2021 · 7 min read

Why isn’t anyone buying my product!? You’ve just sacrificed your mornings, evenings, weekends and family time to create an incredible product. You know it’s great, but you’ve barely made any sales. As you obsessively refresh your Creative Market sales page, you start to get deflated and down. How can I sell more products and make more money?
If it feels like a mystery why your product isn’t selling, but I have good news: 80% of the problems with your sales are the result of just 5 things. If you take a close look at the 5 mistakes I’m about to share with you, I’m confident that you can double your product sales.
There’s just one thing I need you to promise to do: take action. Next time a product is selling poorly, check for each of these five mistakes. Most importantly, make changes to your product and monitor the results.
(Important note: This list assumes that you’ve created a high quality and useful product. If you’re not sure if that’s the case, you might want to consider creating a post in the Discussions area asking for feedback.)
Here’s the 5 mistakes that can kill your sales (and what you can do to fix them):

Mistake #1: Your Cover Image Needs Help

Your cover image is one of the most powerful influencers for your sales. Imagine you’re a customer, browsing through hundreds of products, scrolling quickly looking for something that catches your eye. Your product cover has to be so powerful that it stands out and begs to be clicked.
Remember, your product cover has one job and one job only: to get the potential customer to click on it. That’s it! Once they click, they’re on your product page and you can tell them all the details about how awesome your product is.
Start paying attention to packaging. Start taking photos on your smartphone of packaging that you see in stores that begs to be picked up. Ask yourself, what about the package made me want to grab it? Was it the copy? The color?
This cover image by Nicky Laatz does its job. It’s eye catching, explains what the product is, and is hard not to click on!

Mistake #2: You’ve Priced Your Product Wrong

Often, the pricing on a product is an afterthought. We look at what others are pricing their products for, slap on a price, and never think about it again. Or worse yet, you’re afraid your product isn’t as good as everyone else’s, so you price it crazy low.
You need to put some consideration and research into how you price your product. It can make the difference between piles of cash and no one ever buying your product.
According to a study done by Stanford GSB and the California Institute of Technology, your pricing can effect how much customers use and enjoy your product.
“Price is changing people’s experiences with a product and, therefore, the outcomes from consuming this product.” says Stanford faculty researcher Baba Shiv.
Here are some things to consider when you’re pricing your product:

  • What are similar products selling for? You don’t need to sell your product for the same price, but you should know what customers other options are. Tip: customers don’t automatically buy the cheapest product. Think about your own buying habits, aren’t you willing to spend a little more for something you really want?
  • Am I pricing out of fear? If you’re feeling the prelaunch jitters about your product, you might price it too low. Pricing low is generally a bad idea. Not only does it kill your profits, but it also communicates poor quality. People associate price with quality. If you price your product too low, people will assume that it is poorly made.
  • Can customers get this product anywhere else? If you have a totally unique and useful product, considering pricing higher. If there’s no other option than your product, customers will simply have to pay the price or not get the results your product produces.

Jessica Johnson produced a unique product with significant demand. As a result, she priced the product about 50% higher than similar products. This is a smart move considering she was the first to market with the idea (and it’s a comprehensive product).

Mistake #3: You Haven’t Provided Enough Information

People don’t buy stuff when they’re not sure it will work. The last thing your customer wants is to give you their hard-earned money only to discover your product is useless to them.
To get as many sales as possible, you need to be sure that you answer every question and objection your customers have. Here are some common pieces of missing information that can kill sales:

  • Resolution (can I use your textures to print a gigantic poster?)
  • Compatibility with other software (will it work with software other than Photoshop?)
  • License (can I put this on t-shirts and sell it?)
  • Examples (I need to see more examples to feel comfortable)

Mistake #4: Your Preview Images Aren’t Selling Your Product

The first (and maybe only) thing your customers look at on your product page is the example images. You need to be sure your preview images are communicating the most critical information about your product. It can be useful to think of your cover and preview images as a mini presentation, as opposed to a collection of random examples.
Here are some things you should consider showing in your preview images:

  • Before and after image
  • How the product works
  • The top three features
  • A diagram
  • Close-ups
  • A montage of everything they get (if it’s a large pack)
  • Bonuses

I absolutely love this preview shot by Ian Bernard. It communicates all the features of the product, and it looks good while doing it!

Mistake #5: You’ve Structured Your Offer Wrong

This could be an entire article in itself. How you structure your offer is critical to how customers perceive your product.
Let me give you an example. Which one of these offers would you be more likely to purchase:
Offer #1: 120 Seamless Background Textures
Offer #2: 101 Seamless Background Textures for Web Designers (Plus 19 FREE Bonus Textures)
I’m willing to bet dollars to donuts that offer #2 will outperform offer #1. But did you notice, they’re exactly the same product? We’ve just structured our offer a little differently. By using some of the textures as bonuses, and speaking directly to a specific audience (web designers), we’ve structured the deal to generate more sales.
Can you see the power of this distinction? If a product isn’t doing well, consider changing the structure of the offer. You’ll be surprised how a little tweaking can turn big profits.
Artimasa created the fantastic font Hipsteria. They could have just provided the font and been fine. But instead, they added “+ Bonus”, which communicates more value in the offer.
Like I said at the beginning of this article, the most important thing you can do to increase your sales is to take action. Don’t just read this article and never implement the advice.

Shop Owners, Here’s What I Want You to Do Right Now:

Tell me, what mistakes have you made (or seen others make) that hurt sales? How, specifically, did you fix it? Add your comments below and share them with the community!

Dustin Lee is the owner of the best-selling shop RetroSupply. He’s also working on creating a comprehensive guide to help designers sell more goods online. Sign-up for updates on the guide here.

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About the Author

RetroSupply makes brushes, textures, fonts, and templates for retro-loving illustrators and designers. Our products are made by a full-time team of creatives for use in Procreate, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Affinity.

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