Top mistakes new online retailers make

Are you a new online store owner or looking to improve your ecommerce strategy? Contributor Steve shares the top five errors you should avoid to help you get ahead in the ecommerce game.

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Shopping Cart Ecommerce Keyboard Ss 1920Are you new to the wonderful world of ecommerce? Are you hoping to hit the ground running, turning your store into a great success overnight?

Although you may have the best intentions, there’s no denying the fact that you’ll make mistakes from time to time. However, you should set the goal of avoiding the many errors that have plagued thousands of people before you.

Here are five of the top mistakes new online retailers may make:

1. Wrong platform

In the early days of ecommerce, you didn’t have many options in regard to your platform and technology. However, this has all changed in today’s world. Now, you have more solutions than ever before.

You know your online store, products, goals and business plan better than anyone else. Take all this into consideration when choosing a platform.

2. Too many products

The more products you sell, the better, right? Well, not exactly. While there is nothing wrong with expanding your product list over time, you don’t want to bog yourself down in the early days of your online store.

Start with your core products, as this provides the opportunity to get your feet wet without becoming overwhelmed. Once you master your system, you can then expand as you see fit.

3. Poor design

There is more to an online store than adding products and giving consumers a way to make a purchase. If you truly want to achieve success, it’s imperative to focus your time, energy and resources on implementing the right design.

Without this, your conversion rate will suffer. As a result, your sales and profits will follow suit.

Tip: don’t hesitate to tweak your design as the months go by. Sometimes, all it takes is a minor change to generate major results.

4. Lack of unique content

The primary goal of any online store is to attract visitors and convert them into buyers. Even so, some people don’t know what it takes to make this happen.

If you want to increase organic traffic, educate your visitors and give them a reason to stick around, you need to publish as much high-quality, unique content as possible.

For example, write killer descriptions for every product you sell. Along with this, don’t hesitate to create landing pages for each category. Finally, starting a blog based around your industry is never a bad idea. This is yet another outlet for sharing content with your audience.

5. Complex checkout process

An online store is only an online store if visitors can make a purchase. This brings up a very important question: What does your checkout process entail?

While some companies understand the importance of a simple and streamlined checkout process, others continue to come up short.

Don’t make it difficult for your audience to add items to their cart, enter their payment information, and process their order. The last thing you want to find is a high shopping cart abandonment rate. This could be directly related to the complexity of your checkout process.


As a new online store owner, it’s safe to say that you’ll have a lot on your plate. From uploading images and descriptions to optimizing your checkout process, there is always something that requires your attention.

While you’re sure to make many mistakes, the five listed above can have a major impact on many aspects of your company. For this reason, do your best to avoid these at all costs.

How long have you been part of the ecommerce game? Have you made any of these mistakes in the past? Share your advice, guidance and general feedback with us on Facebook, Twitter or our LinkedIn Group.

Contributing authors are invited to create content for MarTech and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the martech community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

Steve Olenski

Fuel up with free marketing insights.