11 Common Mistakes with Shopify Stores – Weekly Loop #18

Weekly Loop #18

11 Common Mistakes with Shopify Stores

Shopify makes it easy to get going with a new ecommerce shop. With nothing to install, a huge app store, and incredible out-of-the-box features, a new great looking shop can be setup in a number of days.

Of course, it’s also easy to get carried away when setting up a new store. Based on my experience and discussions with new store owners, here’s 11 common mistakes with Shopify stores.

 

11 Common mistakes with Shopify stores

  1. Overly Customized Templates
    One of the great things about Shopify is how easy it is to make a great looking site. There are numerous templates, both free and paid, from which to choose. In most cases, it’s best to pick one that has that looks great and has the features you need, then use the default options to customize.Often times, new shop owners want to create a completely original template, edit parts of the code, and make changes before knowing what they really need. Those changes can add time when getting setup, and can cause problems when making updates down the road. There are cases where it may make sense, but in most cases, it’s best to stay away from over-customizing your site.
  2. Adding Too Many Features
    Similar to above, many new shops go overboard with adding features such as discount offers, social media integration, browser alerts, etc. Typically, we recommend making a site as simple as possible to start. Only add the added features, lest they become distractions – both for your business and your customers.
  3. Trying to Sell to Everyone
    You are not launching the next Amazon with your Shopify site. Amazon sells nearly everything and targets nearly everyone. You can’t complete with them so pick a narrow focus and do it really well. Make it clear who your site is for and why they should shop with you.
  4. Unclear Shipping Times & Rates
    Not everyone can offer fast shipping on nearly every item. While you may be able to build shipping costs into product prices, it’s even more important to be clear and upfront about shipping times and rates. Tell your customers when to expect an item and how much it’ll cost. It doesn’t always need to be free, or even the cheapest, but it needs to be accurate.
  5. Skipping the About Us Page
    Many new shop owners put off filling this one out, assuming most people don’t read it anyway. While most visitors may not read the page, it’s likely that most of your new customers will read that page. If someone clicks on that page, it’s your opportunity to tell them why your business exists, and how you can help your customers. Keep in mind, it may be called an ‘about us’ page, but the focus should be on how you help your customers.
  6. Not Asking for Email Addresses
    Tim Ferris has a successful email newsletter he sends every week to a huge list. While his first book, The 4 Hour Workweek, was written in 2007, he didn’t start sending emails until 2015. Since then, he’s mentioned he regrets not collecting email addresses even earlier. He’s not the only one. Building direct connections with your customers via email is a proven marketing strategy.When a new visitor comes to your site, they may like what they see yet not quite be ready for a purchase. Give them an opportunity to stay connected by asking for an email address at the right time.
  7. Not Offering Something for Free
    Asking for an email address is a lot more successful when you can offer something of value to new visitors. Start building a relationship by giving them something. It may be a discount, giveaway, PDF guide, free course, etc. Look at your niche and find something you can do to help your target market.
  8. Not Using Autoresponders
    When you launch a new site, there’s a lot of projects and tasks demanding your time. Following up on abandoned checkouts, sending thank you emails, and welcoming new subscribers doesn’t need to be done manually. Write some great emails once, then trigger them to send at the right time. You can still setup replies to go directly into your regular inbox if you want to be able to reply personal to customer emails.
  9. Using Default Product Descriptions
    Many new shops sell inventory from other manufacturers, whether it’s via dropship, wholesale/retail, or print-on-demand. Typically, those products come with product descriptions from vendor – and they aren’t made to fit your brand. Take the time to update descriptions so they fit your brand. Tell customers why the product was made, how it fits into the brand, and why a customer should want it.
  10. Assuming Customers Will Find You
    Some new shop owners launch their new Shopify site and then sit back, waiting for the customers to roll in. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.While you may eventually get organic traffic via SEO, it’s going to take time. You need to go out and get your customers. Identify your target market, figure out where they spend time, and go tell them about your store. It may be word-of-mouth, internet forums, in-person meetups, sub-reddits, facebook groups, hashtag replies, etc.
  11. Trying to Do Everything At Once
    It’s tempting to try to get everything done at the same time. Often, the result is everything is done less than optimally. Focus your resources, create a strategy, and then execute well. With a good plan in place, it’s easier to focus and move through what really needs to be done.

 

Launching a new Shopify site is exciting – and sometimes shop owners get a little carried away. These are 11 common mistakes with Shopify stores that we’ve come across. What others you add to the list? 

Recommended Links

 

Each week, we read and watch articles, blog posts, videos, infographics, books and more related to ecommerce. We share some of our favorites links on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

In our weekly updates, we pare the links down to our favorite seven links from the past week.

Have a suggestion of something to include? Get in touch.

 

AUGMENTED REALITY IN ECOMMERCE

Ben Thomposon mentions that AR is more compelling than VR. See more in our post last week on augmented reality for ecommerce. https://ecomloop.com/augmented-reality-ecommcere/

The Problem with Facebook and Virtual Reality
Ben Thompson Stratechery by Ben Thompson

“That is why devices intended to augment life, not replace it, have always been more compelling: every moment one is awake is an hour worth addressing.”1

 

ECOMMERCE MARKETING

It’s tough getting links for a new ecommerce site. Neil Patel provides some tips on how to get it done.

How to Build Links When No One Will Link to You
Neil Patel Neil Patel

“I know link building is hard. I’ve been where you are today. You spend countless hours trying to build links, but for some reason, you just can’t convince anyone to link to you.
No matter how tempting it sounds, don’t take shortcuts by buying links. Focus on long-term strategies as it will ensure that you will do better in Google in the long run.
And if you are struggling, start off with the first tactic I mentioned in this post. It tends to be effective and you can leverage it at scale.
Tactic 2 and 5 take a bit more effort, but they also work really well. For example, the infographic I showcased in tactic 5 has more backlinks than the original article. 😉
Tactic 3 and 4 also work, but they won’t generate you hundreds of backlinks. You should still leverage them as the more links you get the better off you are. You just have to be patient with these two.
And lastly, tactic 6 works well too, but you can’t always control the timing. Reason being is you have to wait for sites within your industry to meet one of the 5 requirements I gave you in tactic 6.
If you are struggling to build links, use all of these tactics. They work well and you’ll notice results within 30 days.
Are you struggling to build links? Have you tried any of the tactics I mentioned above?”2

Automate these tasks:
1. Customer Support
2. Cart Abandonment Emails
3. Purchase Follow-up Emails
4. Social Media Scheduling
5. Analytics Monitoring

5 Ecommerce Marketing Tasks To Automate
ecomdash Ecomdash

“Running a successful ecommerce business definitely isn’t easy. There are many challenges you have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. This is why it’s important to automate as much as you can.
The only problem is – where do you start? What are the most important aspects of an ecommerce business that need to be addressed?
In this article, we’ll cover the top five automation processes that will make work a breeze. Let’s start.”3

 

Neil Patel provides a comprehensive guide to creating trust on pricing pages, a key to improving #conversion rates

How to Create a Trustworthy and Transparent Pricing Page
Neil Patel Quick Sprout

“If you want the conversion rates on your pricing page to increase, you need to make sure your page promotes trust and transparency.
Build a comparison table that lets customers view all their options on one screen.
Leverage your value proposition.
Tell your customers what to buy by highlighting your top option. Use this strategy and other tactics to encourage people to spend more money.
Offer a free trial. The more expensive the service, the longer the trial should be.
Limit choices on your pricing page. Fewer options will result in higher conversions.
Create social proof and justify your prices. Make sure your customers know their security is a top priority for you.
If you follow the tips I’ve outlined above, you’ll be able to increase conversions on your pricing page.
How does your company’s pricing page promote trust and transparency?”4

TOOLS & RESOURCES

Looking for help with logo design for your ecommerce business? Check out these tools.

Logo Generator Roundup: The Top 8 Best Logo Generators
Richard Lazazzera A Better Lemonade Stand

“Need a beautiful company logo design for your online business? Create a great logo for your brand with an online logo generator!”5

BIG ECOMMERCE

In BigEcom news, Target is stepping up shpiping incentives to compete with Amazon and Walmart. How long til they launch a marketplace?

Target launches free, 2-day shipping with no minimum purchase requirement
Sarah Perez eCommerce – TechCrunch

“Target announced its news on Tuesday, adding that its new, two-day option exists alongside a host of ways to shop its stores.
In addition to ship-to-home delivery, it also now operates same-day delivery service Shipt, for groceries, gifts, decorations, and other household goods; Target Restock, for next-day delivery; same-day delivery from store in urban markets like Boston, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.; online order pickup; and Drive Up, for same-day order pick up.”6

The number of sellers on Amazon keeps growing. Do sellers really trust #Amazon? Or should they be looking at #Shopify #WooCommerce etc?

One Million New Sellers on Amazon
Marketplace Pulse Marketplace Pulse

“It took less than a year for the Amazon marketplace to grow by one more million new sellers. That’s 3,398 new sellers every day, or 141 every hour, or more than 2 every minute. So far in 2018 across the fourteen countries Amazon marketplaces operate in.”7

 

SOURCES

  1. https://stratechery.com/2018/the-problem-with-virtual-reality/
  2. https://neilpatel.com/blog/how-to-build-links-when-no-one-will-link-to-you/
  3. https://www.ecomdash.com/5-ecommerce-marketing-tasks-to-automate/
  4. https://www.quicksprout.com/2018/10/22/how-to-create-a-trustworthy-and-transparent-pricing-page/
  5. https://www.abetterlemonadestand.com/logo-generator/
  6. https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/24/target-launches-free-2-day-shipping-with-no-minimum-purchase-requirement/
  7. https://www.marketplacepulse.com/articles/one-million-new-sellers-on-amazon
  8. Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Andrew @ EcomLoop
Are you looking to start or grow a standalone ecommerce shop? I help independent businesses achieve success on the Shopify and WooCommerce platforms. As the owner of multiple ecommerce businesses, I've had the opportunity to get experience with nearly every aspect of the ecommerce industry. I started EcomLoop to help other quality independent businesses using my knowledge and experience. To stay on top of new ecommerce developments, I publish The EcomLoop Weekly Loop, a blog and email newsletter with original thoughts and curated links to help independent businesses improve their businesses.