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Common small business E-commerce mistakes

By 28th January 2023May 12th, 2023No Comments
Common small business e-commerce mistakes | Tall Zebra | Digital Agency

Common small business E-commerce mistakes can be costly & cause good business models with good products to be shortlived. Here’s what we believe are the most common E-commerce mistakes & what you should be doing instead:


Putting prices on your socials  

It seems bizarre that this would be at the top of our list of E-commerce mistakes online independent retail businesses make but by adding prices against your images and posts on socials, you prevent potential customers from visiting your website or starting conversations with you via the comments section, email, or direct message. You want customers to click through to your website to see the rest of your range, any discounts or free shipping you have on offer, or be tempted by your call-to-action buttons. Any touchpoint with you is great as people are more likely to buy after human interaction, if they message you to ask for a price, it’s an opportunity for you to build a relationship and gain a customer.  


Not offering a Live Chat facility 

Live chat allows you to solve customer problems quickly. Sometimes a potential customer may be trying to find something, have issues checking out, or maybe they’ve spotted a glitch you are not aware of. There are many variants of software when it comes to live chat but almost all of them will allow customer questions to come through to your mobile device via an app. Not offering live chat is a huge E-commerce mistake as without it, you wouldn’t be able to resolve issues efficiently from your phone and ultimately make sure you don’t miss out on sales.   


Having a clunky checkout process  

If it’s not seamless, then you’re making a huge E-commerce mistake. People will give up and abandon their cart. You should be offering Apple pay, PayPal, ClearPay and Klarna where possible, to give people the option of buy now pay later. Believe us, your competitors are offering these things and they’ll take your custom if you don’t up your game. In business, you always need to think of your customers attention span of that of a small child, keep them engaged and signpost them as clearly as you can to achieve what they need to.   


Only using one image per product  

You’ve got to work the angles of your products. Show your product against a clear background, styled with other props or products and in a natural lifestyle setting, perhaps a customer images from social media. The more images, the better! Include dimensions and different colours and size variants. Not only do people like to know exactly what they’re getting, but they’re more inclined to purchase if there is more choice as it gives the illusion of personalisation and getting more for their money. 


Not taking inspiration from competitors 

Or worse, not knowing who they are. It’s not stealing or copying; it’s simply being inspired by another brand who are successful and adding your own spin on their strategy. Unless you have a very niche and unique patented product, the likelihood is there are hundreds, if not thousands of others also selling your products. If a competitor is doing it well, you need to research why and how you can apply the same format to your brand, whilst still maintaining your style and authenticity. If you don’t know at least 5 of your main and local competitors then you’re making a huge E-commerce mistake. There’s a lot that can be said about borrowing your competitor’s audience in the business world. 


Only book-keeping once per year 

Of course, this doesn’t just fall under the category of E-commerce mistakes but general business mistakes.  Doing regular book-keeping, and keeping quarterly checks on your accounts, helps you track your data. It helps you see what is causing a high expenditure so you can make cuts and it’s great to see where you can invest more into your marketing budget. Marketing budgets shouldn’t be, but often fall to the bottom of the priority list. Check out our blog here, to see how much you should be spending on your marketing.  


Not having an automated abandoned cart in place  

E-commerce functionality is essential but so is automated marketing to optimize your website. Abandoned cart emails are just one thing that you can set up to do the work in the background. The conversion rate for cart abandonment emails is more than 10%, which is phenomenal and worth prioritising.  We can’t stress this E-commerce mistake enough, because the plug-in is free, once it’s set up it’s done and you don’t have to amend it, it could make you so many more sales. 



Confusing people  

Be clear and powerful with your brand story and product messaging. Make sure who you know who you are first before expecting other people to understand. You should be able to explain to people what your brand is about in one sentence, same for your USP and your mission and goal as a brand. Your ‘about us’ needs to be powerful and carefully crafted to set your business, and yourself apart from others, people buy from people, remember that. 


 We hope you can benefit from being aware of common E-commerce mistakes! If you’d like to discuss more e-commerce mistakes or the general marketing of your e-commerce business any further, just reach out to us for a chat.