Reasons Why Your eCommerce Site Isn’t Making Money

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It’s an all-too-common question: Why is my eCommerce site not selling? 

You can have a great product at a competitive price and still fail to gain an edge over your competitors because you don’t offer an optimal experience to shoppers. Here are some common eCommerce mistakes that could explain low sales numbers and what to do about them.


Search engine optimization is about more than getting discovered by internet users. It’s about getting found by the right people.

Before developing a successful SEO strategy, you need to define your target audience and connect the different steps of their journey with relevant keywords and search trends. First, create a detailed model of the typical sales funnel and the other search intents associated with each stage.

Keyword research can help you identify common search intents for these different stages. You should also look into using more long-tail keywords (e.g., “boutique SEO agency” instead of just “SEO agency”) since they can convey more complex search intents.

No Conversion Optimization 

You might be seeing low sales numbers because you’re not optimizing your site for conversions (i.e., leads and sales).

There are different possible reasons behind a low conversion rate:

  • Your call to action (CTA) is hard to find. Make it more noticeable by adding a large button with a clear CTA above the fold.
  • The action isn’t relevant to the user. Instead, use CTAs that make sense for a prospect’s current intent. For example, a CTA that encourages a purchase might not make sense for a prospect who just found out about your brand.
  • The CTA doesn’t deliver anything of value. Instead, a good CTA should tell users why they should act, whether you offer a discount or which unique benefits are being offered.
  • Your checkout process is too long, or users are unable to check out as guests. Instead, streamline the checkout process, and watch your sales grow. 
  • Your content isn’t persuasive or descriptive. It’s not enough to describe what you’re selling. You have to sell it. 

Poor or Missing Product Images

Using low-quality product images is a common eCommerce mistake. However, if your sales numbers are low and you have a high return rate or lots of reviews from shoppers who didn’t get what they were expecting, you need to invest in better product images. Quality product images create a professional image for your brand and help build trust. 

A product photography box can help you capture professional shots of your products. You should also invest in a quality digital camera to capture all the details of your products. You can combine professional product photographs with demo videos to help shoppers make a decision.

Insufficient Payment Options

If you notice that your shopping cart abandonment rate is high, you might not be offering suitable payment options.

Shoppers expect a user-friendly checkout process, and they also want a safe and convenient experience. In the Americas, 82% of online shoppers prefer debit and credit cards. Services like PayPal, WeChat Pay, and Alipay are next, with 66% of shoppers choosing these payment options. 

You want to offer as many payment options as possible to accommodate the most significant number of customers. Ensure shoppers have access to a safe and convenient checkout experience to pay with their credit or debit card or use PayPal.

Inadequate Mobile-Friendliness 

Experts predict that mobile purchases will represent 44% of the eCommerce market by 2024. Shoppers make purchases with their smartphones and tablets and could use other devices in the future, like Smart TVs or smart speakers.

Here’s how you can make your eCommerce website not just mobile-friendly but universally accessible:

  • Opt for a responsive web design.
  • Compress the size of your image files.
  • Optimize your site to load faster.
  • Make your buttons larger.
  • Add secondary navigation options.
  • Get rid of your sidebar.
  • Avoid using popups.

Failure to Nurture After the Initial Sale

You might be missing out on repeat sales by not nurturing relationships with existing customers properly.

A common mistake is to put all your time and resources into generating new leads. However, the average cost of acquiring a new customer is higher than nurturing an existing relationship, and you might be missing out on repeat sales and word-of-mouth marketing from loyal customers.

The positive experience you deliver during a purchase shouldn’t stop there. Send a thank-you email and provide more content that helps the shopper get started with their new product. Deliver outstanding customer services and recommend related products and special offers to boost repeat sales.

Audit Your eCommerce Website 

If you’re not reaching your goals with your eCommerce website, you need to pinpoint the root cause of the problem and address it. While the mistakes mentioned above are expected, you can better understand why your eCommerce website isn’t performing well by using a mix of analytics and feedback from users.

Even a tiny adjustment can often make a big difference in sales, so look at your website just as a buyer would. 

Author Bio

Syed Irfan Ajmal is a serial entrepreneur, digital marketer, author, and international keynote speaker. His content marketing, PR, and growth hacking articles have appeared in the Huffington Post,, Tech In Asia, and other publications. He has also been cited on The Next Web (TNW), SERPed, the MVP Marketing Podcast, Profitability Revolution Paradigm, and SEMrush. 

Reasons Why Your eCommerce Site Isn’t Making Money

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