7 eCommerce Mistakes You’re Making & How To Fix Them

by Joel House January 29, 2016
January 29, 2016

In 2016, the global eCommerce industry is set to take in over $ 1.15 Trillion dollars in sales. That is more than the GDP of Sweden, Finland and Greece – Combined.


However that turnover isn’t just from large multi-nationals, but also a growing sector of small to medium businesses that are entering the market every day.


Unlike any time in history, the barriers for entry in eCommerce are so low that virtually anyone can launch a website on the weekend and start making sales within the week.


Sadly it’s this ease of entry to the market that has bred a large number of merchants who simply aren’t leveraging their business for the value that they are truly worth because they are stuck making the 7 mistakes that you’ll discover below.


It’s now just small business making these eCommerce mistakes, but also sellers doing $ 1, $ 3, even $ 10 million dollars a year in sales.


So if you want to stabilize your business and experience extraordinary growth, then ensure that you fix these seven mistakes in your business immediately.


Mistake 1: Not Actively capturing email addressesEmail Marketing

Email Marketing is one of the most profitable forms of marketing on the planet. Recent studies by the DMA revealed that email marketing drives a 4,000% ROI for businesses.


For many eCommerce businesses, email marketing is the leading form of revenue. It is something that they control unlike social media pages. However sadly very few eCommerce merchants are effective in capturing email addresses from shoppers and customers


The Solution: By utilizing email pop-up software you’re able to dramatically grow your email lists. When using this solution remember that shoppers don’t like pop-ups, so ensure you have a great offer for them such as a 10% off coupon. OptinMonster is a great solution and it allows you to quickly install and modify your pop-ups.


Mistake 2: Not Becoming an Authority

Content Marketing is one of the fastest growing forms of digital marketing, and for good reason. It allows businesses to share their expertise in their field with their customers and prospects, while also having very good SEO benefits.


However most eCommerce businesses still aren’t actively engaging in content marketing, or if they do their doing it all wrong.


The Solution: Rather than blog about your products or your business, instead create content that your customers want to read. For example if you sell health supplements, then produce content around health.


On the flip side, also think about what type of content will attract new customers to your website. For example if you sell children’s toys, you can produce content around parenting tips, school holiday ideas, and birthday party themes. This will all attract your ideal customer.


Mistake 3: Being another ‘Me To’ BusinessUnique Selling Proposition

In a world where the barrier to entry is extremely low, being another ‘me too’ business is one of the riskiest ways to run your online store. Whether you are using the same website templates, the same product descriptions or simply the same terms and conditions, being a copy cat also enables others to copy you easily.


The Solution: Develop yourself a very strong Unique Selling Proposition. Ensure that while you determine your USP you take some time to think what you do differently, and how that can help benefit your customers. Perhaps you offer better shipping rates, or quicker delivery? Maybe you infuse your whole website and copy with your own personality to stand out. Whatever you do, ensure you aren’t ‘vanilla’.


Mistake 4: Thinking SEO is outdatedSearch Engine Optimisation

In recent years there has been a lot of speculation that SEO doesn’t work any more, and as a result there have been huge companies slashing their SEO budget across the world. It is this response however that has opened a competition gap, which is now enabling businesses with smaller budgets to achieve sensational ROI.


While it is true that the way SEO used to be done doesn’t work anymore for eCommerce businesses, there are still thousands who are profiting wildly from it.


The Solution: Educate yourself on what effective SEO is in 2016, and build a plan around that. Organic search has long been the #1 traffic source for small eCommerce merchants, so investing in SEO is a must for your long term stability.


Mistake 5: Letting your customers leave without any way of tracking them

We are in the age of the pixel and there is no denying that. Re-marketing technologies are growing at a rapid rate and the adoption of the technology is at all all time high. However most eCommerce businesses don’t have re-marketing pixels installed, let alone use them effectively.


The Solution: There are many different technologies on the market today to help you with your re-marketing. If you’re looking for a ‘all in one’ solution then look into Perfect Audience. Their platform is easy to use and quite quick to set up.


However if you’d like to deal with the networks directly a professional can help you with your Google Adwords & Facebook re-marketing set ups. If you follow this approach you will have more flexibility, however with great power comes great difficulty, so be aware of that.


When setting up your re-marketing campaigns ensure you utilize both Dynamic (With a shopping feed) and Static (Standard banners). By setting up individual lists with unique expiry dates (1,3,7,14,30 days) you can tailor your message without being intrusive.


Mistake 6: Using outdated, slow technology

As consumer technology improves, it’s essential that you keep your website technology up to date. Your site needs to be responsive, quick to load, easy to navigate, ideally offer personalized shopping experiences and pack the numerous other features that customers are looking for.


The Solution: There are two solutions to this mistake. The first is to use a hosted or SaaS solution such as Shopify. These solutions provide you with a low maintenance, low cost way to ensure you are always using the latest technology. The downside however is that if you want a specific feature for your business, you don’t have the ability to add them.


The second solution is to use a open source platform which you fully control. Magento 2.0 is currently the best open source solution on the market. It is more expensive than the hosted options mentioned above, however it allows you more flexibility to upgrade and customize.


Mistake 7: Assuming your website is perfectConversion Rate Optimisation

No website is ever perfect, and just because it looks perfect doesn’t mean that it is converting perfectly for you. Recent industry benchmarks by Moz revealed that the average conversion rate of an eCommerce website is only 1.4%. This is staggering as many of the top sites convert as high as 5%.


The Solution: The most effective and data driven way to improve your website’s conversions is through conversion rate optimization. CRO is the practice of making careful adjustments to your website and split testing them through software products such as Optimizely.


The overall theory is to incrementally improve various elements of your website such as guarantee positioning, menu structure and your checkout. And incrementally, 5% here, 9% there, you’ll grow your conversion rate, and overall profits exponentially


Conclusion:

By working through the 7-mistakes above, and fixing each of them in your business you’ll build a very strong and sturdy foundation for your long-term success. You’ll fight off competition and stand alone as the leader in your field.


The only question that remains – Which mistake will you fix first?

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