How to avoid 7 common mistakes in your online shop

by Sarah Böhm, 09.04.21

There can be many reasons why customers leave your online shop after spending only a couple of minutes in it. In this article, we look at common mistakes seen in online shops that can lead to poor conversions and less sales. We show you how to recognise and easily fix these mistakes.

Mistake 1: Complex category structure

A category menu is intended to guide customers through the product range. If they do not find what they are looking for quickly enough, they will exit the page. Therefore, make sure that your categories are transparent and clearly sorted. Categories should:

  • Not overlap with one another
  • Be presented in a mega menu with several levels if there are more than seven categories
  • Not contain technical terms


You should only create top categories if necessary. If you only have three products for a top category, you should reconsider your category structure.

2: Image quality

Mistake 2: Low-quality images

A potential buyers’ first impression means everything, also because a purchase decision online usually takes only 3 seconds or even less. If the images in your shop are blurry or of poor quality, this does not convey a good impression of your products.

Customers cannot touch your products in the online shop. Therefore, product images must provide a good overview of all important criteria. Important information from the product description should also be shown in the pictures. You can find tips for the right product photos in our two-part blog article.


The image quality of mood images, for example on the start page, is also essential for a good first impression. If you want to use mood images, you will find a large selection of free stock pictures on platforms such as Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay. You can also take advantage of the Pixelz app in your shop, to optimise your product images.


Mistake 3: Inappropriate content

To stay relevant in the competition against large platforms like Amazon, you need correctly placed content so you can be found by the right target group via search engines.

Detailed, yet concise product descriptions without filler words are important for that.

Construct straightforward sentences, paragraphs and, if possible, headlines. Also highlight unique selling points (USPs) on content or product pages.

For a targeted Google ranking, you need the right keywords for your target group. If they are irrelevant to your products, Google may rank you for an inappropriate target group.

In order to find the right keywords, you should be informed about the general principles on Google’s ranking system. Read more about SEO strategy tips in this article.

4: Social proof

Mistake 4: Missing social proof

Important for the trustworthiness of your brand is the so-called social proof, a well known psychological phenomenon. The Search Engine Journal states that nearly 63% of buyers are more likely to purchase from a site that already has product ratings and reviews.

You can create a social proof effect by other users primarily through rating portals (e.g. Google, eBay, Trustpilot) and activities on your social media platforms (e.g. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest). You can also integrate ratings and seals of approval into your shop via apps in your shop such as Trustami.

5: Call-to-action

Mistake 5: Missing call-to-action buttons

To encourage the customer to buy, you should create triggers and incentives for them.

One tip is to use call-to-action (CTA) buttons that link to another, usually internal, page (for example, a product page) with a call to action. Some examples for CTA button labels are the following:


  • View product
  • Discover category xyz
  • Buy now
  • Learn more


Read more on how to integrate such CTA buttons into your Now Shop in our feature article.


Another tip is to offer customers special incentives in the form of benefits. Customers want to be rewarded! Some promotions you can offer are:

  • Free shipping on purchase price X
  • Exclusive benefits for your social media following (e.g. a promotion code)
  • A small discount for those who subscribe to your newsletter
  • Other, for example seasonal, promotions via the newsletter


Mistake 6: Too little choice in the checkout

User-friendliness also means giving your customers a choice. This also applies to the payment method and the shipping service provider. If a customer does not find his preferred provider here, he may order elsewhere.

Therefore, regardless of your personal taste, offer a wider choice of shipping providers and payment methods. You may have had a bad shopping experience with a shipping company, this does not mean, however, that it will be the same case for your customers.

Mistake 7: The wrong marketing strategy

Think thoroughly about how you want to market your products. Marketing requirements differ depending on the product range. In the case of creative products, fashion and decorative items, the focus is usually on “discovering” the products whereby the customer seeks inspiration. You can reach such consumers particularly well via visual social media platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest. With electronics, spare parts or office supplies, a customer mainly wants to find the product quickly and easily. Targeted findability through a good Google ranking or a placement on price comparison portals such as Idealo or PriceChecker are advantageous here.


To make the right adjustments, you should look at your online shop as objectively as possible. You can recognise many factors of user-friendliness in your own buying behaviour with other shops. Pay attention to this in the future and check these factors in your own online shop.

About the author

is Content Manager at ePages.

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