Stop Letting These Ecommerce Mistakes From Chasing Customers Away!

Don’t let some eCommerce mistakes obstruct your way to success. Read the content below to learn to avoid those mistakes!

Another Halloween is upon us, and when this occasion comes, we expect spooky and weird events to happen here and there.

On this occasion and other holidays during the year, it is a chance to sell more products with your business. However, you might accidentally “scare the life out” of your website’s visitors by committing these fatal ecommerce mistakes.

And once your prospective customers have encountered the difficulties in your website, they will distrust the site, leave, and never come back.

In this article, we’ll list the common eCommerce mistakes merchants often make and what you can do to fix some of them.

Follow the holiday calendar this year, and prepare your site in the best condition for the upcoming holidays!


I. Website Development Ecommerce Mistakes

Website development is a way to make visitors aware of the services and/or products you are selling. It helps them understand why they should buy or use your products.

It also lets customers see which of your business’s qualities set you apart from your competitors.

1. Exhausted yourself with your own CMS

For merchants who have just started their online business, and even with established companies, it’s often thought of as a good idea for them to build a 100% from scratch CMS system. There are reasons to justify building a CMS system, and while some of them are correct, some are bad reasons.

The stores want to gain control of all its features and how they work, or they thought that CMS systems from third-party like WordPress are simply a fancy version of blogging. There is also a not-so-small proportion of merchants untempted by other CMS systems because of the bad reputation of their security and unreliability.

There is a need for some clarifications.

First, you can indeed control the features of the CMS system you own, but it would be one of the eCommerce mistakes considering your development and maintenance costs. Plus, you can use extensions for any customizations you might need for your CMS system.

Second, a CMS system from third-party providers such as WordPress is entirely secure and reliable if you keep them up-to-date and regularly check for problems.

Building a CMS system on your own is difficult even with businesses that have a developer team working for them.

As a store owner, you have already had to deal with your eCommerce platform’s problems. Putting a CMS on top of it might cost you considerably in both expenses and human resources.


Based on your company’s budget for ecommerce web development, you can consider using the built-in CMS system or integrating one into your ecommerce platform. If you lack resources, find an ecommerce web development solutions provider that supports integrating CMS for your site.

2. Build your site on the wrong platform

When we talk about the CMS system, it’s also necessary to mention the ecommerce platform you picked, since they’re often integrated together.

Picking the wrong platform is not good for your website as well, especially if the platform you choose is the one you’ve already familiar with. You will have to learn all about the new platform again, and it will be costly for you to hire new developer resources to adapt.


Even when you didn’t get to know any platform yet, and didn’t know what to expect, you shouldn’t just pick one and run under the assumption that your choice doesn’t differ. It depends on your business’s industry, how adept your team is in technology, and how much customizations you need for your platform.

There are ecommerce systems like Magento, which allows hosting options and customization. In contrast, other systems like Shopify are one package from the get-go that limits what merchants can do.

You should research and weigh your options carefully, as it’s both time and money consuming to migrate your business to another platform.

II. Website Maintenance Issues Ecommerce Mistakes

When you are an eCommerce merchant, your business relies on your website so much.

It means some downtime can cause you to lose many sales and potential customers that would be difficult to get back.

Thus, keeping your website clean, fast, and available all the time is definitely a must.

3. Leave “Scary” security holes in your online store.

Another among the ecommerce mistakes that merchants might stumble upon is neglecting the security aspect of your platform.

As a manager of an eCommerce business, anyone would want to keep clients’ data safe and keep their site from having malware, bugs, or any other possible security issues.

But we have past the time where you can just keep the data in a safe box, and it’s difficult for you to keep check of the website irregularities all the time.

In recent years, hackers have become more proficient in breaching ecommerce platforms and stealing financial information. Just last year, 6,589 stores of Volusion were hacked, and 239,000 credit card records were stolen due to an innocent-looking file loaded from Google cloud infrastructure.

This proved how serious things could get if you overlook ecommerce security issues. It can cost you financial casualty, but even worse, you could lose customers’ trust, and people didn’t return to the site again.

Especially as the holiday season is approaching and massive traffic will enter your website, the security risk would increase.

The holidays are also rare opportunities for hijackers to obtain more purchasing data from users.


Especially with complex ecommerce platforms, like Magento, which has large flexibilities and customization, require regular maintenance and update to ensure the website’s security and quality.

If your company doesn’t have sufficient resources to check on your store’s security issues, consider outsourcing from a well-established and platform-specific provider. They have a deeper understanding of the platform to tackle your security issues.

4. Glitches that makes your site look like it’s haunted

This is undoubtedly the best gift for people who favor sketchy websites or have a high Halloween spirit for a haunted one.

Unfortunately, most holidays aren’t Halloween, and the majority of your visitors prefer a smooth experience. And first impressions do matter.

The glitches or ecommerce web development technical issues might give them a sense of insecurity, making them distrust the website. To make sure that your website is glitch-free, you should:

  • Ensure that all the links in your website work and direct viewers to the right destination.
  • Check all issues that can cause lagging and malfunctions. Make sure that all features are working correctly without interruption.
  • Make sure that the site is also compatible with mobile devices.
  • If you are still uncertain, ask experts to perform testing on your site.


5. Slow performance will “kill” your website

It goes without saying that performance does have an effect on sales and conversion. One of the common ecommerce mistakes merchants make is not optimizing their websites’ loading speed and getting their business into big trouble.

Here are some statistics about the performance of websites to see how significant a site speed is to customers:

  • A second delay reduced page views by 11%
  • A second delay makes customer satisfaction go down about 16%
  • A second delay vanishes 7% of the coveted conversion rate.
  • From 1-3 seconds to load an online store will have a bounce rate probability at 32%, but add a second to it, and the number is triple at 90%.

You can start to remedy the issue by measuring your site’s speed using testing tools like Google PageSpeed Insight, GTMetrix, Geek Flare, etc.

The tools might give you some understanding of why your website fails in performance, which helps you search for ecommerce web development solutions to overcome it.

And as we have stated in the title, you should think about how your website fares even on holidays. One of the grave mistakes of ecommerce website owners is they often forget to calculate their website’s capacity during these high times. So when the traffic peaked, the site would become sluggish and even came crashing down, which in turn gave out big disappointment for visitors.


In the case of Magento merchants, there is a list of tips and tricks for Magento 2 Speed Optimization that might give you some ideas to begin with your website.


You can also seek consultation from experts to have a more structural and more in-depth analysis of your online store’s performance.

III. Web Design Ecommerce Mistakes

It’s not just ecommerce web development or maintenance issues that should be the primary concern of merchants. Web design ecommerce mistakes, if left unchecked, can lead to a nightmare for store owners.

6. Poor design

On the homepage, you would want to have a balanced amount of content forms, text, images, videos, etc. I’m not saying the proportion of them should be the same but should be at the right amount depending on the product you’re advertising.

For example, with an online coffee shop, it’s not much base on words, but rather images and feelings, and the  homepage would mainly be images and less text, as shown below:


However, for a finance website, it’s important for the investors to update information from the stock market, which means the information delivered would have to be straightforward and direct.


The color also plays an integral part in highlighting your website in the customers’ minds. Too bland, and you won’t be remembered while showing much color will make it harder for viewers to concentrate on the homepage’s important information.

And since your customer can’t interact with you until they decide to purchase, it’s your job to describe for them in detail exactly what they are buying.

However, you must keep in mind not to go all aboard and “stranded” the browser by a “wall of text”. One of the ecommerce mistakes we have seen on many websites is people often put way too much information in an endless product description paragraph.


Besides making the description reasonably short, you can also consider structuring the long product description and specifications using bullet points and dividing them into sections. This will help customers better understand the product and be less intimidated or demotivated when reading long descriptions.

Despite sounding very simple, statistics pointed out that 78% of sites don’t do this.


During the holiday season, you should also design your website to go along with the hype. A suitable design for holidays is ideal for campaigns and promotions to increase sales and conversions. For example, setting up a countdown to holidays is a brilliant designing idea to attract people to your landing page.


7. Confusing categories & navigation

This mistake is also a web design problem. Sometimes, to understand customers’ specific needs and guide them to the right item they need, you need to create a lot of categories and navigation. But if you make to the extent of these images is just a nightmare.



What you can do to reduce the complication:

  • Make sure your navigation is easy to access and search for visitors.
  • Arrange your products appropriately, trying to group smaller options into bigger categories.
  • Provide some additional information to encourage them to get through the purchasing process.

IV. Features Ecommerce Mistakes

No matter what eCommerce platform you’re using, you must know that no platform is perfect. 

That means the default functions of the platform are hardly enough. Those default only to provide a basic online business website. 

To enhance your customer experience, you need to enhance some advanced features in your store.

8. No guest checkout? more like locked out!

Not allowing guest checkouts on your ecommerce site is the critical one within the ecommerce mistakes. It was even more deadly than the optional “Create Account” button.


There are three reasons why it’s a fatal move for an ecommerce site in the online selling competition. First, it makes the checkout process much more prolonged and complicated than it already is. Second, no one wants to commit to a site if they are not yet ready since it would mean signing up for the mailing lists, receiving newsletters, etc.

And finally, it will coerce visitors to give personal information that they are not comfortable with giving. Buyers are often concerned with ecommerce security issues when making a purchase, which means they would much prefer to have a guest checkout option to protect themselves.

READ MORE about all the scariest Magento Custom Checkout things can happen to you!

9. “Hidden” fees

The hidden fees are the “lurking dangers” that let buyers ultimately cancel their orders. According to the research done by Baymard Institute, the unexpected costs that customers have to pay extra are the number one reason for their cart abandonment (with 55% among the respondents).


Although tax, shipping, and other extra costs are not something the company can cover for all customers, at least you can display all the charges in the beginning. Your customers will appreciate your honesty, instead of dropping it near the end, causing frustration for the end-users.

Always remember: Hidden fees like taxes or shipping charges are the buying motivation killer.

10. Lack of payment and delivery options

When we are immersed in the technology era, and eCommerce businesses increase, so are the payment and delivery methods. Buyers want different payment methods and delivery methods, and while you don’t have to provide all options, you can provide as many preferred methods for customers as possible.

You don’t want the sole reason people abandon your cart because your delivery and payment method can’t reach them locally.


V. Marketing And Customer Services Ecommerce Mistakes

Considering you have a sleek website, and diverse functions, you still need to deliver them to your customers. This is where marketing comes in. The marketing and customer services ecommerce mistakes will have an impact on the way you approach customers and the brand image that your company left behind in their minds.

11. Excessive or too little content marketing

While this one is not a grave mistake that is irreversible, it will slowly sink your site if there is little to none content marketing and updating. Don’t believe product content is that important?

According to Salsify’s report, 87% of shoppers rate product content is extremely or very important in buying decisions. 98% of shoppers are dissuaded from finishing a purchase if the content is incomplete or incorrect.


The dangerous ecommerce mistakes in marketing are either too focus on one type of content or spread yourself too thin, managing many types of content.

Ecommerce merchants who are just diving into the world of content marketing sometimes assume that blogging is the one-for-all method of content marketing.

But there are also other content types, and your customer might never read or don’t prefer reading blogs. Some people like listening to podcasts. Others prefer getting longer forms of content like reading ebooks, attending webinars, etc.

All-in-all, you need to understand the customer preferences and focus on the types of marketing content they prefer. It’s essential to raise awareness about your product through marketing channels. No matter how good the product is, it’s still useless if no one knows about it.

12. Don’t have or target the wrong audience

Before launching your product, and even before forming your product’s development, you should first understand who your target audience is.

Even though it is nothing new, it’s still a common ecommerce mistakes for businesses to forget their customers. As William Harris of Elumynt stated:

“I see people spend a lot of time and money developing their product and working on their website…but they don’t spend even one-tenth the time and money on figuring out exactly who their target audience is. 

This is critical because knowing your audience will help you figure out which images to use for ads, which words to use in descriptions, which social channels to aggressively maintain, and more.”


So, what to do?

Talk to your customers. Understand them deeper, building client persona. Make sure that you get your audience inside out for your marketing strategies.

13. “Ghosted” your customers

Some customers, especially the Millennials generation prefer to pay for better service than a better quality product. And poor Customer Service, either on the website, during, or after the purchase will cause your customers to rate your service quality really low.


No one likes being “ghosted”.

And even when you don’t ignore your customers, there’re still some mistakes you should look out for:

  • You take too long to respond
  • It’s difficult to return an item if the customer isn’t satisfied
  • You try to prove the customer is wrong
  • Ignoring social media contact channels

Overall, it’s essential for you to always be ready, be friendly, and flexible throughout customer interactions.

In Conclusion

To sum up, it’s easy to fall into eCommerce mistakes that would cost your time, resources, sales, and conversions.

For the 2020 Holiday Season, we listed the eCommerce mistakes that Merchants commonly made, ranging from web development, maintenance, design, features, and marketing operations to promote your store. We also provided you with some helpful tips you can perform to avoid them and have a wonderful Holiday celebration with a sleek-looking website.

If you have any questions or suggestions to improve our work, please do not hesitate to let us know anytime. We aim to bring more value to customers and assist you whenever you need it.

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Magento Tester at | Posts

Charlie is an experienced Magento Tester and has started at BSSCommerce for some time. He loves writing about Magento products, e-commerce topics, and is a fan of all technical problems Magento related. If you have a question, he's happy to help.

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