5 Challenges For New Small Business Ecommerce Websites

Toddler on Stairs

More people than ever are using ecommerce.

If you’re under 35 years old that may seem obvious. But ecommerce still only accounts for about 15% of all retail sales.

So there is a lot of room to grow in the coming years. And not all of that will go to Amazon. Although much will there will be quite a bit that goes to small mom and pop-style ecommerce sites.

It’s a great idea to consider launching your own ecommerce site.

But there are some challenges that await…

#1. Finding New Customers

The top challenge for any new business is finding new customers. And usually it’s experimenting with finding multiple channels of new customers.

Many businesses start with word of mouth or some good buzz. But once those initial sales wear off, things need to spread. It’s up to the business owner to find additional sources of new customers.

Thankfully, the online world offers lots of opportunities, but that leads to another potential challenge…

#2. Too Many Opportunities

When you have too many opportunities you can get caught up in all the decisions. Sometimes you feel a little afraid of choosing one or even a handful because you’ll have to give up on something else. And if the one you choose doesn’t show instant impact you start thinking if the grass was greener with something else.

First, it’s okay to go with your gut on what you think will work. Or with the one or ones you have the most confidence and experience in. Just don’t feel bad if things don’t work out exactly to plan the first months out.

Second, it can be good to assume you know nothing about what channels will work. This can allow you to setup a system for testing as many channels as possible at the same time. Then, after some time such as six or twelve months, you can look at the data and see what is working and push more money into those efforts.

You can google for ideas on ways to get new customers. Some obvious ones include:

  • PPC
  • Affiliates
  • Guesting
  • Partnerships
  • SEO (takes time)

But there are many more and are likely some unique ones within your specific niche.

#3. Small Errors On Website

That get overlooked while you’re busy scrambling around…

Launching your ecommerce website doesn’t mean it’s done. That’s true with any website. Yes, it will be functional for the most part and probably working really well.

But it will likely need tweaks. At least every few months and it’s probably worth scheduling time to test it regularly. Initially this could mean every day. Then after a couple weeks you can cut back to every other day. Then every week and then perhaps every month.

This testing allows you to catch any issues before they affect you too much. A cart error or credit card error even for one obscure product can lead to lost sales and here is the thing…

Customers don’t often tell you when they have an issue. They just leave.

#4. Hastily Written Product Descriptions

In the haste of working to get the site setup it’s easy to rush through the product descriptions. But these descriptions basically take place of you in real life or on the phone.

So you don’t want to skimp on them and leave customers with unanswered questions.

Like testing, schedule time for after launch to review your descriptions. Check for spelling and grammar errors. Check for things that don’t make sense or that you want to change.

It’ll help you increase sales.

Then set time for this every few months.

#5. Poor Photography

Photography is a big part of ecommerce selling. You can get by with subpar photos in the early days when you’re bootstrapping and maybe just seeing if there is any demand for the product.

But set a reminder for a few months to see how things are going. If there is promise, invest in better photography. It’s something you’ll want to update fairly often (6 months to a year) even when you’re more mature in the business.


Obviously there are challenges that arise when you’re launching a new business. Ecommerce is no different. You know that. These are just a few of the often overlooked issues that come up. I find it’s good to plan for them, schedule time to address them. Why ignore what will likely be an issue?

Dayne Shuda
Dayne Shuda
Dad, husband, golfer, and bow hunter. Owner of Ghost Blog Writers.

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