Common Ecommerce Mistakes to Avoid

Running a business is full of unavoidable hurdles and obstacles, ones that are likely to test your patience and resolve. Even with the countless number of accessible and customizable eCommerce platforms available today, there are many things can go wrong while building, launching, or managing an online business.

Whether you’re just getting ready to launch your first online store or are already managing multiple stores, you’re bound to encounter a problem that will hold your business back. With that said, there are ways you can avoid some of the more common mistakes faced by entrepreneurs.

Here are some of the mistakes you may have overlooked and how to avoid or fix them.

1. Not calculating the math

One of the most important aspects of running a business is managing your money, which can be a bit of headache for those that aren’t savvy with math. Before you set out building your business, ensure there’s a good demand with a worthwhile revenue potential. The last thing you’ll want to do is to dump all of your money into a business venture that doesn’t have any hope of being profitable.

2. Not knowing your niche

Before you can sell your product, you need to know who you’re selling to. Conducting good niche research is critical to the success of your business. Many online merchants fail to dedicate their attention toward this, and end up selling too many types of products to too many types of customers. Your business needs to focus on a specific niche that’ll make easy to target the right type of customer.

3. Getting ahead of yourself

You’ve got a business idea and you’re looking to put it into action. But if you’re a one-person team, it’s important to not get ahead of yourself. Before you invest thousands of dollars in inventory, spend time thoroughly researching that there’s a demand for your product. Scour marketplaces for data to determine whether it’s a wise idea to jump

4. Not invested in content marketing

If you’re looking to bring increased qualified traffic to your website, you need to dedicate time and energy toward producing stellar, share-worthy content. Great content marketing isn’t about producing content that you want your customers to read, it’s about what your customers want and their interests. Building a content marketing strategy with this in mind, you’ll be able to better connect with customers and build trust and authority for your business.

5. Lack of shipping options

Each shipping carrier offers unique perks and advantages. While your business may not need the services of every carrier, it’s best to offer customers a diverse selection of shipping options. Some customers are looking for more affordable rates offered by the U.S. Postal Service, while others are looking to have their orders expedited with two-day or overnight shipping.

6. Lack of a social presence

Your brand needs to be accessible across a variety of platforms, including social media. An active social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms relevant to your niche allows you to connect with customers and promote engagement. By sharing great content with your audience, you’ll also improve your marketing efforts, as customers that find your content engaging are likely to pass it on to their own friends and family.

7. Spreading yourself too thin

While doing everything yourself is great, it can also be quite stressful. Managing every aspect of your business is time-consuming, and can quickly consume every spare minute of your life. By automating or outsourcing as many menial tasks as you can, you can free up valuable time better spent elsewhere, such as with your family or working on a delicate component of your business plan. There are a number of areas you can look into outsourcing, including data entry, website design, and fulfillment.

8. Using stock product descriptions

When you’re starting a new business, it can be tempting to rush the small stuff in an attempt to launch your website sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, cutting corners, such as using stock product descriptions, can be detrimental to your business. Using a manufacturer’s description makes it hard for your business to stand out from your competition, particularly in search engines. Great product descriptions are compelling and elicit strong emotions, and help people connect with your brand and products.

9. Losing focus

It can be easy to get caught up in minute details that take you away from more important, everyday facets of your business. Setting up, launching, and managing an online store entails an enormous amount of work, everyday, year-round. Without a to-do list, you may find yourself consumed with an image, an email, or any number of details that keeps you from completing your most important task: getting your products into the hands of customers!

10. Cluttered and Crowded Look

Sometimes there are webmasters and business owners who seem to want so many elements on the home page all at the same time, leaving no room for a visitor’s eyes to breathe. Everything’s just confusing! Someone who comes for the first time will likely feel baffled and constricted rather than relaxed and excited.

It’s highly essential to have sufficient white space in your web design so as to separate elements clearly from one another and also to have enough room for the important things. Don’t put too much text, but rather use huge pictures to signify what you’re selling.

11. Small and Unprofessional Pictures

Seeing small pictures is a major turn-off. It’s like going to a boutique with no display window or mannequins but merely racks and shelves of various clothes. You ought to have a portion that shows off clear, big, and professional-looking photos of the items you’re offering. This segment can be static or in the form of a slide show.

12. Lacking Policy Features

Anticipate what common shoppers frequently wonder and complain about. Isn’t it that many are concerned with the payment methods, the shipping amount, and the return and exchange policy? Hence, you must have clear tabs for these that would immediately address the unsaid potential objections. For instance, instead of just placing “SHIPMENT POLICY” as the title of the tab, you can name it “FREE SHIPPING” or “AFFORDABLE SHIPPING RATES”. In replacement of “RETURN POLICY”, you can indicate “EASY RETURN POLICY”.

13. No Contact Details

You’ve caught the interest of first-time visitors! They are eager to place orders now. However, you forgot to put your contact details up front but have it buried in a tab within a tab. Or perhaps they still need to click on “CONTACT US” before they can find out which number to call. In this light, you should never, ever make the mistake of NOT putting this detail on the home page where it can easily be seen.

It’s also advisable to have an “ORDER NOW” sign which can quickly lead an interested buyer to a page of product categories with pictures and write-ups. If you have very few products on sale, you shouldn’t break them up in categories but simply place them all on that display page. What’s more, this sign will also serve as your call to action.

14. Unclear Categories

One of the greatest sins that an online seller can commit today is to have unclear categories that will enable a first-time visitor to browse through the products smoothly. For example, it’s always better to come up with tabs that are named “TOPS” and “BOTTOMS” rather than “CHELSEA COLLECTION” and “ANNABEL APPAREL”.

Picture yourself during your American Idol audition belting out the wrong tune, speaking too softly, and looking as if you’ve just climbed out of bed. Yes, you’ll definitely make an impression on the judges— a bad one! Hence, don’t let this happen to your online store. Avoid the common mistakes described above and make your first-time visitors feel happy, safe, and satisfied.

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