5 of the Biggest E-Commerce Mistakes to Avoid this Holiday Season

ecommerce mistakes to avoid

Tis the season to capitalize on Holiday shopping; but are you aware of some of the most common and detrimental mistakes E-commerce owners tend to make during this time? From the novice e-entrepreneur to the Titans in the e-commerce game, mistakes are often made that tend to hurt revenue uptake during the Holiday Shopping season. These critical errors can disrupt transactions and shipping. But that doesn’t have to be you this year.

With the holiday season right upon us, we’ve prepared a list of all the e-commerce faux pas to avoid this year; and what you need to do to make sure your holiday shopping is optimized for a quality user experience. Here are 5 of the biggest mistakes you need to avoid this holiday season to ensure your revenue stream flows upward.

1. Not putting Equal Energy into Advertising & Marketing

Firstly, Advertising and Marketing are not one in the same. A lot of e-entrepreneurs make the mistake of not giving both of these equal energies. As a small business owner, it is imperative that you plan for and adjust your ad expenditure for the holiday season in order to remain in the rat race.

On the Advertising side of things, you need to be prepared to make an investment into Advertising because your competitors will definitely be doing it to stay on top. If you don’t already use it, consider putting money into Pay-per-click ads during the holiday shopping season.

Ad Retargeting

Another hack in optimizing your Advertising dollars is using Retargeting. A huge mistake in e-commerce is neglecting to use Retargeting of Ads. Ad Retargeting lends to both your Advertising and Marketing strategy by showing targeted ads and messages to your audience. So many brands and e-commerce stores fail to use retargeting and depend heavily on cold website traffic. While relying on cold-traffic advertising to grow your audience isn’t a bad thing, ad retargeting helps to keep your current audience aware of your presence. A key to Retargeting your Ads is using Facebook Ads to target users that have visited your e-commerce site.

During the holiday season, online shoppers are constantly on the search for the perfect gift for all of their loved ones which means that you have the opportunity to target a new demographic of shoppers.

With your Marketing, be sure to utilize your mailing list. If you have a blog create holiday content and promotions to draw people in to join the mailing list so you can send out promotions, discounts and other offers that will lead to higher conversions. Plan out your Social Media Marketing Strategy ahead of time and even create a Content Marketing Calendar to help you stay on target.

2. Too Many Steps in the Checkout Process

Do not make your customers jump through a bunch of hoops when it comes time to Check-out. This can lead to shopping cart abandonment and that is definitely not what you want to happen. This is another error that a lot of e-commerce stores make and it is detrimental to revenue. Keep the Check-out process simple and concise. Disable any read forms, or registration for joining your site or mailing list, banners or any other pop-ups that don’t pertain to the holidays.

3. Slacking on Monitoring Engagement

We’re very aware of how hectic and sometimes downright chaotic the holiday season can be, especially when it comes to shopping and this is synonymous with all industries. It is so easy to get caught up trying to tie up all the loose ends left from throughout the year and prepare for the holiday season things tend to fall through the cracks as a result. One of them is keeping tabs and monitoring your User Engagement on Social Media.

The engagement your audience is making on your Social Media platform holds a lot of weight and should not be discounted. During the holiday season so many consumers are ready to buy and that goes for industries as well, whether they are B2B or B2C, you have to be on top of your social media engagement.

Pay close attention to the questions being asked across your Social Media Platforms so nothing slips through the cracks including potential sales. Potential customers may ask questions about shipping or products on Ads and another content post that you make so you must be available to answer them or risk the loss of converting a sale. 

Engagement matrix

Not peering SEO (search engine optimization) with your user engagement tactics is another mistake you definitely want to avoid. Sure, good SEO is optimizing your site for bots, but doing this well can also creates ripple effects with how users/followers view, interpret and interact on your website and social media pages. Simple, if they like your page they’ll be more inclined to buy something.

4. Not Researching the Competition

Researching and monitoring the competition is a normal practice for all business throughout the fiscal year, however, due to the hectic and sometimes chaotic time of the holiday shopping rush, and all the preparation that goes into this, it is so easy to neglect to do this at all. This is a big no-no. You want to keep abreast to your competition so that you can stay ahead of them.

Shoppers are hyper-aware of all the options available to them when it comes to making choices of what to buy.

They are also keen on burning a hole in their wallets, so they are constantly on the hunt for good deals and bargains. Keeping one eye on your competition and the other on your would-be customer base is a sure-fire way to stay ahead and boost sales this holiday season.

Monitoring your competition can also give you new ideas on how to improve deals and promotions to customers. Bundling products, offering packages and huge discounts can keep you ahead of your competition and rake in a higher revenue.

5. Ambiguous and Unclear Shipping Rates, Dates & Return Policy

This is an ultimate deal breaker and a mistake you definitely do not want to make. If your customers are under the impression that their gifts won’t arrive on time then deal off. They will definitely jump over to the competition and leave you in the dust abandoning their carts in the process.

To mitigate this by setting a clear and defined cut-off date for shipments.

This ensures customers have a time frame for spending and receiving their gifts in time for the holidays. You also want to reinforce these policies by sending email reminders.

You may also want to offer a gift-wrapping option at check out for an additional price. This is especially great for customers who want to directly ship gifts to their loved ones directly from your site.

Apart from clear shipping arrival dates you need to have a clearly defined Return Policy. A lot of customers buy things for their loved ones and then they wish to return them after the holidays. So, have an iron-clad policy clearly visible at check out and once again reiterate the policy in the confirmation order email.


Implementing these tactics will give your customers the ease of knowing their packages will arrive on time. Ensure you have a clearly defined Return Policy in place if they need to use it. Your customers will feel more secure in spending their money.

By avoiding these critical mistakes your e-commerce store is bound to have a successful run this holiday season. Don’t forget to send out Holiday Thank You Cards to all of your customers.