11 Things to Avoid When Marketing Your Products Online

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E-commerce marketing is all about reaching your target audience through online channels to create brand awareness and boost sales. When done right, e-commerce marketing makes your target audience well aware about your products or services and ultimately, helps you convert prospects into customers. So, while the goals of e-commerce marketing are similar to traditional marketing, the means to achieve these goals are quite distinct.

Traditional marketing generally involves putting up banners, posters, running ads on TV, and more. But e-commerce marketing involves using different online marketing tools like e-mail campaigns, SEO, paid ads on social media, among others.

E-commerce marketing can be an immensely effective tool for you if you get your marketing strategy and execution right. But, the competition is intense. In order to stand out from the crowd, your marketing efforts need to be well-planned and thoroughly researched. You should be careful to avoid certain missteps that can derail your marketing strategy and maintain a sharp focus on maximizing the benefits of e-commerce marketing.

Here are some common mistakes that marketers make when promoting their products online. Study these carefully and ensure that you do not make the same marketing mistakes when running your campaigns online.
11 Things to Avoid When Marketing Your Products Online

1. Not Setting Clear Marketing Goals

Many businesses undertake marketing activities without a clear picture of what they want to achieve. With this approach, you are shooting in the dark and if at all your efforts bring you great results you had not planned for, it may be due to sheer luck rather than anything else.

So, set clearly defined goals. Your goal can be anything, from getting a boost in sales, to creating brand awareness, increasing web traffic, or managing your reputation. Avoid starting out with too many goals at the same time. Instead, prioritize and stick to three or four objectives that will provide direction to all your efforts. There is no point in setting unrealistic goals that are impossible to achieve. If your goals are unattainable, why would your marketing team take them seriously and pursue them? Your goals should be set within achievable limits that you and your team can work towards on a day-by-day basis. Most importantly, set a realistic deadline for each of your goals. So that you know whether you are on track, delayed or well ahead of meeting your deadlines!

2. Poor Website User-Experience

User-experience (UX) refers to all aspects of the customer’s interaction with your company. It includes everything that customers experience when they reach out to your e-store and encompasses all website and sales features as well. Your website is the focal point of your online marketing efforts. A minor UX mistake can severely impact your conversion rate and sales. So, ensure that you choose a design that is appealing and one that offers ease of navigation. Your layout should complement the content and should include an optimal combination of banners, text, or other forms of content assets, depending on your product. Your website’s UX should also be responsive to different screen sizes, a need commonly overlooked by many marketers. If your website does not account for visitors who may be viewing or engaging with your content through multiple devices like laptops and desktops, mobile devices and tablets, users may close your website quickly due to the erratic appearance of text and images.

Further, many business websites have too many things to convey. As a result, these websites are text-heavy and look cluttered. This is one of the most common e-commerce mistakes you must avoid. A website that offers excellent user experience contains less text and more visuals. So use infographics, timelines, illustrations, graphs on your business website. For an online store, the trick is in using attractive product images with brief product descriptions. While look-and-feel and ease of navigation are critical aspects of a website’s UX, speed is equally important, as it complements your search engine optimization efforts. So, if your website is too slow to open, it will result in decreased customer satisfaction, reduced page views, and a poor conversion rate.

3. Not Measuring Marketing Results

Simply put, if you don’t measure marketing results or return on investment, you will not know how successful your online marketing plan was. The greater your investment in marketing, the greater is the need to measure performance. Given the fact that you may be planning to launch several marketing campaigns in a year, not measuring any of these may create a negative ripple effect on your revenue, owing to a lack of corrective action. Luckily, measuring results is not difficult. Start measuring your campaigns on the following parameters:
  • How much traffic does your website/online store generate?
  • How many leads does your digital presence provide you every month?
  • How many conversions did you see happening on your website/online store?
  • How many clicks did your website generate in a month’s time?
Marketing analytics
As per your set campaign goal, you can evaluate the performance of your campaign and calculate the return on investment (ROI).

4. Ignoring User Behavior Analytics on your Website

So what exactly is user behavior analytics? It is information on what the shopper does on your website or online store. Do they use the navigation bar to search for products or services or directly enter a search term in the search box? How much time do they spend on your product listing page and the product pages? You can access all this data in the form of tables, bar charts, line graphs etc. from your website. This data is extremely valuable, as it helps you identify problem areas in your online store and make suitable changes, if necessary.
User behavior analytics
For example, if the rise in the number of visitors on your website or your online store is not translating into increased sales, it could be because the shoppers visiting your store aren’t finding the products they need easily enough. Open the analytics dashboard of your website and analyze the time spent on different parts of your website. If you find that visitors usually spend a lot of time searching and browsing, that could indicate an issue with searchability. To fix this problem, tweak your website or your online store to include as many filters as possible to help visitors quickly find what they are looking for. This will help them complete their transactions in a hassle-free manner.

5. Poorly Written Product Descriptions

For an online seller, two key elements for attracting and converting store visitors are photos and product descriptions. Many online sellers make the mistake of limiting product descriptions to technical specifications and key features. As a seller, you must use product descriptions that help sell your products and not just serve the purpose of information sharing. Creating accurate, informative and engaging product descriptions should be the first step of drafting a transparent product return policy. You must clearly mention your product features so that the customers know what they are ordering. This can prevent the hassle of returns and refunds. Ensure you complement well-written, accurate, persuasive product descriptions with original product photos.

6. Neglecting Email Marketing

If you have been neglecting email marketing thinking there are better ways to reach out to your customers, you are missing out on one big benefit: personalization. Email marketing has always been an effective e-commerce marketing tactic to send personalized product recommendations to customers. This not only improves the chances of increasing traffic to your store, but also increases the order rate and potentially helps in customer retention. However, you must limit your list to existing customers and prospects you know are interested in buying your products or have keen interest in the product category you sell. You can determine this by examining the user search history data, which is a key feature of a good e-commerce marketplace.
Email marketing in business
You can ask your customers to subscribe to your e-mailers, to give them updates about your store, new offers, changes in policies, order details, etc. Once that is done, you can send frequent emails to your regular customers who often visit your store and make purchases. By segmenting your email marketing strategy in this manner, you will be able to potentially earn substantial revenue from a select group of customers.

7. Trying to Sell to Everyone

If your marketing strategy does not account for a specific target audience, you are casting too wide a net and therefore minimizing your chances of success. You need to first identify who your customers are. Then, get to know their needs and interests, and thoroughly understand their demographic profiles and buying capacity. Research your target audience and create more focused marketing campaigns that they can relate to. Knowing your target audience well ensures that your marketing strategies are tailored to effectively appeal to them, which will lead them to make purchase decisions. Remember, the success of any marketing campaign depends on its acceptance among the target audience. You can only get a favorable response from your target audience if you personalize the marketing content and choose the right medium to interact with them. This cannot be done if you lack information about your target audience.

8. Choosing the Wrong E-Commerce Marketplace

The e-commerce marketplace you choose to sell your products can really make or break your business. Your e-commerce marketplace determines how you showcase your products and attract shoppers. In addition, an e-commerce marketplace plays a huge role in helping you scale your business. The wrong e-commerce marketplace, on the other hand, can lead to revenue loss, lower conversion, poor online product marketing, traffic reduction, and in many cases, business shutdowns.

9. Not Making Your Website SEO-Friendly

SEO involves the effective use of keywords in your website content to ensure that it can be easily tracked by search engines, and the site ranks higher on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page). SEO can help to boost sales, increase brand awareness and divert traffic on your site. For example, a fashion e-commerce company used SEO to increase traffic to its website by 150% and increase its organic revenue by 187%.
Increase organic traffic
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the pillars of effective online marketing. Without this, you cannot expect to achieve great results. You need to publish website content that is crafted based on thorough keyword research. Avoid using broad keywords. Instead, insert specific words that your customers commonly use to search for products and services online. Poorly written title tags and Meta details (a mini description displayed underneath the title) result in decreased visitors.

10. Not Hiring Specialists

You should definitely hire specialists in search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), and social media marketing (SMM) to help you generate more leads and conversations. You can avail their services at a reasonable cost and manage your online marketing with a thorough professional approach. These specialists will help you define an effective marketing strategy, come up with new ideas and implement them. If you try to save costs on these critical functions and manage them yourself, you may end up making mistakes that could turn out to be costly in the long term.

So, look for specialist agencies or individuals with extensive experience in online marketing. You could opt for multiple specialists, each focused on a different area like social media, or look for an overall online marketing expert who can provide end-to-end marketing support. Often large enterprises succeed as they work with high-caliber, experienced digital marketing agencies who help them achieve their business goals.

Concepts like SEO, SEM and SMM are fairly technical in nature, and involve complex methods and nuances. You must, therefore, hire specialists who have the credentials and the skillsets to help you grow your online business.

11. Ignoring Customer Service

Your customer service will play a vital role in your online reputation management by generating good customer reviews on both, on e-commerce marketplaces and social media platforms. Ignoring online reviews by customers who have rated your products well may result in loss of faith among them with respect to your online store. On the contrary, if you reach out to them with personalized ‘thank you’ messages and reward them with coupons, discounts, and freebies, you can convert them into your brand advocates. Avoid automating your responses. Many businesses use template responses, which results in customer frustration and opportunity loss in terms of repeat business. Ensure you get your messaging right in resolving a customer issue or sharing a thank you note.


As your business progresses and grows, you will face many challenges, which may require you to seek expert help. The best help comes in the form of an e-commerce marketplace like Amazon that has already helped millions of sellers reach their customers and grow their business. Register on Amazon now.
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