Top 10 eCommerce
Mistakes to Avoid



Top 10 eCommerce Mistakes to Avoid

Close up of buying shoes on a mobile eCommerce website
Close up of buying shoes on a mobile eCommerce website

Don’t let anyone tell you differently: finding success in the eCommerce world is no easy feat. If you’re a retailer looking to establish an eCommerce presence, or one that simply wants to improve an existing eCommerce site, the very first thing you need to do is craft a carefully considered, highly detailed eCommerce strategy.

By taking the time to plan out everything from objectives, timelines, and processes, to technology, quality assurance, and measurements of success, you’re significantly increasing the odds of actually achieving your goal. Unfortunately, even the best-planned eCommerce strategy is going to have its share of mistakes, miscalculations, and oversights.

Close up of woman drinking coffee and browsing eCommerce website on mobile phone

Any time you create something as complex as an eCommerce strategy mistakes are bound to happen. In an effort to help retailers avoid exactly that, we’ve compiled a list of the top-10 most common mistakes that retailers make when developing their eCommerce strategy:

1. Ignoring Web Analytics

When you look at web analytics you’re not really looking at a collection of numbers; you’re looking at consumer behavior. Behavior can tell you a lot about how to improve the customer experience, drive a higher conversion rate, and improve customer service. Yet, many companies are not using the data available to them, letting valuable information and insights go to waste.

2. Not Personalizing the User Experience

When a potential customer chooses to visit your website, you want them to get the sense that certain elements of the site have been specifically tailored to their needs and tastes, based on such actions as which sections of the site they visit, how long they stay on certain pages, etc. The reason you want to do this is simple: the more the visitor feels like you actually understand their preferences and the items shown are relevant to them the likelihood of conversion increases.

3. Not Planning for Customer Data

Customer data just might be the world’s most valuable resource. Yet, when it comes to the data collected from people who visit your website it’s often treated as an afterthought. Collecting, storing, and properly managing a database of customer information can help a company improve its overall services, increase sales, and improve customer retention. Failing to responsibly manage and leverage that data does not allow you to personalize marketing offers, which drive a higher rate of conversion.

4. Lack of Focus on Customer Experience

When you think about the user experience on your website it all comes down to a very small window of time. Within that window, a visitor is going to decide whether or not they like your brand enough to make an online purchase. The way you get to influence their decision is by providing them with a great user experience that is clear, seamless, and intuitive.

5. Lack of Testing

A website never gets to cross an optimization finish line. Maintaining and optimizing a website is a continual, never-ending process of testing and improving, testing and improving. By committing to continual testing you’ll be able to consistently improve site conversion rates.

Business analysts reviewing website visitor data

6. Complex Checkout Process

A visitor to your site has decided to buy your product. Unfortunately, because your checkout process is not intuitive and overly complex they become frustrated and decide to abandon their cart. When you’re developing your strategy you have to make sure that every potential frustration or friction point is identified and addressed before your potential customers discover them.

7. Poor SEO Strategy

If you’re relying on email marketing and word-of-mouth to increase traffic to your eCommerce store you’re going to be disappointed. While you certainly want those things in the mix you need to have a solid SEO strategy in place. By following SEO best practices, you’ll drive more quality visitors to your site that are more likely to convert.

8. Overestimating the Amount of Visitors That Will Buy

Owners of brick-and-mortar stores don’t expect 10 out of 10 customers to buy something. Maybe half of them will, perhaps a third on a really bad day. What you need to accept is that the conversion rate with eCommerce is even lower than that. Keep that in mind when you’re putting together your strategy.

9. Spending Time on Things That Don’t Matter

Yes, everything matters when you’re creating your eCommerce store. However, not everything matters equally. It’s all too easy to get sucked into spending a lot of your time focusing on things that simply should not rank high on your “to-do” list. Is designing your logo important? Sure, but not as important as taking care of your content.

10. Poor Customer Service

Just because your store is going to be virtual doesn’t mean your customers aren’t going to have questions about your product or service. In fact, products sold online often face more post-purchase questions than a product sold in a physical store. So, you’d better be prepared to answer those questions consistently and in a timely manner or risk losing that customer to a competitor.

Chess pieces overlayed over a city

Is Your Strategy Strategic Enough?

In the hyper-competitive digital marketplace, every company is searching for a competitive edge. This is why they should each invest the time and effort in making sure that their eCommerce strategy is rock solid. If they do, they’ll quickly discover that their strategy itself is the very competitive edge they’ve been looking for.

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