Most E-Commerce Businesses Fail: Here Are 9 Mistakes To Avoid

Most E-Commerce Businesses Fail: Here Are 9 Mistakes To Avoid

You’re probably the kind of person who does their research when it comes to matters concerning the building and maintaining of their online store, right? You wouldn’t be reading this article if you weren’t the type.

If you don’t already know this, then we will tell you that more than half of ecommerce businesses fail in two years. It’s a competitive digital world out there and for many ecommerce stores, it’s a struggle for survival.

This article was written to help you get things right by letting you in on the most common ecommerce newbie mistakes. If you are an owner of an ecommerce shop or if you are in the process of developing one, keep reading to identify and avoid the common mistakes ecommerce businesses make that cause them to fail.


1. You didn’t pick a niche

What products are you planning to sell in your online store? You could go into it selling all the things you can think of to sell under the sun, but more products will not correlate to more revenue.

Picking your niche is a crucial and strategic decision that you can’t skip out on when building your shop. The niche you select will give you the direction that you need, it will help you define your brand, your e-commerce business, and will help you describe the target audience you want to sell to. It is a crucial choice that may determine the success of your ecommerce venture.

It is also a choice that you will have to make with much forethought. You could go ahead and jump into the most profitable niche in the market, such as women’s clothing, only to find yourself struggling in the wake of the competition.

Try to narrow down your niche when making your choice. For instance, environmentally friendly yoga wear is a narrower category in women’s clothing that is less saturated. You want your niche to define your store and brand, so try to choose a niche that can act as your specialty.


2. Your site is slow

You need to make sure that your customers have a great experience on your website. This includes making sure that your site loads quickly. Why? A site that is slow to load will have your customers walking off in another direction because people can’t be bothered to wait. New research has found that 9 out of 10 site visitors are likely to leave your site if it takes more than 10 seconds to load.

This means that no matter how cool your web design is, and how awesome your web content and products are, you will be making far less sales because people don’t have the attention span or the focus to wait it out.

You can check your sites loading speed off of Google’s PageSpeed Insight—the closer your score is to 100%, the better. Google also happens to prefers websites that load quickly. The faster your site loads, the higher your chances of ranking well on the search engine results page.


3. Poor web design

Poor web design won’t get you any customers. What it will get you is customer suspicion and mistrust. You’ll have your customers leaving your online store as soon as they set foot in its virtual doors!

If your website does not look attractive or professional, it is not worthy of the trust of your potential customer, who will most certainly go off to find a better put together, and a more trustworthy looking site.

Remember that people make their first judgment of your business based on the look and feel of your site. So you need a website design that has a great and harmonious theme that matches with your products and brand identity. Your website should be pleasing and designed in a way that your customers will want to spend more time exploring and navigating your site.


4. Lousy product descriptions

Are you using the lousy and unhelpful product descriptions that come directly from your product manufacturers? If you are, then that has got to change ASAP.

It is a mistake to treat your product description as if they have no consequence on the ability to make sales. These helpful bits of text are something that shoppers pay attention to when viewing your products. Product descriptions help shoppers decide on whether to buy your product or not. Because of this, you need to win your customers over with great and informative product descriptions.

Having great product descriptions also improves your site’s SEO and improves your rank on search engines like Google—which means that it will make it easier for customers to find you!

If you stick to the product descriptions of your manufacturers, search engines will classify your page as a duplicate of other existing sites, so you can forget about your site appearing anywhere on the first page of the search engine results page. It’s definitely time to start treating those product descriptions like the assets that they are.


5. No marketing strategy

Building your online store is not going to be the same as building a stand that offers ice-cold refreshments by a busy and touristy beach on a hot summer’s day. The refreshments stand is probably gonna make a splash, while building and launching an online store is likely to be met with very little fanfare.

Building your online store isn’t effort enough that guarantees customers will come in. You have to put in a bit of work into your marketing strategy to increase traffic to your store. How do we accomplish this? Ads.

There are many channels for you to choose from, from social media influencers, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Pinterest, and Google Ads. You can even go ahead and start marketing offline by joining popup fairs and other similar activities in your locality. Get the word out about your online business so that people can know and learn to recognize your business and brand.


6. Your site is not responsive

This one can be considered another important aspect of customer experience. The fact is your potential customers are going online on multiple devices every day.  People tend to use multiple devices at the same time. For instance, many people tend to work on their computers and take short breaks to browse on their mobile devices, some of them just so happen to be browsing for products online.

People are shopping online with more than one type of device, whether it is from their laptops, mobile phones, or tablets.  Some of your customers may even take a multi-device path to complete a purchase. Some may start browsing on their phones, only to complete the purchase with their computers.

Think about that. If your site is not responsive and optimized for use on every common device that your customers are likely to be on, then you will fail to make the kind of sales you need to make to keep your business afloat.


7. No defined target audience

Not having a target audience can be directly linked to not having chosen a niche category. Again, if you want to run a successful ecommerce business, it’s better to narrow it down to specific groups of people who share common interests that your online store can lend value to.

Choosing a specific demographic might take some analysis and careful consideration. For instance, if you want to build a store that caters to hip-hop culture, what kind of demographic do you think will be interested in your store, and what products will they be interested in buying?

Things you would have to understand about your target consumers may include:

  • Their age
  • Their interests
  • Subculture and lifestyle they associate with
  • Their values
  • Problems that you can solve, and so on.

8. What customer service?

Many shoppers consider the quality of a brand’s customer service a sign of how much or how little a business values their patronage. Your customers are going to remember you for the quality of the service that you provide.

70% of consumers say that they would maintain loyalty to a brand that provides good customer service, so providing an avenue for your customers to reach you easily is a must.

You can address your customer’s concerns and problems from different channels, like email, integrating live chat to your site, over the phone, or by creating a Frequently Asked Questions page.


9. Poor and incomplete website copy

Have you ever visited a business website with painfully erroneous copy or one with missing page content? Nothing looks less professional than an ecommerce site that contains poorly crafted content or a website that appears to be incomplete.

Something all ecommerce stores must strive to avoid is badly written copy. Your site’s copy needs to be high-quality and error-free. A website with badly written copy loses its credibility and any appearance of being professional.

One other thing that many new ecommerce websites appear to have the propensity to skip out on are certain details, like the About page. This is a mistake because your About page is a way for you to introduce yourself to your customers. Your About page provides them with relevant facts about your brand, what you do, your values, and how your customers can benefit from your online business. Trust us, many of your customers are looking for that About page to learn more about you.

Having a website that shows quality and complete content is not just attractive, it gives your customers strong and affirming reasons to trust you and do business with you. Having a website with low-quality copy that is missing crucial aspects will not appear worthy of your potential customer’s time and money.


Back to you

We’ve given you 9 common mistakes to avoid when building and running your online store. Are you committing any of the mistakes listed above? If you are, it’s time to make some site revamps.

If you have any questions regarding your ecommerce store, contact Ecommerce Pro today. We love to address your concerns and to provide you with the practical and functional solutions that make your ecommerce website great.