Top 10 eCommerce Mistakes to Avoid in 2020

- Amit Koshal

August 21, 2021

eCommerce mistakes is a topic that is widely being looked for across the web these days as anyone who runs or has run even a mildly-successful eCommerce business can say that it isn’t a child’s play. While many business owners and seasoned managers mistakenly see eCommerce as a viable business option that needs no hard work. They work on a set-it-and-forget-it model and might turn out to be detrimental to the business in the long run.

While running a business, eCommerce mistakes are inevitable as there are no hard-and-fast rules laid down on a piece of paper. It is purely the owner’s discretion to decide on everything that goes on this website. By everything I mean the layout, font, product descriptions- overall aesthetics, you might say! In this case, it is only common to falter and make errors somewhere.

As a seller, you have to be willing to learn from your past mistakes and gauge your areas of improvement. While you might make mistakes all the time, it is essential to understand what mistakes may cost you. This means that you have to invest a lot of time, money, and energy at the risk of not being fully reimbursed.

This should not deter you from exploring your avenues. But it is always better to be wary then to be sorry. So, you should avoid making the following eCommerce mistakes in your business this year.

eCommerce Mistakes

1. No clear value propositions


Having a clear value proposition in eCommerce marketing is important. This means you need to demonstrate the benefits of your website, your products, and what customers are likely to get out of it. If your visitors do not immediately understand what your site is offering, they directly click the “back” button and then look for the necessary information elsewhere.

The primary purpose of your website’s home page is to convince customers that you have what they are looking for. Also, it entices them to explore more products. Otherwise, your competitor will.

2. Not defining your target audience


Among the most common eCommerce mistakes is not targeting a specific audience.

In other words, you can’t expect the right people to show up on your site just because you offer what you think is valuable. Instead, you need to know who these people are, how your product or offering is adding value, why would your website convince them to make a purchase, while there are hundreds of other eCommerce sellers out there. If you don’t know your target audience well, your marketing strategy will fall short no matter what.

3. Choosing the wrong platform


Choosing the right CMS- the content management system for your website is essential. If you do not have the right knowledge, you might end up choosing the wrong CMS. In such a case it is always advisable to reach out to a web developer.

As mentioned earlier, you may not have a complete picture of all your requirements from a CMS right from the beginning, but you’ll get clarity as your business starts to evolve. You wouldn’t want to go through the inconvenience of setting up your website on a platform that does not meet your requirements.

To avoid this situation, before working on a content management system, some basic research needs to go into deciding the best CMS for your website.

4. Poor navigation


A poorly designed website can have a severe impact on your business and might lead to losing customers as well as money. Your homepage needs to be designed in a manner so that your visitors get an all-immersive experience on the site. Navigation should be seamless, easy and products should be placed in a way they are easy to locate. It is important to redirect a customer to the right product page or category page and have a functional search bar.

Make navigation interesting so that a potential customer happens to stumble upon a product while looking for something else. But, if a potential customer spends time trying to understand how to work their way through to the product page, then you’re in trouble!

Unattractive home pages, weak content, poor navigation, countless errors on a website are a big no-no. In the world of eCommerce, website design and development is a useful tool for spreading brand messages and describing the right products or services. Better user experience is the responsibility of defining a simple purchasing process and ultimately demonstrating customer legitimacy. These are all critical factors in creating a positive shopping experience that will lead to increased sales and customer loyalty.

5. Poor product description and info


Sellers forget the importance of writing relevant product descriptions in their online store. Did you know that this has a severe impact on your sales and your SEO? In most cases, the product description is unappealing and far from self-explanatory.

Your buyers cannot see the product they are buying, in-person. This is where a killer product description does its job. Your product description should be able to explain what exactly they are buying. Providing specifications, relevant features, pitching the benefits while telling a story, is what you should keep in mind and while writing descriptions for all your products.

6. Poor product photography


When a customer ends up on your website, the first thing they look at is the product image. They keep browsing when they like what they see, which might lead them to make a purchase. Good photography is at the core of any successful eCommerce store. Product images are what drive your customers into followers and that too loyal, paying ones!

Studies say that people remember 80% of what they see and 20% of what they read. And, 22% of online products are returned when an item looks different than the photos.

Hence, in addition to detailed product description, you must provide high-quality photos of your products on the product page. The aim should be to get customers to purchase, which means you’ll have to impress them in real-time with only pictures, or they might end up not buying at all. Try including high-quality photos from every angle, and even product videos if you can.

7. Lack of social proof


Social evidence serves as a way forward in paving the way for revenue your eCommerce store might bring, in the sense that, people duplicate the actions of others. If friends, family, or even random strangers on the internet vouch for a product and share good reviews, an apprehensive customer is likely to make up his mind and buy it.

The essence of social proof revolves around following the crowd, which explains why it is so powerful. Social proof is so convincing that you can work without a reasonable explanation. Social proof is more than marketing. It is a psychological force that forces people to be stupid and sometimes dangerous and sometimes healthy.

As you know, social evidence on the acquisition of prospect conversions- product reviews, recommendations, references and more is the main factor for leveraging your sales. Where is the best place to put this social proof? On your actual product page, of course! The more positive reviews you get, the better your feedback will be. Of course, make sure this review applies to your visitors. The easiest way is to add a “verified reviewer” badge.

8. Surprise fees


Unexpected costs are one of the main reasons for the loss of eCommerce conversion.

Whether it’s taxes, extra shipping, or the worst convenience fees, these extra costs are often unexpected at the last moment during checkout and may lead to a customer leaving your website without purchasing.

Of course, this does not mean that your business will pay the taxes and shipping costs. Instead, it indicates that you must provide all of this information before visitors access the payment page. At the very least, your clients appreciate honesty in advance. On the other hand, hiding these costs until the end, well, it doesn’t reflect well, to begin with.

9. Focusing on the wrong metrics

It is essential to focus on improving your metrics that may prove to be beneficial for your business. Often marketers trick themselves into believing that their business is going great, while revenue numbers say otherwise.

The most common errors sellers make while focusing on metrics are:

a. Lack of customer segmentation


Customers are often classified into different categories according to their main characteristics, but this is where it gets crucial. Segregation doesn’t necessarily mean according to gender or age. Segregation should be done as per the target segment, for example:

  • Sex and age (Would a woman in her forties spend more on your product than a young man?)
  • Location (Would people from different cultural backgrounds have different views on the same product)

b. Calculation error


You may use revenue figures, but not the correct method of revenue calculations. Remember to take into account, the costs incurred versus the revenue gained. This will reduce your profits and help you gauge the actual figures.

10.Expanding or scaling before you’re ready


Small eCommerce businesses sometimes want to grow their business too quickly. This applies to any business as a whole; marketing can be booming right now, and products can come off the virtual shelves. However, if you’re not ready to get started, you can grow your business somewhat but it might cripple in long run (such as an increase in bulk orders, an expansion of catalogs, or investments in more expensive software).

The most significant point is to save and increase your income over a considerable period and then, you can start looking for a scalable and manageable way without going bankrupt.


Success in the eCommerce world isn’t as easy as it may seem from outside. While there’s no shortcut, with the right planning and execution, one can avoid making the most common eCommerce mistakes as discussed above. The success of your store is synonymous with your success as a seller. Although it is quite common to make these eCommerce mistakes even in the later phase of the business, it is essential for one to willingly accept them and improvise accordingly. Identifying the source & cause of error at the right time is as important as fixing it and avoiding it in the near future.