We have an established brick and mortar retail store. Part of the business has an e-commerce facing aspect that I feel has tons of potential, but I just can't seem to get any traction. The site is for selling wall art that we produce in house from vintage imagery. Much of it can only be found through us, and we know that people like our products from our in-store sales. I can't seem to get any sales online- even offering free item codes (for testing out our web-order process. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I should mention that after working on it for almost 5 years and spending a good amount of money, I'm hesitant to put much more time or money in a direction without knowing that it's really going to work. We don't have much of a budget. Help?
Sounds like you have a compelling product with sales, congrats! The first thing I would do is talk to your existing customers and ask them why they buy from you. Or better yet, have someone else ask so they will tell the truth, everyone says nice things in person... Use the underlying cause that resulted in sales and weave the story into the content of your website.
Content marketing is the next generation of marketing that is shareable (others talking about you is best form of marketing). Build an eMail list of offline customers to send your new content, past customers or friends of past customers are most likely to be your next sale with the lowest acquisition cost. Allow shoppers to understand the story behind the art, the artist, and what goes into creating your products to better understand the value you are creating.
The next wine party they host, they will tell your story for you and be your sales person, but you must make sure the story is easily digestible to travel.