Common eCommerce business mistakes and how to avoid them

9 min read
Selina Bieber

The eCommerce sector has experienced a considerable shift after the global pandemic in 2020, however, it is considered a positive change due to the transformation towards digitalization which makes it vital to learn the common e-commerce business mistakes and avoid them. In 2020 over two billion people purchased goods or services online, and during the same year, e-retail sales surpassed 4.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide.

Therefore, it is the optimum time for any business owner to grow online and start selling through an online store. eCommerce businesses are currently striving, so if you are thinking about starting one here are seven common e-commerce business mistakes to avoid.

E-commerce Business mistake 1: Neglect market research

One of the most common mistakes made by entrepreneurs diving into the world of online business is overlooking the importance of eCommerce market research. While setting up an eCommerce store might seem straightforward, understanding the nuances of your target market is crucial. Relying solely on a well-designed homepage or high-quality product images isn't enough.

Market research goes beyond just identifying potential customers. It involves understanding their preferences, the kind of content marketing they resonate with, and how they navigate the online shopping experience. For instance, do they primarily shop via smartphones or desktop? What's their preferred checkout process? Do they value customer reviews and social proof?

Neglecting this step can lead to a series of pitfalls. Imagine investing heavily in web development for a feature-rich eCommerce platform, only to realize that your target audience prefers a simpler, more streamlined shopping experience. Or, consider the repercussions of not integrating a popular payment method like a credit card, leading to abandoned carts.

By leveraging tools like search engines and social media analytics, businesses can gain invaluable insights into their audience's behavior. This data-driven approach can significantly reduce the chances of making poor decisions, which are common eCommerce mistakes.

Our solution to this problem is conducting an online market survey or starting conversations with contacts who meet your target audience criteria.

Always try to find similar eCommerce businesses and compare your competition, which brings me to my next point, competitor analysis.

Competitor analysis goes beyond just checking their product range or pricing. It involves a deep dive into their digital marketing strategies, web development features, and even their customer support mechanisms. For instance, if a competitor offers a unique value proposition, like free gift-wrapping or a loyalty program, it might be worth considering for your own store.

Furthermore, platforms like Amazon provide a goldmine of information. Analyzing top-performing products, customer reviews, and even product descriptions can offer insights into market demands and gaps.

By understanding the competitive landscape, small businesses can identify missed opportunities and refine their strategies, ensuring they stay ahead of the curve.

Related: Marketing research tips for web designers and developers

E-commerce Business mistake 2: Poor payment gateway

Not only are customers searching for a great product on your website, but also, they are looking for a good service such as a simple and secure payment process. The payment gateway that you decide for your eCommerce site ought to build trust in your customers as they make their purchase.
In 2018, a report published by cybersecurity firm Shape Security stated that 80% to 90% of the login attempts made at online a retailer's eCommerce are hackers using stolen data.

The solution to this is to create a variety of payment options on your eCommerce website, to satisfy different customer's needs.

GoDaddy E-store offers various payment methods to ensure a smooth and safe purchasing, such as PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout.

Related: The most popular online payment gateways in the Arab region ,

E-commerce business Mistake 3: Neglecting optimizing your website for mobile users

mobile design business mistakes

According to Cyber Monday ($9.2 billion in online revenue in 2019), 54% of visitors came from mobile devices, while around 33% purchases on their mobile device, up over 40% from the year before. Therefore, creating a mobile-friendly website design is important for sales and helps to improve your SEO-ranking.

How can you solve this: When you’re considering optimizing your website for mobiles, you should pay attention to the design, optimize image size, font and button size, the content, use responsive website builder tools, and mobile-friendly test.

Related: Why is mobile friendly design crucial for your website?

Note: GoDaddy’s Website Builder templates are mobile-friendly. You can try it out for free.

E-commerce business Mistake 4: No brand identity

One of the most common e-commerce business mistakes is starting an eCommerce website without paying attention to brand identity or message. the quality of the product must be united with a strong identity which makes it unique and one of a kind in the market. To create a booming eCommerce business, you will need to construct a strong brand identity.

Try to be original.

As mentioned above if you conducted sufficient market research, then supposedly you have a strong idea of what your target audience is searching for, and how to approach them. Focus on matching your logo with your business idea, pay attention to the tone of the content, and even the format of your email address.

Having a solid brand identity increments client dependability and increments your potential for broad brand awareness.

Related: A beginner’s guide to branding your business 

Note: Build trust with your audience using a professional email address to match your domain and business name.

E-commerce business Mistake 5: Not secure warning

mobile lock screen business mistakes

The "Not Secure Warning" pop-up message is a red flag for any new customer visiting your eCommerce website.
One of the most crucial elements in any eCommerce website is securing the transactions and the process of collecting sensitive data such as banking data and personal information. Google formally endorse securing websites with HTTPS, since it is not only significant for business owners, who need their websites to perform sufficiently but to increase traffic.

How can I secure my website: you can secure your eCommerce website with SSL certificates.

You can do that in two-step steps:

  • First, make sure that you have an SSL certificate properly installed on your website.
  • Second, confirm that your pages are being forced to HTTPS versions of the URLs.

The SSL certificate is a must-have for your eCommerce website.

E-commerce business Mistake 6: Poor User Experience

User experience is the customer's experience in your website from arrival to checkout. Business owners use it to monitor how fast, and flexible your eCommerce website functions for your visitors when you purchase your product or service. UX research will help you provide the best solutions for your customers —because you can know exactly what they need.

This leads us to another equally important point, e-commerce trends,

The digital landscape is ever-evolving. From changes in search engine algorithms to shifts in online consumer behavior, staying updated with the latest trends is paramount for any eCommerce brand. One of the most common mistakes is assuming that what worked a year ago will continue to yield results.

For instance, while email marketing remains a powerful tool, automation and personalized content have become game-changers in recent times. Similarly, while having an online presence on platforms like Amazon is beneficial, integrating features like social media shopping can amplify your reach.

Ignoring these trends can be detrimental. Imagine missing out on a surge of potential customers because your eCommerce store isn't optimized for the latest smartphones. Or consider the lost sales because your product pages lack the latest form of social proof that consumers trust.

Remember to add icons in commonplaces such as putting your shopping cart in the top right corner.

Create simple and smooth navigation to be easy to use on the mobile. It is better to create a search bar for customers to find products easily. And finally try to avoid unnecessary complexity.

Related: Top 8 WooCommerce tips to skyrocket product visibility and drive sales

E-commerce business mistake 7: Inadequate post-sale customer service

Creating an eye-catching e-store that drives sales may seem enough, but you must also keep in mind tracking your customer’s satisfaction after the purchasing process. Inadequate post-sale customer service is when a client is confronted with a negative purchasing experience, or when the customer must explain his issue to different operators since the company does not have an attentive and organized support team. It is important to remember how a poor service experience would affect your eCommerce website negatively. In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.

To avoid this, conduct a survey to find out your customers’ opinions after obtaining your service or product.

In the age of digital marketing, data is gold. Entrepreneurs have access to a plethora of information, from customer reviews on product pages to detailed analytics on their eCommerce platform. One of the most common mistakes is not leveraging this data to its full potential.

Understanding customer insights can significantly improve various facets of an online business. For instance, if a majority of negative reviews highlight poor customer service, it's a clear indication that there's room for improvement. Similarly, if the analytics show a high bounce rate on the product descriptions page, it might be time for some content optimization.

By rectifying these issues, businesses can enhance their conversion rates. Moreover, with tools that offer insights into customer personas, brands can tailor their marketing strategy more effectively, ensuring that they reach the right audience with the right message.

There are sites such as Survey Monkey that provide information-gathering platforms for building and compiling surveys and questionnaires. It is always important to use positive language while dealing with customers. Appreciation emails are acknowledged and paramount, as they can remind your clients why they choose your business. Saying thank you after each purchase is one of the least demanding ways to make your customer satisfied.

Related: How to write product descriptions to increase sales

Ready to start selling online?

Any successful eCommerce business is built upon satisfying its customers. This article will help you identify the most common eCommerce business mistakes and how to avoid them. So, remember to always be careful and keep an eye open to different factors that need to be considered.

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