If you’re new to selling, especially so on Shopify, then the chances are that the mountain of tasks leaves you scratching your head in confusion and frustration. However, Shopify has also backed some resounding success in the market. Regardless of the industry, it’s worth testing the waters for. 

That said, there are some common mistakes that Shopify rookies tend to make when dabbling with Shopify for the first time. Sidestep these Shopify mistakes on your journey to leverage the platform’s advanced functionality and set yourself up for success. 

Not Having a Solid Marketing Plan

A sound marketing strategy is a linchpin to using all of Shopify’s benefits. It outlines your target audience, business goals, selling tactics, promotional setups and more. Most importantly, a solid marketing plan gives you an overview of the ideal selling cycle. It also covers how marketing tactics need to change depending on which stage of the cycle you’re in. An excellent way to begin putting together a marketing plan is to define the following:

  • Your brand message and USP
  • Your target audience demographics and their traits 
  • Your current traffic numbers and where you want to reach 
  • Marketing tactics (e.g. ads, public relations, content, pricing) that will attract the intended target audience
  • Your goals in numbers

Your marketing strategy should also factor in remarketing, which can help stores grow sales, improve conversions, and increase customer lifetime value.

Not Optimizing Landing Pages for Conversion

Landing pages are different from regular website pages in that they serve a specific purpose. This purpose is defined by the source that leads to them. In general, they’re lead generation tools that boost a specific CTA and provide more information about the product, service, tool or item that’s being sold. An optimized landing page is crucial in leading the right person to the right page and having them perform the precise action you need them to. They have the ability to:

  • capture email addresses
  • guide new visitors
  • upsell or cross-sell your products
  • generate interest in a product or sell in the offing 
  • … the list goes on. 

Not Welcoming First-Time Visitors

As the saying goes, “a good first impression works wonders.” This holds true even in the context of selling on Shopify. One of the biggest Shopify mistakes you can make is not putting your best foot forward for first-time visitors. After all, this is the turning point where they’ll either exit your website or have a browse through. Pay special attention to:

  • The copy: What message is your landing page or website giving out?
  • The colors: Are they attractive and enticing? Or are they too loud and garish?
  • The pop-ups: Do you have pop-ups that give off a welcoming vibe and allow visitors to explore further?
  • The emails: When you first collect information from a first-time visitor, do you have a welcoming email going out to make them feel valuable?
  • The engagement: Do you have an enticing offer, coupon or game that allows visitors to get first-time deals?

The way you welcome your visitor sets the foundation for further communication between the two parties. It determines the actions they’ll hopefully take when on your website. It’s also the gateway to your catalogue of products. No matter how expensive your offerings are, they won’t matter if your visitor isn’t enticed to get past the first page. 

Not Knowing Who Your Ideal Customer Is

Sure, selling for all sounds like a great way to capture anyone and everyone that’s even mildly interested in your product. But it’s a big mistake. The ‘ideal customer’ is the one who is most likely to purchase your product or service, so they must be the end-user you target.

Anyone who is mildly or halfway interested doesn’t make the cut because their less-than-sure attitude would prove costly in marketing budgets, ad cuts, human resources and any other financial investment you’ve put in. The more clarity you have surrounding your ideal customer, the more targeted (and in turn successful) your marketing efforts will be.

Not Taking PPC Ads Seriously

PPC (Pay Per Click) ads are a gateway to more leads and conversions, even for smaller businesses. However, many tend to either underestimate the power and control that PPC ads offer. They also tend to overestimate the amount of time and effort that goes into running a successful PPC campaign. Not taking PPC ads seriously is one of the Shopify mistakes that can prove detrimental in the long run. This is because of these benefits the campaign style offers:

  • You can start small, measure your ROI, and then expand your investments
  • Smartly-planned PPC campaigns can effectively reduce your Costs Per Clicks 
  • You can spend only on keywords that guarantee leads 
  • It generates traffic and leads faster than alternatives such as organic SEO
  • It’s great for A/B testing and you can pull out at any stage if you don’t see returns 

All that said, it must be acknowledged that developing PPC ads campaigns requires a nuanced understanding. For Shopify starters, there are apps that allow you to integrate PPC campaigns with Shopify, like the ever-popular Google Ads and Google Shopping. Third-party apps can help you take the driver’s seat in the process. It is possible to leave all the heavy lifting to industry experts.

Not Taking Accounting Seriously

Accounting is a necessity as it keeps track of expenditures, returns, and growth over time on Shopify. There are plenty of fields under accounting, including bookkeeping, taxes, employee expenditure, recurring expenses and invoicing. A domino effect of failure could occur if these are not tallied correctly. Automation is key– when dealing with large catalogs and thousands of orders a day, it becomes detrimental to manually handle books and accounts when one could expend resources on growth.

Luckily, third-party apps can help you connect Shopify to QuickBooks, to be able to keep continuous and accurate track of accounts. For example, Webgility offers an accounting automation software that has allowed businesses to streamline crucial accounting tasks that are frustrating to go through manually. Webgility’s Shopify QuickBooks integration has a 5-star rating from Shopify, which goes to show that it can easily be integrated into your workflow. 

Not Adding Value to the Customers

This is one of the few Shopify mistakes that directly comes from understanding customers as mere purchases. Today, customers are consumers, individual buyers whose decisions are driven just as much by the value you provide as your substantial catalog. They have become active players rather than passive buyers, which means shopping is now an all-round experience. Some aspects that add value to the shopping experience include:

  • Offering free shipping on all orders or for those above a price range
  • Giving out coupons to first-time visitors or regular customers 
  • Establishing a points-based system to improve customer loyalty and reward for shopping 
  • Designing easy-to-navigate interfaces and ensuring ease of access 

Having a Complicated Payment Process

According to Shopify themselves, having complicated payment processes is one of the main reasons for cart abandonment—every online retailer’s nightmare. For businesses, more fields mean more data collected, which means better targeting and persuasion. However, when caught up in the rigmarole of designing multiple different fields, the same businesses often lose sight of who makes the final decision to pay– the customer. One small field doesn’t make a difference for one customer, but many and at scale can lead to tanking sales. To avoid Shopify mistakes that lead to cart abandonment and make payments processes simple:

  • Keep steps to a bare minimum
  • Collect data that is absolutely necessary; give up on data that is ‘nice to have’
  • Test additions to a payment processor to see if they’re beneficial or detrimental
  • Reshuffle the payment process by putting aspects like account creation at the end

Not Reducing Cart Abandonment Rates

The online ecommerce world is a competitive one, even more so than brick-and-mortar stores. Visitors can be bombarded with all sorts of stimuli and distractions when on a single website. Every minor setback can spiral into larger business problems if not nipped in the bud at the right time– the same goes for cart abandonment, which is when shoppers add items to their basket but leave without fulfilling their purchase. At worst, 4 out of 5 shoppers abandon their cart, and this delivers a massive blow to revenue when multiplied across a site’s customer base. While cart abandonment can’t be negated entirely, a few ways to reduce its occurrence are:

  • Making navigation easier between cart and store (and back)
  • Allowing for multiple payment options
  • Simplifying the checkout process by keeping certain fields at the end
  • Using clearer CTAs like ‘check out now’ and ‘place order’ across the site
  • Creating interest over a product with phrases like ‘fast-selling’ and ‘only x pieces left’

Not Using Influencer Marketing Properly

A simple online search will throw up dozens of contrasting articles claiming either that influence marketing is the end-all of marketing or that it’s not essential for growth. While both these approaches have their caveats, it remains unanimous that influencer marketing, when used properly, has the capacity to escalate sales. In fact, 89% of surveyed marketers said that the ROI they got from this method was as much as, or even better than, other networks. So, then, how do you find the right influencer to market your product?

  • Ensure their target audience matches yours 
  • Make sure you have the capacity to be more hands-on with this partnership that you would with automated campaigns
  • Evaluate their monthly reach and existing partnerships 
  • Narrow in on goals and the message you want them to put out 
  • Overall, ensure they’re honest, believable and trustworthy enough to derive leads from their audience for your products

Influencer Marketing is an effective strategy in today’s consumer-centric era. Influencers have already established a market for themselves, which means they can act as successful mediators. They also lend your product a sense of credibility that no amount of advertising and digital marketing could hope to match.

Shopify mistakes are often inevitable, but learning about what to do and how to do it is a game-changer. Prior research helps you identify potential pitfalls and drive budgets and resources toward tactics that matter. With this handy guide to avoidable Shopify mistakes, you’ll be well on your way toward setting up the ecommerce store that success stories are made of. 



Guest Post by AdNabu