Biggest Marketing Mistakes Online Sellers Make

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If you’re running an ecommerce business, you’ve probably spent hours, even days, trying to figure out how to market your online store. With technology changing so quickly, it can be tough to stay on top of the latest trends. 

I sat down with our head of marketing, Jay Newell, to see what mistakes are made most often by online retailers. If you can’t stay ahead of the trends to market your business, at least make sure you’re avoiding the major pitfalls.

Here are five questions you should ask yourself to avoid making major marketing mistakes:


Where is your traffic coming from? 

One of the biggest missed opportunities is not knowing what your traffic sources are. Are they coming from social media, partner organizations, advertisements? Or are they finding you through key phrases searched on Google? 

Whatever the results may be, this level of insight provides you with a deeper understanding of how people find your business. If you’re not aware, you could be spending time or money on marketing efforts that don’t provide the biggest impact.

Leverage free tools like Google Analytics to get started. This is a basic implementation that anyone can launch from their web store or marketplace account. You’ll be able to quickly see how people are coming to your website, where they are located, and what products they are viewing. You can also view reports based on what platform they’re using (mobile vs. desktop) and how often they’re coming back to your site. If possible, use conversion tracking, so you can distinguish between the traffic that gets to your site and leaves from the traffic that makes you money. 

While you’re at it, check out our latest Google Analytics integration for even more integrated data. 


What little details are you overlooking?

“The devil is in the details.” This especially stands true for your website. Let’s take the way you approach product names and descriptions. Are you naming them the way that someone would search for them? For example, instead of calling it “hat,” could you be more descriptive and call it “green knitted beanie”? Uncover opportunities to be more specific with your product names so people can find you more easily. 

Some other simple page elements to think about are title tags, meta descriptions, and headlines. All of these pieces help you optimize your website for better traffic results. Don’t get too carried away with keywords, but make sure to be descriptive. 

Lastly, make sure you’re constantly testing any language you use. For example, changing your CTA (call-to-action) button that says  "Add to Cart" to "Buy Now" could have a big impact on the likelihood of someone actually taking that action. Explore different options, but make sure you only do it sparingly. You don’t want your shoppers to feel like you’re changing the whole experience on them every time they come back. 

Check out Optimizely if you’re interested in exploring full website testing. 


How social are you? 

Have a social presence, but figure out where your users are and build a profile there. This goes back to the “Where are your visitors coming from?” question. Use Google Analytics to see what social channels are driving the most traffic and test different content on those channels.  But don't just create a page that you won't maintain. Limit it to a couple and grow from there. 

Another great way to figure out what social channels you should leverage is to see what your competitors are doing. Figure out where your target audience is most active and join the conversation on those channels. 


Are you spending cash on things you don’t understand?

Paid advertisements are tempting. Especially with the tools available, it’s easy to just set it and forget it. Google democratized the space and started allowing people to run ads for as little as $50. But with this low barrier, it's easy to make mistakes if you don't know what you're doing. If you’re spending money on paid ads online, you want to make sure you’re constantly optimizing, testing and learning. 

Some people have their ads run internationally when they're doing local sales. Others run ads running 24/7 when they could be running during their peak selling times. These results will vary across businesses, but be sure you’re educated on what works for you. 


Have other suggestions on what online sellers should do to avoid the major marketing pitfalls? We’d love to hear them! Share below or reach out to us on Twitter using @StitchLabs.


Other Posts You May Like: 

How To Get That Spring in Your (Marketing) Step

3 Examples of Brilliant Retail Marketing

How to Turn Every Customer into a Brand Advocate


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