5 Common eCommerce Pitfalls (and how to avoid them)

Whether your eCommerce business is still in the early stages or you’re well on your way to global domination, you’ll want to be sure you’re doing enough to outshine the competition in what is now a very crowded marketplace. There are a whole host of mistakes that you could easily be making that may prevent you from growing both your sales and your brand. We’ve rounded up some of the most common of these pitfalls and how to combat them.

Only selling on one platform

When you’re just starting out it makes sense to ‘test the waters’ and begin selling on a singular platform. Whether this is your own website or somewhere like eBay or Amazon is completely up to you, but as things progress and sales take off, you should look to expand the reach of your product by offering it elsewhere.

There are many different eCommerce sites you can list your product on besides your own, and plenty of shopping carts and inventory management software available to help you easily manage these such as Brightpearl and Linnworks, which both integrate with James and James’s Fulfilment system seamlessly.



Not offering enough delivery options

The best eCommerce sites around offer flexible delivery options that suit everyone. Fashion eTailer Asos are an excellent example of this, with a wide selection of options available including standard, next day, evening next day, nominated day and click and collect. Asos also offer international delivery to a staggering list of countries and returns can be arranged through a range of six different providers.

Even if you’d rather not offer such a broad range of options, it’s important to remember that while most customers will be happy to wait the usual 3-5 business days for their order to arrive, some will want your product to have arrived 5 minutes ago! If the right option isn’t available they may take their business elsewhere.

Ignoring the problem of abandoned carts

This seems like a good moment to address cart abandonment. It is estimated that a staggering 67% of online sales are lost when a customer gives up on their purchase and leaves items in their basket without making payment.

There are a number of reasons that this might happen (see this post for an in-depth look), but ultimately all are to do with how user-friendly your site is - a visitor must be able to find exactly what they want, as well as get all the details they need to make their purchasing decision. Ensure product images and information are clearly presented and that checkout is as simple and easy as possible to make sure you don’t put customers off.

Being ‘antisocial’

Even the most niche or uncool brands should have a social media presence, but you’d be surprised how many eCommerce businesses do not. Social media is not just a free promotional tool, but will also allow you to build relationships with your customers and other brands.

Many retailers will also try to resolve customer complaints over sites like Twitter - showing that you can resolve problems quickly and easily in as little as 140 characters will go a long way to positioning your business as responsive, caring and helpful.

Recent changes also mean you can also use ‘buy’ buttons on Twitter, create buyable pins on Pinterest and host an entire store on Facebook. Be careful not to ignore this emerging trend as consumers move from desktops to mobiles for a more casual online shopping experience.

Fulfilling orders in-house

Ever feel like you or your team spend far too much of the day picking and packing orders? Is your stock piled high and spilling into the office? It could be time to outsource your fulfilment to a third party. This could free up important time for you to focus on the actual business, as well as saving you money on warehousing and extra staff.

If you’re growing fast or you experience cyclical peaks in sales, outsourced fulfilment could be the answer to your prayers since they’ll have the flexible space and people power to cope with fluctuating demand. It’s all about finding a provider that suits your needs and with whom you feel comfortable handing the job over to.

At James and James we’re passionate about technology-driven order fulfilment. We make it easy for brands like you to delight customers, service international markets, scale quickly and gain a competitive advantage.

Our clients love the game-changing combination of control and visibility we provide, through market-leading technology across a seamless global presence - all expertly supported with dedicated customer care.

That’s why our clients love us, and their customers love them!

James Hyde is Operations Director at James and James Fulfilment. James is an expert in order fulfilment and systems engineering. His company has reinv...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.