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5 Mistakes Almost Every New eCommerce Site Makes

Brent Peterson Brent Peterson April 8, 2021

5 Mistakes Almost Every New eCommerce Site Makes

Starting a new eCommerce business is exciting as it allows you to create a new revenue stream. But what should you know before you get started? That’s a great question because there are common mistakes that almost every new eCommerce site makes! Here are 5 pitfalls to avoid to ensure you start off your new venture on the right foot.

#1 Trying to reinvent the wheel

When you build an eCommerce website, something to keep in mind is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. In fact, you shouldn’t because the majority of users want a familiar, easy shopping experience. Don’t feel like you need to build a unique shopping experience and solution. Custom web development is expensive and often won’t positively impact your bottom line anyways.

In most cases, your best bet will be to stick to mainstream eCommerce platforms. Keep your website design and navigational elements simple and intuitive. The place where you can shine and differentiate yourself is in your unique selling proposition (more on that below).

#2 Not having social proof

Social proof is a marketing tactic rooted in human psychology. The underlying concept is that individuals will follow the actions of the masses. It’s based on the (often subconscious) assumption people make that if a large enough group is doing a certain thing, it must be right, good, preferable, etc. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not having any social proof on your site. Why?

Consider that 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020. Further, 88% of consumers said they trusted online reviews as much as personal recommendations from family and friends.

As a new eCommerce site, you need to have forms of social proof on your web pages to reassure your customers that they are making a good decision. But what should you include? Consider incorporating customer testimonials, positive reviews, endorsements from well-known individuals or companies, and the number of users/customers you have. You can also build social proof by growing your social media following/engagement.

#3 Not having a mobile-friendly website

Next, one of the biggest mistakes a new eCommerce site can make is only designing your website for desktop users. More than half of the world’s population is shopping online via their mobile devices. Further, in the U.S., 81% of the population now owns a smartphone and mobile commerce is projected to grow 68% by 2022. You definitely want to tailor the shopping experience to your users no matter what device they use to access your site. So be sure that whatever site you choose, it’s responsive!

#4 No unique selling proposition

Why should customers buy from you above everyone else? We are in a time of highly saturated markets. It’s easier than ever to open an online store and start selling so you have to decide how and why your offering is going to be different. Is it going to serve a unique audience? Will you have a cohesive presence online and in a brick-and-mortar store? Will it have a unique feature, brand voice, or payment structure?

Let’s look at a few examples. Head and Shoulders is not just another shampoo because it is “clinically proven to reduce dandruff.” It’s likely going to be the top choice for anyone suffering from dandruff. Another example is Robinhood, the mobile-investing app. What makes it unique? It offers commission-free trading that opens up trading for everyone, not just the wealthy.

How will you stand out and win business? What group will you serve? This is called your unique selling proposition (USP). Don’t enter the market without one.

#5 Poor customer service infrastructure

Lastly, many new eCommerce site owners get so caught up with launching their stores and making sales, that they don’t prepare for what’s next— supporting the customers. Think one step ahead so you have customer service systems in place before you need them. This will help you support and retain your new customers. As a result, you’ll earn more positive reviews and referrals which will keep the momentum going.

Launch your eCommerce site with confidence

Now you know five of the biggest mistakes that most new eCommerce site owners make and how to avoid them. The next best thing you can do for your business is to keep researching, learning, and testing as you open your store. It is competitive out there so you will need to be at the top of your game. Learn about your audience and stay focused on how you can best serve them and grow.

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