Key Points:

  • You’ll want to include things like material, size, and fit information, as well as showcase how the product can be used and any good “story” attached to the product, like its sustainability
  • The eCommerce platform you choose can make or break your business, as your platform will affect how you showcase your items, attract users, sell to your customers, and scale your online store over time
  • Using Easyship for your shipping processes can help you save big on retail shipping rates

The advent of eCommerce has also given entrepreneurs a huge opportunity to succeed. On the road to success, we're all bound to make mistakes. But if you learn about the common pitfalls, you'll arrive at success faster (and with more cash in your pocket).

This article is a discussion of 10 common eCommerce mistakes and shows you how to avoid or fix them. Easyship can help by giving you access to 250+ courier services all discounted up to 70% off retail.

Table of Contents

The 10 Most Common Mistakes eCommerce Retailers Make – and How You Can Fix Them

Here is a rundown of the most common small business mistakes startups make and what you can do to fix or avoid them altogether.

1. Uninformative Product Descriptions

Copying the manufacturers’ descriptions word for word is one of the common eCommerce mistakes online retailers make. Instead of writing their own detailed product descriptions and making an effort to showcase how the product can benefit potential customers, these merchants use uninformative, boring descriptions that don’t add any value for users.

This makes it difficult for customers to familiarize themselves with your products and get a real sense of how they will work for them. Instead, a good marketing strategy involves writing engaging, informative product descriptions for each product page. These will explain why the product is excellent, how it benefits users, and how it will solve buyers’ problems.

You’ll want to include things like material, size, and fit information, as well as showcase how the product can be used and any good “story” attached to the product, like its sustainability. Avoid this common small business mistake by writing your own unique product descriptions or using a great freelance copywriter to make engaging content for you.

2. Poor Photography

Bad product photography is a common eCommerce mistake that many entrepreneurs make, albeit unintentionally.

When customers shop online, they have no way of physically interacting with your products. The only way they can inspect the quality of a product is through detailed product photos that showcase the product in different situations. Low-quality photos are a huge turn-off for shoppers, and can negatively impact your conversions.

Instead, a good eCommerce strategy will involve using bright, attractive, and detailed visuals that truly showcase how wonderful your products are. Using a great camera to take high-quality photos of your products will help you easily avoid this common small business mistake.

The photos should be taken in the right lighting conditions and should showcase different angles and views of your product. You should also ensure that the photos are displayed at a good size on your website and allow potential buyers to zoom in for close-up views.

3. Low Website Security

Trust is the lifeblood of eCommerce. 17% of online shoppers say they’ve abandoned their cart because they didn’t trust the website with their credit card information. Yet many eCommerce sites make the common small business mistake of failing to put clear trust indicators on their website. Customers need this reassurance to trust that the website is secure and will protect their sensitive data.

You can avoid this eCommerce mistake with strong website security. Ensure that you use encryption on your site to protect your customers’ information and that your eCommerce platform has SSL encryption for online payments. You can also display trust badgers from different payment gateways (such as Visa and PayPal) to boost buyer confidence.

4. Complicated Checkout Process

Having a complicated checkout process is another common mistake entrepreneurs make; often, many eCommerce stores see abandoned carts. If your checkout process is confusing, your customers will likely get frustrated and leave without completing the purchase.

Avoid this common small business mistake by making the checkout process simple and clear. A good conversion strategy is to remove unnecessary fields, allow multiple checkout and payment options, and ensure that shipping and duty costs are clearly displayed.

5. Bad SEO

Bad SEO can be a costly eCommerce marketing mistake. If your product pages use copied manufacturer descriptions, search engines will see this as replicas of other sites, which will negatively affect your page ranking.

It’s another common small business mistake, but one that can make it difficult for you to direct search engine traffic to your eCommerce site, resulting in you losing out on potential sales. Technical SEO errors, such as links to non-existent pages or duplicate versions of the same pages, will hurt your eCommerce strategy.

You can fix this common small business mistake and drive more organic search engine traffic to your site by implementing a good SEO strategy. If necessary, hire an SEO expert to create unique content for your product pages, bix broken links, and conduct a site audit to identify any other potential problems.

6. Unintuitive Site Navigation

This is another eCommerce mistake to avoid. Online shoppers are known for their impatience, so if a potential buyer can’t easily find what they’re looking for on your site, they will not hesitate to leave.

Avoid this by creating an intuitive website design with easy-to-find menus, a logical site structure, and a flow that creates a good user experience. That way, you can keep customers hooked on your site. You need to review your analytics to find out where your buyers are dropping off and optimize your design accordingly to minimize the number of clicks required to find a product.

7. Unresponsive Design

Having an unresponsive design is another costly eCommerce mistake you need to avoid. More and more people are using mobile devices to search for products online and make purchases.

That’s why having a site that’s not mobile-friendly and uses an unresponsive design will negatively affect the rankings of your site on Google search results and cost you a lot of business.

Instead, a good website design strategy will be optimized for mobile. This will head off a common small business mistake at the pass, allowing you to continue bringing in customers on mobile devices.

8. Poor Customer Service

Unfortunately, this common small business mistake is all too easy to make, especially if you’re just starting out. Customer service is characterized by how you address your buyers' complaints and respond to their questions or comments on your website, social media pages, or by email and phone.

Customers can be very frustrated by long response times, failures to address issues, and failures to offer refunds or exchanges. These are all common mistakes entrepreneurs make that can cost them their existing customers, create bad reviews, and make it difficult to acquire new customers.

You can solve this eCommerce mistake by offering excellent customer support. Be responsive, address their concerns and complaints, answer their questions, and - where necessary - issue refunds without dragging them through a contentious battle.

9. Lack Of Social Proof

Neglecting to include social proof on your website is another common small business mistake that can cost many eCommerce retailers many potential customers. Social proof lets your buyers share their experience with your products so that others can see whether they are what you say they are. Allowing customer reviews on your eCommerce site can boost your sales by 18%!

So, a good business strategy will include social proof on your website and make sure that they are actual reviews from real customers. While negative reviews are not good for your business, users expect to see a few; if they don’t, they may become suspicious of your ratings.

10. Wrong Ecommerce Platform

Choosing the wrong eCommerce platform is another common mistake entrepreneurs make. The eCommerce platform you choose can make or break your business. Your platform will affect how you showcase your items, attract users, sell to your customers, and scale your online store over time.

You can avoid this common small business mistake by making sure that your eCommerce platform has all the tools and features you might need. This will give you the right level of control and customization to grow and market your business. Take the time to explore different platforms and understand their offerings before you make your choice.

Grow your eCommerce Store by Avoiding These Common Mistakes

The eCommerce space is increasingly competitive and making mistakes can be costly.  If you want to be a savvy, thriving entrepreneur, it's prudent to learn from others' mistakes so as not to make your own. This will put you ahead of the learning curve, as well as the competition.

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