Semalt Gives 10 Reasons Why Your Online Store Sales May Decline

You run a website that generates the expected income. Suddenly, however, it turns out that day by day you have fewer and fewer orders and the activity ceases to produce the same results as before. There could be many reasons for this - don't expect improvement to come immediately, overnight, without any intervention.

Nothing happens without a reason, so now it's up to you to find the source of the problem and fix it. Check what may be the result of the decrease in sales in the online store.

Sales drop - what the consequences may result

Declining revenues for a web store mean that suddenly the business may stop delivering the expected results. This can actually cause numerous problems related to the financial situation and liquidity of the company. With very large changes, it may be difficult to deal with even the basic costs related to the business, such as remuneration coverage, payments to contractors of various services, including marketing activities. Therefore, it is crucial to act quickly to find the source of the problems.

Start by taking a look at Google Analytics if you are using this analytics tool, or take a look at another system you are using to track traffic on the site like the Dedicated SEO Dashboard. Here you can find valuable tips on what the reasons for the drop in sales in the e-shop may be.

10 reasons for the decline in online store sales

There can be many reasons for the decreasing level of revenues in an online store. Here are the steps you should take to find the reasons for sales dropping in your e-shop.

Server error

You won't have much trouble finding out why, because the store simply won't work. Such situations are not common. Hosting services usually keep stores running without interruptions, but servers are just machines that can also fail. In 2021, there was a fire in the server room belonging to the OVH brand. The result was the unavailability of many popular websites. Importantly, the fire also consumed the servers where the backups of some of the websites were located. Remember: hosting should always back up your data, but that doesn't mean you don't need to have it on your own media as well. The process of their creation can be automated. Then, in such a case, it is possible to bring the site back to life in a relatively short time and reduce losses.

Google algorithm update

The Google search engine makes frequent changes to the search algorithm. The vast majority of these modifications do not affect the visibility of pages in SERPs. It is changing, but this does not translate into significant drops in traffic. However, it was already the case that, from time to time, Google carried out updates that caused dramatic changes in search results. Take a look at the Dedicated SEO Dashboard and see if your website visibility has changed significantly recently. If there was a drastic drop, it certainly translated into less traffic and fewer sales.

The search engine is the source of the most traffic in stores that operate on it. Therefore, the loss of visibility can be severe. What can you do then? It is best to consult an SEO agency that will detect the cause of the problems and prepare an action plan to improve the situation.

Problem with scripts on the website

Another potential cause of problems is software. In this case, it is possible that you are not seeing any traffic deterioration. It is very likely that it even increased, but the problem is that sales are decreasing, and even that your Internet users have stopped ordering. In this case, follow the purchase path. Perhaps at an important stage, an error pops up that prevents the customer from proceeding with his / her order. Is there a problem with making the payment? Can't go through all the steps? Perhaps only those who use a given browser have the problem? You may be able to fix this problem yourself, or you may need a developer to fix it.

Out of Google Ads credit

Traffic from search engine advertising accounts for 29% of the traffic to stores operating on this platform. In addition, you can also advertise on websites belonging to the content network. Google ads can therefore be an important source of traffic for you. Is your account well funded? If not, and you have been getting a lot of traffic and sales so far, you will probably quickly notice that the cause of the problem lies there. Be sure to check your Google Ads account balance!

Losing first positions on Google

For a significant drop in traffic, and thus most sales, you don't need a Google update that turns your search results upside down. It may happen that your biggest competitor, who so far was in positions 2-3 for key phrases, has invested in SEO and is ahead of you, on TOP1. But can a drop by one position cause such changes? Unfortunately, it may be so. 

This problem requires a thorough analysis of the cause of the loss of the TOP1. It will not always be the fault of the competition. How quickly can the situation be improved? It depends on many factors, but it is unlikely that it will be a matter of days. It is worth remembering that in terms of SEO, it is worth developing a website constantly - even when you are in the first position for key queries.

Limiting activity on social networks

Social media has millions of users and at the same time allows you to reach customers from various industries. You can do it by developing a fan page and posting information on it about interesting offers, guides, and generally, materials related to your brand. Another way is to use Facebook Ads campaigns that allow you to reach a very specific group of recipients. Another method is to use thematic groups on Facebook to promote. If you stopped these activities, it could have had a significant impact on sales. Let's assume that you have a fan page liked by 50 thousand people and you have finished working with the agency that supports it. If suddenly there is no activity on the fan page, you can lose up to thousands of visits per week. 

Competition lowered prices

This problem appears especially in the case of small online stores, the offer of which includes, for example, several products. Often, such websites use structural data, and then in the search results, Internet users can see the price of a given product in individual stores, so the most expensive ones may be omitted in advance. If this data is not available, they will probably check several offers and choose the product that suits them best. A higher price may mean that this choice is not an item in one's assortment.

Do you know that over 50 percent of Internet users do online research before buying products?

Negative feedback

Before making purchases, Internet users often check opinions about the producer or store, especially if they have never ordered anything from a given company before and it is simply anonymous for them. In the event that your business has recently had problems, e.g. regarding the shipment of products on the set date, negative opinions about the brand may have sprung up. In this case, it is very likely that after seeing them, e.g. as part of a Google business card, Internet users will give up shopping. How to deal with this? Encourage customers to leave feedback. Unfortunately, it is the dissatisfied ones who post them most willingly.

Did you know that as much as 59 percent of consumers on the Internet check the reviews on Google?

You have excluded solutions that are beneficial for your customers

The Internet user may have used your offer more than once, but with the next order it turns out that there is no longer an option for free delivery. He/she also does not see a discount for ordering more products, and in addition, the option of gift-wrapping at a price has disappeared. These were the arguments that spoke for your offer. Do not take away these and other opportunities from customers if you do not have strong data that will not negatively affect sales. Examine the preferences of recipients, find out what determines their interest, and only then make any changes to the offer.

Seasonality of your offer

There are very few products and activities that enjoy exactly the same interest throughout the year. You may think that there is no such typical seasonality in your industry. If in doubt, analyze the data from previous years - check how sales and traffic looked like in different periods. If you don't have this data, check out Google Trends. Seasonal sales drops are completely natural.

A decline in sales in the online store - summary

These 10 possible causes of decline are just selected cases. Of course, they can be completely different, so each of them requires thorough analysis with Semalt's Dedicated SEO Dashboard. Be sure to check how traffic from individual sources has changed according to Google Analytics. Analyze what the results looked like in particular years - maybe it is natural that sales decrease in a given period? Step by step you should find the cause of the problems.


I don't know what the reason for the drop in sales is, and I checked everything I could think of.

In this case, be sure to seek the help of a specialist who will audit the store and check it from different angles. As you can see, there are many possible causes and it cannot be indicated in advance that the problem is definitely an error.

Perhaps you have lagged behind the competition in terms of website development, and offered solutions? It all requires verification.

I found the reason - I recorded significant drops in Google. What to do?

For starters, here you should find out what exactly caused the website to have worse visibility on Google than before. Or is it about updating the algorithm? Mistakes made on the site, investing in low-quality links?

Or maybe your site is indexed by Google from the results due to incorrect redirects, incorrectly implemented language versions, or for other reasons? Also, in this case, 
an audit by a specialist is necessary.