Branding

21 eCommerce Mistakes Holding You Back

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No matter how educated or experienced you are, you’re bound to make some mistakes with your business. Small mistakes might not seem like much, but they can add up to cause real headaches for your online business. We’re taking a look at 21 of the most common eCommerce Mistakes, and how you can fix them.

Mistake #1: Not Using Customer Personas

Customer personas help you understand your target audience better. You might have a good idea of who your shoppers are, but customer personas will help you build your ideal customer. To learn more about customer personas and how you can create them, check out our complete guide.

Mistake #2: Focusing on Unimportant Tasks

Doing the easiest task first isn’t necessarily a great way to get productive. When you put your energy into unimportant tasks, you’re putting off the things that matter. Instead, prioritize your to-do list and do the most important tasks first, even if they require the most energy

Mistake #3: Having an Unorganized Content Plan

Content marketing plays a key role in your SEO strategy. By planning your content strategy, you can improve your site’s visibility and more effectively reach your target audience.

Don’t know where to start with your content plan? Don’t worry, we’ve put together a list of tips you can use to start on the right foot.

Mistake #4: Selling Too Many Products

By offering too many different products, you can spread yourself thin. It’s best to offer a few products directly related to your brand and expand as you grow than offer too many products at once and not sell enough. Narrow your niche as much as possible when you’re first starting out, and branch into other niches as you establish a strong audience.

Mistake #5: Not Marketing Your Brand

There’s a common saying among many small business owners: if you build it, they will come. While this might be true for physical stores, it doesn’t hold water in eCommerce. If you don’t actively build your brand and promote it to your audience, don’t expect many sales.

Today, inbound marketing is more popular than ever. Once you’ve mastered inbound marketing, there’s no limit to the number of leads and sales you can achieve. To get started with inbound marketing, check out our definitive guide.

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Mistake #6: No Information Page on Your Website

 

Your customers want to know who you are and how they can contact you. Without an “About Us” or “Contact Us” page, you’ll have trouble establishing trust with your buyers.

 

 

Mistake #7: Not Featuring Reviews

 

Product reviews help your customers understand your product better before they buy it. If other customers liked your product and vocalize it on your reviews page, other customers will feel more comfortable buying from your brand. This is known as social proof, and it’s essential to the success of your brand.

 

 

Mistake #8: Not Having a Logo

 

Logos are an integral part of branding. Shoppers tend to recognize logos more quickly than brand names, and without one, your target audience may not remember who you are. Create a unique and memorable logo to better establish your brand.

 

Having trouble creating a logo? We’ve got all the information you need to get started in our Essentials of eCommerce Branding Guide.

 

 

Mistake #9: Your Mobile Site Isn’t Optimized

 

According to Snap Retail, over 70% of all online sales take place on mobile devices. Still, many eCommerce stores don’t have fully functional, responsive mobile web pages. Create a seamless mobile web experience to attract more buyers and make more sales.

 

 

Mistake #10: Your Site Loads Slowly

 

Shoppers expect your website to be responsive. If your site takes longer than a few seconds to load, you can expect over half of your site visitors to leave before they ever see your page.

 

 

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Mistake #11: Not Using Social Media

 

A recent survey done by Snap Retail shows over 78% of all online businesses attract customers through social media. If you aren’t using social media, you aren’t reaching as much of your target audience as you can with a great social media marketing strategy.

 

 

Mistake #12: Posting on Social Media at the Wrong Time

 

A major part of your social media marketing strategy is posting at the right time. The best time to post on Twitter is between the hours of 1PM and 3PM, while the best time to post on Facebook is anytime after 7PM – typically when your audience gets home from work.

 

 

Mistake #13: Not Posting Enough On Social Media

 

You want to be consistent with your social media posts. On Twitter, you should post at least one relevant tweet a day, but typically you’ll want to tweet no less than four times. On Facebook, you want to post at least once a day, even twice if you have relevant content to share. Post on Instagram once a day unless you have two vastly different posts you’d like to share.

 

 

Mistake #14: Posting Too Much On Social Media

 

Sure, you want to be active on social media every day, but you don’t want to annoy your audience. Stick to the guidelines in #13, and ditch the idea that more is better. Post just enough to engage your audience without taking over their newsfeeds – otherwise, you’ll lose more followers than you gain.

 

 

Mistake #15: You’re Not Using YouTube

 

YouTube is powerful, yet often overlooked social media platform for business. According to Shareaholic, YouTube has the longest visiting duration and the lowest average bounce rate compared to any other social media platform. It’s one of the best places on the web to attract and engage your audience. Consider a video marketing strategy to supplement the rest of your social media plan.

 

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Mistake #16: Your Customer Service Isn’t Fast

 

In the age of the Internet, shoppers want fast service. They don’t want to wait for answers to their questions. You might have the most effective customer service in your niche, but if your customers aren’t getting the response they seek quickly, they’ll turn to your competitors.

 

 

Mistake #17: Your Customer Service is Ineffective

 

Fast customer service doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t resolve any issues. According to RightNow, 89% of shoppers will stop returning to a brand if they receive poor customer service. Your customer service goal should be to answer your customer’s questions as quickly and effectively as possible, without the need for multiple phone calls or emails.

 

 

Mistake #18: Your Shipping Prices are Too High

 

According to the North American Technographics Retail Online Survey, over 44% of online shoppers will abandon their cart if they think your shipping prices are too high. Keep your shipping prices to a minimum, and offer free shipping as often as you can justify. Reasonable shipping prices are one of the best ways to keep your customers coming back to your store.

 

 

Mistake #19: No Free Returns

 

Customers love free returns. In fact, according to eConsultancy, 27% of all online shoppers would purchase a $1,000 product if the brand offers free returns. Only 10% of the surveyed shoppers said they’d make the same purchase from a brand without free returns. By offering free returns, you can increase the average value of your sales and ultimately boost your bottom line.

 

 

Mistake #20: No Email Marketing

 

Some Shopify store owners want you to think email marketing is a thing of the past, but this is far from the case. According to the Direct Marketing Associate, email marketing has an ROI of over 4,300% – much higher than any other marketing channel. In addition, Convince and Convert recently ran a survey which shows over 44% of online shoppers made at least one purchase in the past year thanks to a promotional email they received. Social media marketing and content marketing are important, but email marketing is still an important factor in building your brand.

 

 

Mistake #21: You’re Not Blogging

 

Your content marketing strategy covers many different types of content, and blogging should be one of them. Selz Blog’s recent survey shows over 13% of all online shoppers have made a purchase thanks to an inspiring blog post. By blogging about your product, brand, and niche, you can increase your sales and appeal to more buyers.

 

Are you making any of these eCommerce mistakes with your brand? Are there any other eCommerce mistakes we missed? Let us know in the comments below and share your experience.

 

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. In the early days of online commerce, he achieved Power Seller status at eBay, which then propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens, and eyewear retailer. After a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus, where he is a Strategic Advisor helping brands continue to grow and scale with the Shopify Commerce Platform.

To maintain a competitive edge and life of learning mantra, Steve also hosts and produces a top-rated weekly podcast show, eCommerce Fastlane, where he interviews Shopify partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands build and scale lifetime customer loyalty.