10 problems every e-commerce faces (and their solutions)

“Finally! It was quite an ordeal to set up my store and create all the product cards, but it’s all over now. Let’s go get those sales!”.

Suuuure… if only it were that simple, right? 😉

As with every business, challenges and drawbacks are always part of the equation for e‑commerce shops. Optimizing your e‑commerce, maintaining it, and (especially) increasing sales is a never-ending task.

Hence this post.

Here’s a compilation of some of the most common problems in every e‑commerce.

And of course, we’ve also included how to solve them.

Without further ado…

Note: If you still haven’t set up your e‑commerce and would like to know how to start from scratch, we recommend reading this post beforehand.

👉 The most common problems your e‑commerce will face

Grab a pen and a piece of paper, we’re about to start.

✅ 1. Your visitors are few and far between

It’s one of the most typical challenges beginners face.

But also one that should keep you alert since traffic is to e‑commerce what blood is to the body.

No traffic means no customers. And no customers means no business. 😉

So let’s see how to sort this out.

➡️ Solution: Refine your marketing strategy

Remember, uploading products to the Internet doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to sell them.

You need an effective digital marketing strategy capable of attracting visitors and turning them into customers.

This strategy can (and must) rest on several pillars, including:

Oh, and don’t forget that it’s not about attracting traffic; it’s about attracting qualified traffic (i.e., aligned with your buyer persona).

✅ 2. You get visitors, but not so many sales (low conversion)

There’s no point in having visitors in droves if they don’t become customers.

To put it simply, traffic is no good if your conversion rate is low.

However, if you increase it, then you’ll get more sales with the same volume of traffic (so your return on investment will improve)

Here are some hints.

➡️ Solution: Work on the customer experience

Even though the concept ‘customer experience’ touches on many different issues, when it comes to conversion, these are the most important factors:

  • User experience: This improves when your site offers a fast-loading speed and smooth navigation. Here’s an in-depth guide on the topic.
  • Copywriting on product cards and categories: Sometimes, unappealing texts for product cards and categories are to blame for low sales. This guide and this follow-up guide can help you out here.
  • Email marketing: In some cases, users landing on your site won’t be ready to buy right away. That’s why it’s so important to have an email marketing strategy to “warm up” your leads.

Speak of the devil, this next point is also related to conversion.

✅ 3. Your customers can’t find what they’re after

Not that we’re out to scare you, but… the default site search engine of your template might be costing you some sales.

Don’t believe us? Then pay attention to this:

Of course, there’s a bright side to this, since a smart internal search engine can help you increase your sales – a lot. 

Want to know how? Keep reading!

➡️ Solution: A smart search engine

What do we mean by ‘smart search engine’?

In simple terms, a search engine that:

  • Understands synonyms: If you search for “parka”, it knows you’re referring to a jacket.  
  • And typos too: ¿Sansumg? ¿Sansunj? ¿Samsun? Don’t worry, the search engine will understand them all.
  • Gives you alternatives: If the target product isn’t in stock (or even if it’s not for sale in your store), the search engine shows similar products so clients don’t go empty-handed.
  • Responds in a matter of seconds: Thanks to the autocomplete function, it shows search results as you type.
  • Has all kinds of filters: Size, color, shape, price… everything necessary to speed up searches.

Doofinder is a search engine that offers all these functions – and more!

Some of our clients, such as none other than Neil Patel, have seen their sales increase by 20% thanks to Doofinder.

If you want to see for yourself, get our 30-day free trial.

Not convinced afterwards? Just uninstall it.

If your sales end up improving… that’s one less problem on your list. 😉

✅ 4. Your abandoned cart rate went through the roof

On average, every e‑commerce has a 70% rate of abandoned carts.

That means 7 lost customers out of every possible 10.

Seven clients who’d made up their minds about what they wanted, added it to their basket to proceed to checkout, but then something happened.

What was it?

It could have been a WhatsApp notification that got them sidetracked.

Or worse yet, there was something they didn’t like about the purchasing process, so they decided to leave your site.

There may be a million reasons, but we’ve got a solution for all of them.

➡️ Solution: Use emails to recover abandoned carts

These are your best allies against abandoned carts:

  • Reminder emails: Sometimes, all a distracted client needs is to be told there’s a product waiting for him or her in their cart. This email will prove more successful if it’s composed following these guidelines.
  • Use push notifications: Another resource we told you about in this blog (and that many shops have yet to implement).
  • Keep a transparent delivery policy: A customer is about to pay, but as they hover the cursor over the “buy” button, they realize you’ve added 2 or 3 dollars as shipping costs. This could make them feel fooled and cause them to flee. To prevent this, make sure to let your clients know about shipping costs on the product card.  
  • Simplify the checkout process: Too many steps during checkout is another common reason why potential customers leave abandoned carts. Here’s a guide on how to make it simpler.
  • Enable different payment methods: Some clients will prefer to pay through PayPal or other payment methods.
  • Never leave queries unanswered: A single unresolved doubt can make your sales plummet. For this, you can open customer service channels on WhatsApp and/or Telegram. You can even implement a chatbot for whenever you’re unavailable.
  • If nothing works, give remarketing a shot: Sometimes customers are reluctant to buy even after being provided with all the facilities necessary, including a reminder email. In these cases, try launching a remarketing campaign to make the client dream about that particular product. 😉

You’ll see that abandoned cart rate nosedive.

✅ 5. A low average checkout price

Client 1: $2 purchase

Client 2: $5 purchase

Client 3: $8 purchase

With clients like these, you’d better have a huge profit margins on each sale – and plenty of them – or you’ll never have much revenue.

This is what happens when your shop’s average checkout price (the average value of every purchase) is too low.

Let’s see how to get your customers to be “a bit more generous”. 😉

➡️ Solution: Promote cross-selling

The most common option.

By implementing a cross-selling strategy, you can encourage customers to add more items to their basket to increase their purchase total.

Similarly, the upselling formula consists of offering a product of a higher value (for example, a newer cellphone model compared to the one they’ve added to the cart).

These are the two most common strategies, but you can also opt for:

The higher the average checkout price, the higher your income and revenue.

problemas ecommerce soluciones

But hey, there’s something else to measure.

✅ 6. Getting clients is too costly (high CAC)

Suppose you’ve managed to increase your average checkout price to $20 after implementing the previous strategies.

But your customer acquisition cost (how much it costs you to get a client on average) is $18, so each client leaves you only a $2 profit margin.

This problem is more common than you may think.

That’s why you must keep track of your CAC to find out if your marketing strategies are working.

And if they aren’t working, here’s a solution.

➡️ Solution: Conversion + loyalty programs = a winning combo

First of all, work on the conversion rate of your online store, as you’ll lower the CAC if you manage to turn more users into clients with the same investment in SEO, SEM, etc. 

But there’s more to it.

As we said earlier, spending $18 on getting a customer when that customer only spends $20 doesn’t make much sense.

But what if that client buys from you over and over again, spending an average of $20 on each occasion? That’s a whole different scenario.

That’s why CAC isn’t too informative on its own; you have to contrast it with the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

Which is closely related to the next point.

✅ 7. Your customers don’t come back (low retention rate)

Your retention rate tells you the percentage of loyal customers (those who have bought from you several times).

Why is that so important?

Because, according to a study by Sailthru, gaining a new client is 5 times as costly as retaining an existing one (plus, the longer their lifetime value, the more purchases they’ll make).

➡️ Solution: Think of ways to foster loyalty among your clients

Fostering loyalty among your customers may be one of the greatest challenges on the list. But, if you manage to do so, it’ll be one of the most effective mechanisms to increase your shop’s profitability.

Here are some key aspects:

In short, it’s all about making your customers feel valued.

problemas ecommerce

✅ 8. Returns have skyrocketed

Mind you, it’s not necessarily all over when customers get through the checkout.

Clients might not be happy with what gets delivered and end up returning the order.

If that’s your case…

➡️ Solution: Double-check your product cards

You may not know this, but mistakes on product cards are the cause behind a significant chunk of returns in e‑commerce shops.

That’s why you should:

  • Include detailed and realistic descriptions to give your clients an accurate picture of what they’re going to get.
  • Add several photos of the same product.

You can even use augmented reality to let customers “try on” your products.

Delivery delays are another common issue. However, they’re so important that they deserve their own separate chapter.

✅ 9. Delivery delays

Products and pictures mismatching is bad.

But when clients don’t receive their orders (or even worse, when the product’s been damaged), that’s a much more serious matter that can severely hurt your brand image.

Let’s see how to avoid it.

➡️ Solution: Choose your logistics operator wisely

It’s important to spend time analyzing the different delivery companies to figure out which one’s best for you.

And if you work with more than one simultaneously, all the better.

Because, if one of them fails you for whatever reason, you can still resort to the other(s) and minimize the impact on your sales (which can be critical during high-sales periods like the holidays).

✅ 10. You lack data on your shop’s performance

Everything we’ve told you up to this point is useless without good analytics behind it.

Why? Well, without analytics, there’s no way of knowing which channels generate the highest conversion rates or if your clients are even profitable.

Analytics tools are your best allies in this case.

➡️ Solution: Use analytics tools

The most prominent options are:

  • Google Analytics: The last update, GA4, offers really useful new functionality, such as scroll maps and automatic events.
  • Google Search Console: Essential for knowing which keywords result in the highest traffic.

And remember, Google Tag Manager allows you to install them without having to toy around with any source code.

If you have any doubts, check out this full guide on web analytics for e‑commerce.

By the way, an advanced search engine such as Doofinder also allows you to get highly interesting stats about your customers’ behavior.

👉 Optimizing your e‑commerce is a never-ending task

At least if you want to increase your sales and generate more and more income, that is.

That’s why we recommend bookmarking this post. It’ll be ready to refresh your memory anytime you need it.  

From now on, no obstacle will get in your way. 😉