Top 10 e-commerce common mistakes

By Sandy Baker
20 Oct 2021

E-commerce is now the fastest growing retail channel in the world. It's also one of the most complex industries to market online, with high costs and risks for failure. But what are some mistakes that could be holding you back?

Here are 10 common e-commerce mistakes that many people overlook:

1) Not having a clear idea of what you want your online store to look like before starting work on it. Designs that don't take into account the 'big picture' often end up looking unprofessional or even amateurish because they lack cohesion - there's no flow from one page to another, for example. An aesthetically pleasing design is not just about how things look, but also how they function - so ensure that your website has an easy navigation system and loads quickly too!

2) Not doing research on competitors before setting up shop – You may think this is obvious but people do it all the time and it ends badly for them.

3) Not setting up your e-commerce website to be as search engine friendly as possible – There's no point in building a great looking website, with great product information and great shopping features if absolutely no one can find it when they type in the relevant keywords into Google or another search engine.

4) Not offering returns or refunds - It helps to have a 'sell with confidence' guarantee in place so that buyers know they can return items if they're not as described or don't fit properly. Customers want to feel reassured that their money is safe and a returns policy is a great way of doing this.

5) Not offering a money-back guarantee – If you're not offering a money back guarantee, then your customer won't be able to shop with 100% confidence. Money-back guarantees help to instil the belief in customers that they are buying from a credible retailer.

6) Not offering contact via phone, email or live chat – Customer service is important whether you're selling online or not. Many customers will want to be able to get in touch with the storeowner directly, either for technical queries or simply to find out more about that product they've seen on your website.

7) Not taking the time to build a community and relationships with customers before trying to make a sale – Many e-commerce websites leave this step until after they've made their first sale, but it's worth doing at the start because social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter can be great ways of building your brand online.

8) Not offering a newsletter and other methods for people to sign up - The internet is all about building relationships and that's what you need to do if you want customers to return time and again. One great way of doing this is by offering those who sign up for your newsletter or mailing list the opportunity to win free stuff as part of a monthly prize draw or competition.

9) Not Tweeting or blogging to publicise sales - Another important aspect of building relationships with customers is by using social media platforms like Twitter and blogs to raise awareness about your company and it's products / services, as well as any upcoming specials or promotions.

10) Not spending enough time on customer service – Getting the basics right is crucial. This means that you need to provide accurate, truthful and informative descriptions of the products you're selling, a professional checkout process for customers to complete their purchases and excellent after-sales customer care in case there are problems with the product or delivery.

At the end, it's important to get the basics right when running an e-commerce business, including accurate product descriptions and excellent customer service. The points listed above are just some of the common mistakes made by online retailers that you'll want to avoid. When launching your website or starting a new marketing campaign, it helps to have a clear idea about what you're trying to achieve before getting started so that your efforts can be focused in one direction. For more information on how we could help with this process, please click here to contact us