Get a fast, conversion-focused WooCommerce theme in 2019. Switch to Shoptimizer.

Home Blog – eCommerce News, tips and tutorials eCommerce Experts share their thoughts on the biggest beginner mistakes and emerging eCommerce trends

eCommerce Experts share their thoughts on the biggest beginner mistakes and emerging eCommerce trends

If you’re trying to decide what the best eCommerce platform is for your online store then you’ll love this post. Trying to decide what the best platform is for your eCommerce website is one of those rabbit holes that you can easily get lost down for weeks and months on end.

When you add into the mix that the world of eCommerce is constantly changing and evolving, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and end up being paralysed by indecision and doubts about what the best course of action is for just about every decision for your online store.

Well what better way to help you solve any of your lingering doubts about how to get your eCommerce empire off to a flying start than to hear directly from some of the best and brightest minds in the world of eCommerce!

We got in touch with eleven eCommerce experts and asked each of them three questions:

  1. If you were starting a new eCommerce website in 2019 which eCommerce platform would you choose and why?
  2. What is the biggest mistake store owners make when getting started with their eCommerce business?
  3. What new trends have you noticed developing in the eCommerce sector in recent times that you believe will become increasingly common in the next few years?

I’m delighted to say that everyone we got in touch with was more than happy to give us their time and share their insights – so a huge thank you to our experts! It was an incredibly interesting and rewarding exercise to see the diverse and unique answers from each of our experts who live and breathe eCommerce on a daily basis.

Our eCommerce experts are:

So grab yourself a good cup of coffee, sit back and prepare to soak up a huge amount of valuable knowledge from some of the best minds in eCommerce!

Andrew Youderian – eCommerceFuel

Andrew is an eCommerce entrepreneur & podcaster and founder of eCommerceFuel, a private community for 7-figure+ store owners. The eCommerceFuel podcast is one of our favourite podcasts dedicated to all aspects of eCommerce. Andrew recently released the 2019 State of the Merchant Report which is required reading for all eCommerce entrepreneurs.

If you were starting a new eCommerce website in 2019 which eCommerce platform would you choose and why?

For the majority of users, I would say Shopify is probably your best bet, reasonably priced, a great platform, dynamic ecosystem and a good product with a lot of integrations. So I think Shopify probably makes the most sense for most people.

If you need full customization over the source code, I would go with WooCommerce. It’s an open source cart that lets you really get under the hood and tweaked just about anything you need to. It will probably be a little more complex for people who don’t need a customized cart, which is probably 90% of people. But if you do need something customized, and you’ve got the developer experience or resources to customize that, I would go with WooCommerce.

What is the biggest mistake store owners make when getting started with their eCommerce business?

You have to really have to have something unique to offer in 2019 to have a successful online business. Click To Tweet

I think the biggest mistake is not understanding how they’re different. It’s either through an insanely unique product selection that’s hard to find and curate a, or proprietary product. Those are probably the two biggest ones, but not launching a store, some line of goods that’s not really different in unique and expecting to do well.

You have to really have to have something unique to offer in 2019 to have a successful online business. Otherwise you’re just not going to be able to market or stand out or get customers.

What new trends have you noticed developing in the eCommerce sector in recent times that you believe will become increasingly common in the next few years?

I would say peoples hesitancy to embrace Amazon. If you look at the 2019 State of the Merchant Report one of the big trends and probably the biggest trend to highlight is that the number of bigger sellers that are seven figures sellers that are moving to Amazon has really plateaued.

Amazon Sales Trends
Amazon Sales Trends (Source: eCommerceFuel 2019 State of the Merchant Report)

It’s still growing but barely inching forward. I think a lot of people are realizing that it’s a place to make potentially to generate sales. But when you go on Amazon, you give up your control and ownership of the customer information. You give up fees, you give up control of your business, you take on a more channel risk in terms of them really owning the platform that you’re marketing on. I think people see that Amazon is not exactly super friendly towards sellers in terms of the products that they sell. It’s been very commonly documented that that Amazon will launch private label products of their own against their sellers. So I think that the biggest trend in the next few years is that Amazon will still be a big powerhouse and a lot of people will still sell there, but I think the level of growth of adoption we’ve seen will very much plateau if not start to modestly decline as less merchants flock to the platform.

Brad Griffin – WooCamp

Brad is the founder of WooCamp. If you ask Brad for a bio he’ll tell you: “I’m just a farmer. I make things grow“. One of those things he’s helped to grow is the WooCommerce Help & Share Facebook Group which currently has over 27,000 members – making it by far the biggest and most active WooCommerce community resource. Brad has devoted a huge amount of time to nurture and create a fantastic group which is invaluable to WooCommerce store owners.

If you were starting a new eCommerce website in 2019 which eCommerce platform would you choose and why?

If you are starting a new e-commerce website in 2019 you should choose the one which you are most familiar with. Click To Tweet

If I was starting a new eCommerce website in 2019 I would choose the platform which had the right parts and pieces that I needed. But I think the more important answer to that question is an asking what am I starting WITH?

Quite often store owners begin with no end in mind. For example they’re not sure about their shipping options yet. Or they don’t quite understand the business metrics of cross sales up sales and eCommerce metrics. Perhaps they are not familiar with the difference between a hosted Shopify store and a self hosted WooCommerce site.

When a store owner starts a new eCommerce website, they need to understand the knowledge that they know, and the concepts that they do not know.

If I were starting a new eCommerce website, I would choose WooCommerce. But that’s only because I’ve been creating stores based in WooCommerce for 10 years. I know what questions need to be asked and I know what follow-up questions need to be investigated more based on those initial answers. After a series of about two hours of quality questions and definitive answers I can spit up a correct WooCommerce the first time the correct way with the right variables and attributes in less than a day. But that’s only because I’m very very familiar with all of the WooCommerce extensions, shipping options and intricacies which are needed to create the site correctly to begin with.

If you are starting a new e-commerce website in 2019 you should choose the one which you are most familiar with.

What is the biggest mistake store owners make when getting started with their eCommerce business?

Self doubt and disbelief is a mistake. Don't make that mistake - JUST LAUNCH! Click To Tweet

Colm, the biggest mistake that store owners make as they start their eCommerce business is not understanding all of the different details and moving parts that go into correctly creating their desired site. For example if you want to run a subscription-based eCommerce site, and you’re in specific countries ,which payment gateway should the store owner use?

If your goal is worldwide selling, then what should the shipping options, shipping rates, & shipping zones be? And how should that be factored into the total cost of doing business online?

One of the other mistakes that is noticed quite frequently is not pricing a product to fully understand the cost of customer acquisition correctly for a busy online marketplace.

One of the other mistakes that I see people making quite often is continually second-guessing themselves and/or their online business presentation which frequently leads to making changes and self-doubt and repeated modifications to their website. So over and over again they find themselves checking out a new theme or wondering about a new plugin or continually tinkering with a side instead of promoting promoting promoting promoting.
The Shoptimizer theme is perfect out of the box. But too often people will get going down the Elementor rabbit hole and the squirrels of various different plugins and simply have a failure to launch.

At some point you do need to have a website done fully working and functional with a check out. However in the time being never make the mistake of changing something that you’re not measuring. If you don’t have a cognitive, empirical, evidence-based reason to change something or modify something on your side then don’t.

Self doubt and disbelief is a mistake. Don’t make that mistake – JUST LAUNCH!

What new trends have you noticed developing in the eCommerce sector in recent times that you believe will become increasingly common in the next few years?

Some of the recent trends that I have been noticing lately are chatbots. If you’re not familiar with what they are, it is that tiny little box (found) usually in the lower right-hand corner that persistently pops up & distracts most people from their shopping experience primarily because the chatbots are never set up correctly.

Effectively utilizing all the triggers, segments, & features of any chatbot is absolutely critical. Simple creating one & having a generic chatbot that simply pops up and dings every time somebody does something is absolutely counterintuitive to increasing conversions. Chatbots are great, but read the docs fluently 😉

One of the most effective eCommerce trends that I’m noticing is optimized checkouts. BuildWooFunnels is a great example of optimized check out with can be implemented on any site with any theme to increase your eCommerce store’s conversion rates. I know there’s a couple of them out there, however my favorite is still BuildWooFunnels. One of the incredible things is that you can use BuildWooFunnels to create one page which will act as a landing page plus a sales page plus a check out page all in one URL! How cool is that?

The last trend I keep noticing – at least in the WordPress world – is that store owners are continually having to juggle being a business owners yet also babysit their website at the same time. It’s really a horrific struggle of time and resources to juggle both business comprehension & consistent WP Updates as well.

Overall though, some eCommerce sites are -after all- simply half baked side hustles.

However, there are some eCommerce sites which successfully prosper the families and communities creating rippling results for employees, business owners and blessing the lives of others.

Quality Results are never an accident.

 

Max Rice – Skyverge/Jilt

Max RiceMax Rice is the CEO and co-founder of SkyVerge where his team builds tools for e-commerce merchants, both large and small. SkyVerge are also the creators of the wonderful Jilt.

If you were starting a new eCommerce website in 2019 which eCommerce platform would you choose and why?

I think it would depend on the type of eCommerce store. If I needed to be able to heavily customize the product page or checkout flow, sell digital goods, or have a large amount of content on my site (especially for a Membership site), I’d look closely at WooCommerce as it could be a great fit in those cases. If I wanted to get started as quick as possible and I had relatively simple products that I was selling, Shopify could be a good fit. Overall, both platforms are excellent, with strong plugin/app options and a vibrant developer community, so they’re both great options.

What is the biggest mistake store owners make when getting started with their eCommerce business?

The biggest mistake new store owners make is to overlook marketing. We often see stores who have clearly spent a ton of time, effort, and money building an amazing shopping experience, but they forget to think deeply about how they’ll drive customers to their store and retain them. It’s important for new store owners to spend just as much time promoting their their store and turning shoppers into repeat customers as they do setting it up and making it look nice. Email marketing is one of the most effective tools for getting and retaining customers, and full-featured platforms like Jilt make it easy for new store owners to get started quickly with effective email campaigns designed to drive revenue.

What new trends have you noticed developing in the eCommerce sector in recent times that you believe will become increasingly common in the next few years?

eCommerce stores are starting to do really interesting things with augmented reality, which overlays virtual content on the real world. Click To Tweet

Two of the biggest eCommerce trends we’re tracking this year are augmented reality (AR) and non-textual search.

eCommerce stores are starting to do really interesting things with augmented reality, which overlays virtual content on the real world. We think it’s really primed for growth this year because, unlike full virtual reality, customers don’t need special hardware to use it — they can use just their smartphones to access AR content. And eCommerce shops are moving out of the proof-of-concept phase and really starting to use AR to offer valuable content to their customers.

Search has always been a big source of traffic for all websites, including eCommerce shops, and now it’s moving beyond text. Visual search engines, like Pinterest, and voice-based search platforms, like Alexa and Google Assistant, and starting to gain widespread user adoption and offer a huge opportunity for eCommerce stores.

eCommerce is evolving rapidly, though, and these aren’t the only trends we’re watching. We recently put up a post with seven trends we think will be big in 2019, which you can read here 🙂

Bryce Adams – Metorik

Bryce is the founder of Metorik. Metorik is one of my favourite web applications I recommend to pretty much every WooCommerce store owner. If Tony Stark had to build a wicked smart eCommerce analytics web app, it would look a lot like Metorik. Before Metorik, Bryce previously worked for Automattic on WooCommerce.

If you were starting a new eCommerce website in 2019 which eCommerce platform would you choose and why?

It always depends on the product and audience as that determines the platform requirements, but I’m inclined to choose WooCommerce as I want a platform I can truly customise, control, and host.

What is the biggest mistake store owners make when getting started with their eCommerce business?

Consider what you're selling and the best format to maximize your sales. For example, your products might sell better in a less visual one-page product table or order form layout. Click To Tweet

Investing too much in low-ROI activities. For example, focusing on getting ‘press coverage’ or trying to go viral on Instagram. The best thing an eCommerce business can do in its early days is focus on the product itself and the funnel to get customers buying it (and making sure that they are getting a positive ROAS / re-marketing to existing customers).

What new trends have you noticed developing in the eCommerce sector in recent times that you believe will become increasingly common in the next few years?

There are so many trends in eCommerce that feel like the next big thing and then become irrelevant soon after. But I think the trends that build upon good fundamental business practices but apply newer technology to them seem to stay. In a general sense though, I’m definitely seeing a lot of big Amazon merchants move away from the platform and try to sell their products independently through an eCommerce platform they control.

Dave Bryant – EcomCrew

EcomCrew is an ecommerce blog and a podcast where Dave Bryant and Michael Jackness take off their ecommece hats and pretend to be journalists and investigative reporters. Dave is from Vancouver, Canada and has run (and sold) several highly success eCommerce businesses.

If you were starting a new eCommerce website in 2019 which eCommerce platform would you choose and why?

If I had an existing WordPress site that was primarily blog/content with a big audience, I would choose WooCommerce. WordPress is the gold standard for blogging and Shopify severely lacks in this regards. If it was a brand new brand with no audience, then Shopify all the way. Shopify provides so much functionality, both out of the box and through apps, that no other shopping cart can compare to it in this regard.

What is the biggest mistake store owners make when getting started with their eCommerce business?

Most hopeful store owners take too long to get started. Start creating content and building an audience NOW – it requires almost no money. Once you have this content and following, it’ll make launching your brand much easier. You’ll have an email list you can launch to and, more importantly, you’ll know what these people want.

What new trends have you noticed developing in the eCommerce sector in recent times that you believe will become increasingly common in the next few years?

..everything from adult coloring books to products for semi-truck drivers. There's a market for everything now... Click To Tweet

Customized/personalized products are one of the hottest trends and, best of all, relatively Amazon-proof. Also, non-traditional niches that you would never associate with being techy are now finding a place online – everything from adult coloring books to products for semi-truck drivers. There’s a market for everything now.

Katie Keith – Barn2Media

Katie Keith - Barn2Katie is Director and Co-Founder at UK WordPress plugin company Barn2. Founded in 2009, they built websites for clients until 2016 and then switched to selling plugins. They specialise in developing niche eCommerce plugins, such as their bestselling WooCommerce Product Table plugin.

If you were starting a new eCommerce website in 2019 which eCommerce platform would you choose and why?

WooCommerce, because the core plugin is free, lightweight, exceptionally high quality, and has all the features that most eCommerce websites need. And even better, the fact that it’s open source and the world’s biggest eCommerce platform mean that if you do need any extra features, there are literally thousands of excellent plugins to choose from. Whether you want to add extra tax or shipping options, quick view lightboxes, or sell extra options for your products, then you can easily do this by combining WooCommerce with suitable add-on plugins.

What is the biggest mistake store owners make when getting started with their eCommerce business?

Consider what you're selling and the best format to maximize your sales. For example, your products might sell better in a less visual one-page product table or order form layout. Click To Tweet

When building an eCommerce store using off-the-shelf themes and plugins (e.g. a WordPress theme with WooCommerce), the biggest mistake that store owners typically make is to use the built-in layouts without considering whether this is the most effective way to sell their particular products.

Most eCommerce stores have a grid-style layout, with maybe 3 products on each row and 9 or 12 products on each page. Each product has a big image and some basic information such as the name and price. To buy the product, you have to click through to a separate page for each product.

That’s fine for some types of product, but others don’t sell well in this format. This includes non-visual products (e.g. technical products and spare parts) and stores where customers are already familiar with your products (e.g. WooCommerce wholesale stores).

Consider what you’re selling and the best format to maximize your sales. For example, your products might sell better in a less visual one-page product table or order form layout. Or they might benefit from quick view popups so that customers can buy without having to visit a separate page for each product.

What new trends have you noticed developing in the eCommerce sector in recent times that you believe will become increasingly common in the next few years?

I’ve noticed that people are using eCommerce to sell more and more complex options – often without a large budget. A decade ago, if you wanted to create a build-your-own product configurator, where customers would mix and match options to build a customized product, then you’d need to get this coded from scratch. Now, you can easily achieve this by combining off-the-shelf eCommerce plugins and add-ons. I think this sort of complex DIY website will become more and more common in the next few years.

Topher DeRosia – BigCommerce

Topher Desrosia
Topher is currently the WordPress Developer Evangelist for BigCommerce. He is also the founder of HeroPress.

If you were starting a new eCommerce website in 2019 which eCommerce platform would you choose and why?

You know I work for BigCommerce. 🙂 But I can easily put my developer hat on and tell you why I think BigCommerce on WordPress should be the way to go.

Content marketing and ecommerce go hand in hand, and should be as close together as possible. WordPress excels at content marketing, and BigCommerce excels at ecommerce at all levels. Merging the two makes an enormous amount of sense. BigCommerce is powerful enough to cover nearly every need, and WordPress is super comfortable and familiar to many web developers.

What is the biggest mistake store owners make when getting started with their eCommerce business?

It depends on where they’re coming from. If it’s someone who’s never sold anything before they tend to think this is a computer program, where you push the right buttons and people buy things and you make money. in reality technology is a minor part of Selling Things.

If the seller is already running a brick and mortar store then they often think things are sold the same way on and off line. They’re simply not, and if the store owner isn’t prepared for the difference one of the stores is going to fail.

What new trends have you noticed developing in the eCommerce sector in recent times that you believe will become increasingly common in the next few years?

Traditional online advertising (google ads, amazon ads, facebook ads) is becoming more complicated and expensive, so people are turning from it toward high quality content marketing. Click To Tweet

This is a big topic. One of my co-workers just did a WordCamp talk at Phoenix about this exact topic, I recommend it.

Some highlights:

People tend to like to shop they way they always have. This means very large online-only stores are starting to get their products into brick and mortar stores so people 45 and up can go look at them, and touch them, and try them on.

Traditional online advertising (google ads, amazon ads, facebook ads) is becoming more complicated and expensive, so people are turning from it toward high quality content marketing. This means really good blog posts, both on their own site as well as on partner and influencer sites.

Because quality content marketing is becoming more important, more sites are investing heavily in their CMS. This means that headless ecommerce is becoming a much bigger deal, because people want the best ecom system combined with the best CMS system so that they work together.

Rodolfo Melogli – BusinessBloomer

Rodolfo Rodolfo is an Italian Civil Engineer who has turned into an international WooCommerce expert. Rodolfo is the founder of BusinessBloomer. If you’ve ever searched for how to do anything with WooCommerce hooks, you’ve almost certainly read one of his blog posts 🙂

If you were starting a new eCommerce website in 2019 which eCommerce platform would you choose and why?

I’ll be honest. I never tried eCommerce platforms other than WooCommerce, so my opinion is not fully reliable. Surely, I can say I love WooCommerce because it’s “open source” and also very flexible (easy to customize).

You can achieve anything you need with little coding, and once you become an advanced user you can even build your custom functionalities. The fact it’s open source means you’re not tied to a private agency or annoying SaaS.

What is the biggest mistake store owners make when getting started with their eCommerce business?

Even Google and Amazon websites looked weird when they got initially published - and then they validated (or changed) their business plan and invested budget into design and marketing. So, go live, fast. Click To Tweet

I think there are two, both equally important.

The first is spending too much budget (and time) before going live. WooCommerce and other software allow you to publish your website quite quickly and cheaply, so entrepreneurs should take advantage of this and go live as soon as possible. Even Google and Amazon websites looked weird when they got initially published – and then they validated (or changed) their business plan and invested budget into design and marketing. So, go live, fast.

The second is spending too little budget (and time) before going live. Yes, the exact opposite as the previous mistake. Don’t get fooled. Going live is possible with almost no budget and little time, but online users can spot the difference between a “good brand” and a “DIY brand”. Mostly when talking about design, brand identity and UX, doing some research before publishing and developing your website is a must.

Hence, find the right compromise 🙂

What new trends have you noticed developing in the eCommerce sector in recent times that you believe will become increasingly common in the next few years?

Good question, but also hard to answer, as technology changes every year, day, second. On the other hand, there are things that will never change – and I’d like entrepreneurs to focus on this. What I mean is simple: if a product is no good (and there are good reasons why it might not be), then no technology, functionality or marketing will make it a success. So, instead of concentrating on what might or might not work, please do invest time in validating your product, collecting feedback, survey your customers, and avoid wasting time.

Mustaasam Saleem – Cloudways

MustaasamMustaasam Saleem is a WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways – A Managed hosting for WordPress and all PHP-based applications and CMSs, where he actively works in learning and sharing knowledge with the WordPress Community.

If you were starting a new eCommerce website in 2019 which eCommerce platform would you choose and why?

I would definitely choose WooCommerce because of its flexibility and a huge range of options. Since it is free, it already has a significant edge over the competition. The best part, anyone with minimal technical skills (business owners and entrepreneurs usually don’t have dev level knowledge) can leverage its capabilities without having to resort to expensive support or proprietary licenses.

Furthermore, it’s backed up by an excellent community that loves to help out. In this regard, I would like to give a shoutout to Brad Griffin – one of the admins of the most active WooCommerce group “WooCommerce Help & Share” with 26K+ members.

To sum up, with the right set of plugins and themes, WooCommerce can be the perfect solution for every eCommerce business.

What is the biggest mistake store owners make when getting started with their eCommerce business?

In my opinion, many store owners have no idea about what they actually require and this leads to compromising the user experience of their stores. This directly leads to the slow growth of their business. By doing in-depth research and dedicated requirement analysis, they can opt for (or ask the dev team to build) a reliable and scalable solution that results in rapid growth in brand reputation and revenues.

What new trends have you noticed developing in the eCommerce sector in recent times that you believe will become increasingly common in the next few years?

I see a major shift towards the adoption of Augmented Reality. AI-powered eCommerce tools have already started to introduce the shopping crowd to AR powered experiences Click To Tweet

The eCommerce industry has come a long way – just look at Amazon and all the innovation they have brought to the eCommerce sector.

Customers love to visualize products from all angles to determine how a product actually fits in their lives. Considering this, I see a major shift towards the adoption of Augmented Reality. AI-powered eCommerce tools have already started to introduce the shopping crowd to AR powered experiences that will continue to grow and get more refined as better AR and AI tools become mainstream. This opens us immense possibilities for eCommerce marketing and sales campaigns in the coming years.

James Kemp – Iconic

James KempJames is the founder of Iconic and an experienced WooCommerce plugin developer. He has been working with WooCommerce since 2011 and has been featured on numerous WordPress publications.

If you were starting a new eCommerce website in 2019 which eCommerce platform would you choose and why?

Shopify is easy to set up on your own; you can get up and running very quickly. However, you may find it restrictive in terms of the functionality it offers. Click To Tweet

I’m slightly biased, but WooCommerce would obviously be the first contender. Depending on how much control you want over your store, I’d also consider Shopify as a viable solution.

WooCommerce is *very* flexible and will allow you to build a truly bespoke store, perfectly tailored to your specific needs. However, you may require a developer to assist you in getting everything set up.

Shopify is easy to set up on your own; you can get up and running very quickly. However, you may find it restrictive in terms of the functionality it offers.

What is the biggest mistake store owners make when getting started with their eCommerce business?

One of the most common mistakes I see is very low quality images. Images are one of the main things on the page that really sell your product to a potential customer. Make sure they are high quality.

I’d say you want an image which is at least 1000px x 1000px, but ideally at least 2000px x 2000px. Most ecommerce software will resize those images to the appropriate dimensions upon upload.

What new trends have you noticed developing in the eCommerce sector in recent times that you believe will become increasingly common in the next few years?

I’ve seen a lot of stores utilising checkout flows, upsells, and FOMO triggers. These all help to increase sales and average order values. Some of them are very nicely implemented, but be careful not to overwhelm your (potential) customers.

At Iconic, we’ve just developed the perfect upsells plugin for WooCommerce, offering an all-in-one solution for order bumps and upsells, including one-click upsells after checkout.

Diego Zanella – Aelia

Diego ZanellaDiego is the founder of Aelia, a leading independent software development company specializing in WordPress, WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads. Diego is the mastermind behind the most flexible multi-currency solution for WooCommerce, Currency Switcher for WooCommerce.

If you were starting a new eCommerce website in 2019 which eCommerce platform would you choose and why?

For a user just starting a business, to “test the ground”, Shopify. It’s reasonably flexible, robust and easy to use. It’s more expensive than a WooCommerce setup, but much easier to get started with. When the needs arise, WooCommerce or Magento can be a second step. They can offer a much higher degree of customisation. That comes at a cost, in terms of technical knowledge and work to be done, which a business can sustain when the budget allows it (i.e. after it “takes off”).

What is the biggest mistake store owners make when getting started with their eCommerce business?

Believing that an eCommerce must have ALL the features found in site X, Y and Z to work. That can be deadly for a business, as it creates the risk of never launching until everything is in place and pixel perfect. Click To Tweet
  1. Believing that “if you build it, they will come”. The Internet already has an online shop for everything. It’s almost impossible to succeed without finding a unique offer, or without targeting a specific market.
  2. Believing that building a successful eCommerce site is easy, quick and cheap, because “everything is free on the Internet”. Unfortunately, that mindset is involuntarily supported by software like WordPress and WooCommerce, due to the large amount of free tools and extensions available. Truth is, it brings nothing but disappointment: building a successful eCommerce takes time, money and effort.
  3. Believing that an eCommerce must have ALL the features found in site X, Y and Z to work. That can be deadly for a business, as it creates the risk of never launching until everything is in place and pixel perfect. It’s vital to follow the concept of “minimum usable product”: launch, gather feedback, adjust the aim. Features can always be added when needed.

What new trends have you noticed developing in the eCommerce sector in recent times that you believe will become increasingly common in the next few years?

A common trend I’ve seen growing quickly is the idea of selling everything as a subscription. Personally, I dislike that model, as it’s a money drain for customers and it’s not applicable to all products. I can’t imagine anyone needing new socks, shirts, trousers, shoes, or even cards, surprise gifts, or perfumes every couple of weeks. I think that such trend will continue for a good while (despite not being universally applicable).

Another trend, which makes more sense to me, is making it easier for customers to buy more products, by using “one click” cross-sell solutions. This can be a powerful driver for sales, but also a double edged sword:

  • If suggested products are useful to the customers, then they will be happy to have been offered them. They can also recommend the products, or services, to others.
  • If the products are simply sold by taking advantage of the impulse buying instinct, that can backfire. Customers can request refunds or, worse, file chargeback request to their credit card circuit, if they regret a purchase. In worst cases, customers could even give a negative feedback about the shop, blaming it for their impulsive decision of buying a product that they didn’t really want.

Wrapping things up

Well that was an education in itself! Once again a special thanks to all our eCommerce experts who contributed to this post. It’s always interesting to see if you can observe recurring themes in the advice and for me a few common themes were clear:

  • If you need something quick and simple and don’t want to tinker, pick Shopify. If you need something more custom and have the dev chops, pick WooCommerce. But more importantly, if you already use one of them and are thinking of changing – it’s probably not worth it – stick to what you know.
  • The biggest mistakes are not getting your product right and worrying about the wrong things. Stop worrying about WooCommerce extensions and Shopify apps and spend more time crafting your brand and your products. To succeed in 2019 your product needs to be unique.
  • The big emerging trend is independent eCommerce and the Amazon gold rush looks to be over. This will be great for WooCommerce and Shopify.

So what dear reader do you think are the biggest mistakes you made when getting started? We’d love to hear in the comments below 🙂

About Colm: He has been building web stuff since the web was a wee lad. Colm built his first blog with WordPress around 2007 and has been hooked ever since. When not knee deep in hooks and filters you'll probably find him running around a mountain or making pizza.
An absolutely magnificent theme to work with, while many theme designers take the swiss army knife approach, Coommercegurus are creating laser guided sniper rifles.
Degtev
buyer of Success WordPress Theme

See our products

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Updates

{"cart_token":"","hash":"","cart_data":""}