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5 Common E-Commerce Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Published: February 17, 2015

Author: Robert Cordray

It’s a big day when a brand’s e-commerce website goes live. This could be followed by intense disappointment when sales don’t meet expectations. Many e-commerce business owners become frustrated when they can’t understand what went wrong. It’s possible there is no problem with the marketing plan, products or the sales market. It could be the website.
There are at least five common mistakes made by those who run an e-commerce website. These are known to cause an e-commerce website to lose out on its full sales potential. Monitoring e-commerce performance with a Shopify dashboard can help avoid the following e-commerce problems:

Bad Page Design

A major part of having an e-commerce website is providing customers with an attractive page design. It should be clean, enticing, and appropriate for the products it offers. Should a person’s website not be performing up to expectations, the owner may want to take a look at the design of the competition’s website. Many e-commerce websites succeed by using templates or imitating templates found on the internet. These are easy to install or create. The images utilized on the website are extremely important. Providing high-quality product images takes on special significance because an e-commerce website can’t provide potential customers an opportunity to physically touch products. An e-commerce website should be designed to not overwhelm those who visit it. Too many videos, audio, graphics and more can be too much for many people. The more successful e-commerce websites have a focused and organized appearance.Image 1

Site Lacks Responsiveness

An e-commerce website today will generate a high percentage of its sales from people using tablets and smartphones to do shopping. Many people are launching an e-commerce website for the first time and may not realize how important it is to configure their online business for shoppers using these types of devices. If this is not done, the shopper will have a negative experience and may not return.
Load times are also important. It is estimated that each second a page is delayed in loading leads to over 10 percent fewer page views. The loading time of an e-commerce website needs to be regularly checked.
Social media channels can provide an opportunity for an online business owner to hear their customers concerns. These concerns need to be addressed immediately. Quick responses to issues can increase a customer base and build customer loyalty. Shopify provides self-service analytics that can identify important information about an e-commerce website.

Product Information

When people visit an e-commerce website, they want to know quickly what is being sold. The home page should provide clear and easy to understand information about what it sells. The more time a person has to spend trying to figure this out, the greater the chance they will leave and not return. It is especially important for product descriptions. When a customer has an easy time understanding a product’s description, there is a greater chance they will purchase it.
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It’s also important for an online business to clearly state their shipping and return policies as well as payment methods. Irrelevant product information must be avoided. Shoppers may not be interested in how a manufacturer funded the creation of their product.

Checkout Process Is Complicated

When a shopper visits an e-commerce website, they may have spent a significant amount of time choosing products. When it comes time for the checkout process, they’re excited and want it to go quickly. If they abandon the process after the first few steps, there is a problem.
This may not be a time to ask for too much personal information. Filling out forms or performing repetitive actions can discourage a happy customer. If the process is slow, it can also cause frustration. Credit card theft is a big concern for many online shoppers. If an e-commerce website is not a big name brand, consumers may be hesitant to use it. It’s important to provide as many payment options as possible such as PayPal.


An e-commerce website can do many things right, but if it does not generate revenue the website will end up frustrating the online business owner. To be competitive, an e-commerce website needs to consistently provide personalized products that respond to the interest and needs of its customers. This will develop a strong brand awareness and create a positive impact on sales. Image 3
A customer needs to know they’re appreciated. It’s important customers be thanked after making a purchase. This information will help with making good business decisions about operating their e-commerce website.

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