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7 Mistakes That New Ecommerce Sites Make

01/06/2021 | Share:

Are you starting up a new ecommerce business this year? Perhaps it’s something you’re interested in but you’re still doing your research. If it’s your first time working with your own ecommerce business, this article will help you avoid some common mistakes that people tend to make. Don’t get caught out!

1. Let’s reinvent the wheel

When people first start out, they do their research and discover that their competitors have a lot of similarities in terms of user experience. They may look at this and think that by changing some of the core elements of the store, such as the checkout process or the way people browse the site, that they can revolutionise the way ecommerce works. They think that if they do this, their business will stand out and people will be drawn to it because of the exciting new changes.

Doing this could actually result in the contrary. There’s a reason that competitor websites bear some similarities and it’s all for their customers. People are now accustomed to the way that ecommerce sites function. We know where things should be. For example, the search bar is usually always at the top. If you stray too far from what people are habitually used to, you disrupt their expectations and people won’t know what to do. Imagine moving the only checkout in a brick and mortar store to the basement or a supermarket putting biscuits in the frozen section. Yes it’s different, but it really confuses people.

2. Effortless product descriptions

You’ve got your customer all the way to the product page, don’t give up here. Product descriptions are what sell your product and make you money. These should be written in your business’s unique tone of voice and refer to its best benefits. Don’t just list its features – if people don’t see the benefit of the product first, they won’t care about the dimensions or the weight.

Some ecommerce business owners also copy and paste the information from the manufacturer, instead of taking the time to craft the descriptions themselves. Doing this isn’t unique or interesting.

3. Forgetting about profitability

Throughout your ecommerce journey, you need to ensure that your business is always profitable. Sometimes, people can become obsessed with growing their business quickly and becoming the next Amazon. If you focus too much on growth and don’t pay attention to your bottom line, you could find yourself out of business. Make sure that no matter what happens, your business is still making you money.

4. Not mobile optimised

It shouldn’t need to be said in 2021, but an ecommerce website that hasn’t considered how their mobile users will interact with it, will be missing out on sales. According to Oberlo, mobile commerce has a 72.9% market share. This means that for every £4 spent, almost £3 of it was done on mobile. Mobile commerce can no longer be ignored.

When it comes to the mobile commerce experience, you need to think about how all of the elements will work on a smaller screen. People need to be able to read and navigate with ease which may require some UX or UI work.

Don’t forget that when it comes to a mobile device, you are competing with notifications and messages from all the other apps installed on the device. One distraction could result in the customer leaving, so make sure that your website is optimised and has strong calls to action.

If possible, your website should also offer the opportunity to pay through digital wallets such as Apple Pay which are synced to the mobile device they’re using. This speeds up the process and prevents abandonment.

5. No target audience

Every business has to have a target audience. It’s incredibly difficult to accommodate everyone in the whole world in terms of pricing, tone of voice, products… the list goes on. You need to make sure you’ve got a target market before you start and to do that you need to know what need your product serves.

If your products are essential and affordable, these may not appeal to an audience that has lots of disposable income and appreciates exclusivity. Think about every aspect of your perfect customers including where they live, how old they are, how much they spend and what their interests are. Once you have a better understanding of your target market, you can market your products a lot better.

6. SEO Errors

Good SEO takes a lot of work and effort, especially if you’re starting out. However, there are some small things you can do to help. A common mistake that ecommerce businesses make is neglecting their website health (and therefore their SEO).

A lot of new websites don’t realise that they need to make their website fast loading, so don’t optimise their website enough. This includes ensuring that the website isn’t plagued with slow-loading popups and uses images that are optimised. There’s no point using an image that’s several megabytes if it’s going to be displayed rather small.

Secondly, people tend to think that once a product is discontinued that they can simply remove the page. Ecommerce newbies are missing a crucial step, especially if you still have links to the non-existent page. Use the opportunity to redirect the links to the page with a 301 redirect. This then prevents 404 page not found errors. 404 errors are bad for user experience and could harm your SEO.

7. Complex checkout process

Whilst this could be bundled up with reinventing the wheel, we felt this needed a separate section – because it is that important. Many people make the mistake of adding too much to their checkout process and then wonder why people abandon their baskets. People don’t always want to register. They don’t want to enter their billing address when it’s the same as their delivery address or fill out any unnecessary fields.

The key to a good checkout experience is to make it as streamlined as possible. The fewer barriers and distractions there are, the better. Let people buy without a registration. Ask only for the information that is necessary. Speed up payment by allowing multiple forms of payment including things like Apple Pay.


Venturing into the world of ecommerce for the first time can be difficult and daunting. By avoiding these 7 mistakes, you’ll have fewer setbacks, giving yourself a much better chance of success as you grow your business.

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