Why is my e-commerce site failing?

Michael Gabrian

by Michael Gabrian on 04/25/2017

Why is my e-commerce site failing? You have a great product and you're promoting the heck out of it, but you're still not selling as much as you need to. Unfortunately, sometimes it's not enough to have a world-changing product. Things like packaging, company process, just about everything affects your efficiency at selling. So if your site is struggling to sell, there could be a few different reasons why.

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
- Bill Gates

Inventory management

Do you ever have too much or too little inventory? I don't want to get into the economics of supply and demand, but inventory management will optimize the quantity of products you have at any given time.

This is really more of a convenience issue for the visitor. If you don't have what they want, they'll move on. It's that simple. You don't want to risk them not coming back because you weren't well stocked.

Do you have any tools or website integrations to track your inventory and predict sales forecasts in the future?

Your website

Your website design is pretty important, but it's kind of a broad field that breaks into smaller pieces; navigation, usability, mobile version, general design, etc.

I talk about Journey Driven Design in another article and it's something you should keep in mind when designing your e-commerce site. Map out the ideal buyer path and maybe even try to run through it on your existing site. Does it flow? Can you navigate through that process intuitively?

So yes, a pixel perfect design helps, but let's also think about security. Your customers are trusting you with personal information, credit card information, etc. You want to show as much credibility as you can. Is this something you have invested in? We'll talk a bit more on credibility a little further down.

Website traffic

Let's assume that your site looks beautiful, it's protected, and the buyer journey is straightforward. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your site, but maybe you're just not getting the traffic you need.

If you're not getting visitors, there is no one that your site can convert. If you're not converting, you're not making money.

Well the answer here is simple; create a marketing plan. Here are some tips:

  • Optimize your social accounts and post regularly
  • Think about investing in Pay Per Clicks
  • Boost your SEO

Product photography

How is the product itself displayed on your site? When I mentioned packaging all the way up top, part of it refers to the presentation of your item page. Avoiding any form of bias, take a look at your item pages and look at your product photo. Does the photo do it justice? Would you buy the product? Because if you won't, why would your visitors?

Your photography should reflect the quality of your brand and products.


Your writing should be engaging, informative, and active. If you're not properly speaking to your audience, you'll see it in low conversion rates.

Hopefully you've done your research on your buyer personas. Are you speaking to them the right way? What type of wording to they respond the best to? This could all be done through some in-depth persona research.


Having a secure website is one important way to be seen as credible, but is it the only way?

Moz tells us online reviews impact 67.7% of buyers' purchasing decisions. So the reason a site is unsuccessful could be low ratings. 

Check out some of the customer reviews of your company. Really listen to them. If they aren't happy with their experience with you, why? You'll need this information to make the necessary changes to get your credibility back.

If this is the case, here are some suggestions to combat negative reviews:

  • Always provide an authentic, apologetic response and provide contact information to discuss the matter further offline.
  • If you are in the wrong, attempt to make things right. You can even ask them how if you have to. This could turn that negative reviewer into a loyal repeat customer. You can still shine through that review.
  • Figure out what caused the bad review in the first place and make sure it never happens again.


As we can see, there are a lot of factors that make running an e-commerce business hard. It goes way past the site and how it performs, all the way to company image and how you operate. 

If you're e-commerce site is having some trouble, click the button below to see how we can help get you more visitors and leads.

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