7 Reasons Why E-commerce Businesses Fail

Updated: January 8, 2019
by CyberCash Worldwide

In this post I'm going to share 7 main reasons why e-commerce businesses fail. With the current innovations in technology many businesses are adopting e-commerce as the primary way of making their sales. It is however important to indicate that a lot of these businesses end up failing. But what are our businesses doing wrong? 

Some entrepreneurs make their success purely out of luck, but of course, you can't rely on luck. You need certain knowledge, good planning and organisational skills. If you pay attention to 7 of the 'failing factors' below, you'll be prepared to tackle your next business with much more confidence. 

7 Reasons Why E-commerce Businesses Fail

#1 Shipping Costs

One of the biggest disadvantages to e-commerce business is costs associated with shipping. Charge too much and you might lose your customers, but make it free of charge and you might make a loss. If your target customers are from all around the globe, this is more of the case. It is advisable to take note of the different countries that you choose to ship to.

Imagine a case where more than 1,000 customers place an order and at the same time. Bulk shipping can cost you less, therefore you should find a good courier company who charges reasonable rates for bulk orders. Otherwise you might make a good revenue from the sales but you'll end up making losses as a result of shipping costs.


It is also important to indicate that when you choose to select an option where your customers are forced to pay for shipping costs they might end up leaving your website without placing an order because they do not want to incur an extra cost from the purchasing cost.  

There are other competitors that will also offer the same product and at the same time offer a free shipping. Carry out your research very well and make sure that you are selecting a plan that is both profitable to your business and attractive to your customers.

#2 Lack of Content Marketing

Marketing is an essential part of any business. If you fail in marketing then your business will most likely fail. Content marketing is about sharing a valuable content with audience for free in order to draw public's attention, generate leads, increase brand awareness and online sales. As opposed to a simple form of advertisements, a content marketing can be by blogging, YouTube videos, podcasts, infographics, e-books, and via social media. Basically to drive traffic to your website. The more traffic you have on our website the more likely that your products will be bought. 

I'd like to point out that content marketing is not exactly the same as blogging. The basis of content marketing is the fact that you can push your product on several ways such as a form of analysis or review, and not just simply blogging any subjects on your website.

Make sure that you sign up to all platforms that can play a role in pushing your product. Make use of influences and collaborators to make sure that your product is accessible to as many people as possible.

When writing a blog about a particular product, ensure that you write a longer one because it attracts hire ranking on search engines such as Google. More than 2,000 words if you can. The reason behind this is the fact that it will give search engines access to many different expressions and keywords. It means they will consider your content as authentic and informative, hence valuable for the relevant users. The second reason is the fact that it helps you generate more content ads. So Google will identify that and drive visitors to in-depth articles.

I would also like to point out that you attract more backlinks because there are more data insights as well as useful resources.

#3 Bad User Experience

User experience

In sales business the main goal is how you'll be able to attract your clientele not once, but repeatedly. UX (user experience design) matters - always ensure that the floor on website is user-friendly. This is an important element because it helps attract repeat customers. Websites with slow loading speed are a failure; Some websites that are too sluggish and have been designed in a manner that is not attractive.

Take time to choose the most updated website builder, theme and plugins. Always prioritize the usability when building a website. It's also important to test it and ask for feedbacks from other webmasters so as to make sure that it is working in the right manner.

Needless to say, mobile responsiveness is absolutely essential. Check if your website is mobile friendly or not from here (Google Mobile-Friendly Test). If the result comes out negative, it means your web platform is outdated and therefore you need to change it (change the WordPress theme, in most cases), no matter how it looks good to you. You also need to physically check your webpages on your phone to ensure it maintains a good readability.

#4 Lack of Email Marketing

With more traffic coming to your website, you need to consider your email marketing strategy seriously. "Money Is In The List" - lead generation is an important element especially when it comes to return on investment.

Bigger challenge is how you write your email newsletters / autoresponder. How you retain your subscribers, keep them interested but not push them too hard. In CyberCash Worldwide, Ray talks a lot about email marketing and recommends good tools and also training courses, Easy Profit Makers for example. Email marketing requires seasonal developments according to discount sale periods and various holidays throughout the year. It may not be exactly an easy task to keep up for some businesses, but with the right technique you'll be able to improve the customer retention rates.

#5 Poor Data Analysis


You don't just publish web contents blindly or send emails to your subscribers for the sake of it. Your priority is to attract new potential customers as well as to keep them coming back. You need to analyze your data very well. Everyone knows that data analysis is not an easy task.

Google Analytics is essential for your website to monitor your visitor behaviors. SEMRush is an all-rounder tool which includes keyword searches, and also allows you to analize your competitors' sites.

As for email marketing, you need to know that customer X will buy product Y before send them an email with data Z. OptinMonster allows you to generate leads according to the type of invitations placed in different pages. Whereas tools such as AWPro Tools can help you segment your subscribers in the most effective way.

#6 Bad Photos

In order for your website as well as products to look presentable, you need to use photos that are attractive in the eyes of a customer. If you are selling your own products, a decent photo equipment including a white background screen will make a dramatic difference. If you are selling already-manufactured products, images should be supplied to you, therefore you need to choose ones that are clear, easily recognizable and attractive.

Photo studio

Alternatively, see if you can have an extra budget and hire a professional photographer that can take high resolution photos to be used on a website. Sometimes it can be a costly affair but in the long run it will prove profitable.

Needless to say, all the photos on your website should be adequately optimized to avoid the sluggish loading speed as I mentioned earlier.

#7 No Reviews

You will need reviews if you need your product to be associated with your customers. Products with no reviews suffer a large deal. But there is a solution to it.

You can contact bloggers and social media influencers, ask them to test your products and write reviews in exchange for the products for free or at a discounted price. You can either ask them to write reviews on your website or on any of their platform.

Don't be afraid of receiving some negative reviews. Because we all know there is no product with all-perfect-10 reviews. And we also know that products with only a few "all positive" reviews always raise suspicion of stealth marketing. It will only lead consumers to believe that you might have paid people to create false reviews, or your team of staff may have made them up.

7 Reasons Why E-commerce Businesses Fail

As you may have noticed, 5 of the reasons above are directly to do with very basic digital marketing technique. For any e-commerce business owners, it's crucial to have a good knowledge in email and content marketing, as well as to have a certain level of ability to monitor your website.

With all that said, it's only the beginning that you may be overwhelmed by technical information. By learning persistently and keeping yourself updated with new analysis results and statistics, you will be able to continue your successful e-commerce business for years to come.

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AshemaKevin is a Freelance writer. He covers all topics revolving around business. You can follow him on Twitter @ashemakevin

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