Common Shopify Website Mistakes

In the last edition of our newsletter, we list down the Most Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Overlook that Kill their Sales.

This time, let's dive deeper and discuss the Common Shopify Website Mistakes along with our tips and techniques that you can use to maximize your earning potential.

Let's get started!

Not setting up a primary domain

Without setting a primary domain (and redirecting all traffic), your customers may see your URL instead of your custom domain name. This is definitely an easy fix, but often a step many new merchants forget when going to launch their Shopify store. If you've forgotten to set your primary domain, you'll need to see here for step-by-step instructions on how to set the primary domain for your Shopify store.

Adding every app you can get your hands on

Apps can be added to your Shopify store to provide additional functionality. There certainly are many helpful apps you can add, but there's a fine balance between adding extra features to your site and cluttering your site (which lowers loading speeds). Of course, it all depends on which apps you're adding, but we recommend keeping the total number of apps added to your store under 10. Make sure you uninstall and delete unused or unwanted apps. Do a clean-up regularly! Don’t get Appy Happy!

Forgetting to include sizing charts

If you're selling clothing, sizing charts aren't optional. One of the biggest drawbacks to purchasing apparel online is that customers can't try it on before purchasing. This means you need to make sure you're including sizing charts on your site, so customers purchase the right size - the first time. Not all brands are the same sizes either. Your customer may be a medium size shirt in one brand, but a small in another. Without sizing charts, they may order the wrong size which results in a negative experience (and this is a fast way to make sure someone doesn't purchase from your store again). We recommend adding your sizing charts to the bottom of each product's description.

Selling everything you possibly can

It seems that many merchants are under the impression of, "the more products I offer, the more likely customers will find something they like and make a purchase."

This couldn't be any more incorrect. The majority of successful stores we've seen have focused in on a niche, rather than 'shotgunning' their options and hoping for the best. 

You're not competing with Amazon - Focus in on a handful of products you know people will like and promote them inclusively. Find out which of those products sell the best, then put up to half of your marketing budget into that one product and see what happens. You'll be surprised how much easier it is to sell one product, rather than thousands of products at once. This also helps prevent your customers from falling into the 'Paradox of Choice'. 

Using a super-bright and/or aggressive colour scheme

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

The customizations available to merchants building stores on Shopify is almost limitless. However, this often leads merchants to trying to make their site 100% unique.

In theory, this is a great mentality to have - you certainly don't want your site to look like one of your competitors, or else your potential customers might see the site as a 'copycat' or 'knock off'. 

With that said, when it comes to your website's colour scheme, our advice is to stick with what works. This means a white background (many recommend an off-white colour instead of #FFFFFF) and using your brand's colours to accent your site (links, buttons, headers, etc.). The absolute most important part of your colour scheme is to make sure all of the text on your site can be easily read (without any straining on the eyes).

Forgetting to test the site on multiple devices before launching

So you've spent the whole weekend building your site from scratch. It looks amazing on your MacBook, and you think you're ready to launch? Wrong!

Just because the site looks great on your computer, doesn't mean it will look the same on other's, or mobile devices (phones and tablets). You'll definitely want to test your site on multiple devices to make sure things are working and displaying as they should. 

You may need to resize certain images or change the way you're presenting your content so that your look (and brand) stays consistent across all devices. For example, one of the most common issues we've seen involve tables - they tend to look great on computers, but then end up 'smushed' together (or with large horizontal scroll bars) on cell phones. One solution to the tables issue is to use images rather than HTML if possible.

Relying entirely on Facebook + Google Ads for marketing

Facebook and Google ads are certainly the two most popular ways to advertise websites. However, they're not exclusively the only options you have for marketing your new online store (and they may not even be the best options for your specific business). For local businesses, word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful tools you can use for getting your brand known locally. This involves actually talking to people in person and looking them in the eyes when you speak.

This is important because it creates a personal connection with the customer (but try not to be weird about it, and avoid staring at them like a deer in the headlights). This can, for example, include handing out business cards with discount codes on the back or collecting emails for your mailing list at your local mall. There are a number of different methods you can try. We highly recommend checking out this blog - 50 Ways to Make Your First Sale for help brainstorming different marketing methods

Sitting back and hoping customers magically find (and purchase from) your site

This is without a doubt the biggest mistake that we see being made by what seems to be nearly all new eCommerce entrepreneurs.

Just having a beautiful site isn't enough to guarantee you any sales. You have to invest time (and/or money) into marketing your brand & products.

There's over 600+ million active websites on the internet. The likelihood of someone finding a newly launched site organically is slim to none. Without proper marketing, it's highly unlikely you'll find yourself the owner of a successful business.

A business plan is essential to all new online stores.

Who are you selling to?

Where are these customers from?

How are you going to let them know about your site?

What methods work best for attracting customers?

These are just some of the questions you'll want to find answers to - sooner rather than later.

Dozens of people post on the Shopify eCommerce forums every week, asking why their store isn't getting any sales? More often than not, the problem isn't the actual website or products, it's the store owner's marketing methods.

Sharing a couple posts on Facebook, running a $20 ad campaign, and then sitting back - hoping for the best - isn't going to work. Put the effort in to properly market your online store and you'll see much better results! 


Next up: Common Mistakes Shopify Merchants Make When Installing or Uninstalling Apps


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