The eCommerce industry is breaking records this year, just as it did every year before. More people around the world find themselves doing most of their shopping online. Especially now amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which boosted online sales way higher than expected from analysts.

According to Statista, revenue in the eCommerce industry will reach $2,258,801m in 2020 with an annual growth rate of 8.1%. By 2024, the industry will reach $3,084,899m, and user penetration will hit 60.3%. It’s hard to grasp such numbers, but it’s easy to say that eCommerce is not going anywhere and will continue to grow.

According to Statista, revenue in the eCommerce industry will reach $2,258,801m in 2020

And as they say, you need to learn from others’ mistakes because you can’t live long enough to make them all yourself. That is why we want to share with you 10 eCommerce mistakes that you need to avoid when starting.

1. Not Having a Plan

Not having a plan will make you do eCommerce startup mistakes

Not having a plan is a bad thing in general, and even more crucial when it comes to running an eCommerce business – it is one of the worst eCommerce mistakes. Some people enter this business without proper knowledge and quickly find themselves on a downward spiral to failure.

Plan your steps before you start and don’t do anything off of a hunch. There is a lot to learn and even more to implement. The base you build for your business is the legs to your table.

If you’re just getting started, create a business plan using our guide about how to start your eCommerce business the right way. 

2. Not Knowing Your Niche

Knowing your niche is important for you to succeed

Knowing which products will sell is not a guessing game. Conducting thorough product research is essential to find products that will convert to sales. If there isn’t enough studying and analysis in the research phase, the rest of your work would be irrelevant since your store will not have any sales conversions. 

You should conduct in-depth market research by exploring and analyzing your niche to identify your competitors. See what performs well for them, imitate them, then innovate.

3. Choosing The Wrong eCommerce Platform

make sure you choose the best ecommerce platform

There are several selling platforms to choose from when dropshipping. Some are less user-friendly than others. Some carry a high price tag and don’t offer much. You won’t want to get to the point where you put days of hard work on a platform that isn’t suitable for your needs.

It’s better to use hosted platforms, and the best ones are Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Shopify. No technical skills are needed to start. You can create your scalable online store within a day and start making sales from day one.

4. Ignoring Mobile Friendliness

Ignoring Mobile

A lot of people rely on their smartphones to make purchases, and the numbers of mobile phone shoppers continue to grow year by year. One of the eCommerce mistakes is focusing only on building pc compatible websites. While websites that are compatible with smaller screens have much higher sales conversion rates.

Here’s a graph showing a market share comparison of mobile shoppers vs. PC shoppers from Business Insider:

mobile shoppers vs. PC shoppers


Most Shopify and eBay themes have a mobile version – be sure to use it. You need to test your store from different devices and browsers. Use compatibility checker sites like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test:

Google's Mobile-Friendly Test

5. Losing Focus

losing focus is one of the mistakes of ecommerce startup

The internet is open 24/7, seven days a week. That’s a lot more working hours than a traditional business where you have specific hours when your business is open.

You need a to-do list with daily tasks that will keep you busy and stick to your routine. 

Otherwise, you will not get things done. 

Organize your day ahead. Set the critical tasks first. If you find yourself stuck, don’t spend too much time on it and don’t overthink it. Keep pushing and come back to it later. Do not lose your focus, and don’t give yourself an excuse to finish for the day until you’ve accomplished enough tasks to help your business grow.

6. Underestimating The Work Needed To Succeed

the work needed to succeed in this business

One of the eCommerce startup mistakes is underestimating the work needed to succeed in this business. They think running an online store comes with ease. Online marketing is a serious business and needs to be treated as such.

Ecommerce is not a get-rich-quick scheme, but once you know the basics, everything starts to fall into place.

You’ll need to put in the work. And before you put in the work, make sure you have the right knowledge to push forward. Don’t make the same mistakes most uneducated dropshippers make.

7. Not Hiring People To Help Your Business Grow

Outsource a virtual assistant to take care of your customer service

Before you get to the point where you are overwhelmed with tasks, you need to free up your time to think about the future growth of your business. Outsource a virtual assistant to take care of your customer service, upload products, conduct market research, write your ad copy, rewrite titles, product descriptions, and more.

There are several ways to find VA’s to help grow your business so you can avoid this eCommerce mistake. You also need to know how to manage them and how much they are going to cost you. Check out our article about the 7 ways to find Virtual Assistants for your eCommerce business.

8. Return, Shipping, Payment Policies

have a clear return, shipping, and payment policy

It’s essential to have a clear return, shipping, and payment policy. It’s one of the first things buyers check when entering a shopping website. Having these policies ensures them peace of mind before heading to purchase.

Make sure you have these pages, along with a contact us and terms of service page. Buyers will see and treat you as a real business. 

9. Spread Out Your Marketing Tests

not testing multiple advertising channels is one of the ecommerce startup mistakes

When entering the marketing phase, make sure to spread out your tests as much as possible. You need to test a few traffic sources—for example, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Don’t blow all of your advertising budgets at the start. 

Start with small budgets and run multiple campaigns on multiple platforms. When one campaign or ad set starts performing well, duplicate, and scale your success.

Give enough time for testing before gathering any conclusions. Typically, ads start performing well after collecting enough data, which doesn’t happen on the first day. So make sure to avoid this eCommerce mistake when you are running your online business.

10. Not Automating Your eCommerce Business

not automating your business is an ecommerce startup mistake

Every successful eCommerce seller and dropshipper knows that automation is the key to any successful business. The more you grow, the more you realize you can’t do it all manually by yourself.

You will reach a limit where you can’t expand anymore since you are stuck doing repetitive tasks that are holding you back.

You need to automate product research, automate uploading products to your store, automate order fulfillment, automate repricing and restocking products, and more. Also, hire virtual assistants to manage your social media presence. 

Once you have a dropshipping software to handle all of these time-consuming tasks, you will be free to focus on growing and expanding your business, and this is the key to success. For that, we have AutoDS – the all-in-one dropshipping solution for beginners, advanced and expert dropshippers worldwide. AutoDS is created from dropshippers to other dropshippers.

With hundreds of dropshipping videos, blog articles, and a large active dropshipping community where everyone helps each other to succeed.

AutoDS is fully compatible with Shopify, Facebook, and eBay, and offers plenty of integrated suppliers. There’s more than enough to start your eCommerce business with full automation. It saves you an enormous amount of time and money and allows you to scale and grow your business efficiently and successfully.

Going Beyond The Mistakes

By now, you have a clear mindset about the 10 eCommerce startup mistakes to avoid when you are starting an online business.

This is your time to outwork your competitors by scratching off these mistakes from your journey and make the most out of this industry that is called eCommerce.