Shopify pitfalls to avoid

8 Common Pitfalls When Launching Your Shopify Store – And How To Avoid Them!

Launching an ecommerce business is an exciting venture with the potential for tremendous success. Thanks to Shopify, it’s also doable for almost anybody.

However, many new store owners fall victim to common pitfalls that can hinder their success right out of the gate.

In this article, I’ll go over the 8 most frequent mistakes I see when starting a Shopify store, based on 12+ years experience with over 100 Shopify & Shopify Plus clients. Then I’ll give you the (usually) Easy Fix.

Mistake #1: Poor Product Photos

Your product photos are often the first thing potential customers will notice about your store.

If you don’t have good pics, find them or take them yourself – but don’t launch until you do. Low-quality, unprofessional images reflect poorly on your brand and products.

The Fix: Avoid manufacturer’s pics whenever possible since almost everyone selling the same products will be using those pics.

(Shopify has a pretty good guide on DIY product photography:

Mistake #2: Lack of Detailed, Accurate, and Compelling Product Descriptions

Vague or missing product details leave customers with unanswered questions, reducing trust – and with it, their confidence to make a purchase. Product descriptions are also crucial for SEO.

The Fix: Write thorough, compelling product descriptions that cover key features, benefits, materials, dimensions, and other need-to-know specs. Incorporate relevant keywords naturally. Tell a story and help customers imagine how the product will fit into their life.

Avoid using copy & paste manufacturer descriptions that everyone else selling the same product will have.

(Shopify also has a pretty good guide on writing good product descriptions: )

Mistake #3: Missing (or Cribbed) Policy Pages

‘Policy Pages’ – privacy policy, TOS, return policy, shipping policy, and contact info – are simply a must.

The Fix: Make sure you have all your ‘policy’ pages written and accessible from your menus and/or footer. Don’t have them or know where to begin? Shopify provides ready-made templates for all necessary ‘Policy Pages’.

You can find them from your admin screen: Settings -> Policies.

BE SURE to go through them and replace the various [YOUR INFO HERE] entries with your info.

This holds doubly for cribbed or copied policy pages; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across something like “Sally’s Soap Emporium” with a TOS talking about “Bob’s Bakery Goods” or some such.

Mistake #4: Missing or Hidden Contact Information

If customers can’t figure out how to get in touch with questions or issues, they’ll quickly lose trust and shop elsewhere. Your contact details should be easy to locate.

The Fix: Clearly display key contact information like your email, phone number, business address and hours (if applicable) in your site header, footer, contact page, and other relevant places.

At the very least, have a “Contact Us” page with this info, accessible from the navigation or footer menu on every page.

Mistake #5: Inadequate Site Navigation

Confusing or incomplete navigation menus frustrate shoppers and hurt your conversion rates. Customers should be able to find what they need in just a few clicks.

The Fix: Organize your products into clear, logical categories and collections. Use descriptive labels for menu options. Implement a search bar and product filtering to help customers quickly narrow down options. Follow ecommerce UX best practices.

Mistake #6: Surprise Costs at Checkout

Unexpected shipping fees, taxes or other charges appearing at the last second are a leading cause of shopping cart abandonment. Be upfront about costs.

The Fix: Clearly list shipping fees and methods, as well as any additional charges, on your product pages and elsewhere. Consider offering free shipping or building costs into your product prices.

If you’re selling high-shipping-cost products worldwide, display a shipping calculator so shoppers can estimate their total.

Mistake #7: Lack of Payment Options

Limiting your payment methods also limits your customer base. Some people strongly prefer using PayPal, Apple Pay, or other alternatives to credit cards.

The Fix: In addition to standard credit/debit card payments, enable other trusted payment options like PayPal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, etc. The more choices you provide, the wider audience you can serve.

Mistake #8: No Customer Reviews or Social Proof

Without seeing feedback from past buyers, new customers may doubt the quality and legitimacy of your products. Reviews and social proof are key to building trust.

The Fix: Install an app like Product Reviews, Yotpo or Loox to enable customers to leave reviews on your products. Display customer testimonials and media mentions prominently. Incentivize customers to review their purchases. Share positive reviews on social media.

‘Bonus’ Mistake: Not Building an Email List

Conventional wisdom says it can take up to 7 ‘touches’ for a prospect to become a customer. Without an email address, you have no way of reaching out to someone who could become a customer but isn’t yet.

The Fix: Create a high-value lead magnet, and install an opt-in pop-up. We may hate pop-ups, but they work. And without that email address, you are squandering a high percentage of your traffic.

PS – If you want a daily infusion guaranteed to boost your Shopify traffic, sales, and profits, check out our newsletter, Ecom Tipsheet. It’s the most valuable Shopify marketing resource on the planet – and it’s free!


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