Skip to content
Go to GoCardless homepage
Pricing
LoginSign up

6 Common Ecommerce Mistakes

If you want to maximise the success of your ecommerce store, there are a few things that you should – and shouldn’t – be doing. You want customers to stay on your site, from the time they first start browsing to the eventual checkout and purchase, not “cart abandonment.”

For this reason, we’ve listed some of the most common ecommerce mistakes, as well as how to avoid them. Explore our guide to find out what not to do!

Not offering an optimum user experience

This starts off our list of ecommerce mistakes. When making your website, you want to strike a balance between design and functionality. It should look good but be easy to navigate, too. It might be worth working with an expert in UX to make sure that you’re getting the balance right.

For a start, you should have categories to help customers find what they’re looking for – they can guide customers to other products too, which could make you more sales. If you’re a customer on an ecommerce site, and you have to sift through everything to find what you’re looking for, you’re probably not going to stay on the site for too long.

Likewise, it’s worth considering the checkout process. Ideally, when a customer has made it all the way through the rest of the journey, they should be able to finish off actually buying the product or service. As a result, you should keep the checkout process nice and simple. No unexpected added costs, no requirement to set up an account, no unconventional language. Make everything perfectly clear.

Not clearly defining (and understanding) your target audience

It might sound obvious, but if you don’t define and understand your target audience, you’re essentially guessing that they’ll want your product or service. If they do, great, but if they don’t, they aren’t going to buy it, and you’ll lose money. Hence, this is one of the main ecommerce mistakes to avoid.

Market research is vital, from looking at reviews online to browsing social media and Google searches. Then, you need to define your target audience, creating buyer personas that include not only important demographic info, but things like their favourite platforms and how they make purchasing decisions, too. Of course, it’s also super-helpful at this stage to explore how much your target customers are willing to pay for the products you’re providing.

Poor product pages

Product pages are vital in ecommerce, as the customer doesn’t have the same level of interaction with the item as they would in a physical shop. Make sure that you clearly explain what they’re buying with a combination of facts and features and benefits.

Photography is important too, and even videos of the product in action can be effective. Then, there are reviews and testimonials, which are worth featuring on product pages, and even info regarding delivery times and cost – it might go without saying, but it’s important to make sure that it’s included here.

Poor customer service

Like in any business, customer service is important, but some businesses neglect it when focusing on ecommerce, putting them at a disadvantage. When you offer poor customer service, whether that be replying slowly or not at all, refusing to offer refunds, or even just not striking the right tone, customers may not return.

Make sure that you’re accessible at every stage – while you don’t have to be on alert 24/7, it’s not a good idea to take too long to respond. Keep on top of your messages, calls and emails, and you’re likely to keep customers, who might come back – and potentially recommend your business to friends and family.

Producing content that isn’t SEO or CRO-friendly

Does your ecommerce business depend on organic traffic? If so, it’s important that your content is CRO and SEO-friendly. Of all the ecommerce mistakes to avoid, this is the one that’s probably the most ecommerce specific.

It can be easy to think of your content as less important, when actually it can be vital when it comes to attracting customers in the first place. Whether it’s on product pages, as mentioned above, or on your homepage or a blog, content needs to be SEO-friendly, so ensure that you’re using the right keywords and encouraging customers to stay on your site and buy your products or services.

Insufficient social media presence

It’s 2021: social media is ubiquitous, and it’s important for your brand that you maintain an active social media presence. Across the main platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and those more relevant to your business, you can engage and connect with customers, who can then share things in turn, giving you more exposure.

We can help

GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Over 70,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

Get StartedLearn More

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Contact sales