Forecasting sales can sometimes feel like trying to predict the weather. ⛅  Your sales may have been great so far, so you have every reason to believe you’re headed for a big sunny sales weekend. ☀️️  But sometimes clouds can roll in unexpectedly and rain on your profitable parade. ☔

Instead of wallowing in the sadness of sales slumps, learn how to do something about it. With the right strategies, you’ll be able to optimize your sales numbers and better predict what your potential profits can look like. 


The Law of Averages

Year-over-year numbers, market trends and consumer spending patterns are great tools for finding and predicting overall ups and downs over time. But using them to try to determine your daily order expectations, can quickly drive you crazy. 😜  

When it comes to sales forecasting, using the law of averages — assuming that possible outcomes will even out over a period of time — can help you predict what might be in store for your store. 

For example, let’s say that over the previous year, your store receives an average of 100 sales per month. That’s 25 sales per week and five sales per business day. The law of averages doesn’t mean that you can look at any given day and see five sales. It means that some days you’ll get more than five and some days you’ll get less. Over time, the numbers should average out.

While not an exact science, sales forecasts can still be very useful in helping you with things like scheduling your store maintenance when you know traffic will be minimal, stocking up before your busy season and flagging factors that may be costing you conversions.


Troubleshooting Slow Sales

If you can’t seem to nail what your forecasted sales are compared to the actual sales that come in, one of the best things you can do is backtrack through any changes you’ve made to your store. 

Selectively remove third-party scripts or coding you may have added, and run test orders to assess how they were affecting your customers’ checkout experience. 

You may find there is a bug somewhere in the process or that tools designed to enhance the process were bogging it down and causing customers to abandon their carts.

If you notice that there has been an uptick in abandoned carts, you can send retention emails to encourage customers to return to your store, and even offer a small percentage off as an incentive.


Summary

Just like the weather, business can be unpredictable at times. You’ll have busy days and slow days, and sometimes it may seem that there’s no rhyme or reason to the tide of shoppers. Just remember, you have a number of tools and resources at your disposal to help you weather the storm and put your store in the best possible position for long-term success. Wishing you nothing but blue skies ahead!

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