17 Ecommerce Mistakes That Bleed Your Profits (2023)
Ecommerce store owners need to increase sales by consistently attracting new customers and improving the value they provide from their products.
However, there are some common ecommerce mistakes that merchants make that can keep them from achieving their sales goals.
1. Selling Features, Not Solutions
A fatal mistake that online sellers make is showcasing the features of their products rather than focusing on the solutions and benefits that they provide to customers.
Many sellers make the common mistake of stacking product descriptions with a list of features, but these don’t add value and can often confuse potential buyers with technical jargon and complex wording. Without a clear value proposition, potential buyers can’t compare your products with others on the market and see how yours is superior.
Instead, focus on explaining what value each feature provides and how it makes customers’ lives better.
2. Not Up/Cross Selling
Another common ecommerce mistake that could be causing you to leave money on the table is not utilizing upselling or cross-selling. This is a way sellers can bring in incremental revenue from existing customers by suggesting complementary products to the ones they’re already buying or have bought from you previously.
You can implement these strategies in a number of ways, either through your email campaigns and follow-ups with customers or presenting these additional items in their cart as they’re checking out.
3. Missing Customer Reviews
When you include customer reviews on your website, it shows public proof to potential buyers that your products are worth it and provide good value. Essentially, they help new customers build trust in your brand before they even make a purchase.
Customers can be skeptical about online stores that they haven’t purchased from before. So avoid this ecommerce mistake by including a section on your website where you showcase customer reviews is a good idea to help boost sales.
4. Selling the Wrong Product(s)
Your store may have low sales because you aren’t targeting a problem that needs solving. This is why it’s so important to start out your business by identifying a target audience and recognizing the problems or market gaps they face with existing sellers.
From there, you can craft your business around the actual needs of your audience, which ensure you’ll generate real demand for your products–and that you’re selling the right goods in the first place.
5. Asking Too Much Personal Information
If you have too many unnecessary forms for customers to fill out during the purchasing process, you could turn them away.
During the buying process, you should ask for as little information as humanly possible. You don’t want your store to come off as invasive. And chances are, you don’t need a ton of information from them anyway.
Most customers don’t want to face a complicated checkout process, so you’ll likely lose business if you’re asking for people to fill out ten different pages before they can make the purchase.
6. Targeting Everyone
The worst ecommerce mistake you can make is not identifying your target audience and trying to sell to everyone instead.
Many sellers do not take the time to define a target audience, thinking that they’ll bring in more sales selling to a general audience.
This is far from the case, as you won’t be able to address the needs of your customers if you are trying to sell to everyone. If you take this route, it will be hard to generate a loyal customer base.
Do the proper research to identify who your target customers are, which will help guide the rest of the business decisions you make.
7. No Basic Conversion Rate Optimization
Not having basic conversion rate optimization elements on your site is a major ecommerce mistake to avoid.
This could be keeping you from bringing in your full sales potential. So, make sure your website has CTA buttons on every page, and are always visible no matter where you’re navigating on the site.
You need to make it easy for web visitors to make a sale, which a CTA button can help you accomplish.
8. Using Low-Quality Images
When your customer is visiting your website, they need to be able to clearly see the products you’re offering.
Product images are very important to online sellers, so avoid this common issue by making sure the photos you’re uploading on your site are high quality. Otherwise, you may not be showcasing the quality and value of your good with poor image quality.
The more images you have, the better. You should be aiming for at least five photos to showcase all the different angles and features of the product to convert buyers.
9. Insufficient Product Promotion
You could be selling the best products in the world, but if you aren’t promoting them properly, your sales numbers could flop.
This is a costly ecommerce mistake that occurs with many failed ecommerce companies. So, sellers should actively and methodically promote their products and brand–no matter what stage of business they’re in.
Thinking about how you’ll bring in sales is not enough, you need to make a plan to get your products and business name out there in front of potential customers.
10. Lack of Payment Options
You could be turning customers away if you don’t offer enough payment options. This is a common ecommerce pitfall, though it’s usually a pretty quick fix to make.
On your website, make sure you’re providing customers with plenty of options to make a payment. This can be a very worthwhile investment because if they get turned away the first time they try to make a purchase on your site, you’ll likely lose them as a customer forever.
11. No Clear Shipping and Return Details
Customers want to be able to make a return or exchange if your product doesn’t work out for them. Returns are very common in the ecommerce industry, so you need to have these capabilities in order to satisfy your customers and keep them loyal to your brand.
You’ll need to provide clear instructions and return details so customers know how to go about the process. If not, a lack of return details could make them feel scammed if they can’t get a refund or make an exchange easily.
12. Lack of Detailed Product Description(s)
In-depth product descriptions help build trust with customers. This is especially true for online sellers because potential buyers can’t test out the products for themselves in the store before buying.
A detailed product description doesn’t always mean a long one, though you should be thorough with the details you provide so customers have a good idea of what your products are like. This will help engage customers and gives you a direct way to sell your products to potential buyers.
13. Not Tracking the Sales Process
One big selling mistake is not properly tracking the sales process and various analytics that each customer produces when they interact with your website.
From the time they spend overviewing products to adding the product to their cart and getting to the checkout, they are producing valuable information that you can monitor and analyze to produce more sales.
This will give you a better understanding of when people leave your website to help find why that is and create a solution.
14. No Basic SEO Optimization
One of the ecommerce pitfalls is that even if you have a great website launched, you may not be gaining enough traffic to your site to generate a good amount of sales.
You need to provide a way for customers to easily find you from the major search engines, which is possible through SEO optimization of your website’s contents.
A common problem is that most of the time, potential customers will not be searching for your brand name online, but they will search the products you sell. By optimizing for SEO, you can ensure your brand is shown first in the results, helping to boost sales.
15. Wrong Ecommerce Platform
Your store could be suffering if you’re not on the right ecommerce platform, which is one of the most common ecommerce mistakes. You need to do your research to find the platform that meets your store’s needs and isn’t missing any crucial capabilities or features.
Shopify is the best option for beginners, which has great features, leaves customers with a good first impression, and helps you build trust with potential buyers.
16. Poor Customer Support
It’s crucial for online stores to have adequate customer support to provide customers with assistance whenever they have a question or issue.
How well your customer support team performs has a lot of influence over your brand’s reputation, so don’t overlook this aspect of your business.
It’s a critical ecommerce mistake to not provide enough channels for customers to reach you when they need support. Try to provide them with timely responses and resolutions, which you can do through live chat support, email support, phone support, or other channels.
17. Missing Trust Signals
Data security is growing very important to consumers today, so one mistake to avoid is not having enough trust signals visible on your site. This helps site visitors know their personal data is safe and secure, and won’t get compromised easily in a breach or hack.
Use SSL, security badges, and other elements like the logos of your payment processors to showcase the safety of your site
This will help build trust in your brand, and make potential customers more inclined to make a purchase.