When you started your business, did you secretly think that running an eCommerce store would be easy?

I’m sure I did. Its many years ago now, but I know I was naïve to the ways of business. I thought I could throw up a website, and people would flock over and buy my products like a bunch of women at a shoe sale!

I would be rolling in it! I thought. Hahahahahahaha….

In reality, running a profitable, lucrative eCommerce store needs work. And with worldwide eCommerce sales due to reach over 4,000 billion dollars by 2020 (Statistica), we wanna be one of those money-making-machines, right?

But in order to achieve that, you gotta get good at marketing.

Here are the 5 big marketing mistakes I see eCommerce stores make

Not knowing your ideal customer (or how they buy)

A common mistake I see, particularly with start-up online stores, is not knowing your audience.

To be successful in eCommerce now, we need to niche down. We need to serve a very specific audience, and we need to be clear on who they are and how they buy.

Are you selling kids clothing?

Or are you selling funky, hard-wearing threads for the outdoor adventure-loving little super hero?

What kind of marketing messaging will appeal to your exact customer?

And what is the ultimate benefit they are buying in your product?

Messing up your email marketing

OMG don’t even get me started about email marketing. If I had a dollar for every time a business owner told me, “I don’t want to email my list too often because I don’t want to annoy them”.

That’s entrepreneur language for “I only send newsletters every now and again when I remember or when I find the time”…

An A+ excuse for not consistently marketing to your audience right there!

Here’s what you should be doing:

Automate your customer conversions

Don’t just rely on email newsletter-style broadcasts to convert a first-time customer.

Take advantage of automation!

Entice potential customers onto your email list, and then use an automated email sequence (otherwise known as a sales funnel) to help convert subscribers into buyers.

Send newsletters frequently and consistently

My clients who email their list weekly with new products or promotions make more money.

Those who only send the occasional newsletter on an inconsistent basis, do not.

Frequency and consistency is key here!

Reclaim abandoned carts

People who add a product to their shopping cart (but don’t check out) are your warmest leads!

Follow up with these punters by email and you’ll reclaim a significant proportion of these lost sales.

Don’t be a spammy douche

Basically, email your list the way you’d email your friends.

Share news about cool new stuff and reward them with great promotions.

Don’t discount constantly (that’s the fastest way to burn your list!).

Don’t use really sales-y or highly promotional language (especially not in subject lines).

Do make sure your emails work well on mobile.

Do make sure your email content is suitable for the audience!

Ignoring your current customers

The first sale to a new customer is rarely all that profitable, by the time you take into account your advertising costs and any discounts used to convert that first sale.

To make good money in eCommerce, you need to retain your customers and get them purchasing from you again and again.

Once you can turn a customer from a one-time buyer into a 2-time buyer, you’re well on your way!

I like to use email automation here as well, by sending a post-purchase email campaign to first-time buyers.

Bad website design

How well does your website convert? Is your conversion rate equal or better than the eCommerce average of 2%?

The other day I saw an eCommerce website that actually didn’t have a Shop link in their menu AT ALL!

Making sure your website navigation is intuitive is super important.

Ensuring your website design is simple, clear and visually attractive to YOUR audience is essential.

When a potential customer lands on your website, they should quickly understand WHAT you sell, WHY they should want it and HOW to buy it.

This is further highlighted by a recent study published in User Interface Engineering that found browsers give up after just 3 clicks!

Additionally, test your website thoroughly on mobile. We all need to consider mobile first, not as an afterthought, as the majority of new customers are now viewing on their smart phone or tablet.

Are you making one of these 5 big marketing mistakes?Not measuring your results

In the words of Dr Phil – you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.

If you’re not tracking your results, how will you know what is working and what isn’t? You won’t.

Don’t just take a look at your results either – record them. Over time you’ll be able to see the trends in your results, and that will help you to make much smarter decisions.

Of all my clients enjoying really big growth, ALL of them measure and review their performance metrics.

Avoid Making Mistakes By Planning Ahead (Free Download)

Use the Marketing Planning tool that I developed and use myself to plan out all my marketing campaigns and product launches.

2 Comments on Are you making one of these 5 big marketing mistakes?

  1. Hi Catherine!
    I’m finally getting traffic to my site but it’s STILL NOT CONVERTING.
    I’m less than 1% conversion rate. Does that mean my product Stinks??

    Thanks,
    Deb

    • Hey Deb! So frustrating isn’t it? I would suggest putting a heat map (like Inspectlet) on your site for a while to track how people are navigating and spending time on your website. That might give you some insights. Also look to see if people are actually subscribing to your email list (indicates interest) and adding to their cart, even if they abandon it (also indicates interest). Good luck!

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