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5 Things you shouldn’t do When Starting an Ecommerce Store

Nowadays eCommerce stores seem to be springing up like mushrooms. But just as quickly as they appear, they die out just as fast. It has actually made me wonder what a pity it is that so many people start their e-commerce shops with so much enthusiasm, but once faced with problems, they run back to their tent and lock up like scared soldier in the army front.


Here are five things you shouldn’t do when starting e-commerce shops that you have to avoid.

1. Poor/No Audience Research

Most times business owner get so very excited with starting the business that they pay less attention to know about the audience who will patronize the business. 

The secret formula is not only finding the products for your eCommerce store but also matching them to the right audience. If you don’t know your audience, you will keep plowing through your ad budget with next to no results.

Make sure to answer the question WHO? 

One way to do good audience research is to use Facebook Audience Insights. It is a great tool that will help match up products with a hungry population eager to buy. Try as much as possible to construct a buyer persona and then structure your marketing campaign around this data.

A good, thought-out, and detailed buyer persona will include such information as age, gender, education, occupation, location, hobbies, interests, and more. Try to also determine what their purchasing habits are and whether they click on ads or not. If you are serious about your e-commerce store, then you should know absolutely all of these in order to avoid the next mistake on this list.

2. Poor Product Selection

While more than half of consumers prefer shopping online, it doesn’t automatically mean that they will want to buy your particular product. The products you choose must have nothing to do with you, your hobbies, passions, interests, or likes. They must be something that people want to buy. 

The same way you are passionate when purchasing your personal items.

Sometimes you might be lucky to find a product which your audience will be passionate about and want to buy, but most of the time, your interests will not coincide with what people need.

You can find popular products by doing basic product research. You will be surprised by some things people are willing to pay for. To avoid this situation, you can carry out a  quick check on what your competitors are currently selling and what are their best-selling products. There are many free tools available online that can help you do this, but you can do it manually too. It’s crucial for you as an e-commerce store owner to be able to conduct proper research with the help of Facebook, Google, and other means.

Another problem connected to choosing products is having too many items in your shop. The common misconception is that this will increase the average customer order value by having them choose different products all at once. But, of course, it doesn’t work that way. 

Try to niche down and selling to a specific audience. You don’t need dozens of products to have a successful online e-commerce shop.

3. Underestimating Ad Spend

If you read such articles as 5 Digital Marketing Strategies For Building Your Brand

(which I highly recommend checking out), then you probably know that search engine optimization is important. This may come as a surprise, but it won’t work well without a proper ad campaign.

The thing is that it’s possible to make thousands of dollars in sales with a small daily ad spend such as $5. But it’s extremely difficult and highly unlikely that you will succeed unless your audience-product match is perfect. Most of than not, you will be tweaking and testing, tweaking and testing, and so on.

The ideal place to start at is to have a daily budget of $15, and instead of testing five products at once, test one. Use one ad set and have five ads on the whole. By investing as much as $15 instead of only $5, you will be able to ramp up your ad stats right away and detect winning and non-performing ads at once. This will allow you to stop making guesses by looking at the measly numbers you would have got otherwise. But this doesn’t mean you should stop testing, which is the next mistake on this list.

4. Not Enough Product Testing

This mostly goes hand-in-hand with planning your ad spend. Never forget that your success in e-commerce will be around 90% testing if not more. You will have to experiment until you find both the right audience and the right product to match it.

Sometimes finding the right product for your audience might take weeks. Unfortunately, most of the time it will be a tedious process that may be quite costly and discouraging but it is mostly worth every of your time because you get to cover for the loss as soon as your product is out for the market.

Being persistent, stubborn even, is the only approach you can take with e-commerce. It’s not easy, so you will either have to adjust to it or quit after a month of pointless poking here and there. Only the most dedicated survive in the online business industry.

5. Not Leveraging Proven Online Marketing Tactics

Leveraging e-commerce online marketing strategies is essential to getting what you want. And what you want is to finally start earning money with your online e-commerce store. Otherwise, everything you’re doing is not worth it.

The sad truth is that most e-commerce store owners are not marketers, especially not online marketers. But this doesn’t mean you can’t learn the skills you need to market your online business properly. Email marketing, copywriting, SEO, and discounts – all of these are not your enemies. Use these proven techniques and you will be on your way to success.


To sum up, It will be of best practice to planning out a strategy to your eCommerce store before launch, make sure that every one of the points listed here has been checked. It’s easy to get discouraged when you are faced with challenges you had no idea about. But if you go into battle prepared, you will know what to do difficult situations

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Oti is a vastly experienced digital media and marketing professional with over 10 years of industry experience. He has worked across Agency, Brand, Publisher and Marketing Technology sides of the industry in various capacities.

Driven by a strong commitment to continuous innovation, Oti has managed so many successful digital projects across Africa and Europe for brands like Coca-Cola, Nestle, Guinness, Kellogg’s, EA Games, Sony Entertainment, etc., and advises senior management of global brands on data-driven marketing and digital transformation.

Consumer insights in marketing: Oti

Oti currently heads Product at Terragon Group, Africa’s leading data aggregation, enrichment, and activation company, where he is responsible for developing innovative data-driven marketing solutions for SMBs and Enterprises across Africa.

Oti is the current President of Association of Digital Marketing Professionals (ADMARP), the foremost professional body for digital marketing practitioners in Nigeria. He is also a communications consultant to the African Union in areas of youth engagement and digital interactions. A known public speaker, teacher and trainer, Oti has facilitated several conferences and digital events, and was recognized by Marketing Edge Magazine as an Outstanding Digital Marketing Personality of the year 2021.

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