The 6 Most Common Reasons E-Commerce Stores Fail


According to many different sources, over 90% of online businesses collapse. That’s a ghastly stat. That means– statistically speaking– your chance of success as an online retailer is less than 10%. An E-commerce business is extremely easy to set up. You don’t have to rent a physical space for your store. When put against other types of businesses the invest costs are relatively low. You can launch your store in very little time. So, if things are so easy, why are so many businesses failing?

The truth is that the average entrepreneur does not run a tight operation. The average entrepreneur will get bamboozled by the ease of entry into E-commerce and will foolishly believe everything will be smooth sailing (yeah, right).

If you are reading this blog, it’s safe to assume that you do not want to be an average entrepreneur. This blog post is a roadmap to help you avoid the dead-ends and pitfalls that are common for online retailers .

  1. Lack of investment/capital

The internet has mislead you. Yes, there are entrepreneurs who launched their store from virtually nothing, but those stories are largely anomalies. Putting in merely hundreds of dollars and expecting millions to be generated is foolhardy. Your store is a digital location. Your costs are reduced tremendously, but don’t think that you can get away with paltry investments. When you’re getting started, there needs to be a healthy amount of capital to ensure that things run smoothly.

Your cash flow needs to allocated so that every expense can be taken care of. You can’t put all of your capital into your marketing budget if your inventory is low and needs an injection of cash. Misspending your money can lead to catastrophic consequences– failure is almost guaranteed.

  1. The market is over-competitive

If you’re selling something that larger retailers offer on their website, your sales aren’t going to be great. It’s a very bad idea to sell something like Nike shoes when there are hundreds of established retailers that have a strong foothold in your market. If you look deep enough, there is market where you can excel, but it’s likely not where the huge brands are.

  1. Poorly managed inventory

Buy too much inventory and you will devour your capital. Buy too little inventory and you miss out on sales and customers. Inventory is tricky and you need to strike the right balance. Most importantly, you need to be on top of things. You need to properly plan for slow delivery times, high freight costs, getting shipments through customs (if your items are produced outside the country), etc. Keeping track of your inventory is a necessity.

  1. Badly designed website

If your store was in a physical location, and that location was poorly lit, dusty, and badly decorated, would that store be successful? Probably not. The same goes for your web design. Your website is your operation’s critical foundation, and if it is poorly designed, then you are losing out on customers– this is almost a guarantee.

When people initially think of a well designed website, they picture eye-pleasing aesthetics. But the appearance of the website is only the part of the equation. Your E-commerce website needs to be secure, SEO-friendly, functional and fast. This is why we recommend that you spend a considerable amount of time choosing the best platform to launch your E-commerce store.

  1. Lack of marketing

No web traffic=no revenue. And a lack of revenue will mean the death of your E-commerce operation. You need traffic for your store, and there are many ways to obtain it– SEO, PPC, email marketing, etc. The point is that you absolutely should put a concentrated effort towards marketing your business. Make sure that you have a budget that’s reserved for marketing.

  1. Weak copy

Words sell. The quality of your copy will either compel someone to buy or will cause them to bounce from your site. Your product descriptions need to be persuasive because they need to convince the prospect that your product is the best solution for their problems and needs.

Are you making these mistakes?

These mistakes can destroy your business before it even really begins. Now that you know the pitfalls, launch and build your store the right way.

Are you ready to discuss your next eCommerce project with the leader in shopping cart website development and digital marketing? If so, contact Zen Agency today! We are a group of web development experts!

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Joseph Riviello

Joseph L. Riviello is the CEO and Founder of Zen Agency. Joe's agency builds websites and web applications that attract, engage, and convert. Joe has over 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship and he is an expert digital marketing strategist who specializes in conversion-centric e-commerce experiences and cutting-edge solutions that maximize growth and profit. Check out Joe featured on:,,,

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