Mistakes to Avoid When Starting E-commerce Business

The E-commerce industry is growing by leaps and bounds. According to Statista, in 2020, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 4.28 trillion USD, and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 5.4 trillion USD in 2022. A report by Oberlo shows there will be 2.14 billion global digital buyers in 2021 – that’s about 27.2% of the world’s population.

Business Gurus

Business Gurus

Online shoppers increase every year. Consequently, entrepreneurs are seizing this opportunity to make money with e-commerce stores. However, many people miss it when it comes to setting up a successful e-commerce store. This article will explore the mistakes you must avoid if you want to build a successful e-commerce business.

Things to avoid when setting up an e-commerce business:

  • Get Rich Quick Mentality
  • Not Having Plan For Organic Traffic
  • Inadequate Customer Support
  • Poor Product Images
  • Using a Sluggish Payment Processor
  • Complicated Checkout Process
  • Incomprehensive Product Description
  • Poor Site Navigation
  • Lack of Social Media Presence

1. Get Rich Quick Mentality

You might find content telling how you can make thousands of dollars a month with an e-commerce store all over the internet. There is no limit to the amount of money you can make with an e-commerce store. However, it pays not to enter into this industry with a “get rich quick” mentality. Just like every industry, success is possible, but it comes with time and hard work.

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People see “crazy” things online about how they can make a million dollars with e-commerce stores, and they delve in without being prepared for the hard work and learning involved. Bloggers and YouTubers make it look easy. In reality, everything good takes time and hard work. How much you make and how fast you start making money is dependent on your skill and the amount of work you are ready to put in.

Do you want to be successful in this industry? Then, get your mindset right. Click here to learn how to start an e-commerce business, especially in Nigeria.

2. Not Having Plan For Organic Traffic

There are many ways you can drive traffic to your e-commerce store. Nonetheless, it would be best if you made plans for sustainable organic traffic. It’s the most difficult source of traffic. Meanwhile, you need it to build a massively successful e-commerce business.

Institute a strategy for organic traffic even if you have a budget for ads. Taking SEO courses is a good place to start. There are free and paid lessons online. Lay your hands on some free SEO and content marketing courses and learn how to build organic traffic. With blogging (click here to learn why your e-commerce business needs a blog) and vlogging, you could achieve great results over time.

3. Inadequate Customer Support

In this industry, customer support is king. Customer service affects customer retention rate. How you respond to customers’ inquiries and complaints determines if they will buy from you again or recommend your store to friends.

Due to the nature of this industry, customer confidence and trust need to be earned. So, you’ve to do everything possible to make shoppers happy. You can achieve this through:

  • Live chat
  • Quick response to emails
  • Voice call
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Any entrepreneur that will succeed online must appreciate the importance of customer service. Customer satisfaction results in increased repeat customers and referrals.

4. Poor Product Images

When buying online, people are always interested in getting the clearest image of what they want to buy. Your potential customers shouldn’t strain their eyes to view products. Show multiple photos of products and get rid of visitors’ doubts with stunning images.

Showing videos of the products work well. Videos communicate better. If possible, create videos of people using the products. If you are using any of your products, make a video of yourself using them. This approach will improve trust and make visitors make purchasing decisions faster.

5. Using a Sluggish Payment Processor

Install a fast payment gateway. No buyer would like to go through the hurdle of payment failure. In this era, people lack patience. An average visitor would abandon the shopping cart when the payment is not going through.

Before installing any payment gateway, take note of the following:

  • Does it process payment swiftly?
  • How long does it take to solve payment problems?
  • Ease of installation and tech support.

To avoid getting stuck, do exhaustive research before installing a processor. The most appropriate way to do this is by seeking advice from successful e-commerce entrepreneurs.

6. Complicated Checkout Process

Make your checkout process as simple as possible. Not everyone will have the patience to go through a 3-page checkout process. In as much as you would like to have customers’ information, make the whole process simple. Simplicity always wins.

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If possible, have an option for “guests” to checkout without creating accounts. This is to avoid passing buyers through a multi-step checkout process that might lead to cart abandonment.

7. Incomprehensive Product Description

Buyers want detailed product descriptions. Address potential concerns of customers. Make product descriptions as compelling as possible. Here is an article that teaches how to craft an attractive product description.

If the product comes with a warranty or guarantee, be clear about it. Be comprehensive about features, manufacturing processes, raw materials, storage/maintenance guidelines, etc. The more detailed a product description is, the greater the ease of getting rid of purchasing barriers.

8. Poor Site Navigation 

A stranger on your website should be able to figure out how to navigate at a glance. Anything short of this would make a visitor click the “back” button. Make it easy for customers to take a “tour” of your website with well-designed navigation bars and buttons.

Include a search bar. It helps visitors to filter the products they want. With a comprehensive description, keywords, and tags, your products will be easy to find.

9. Lack of Social Media Presence

If you want your e-commerce business to be successful, you’ve to utilize the power of social platforms. Have a solid online presence – be active on major social networks. Leading platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., are good places to promote your business. Put social sharing buttons on all product pages.


Avoiding these mistakes will help you build a successful e-commerce store. The E-commerce industry, just like every other business, comes with its challenges. It requires progressive learning and hard work. With these tips, you are on your way to building a lucrative e-commerce store. Good luck!

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