Why Are You Not Making Money with Your eCommerce Site?


Running an eCommerce site can be challenging especially with the rising number of competition from other online stores.

If you do not differentiate yourself from the competition and effectively market your business, failure is almost guaranteed.

You should, therefore, take your eCommerce business seriously and start executing the strategies that have propelled successful eCommerce sites to the top.

You should also avoid the mistakes that make most eCommerce sites fail.

Here are some of the mistakes to avoid:

No Defined Target Audience

In the current business environment where tastes and preferences determine what consumer purchase and not by needs, not identifying your target audience can be fatal to business success.

Not everyone is your customer. You need to know the demographic and psychographic profile of your ideal client.

Without clearly defining your audience, your marketing campaigns will be a hit or miss affair as they will be aimed at the general population and not a predetermined prospect.

Understanding your audience begins with creating a buyer persona. You can do this by setting up a customer avatar.

A customer avatar is a detailed description of the audience whom you want to buy from your online store You wish to capture as many details about this person as you can:

  • What is his/her name?
  • How old is he/she?
  • What does he do for a living?
  • Is he/she single or married?
  • What are his/her hopes, fears and dreams?


Once you have this person figured out, tailor all your marketing to him/her.

You Are Selling Products People Do Not Need

It is important that you understand exactly what your customers need and develop a unique selling proposition.

A unique selling proposition is what differentiates your brand and offerings from your competition.

Without a USP, you do not have anything to cultivate differentiation.

“A business owner who struggles to define their unique selling point is a business owner who won’t be in business very long,” says Ascensor about developing a USP. “Customer needs and buying habits change over time. Always stay abreast of the dialogue they are carrying on social media and beyond. Never make an assumption that you know what they need,”

Lack of a Well-Defined Brand

Your customers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages everyday.

Succeeding in such a noisy environment requires that you achieve ”top of mind” status with your customers and prospective customers.

This requires a robust branding strategy. Branding is critical because it influences how your customers view you and your products or services.

A good brand separates you from the competition and tells your customers what to expect when dealing with your company. It is a promise of your ideals and standards.

Branding begins with being able to communicate your value propositions effectively. Of course, you have to have something of value to offer.

You should give how you communicate your value proposition much thought. It should be done consistently and in a way that connects with your audience.

Focusing on Just a Single Platform

Hosting your eCommerce site on just one platform is ideal. You can choose a platform like Shopify, Volusion or BigCommerce.

What you should not do is rely on one platform to promote your products.

You can use social media platforms to promote your products and to push your brand. Social media is huge, and you can quickly build a following of people who are interested in your products.




You can also use strategies like content marketing, email marketing, engaging in industry discussion boards and forums as well as paid advertising to push your products and brand.

Not Building an Email List

E-commerce sites are online businesses and email marketing now runs the web. Companies that have mastered email marketing are killing it.

Email marketing allows you to send targeted marketing messages to your audience at the right time. It is cheap and very convenient.

The first thing to do is to start building an email list. The easiest way to start collecting email addresses is to promote a free offer and give the valuable offer for free to your leads in exchange for the email addresses.

Email marketing involves building relationships with your customers. You must be responsible and only send messages that provide some value to your list.


You can supercharge your eCommerce site’s sales by implementing these strategies.

The one thing that separates successful businesses from their struggling counterparts is the ability to execute on winning strategies.

These strategies work for almost all eCommerce sites. Try them out and you’ll start seeing some results.


  1. Hi Freddie,
    I agree with you that “the one thing that separates successful businesses from their struggling counterparts is the ability to execute on winning strategies.”

    Most ecommerce sites are not proactive in developing a wining strategy.

    An ecommerce business will do well if it identifies its audience, creates a product for the audience, and deliver regular value to the audience.

    A well defined brand is sure important for influence and perception. It will also make the business accountable.

    Another thing that will help ecommerce win for real if establishing and dependable and reliable customer support system where the concerns of buyers/customers are addressed real time!

    • Hi Celine!

      Great additional value you are adding here! 😀

      I totally agree with you – creating your own winning strategy to follow is very important. A proven strategy to follow is definitely a huge important part for the success online (with anything you are building really).

      Also – Influence should be an important aspect of your online business as well. We are all very emotional creatures here 🙂 and getting influenced is just in our nature.

      I think influence is directly connected to marketing – because at the end of the day you really buy because you are influenced by the product. Right? .. most of the time, at least!

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving such valuable comment my friend!

      Keep up the great work!

      Cheers! 😀
      Freddy G. Cabrera recently posted…5 Vital SEO Tools Missing From Your Marketing ToolboxMy Profile

  2. For me, the things that most affect making money from eCommerce site include selling products that people don’t want and refusing to address the personal concerns of marketers.

    There are lots of ecommerce sites and what separates the winners from the losers is the ability to address customers pain points.

    If the customer’s pain points are addressed then it becomes easier to convert and make sales.

    • Hi Sarah!

      You’ve got it! 😉

      You have to seel (and feel) your ideal customer’s pain/problem and present them with the best solution!

      This is a classic concept of ‘Supplying the Demands!’. You know what I mean!

      I can tell a lot of newbies online (not just with ecommerce) – just put together their site and sell whatever they feel like without doing much (necessary) research.

      It is very important to do the right research and get into the right data to really know what people are looking for.

      Analyze the problems within a Niche/Marketplace – and find the best solutions for them (products and services).

      Skipping the proper research and analytic will lead you to struggle online and you are going to get frustrated when you don’t really sell much or anything at all!

      Great valuable comment there!

      Thanks for passing by and sharing your thoughts! 😀

      Enjoy your weekend!

      Freddy G. Cabrera recently posted…5 Vital SEO Tools Missing From Your Marketing ToolboxMy Profile

  3. Hi Freddie,
    Many reasons could attribute to someone not making money from their ecommerce site. Top on the agenda would be lack of value creation.

    If the customers don’t see value on the product/service rendered then it becomes difficult to buy or reward the seller.

    Also, a good customer experience will go a long way to help the marketer convert customers.

    Brands must keep offering value and at the same time making the process easy for users/prospects to buy.

    I agree with the points you have made in this post!
    Sunday William recently posted…What Exit Strategy Do You Have in Place For Your Online Business?My Profile

  4. Hello Freddie,

    The main reason people do not make money with their e-commerce site is because they don’t properly identify their target market. This is what can be the downfall of a site.

    Also, like you said hosting their site on a single platform because I have seen people try to have more than one store and it can be hard trying to promote all of them at the same time. Having just one platform is the best way to go.
    Maketta recently posted…How To Save Money In Your Internet Marketing BusinessMy Profile

    • Hi Maketta!! 😀

      It looks like everyone agrees on the same thing here!

      Taking the time to research and analyze your target market is one very important part of the entire operation here! 😉

      It is crucial to know exactly what people are looking to buy right away online. If you do the right work here – the sells will come very easy!

      The most important key to any business (online and offline) is to find those who are ready to buy right away – people with their credit cards in hand! lol

      And yeah, focusing on just one platform and one ecommerce store at a time can also make a difference. I would suggest to build one site at a time.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a cool comment!

      enjoy your weekend my friend!

      Freddy G. Cabrera recently posted…5 Vital SEO Tools Missing From Your Marketing ToolboxMy Profile

  5. Hey Freddy! I am a huge fan of ecommerce and do agree you do need a targeted audience. I loved your questions.

    Other questions to consider would be the seasons? For instance it is spring, So what will your customers be looking to buy now?

    Also holidays, for instance Mothers Day is just around the corner. So thin about what they will be purchasing for their Moms!

    And yes for sure just as Celine has stated above you need to establish yourself as having the best customer service and support system available.

    Great Share. Thanks
    Chery :))
    Chery recently posted…What Is Your Most Horrific Weakness And Why?My Profile

  6. Hi Freddie,

    Many are not making money with ecommerce sites because they adopt the mindset of ‘build it and they will come’. This mindset doesn’t consider the needs of the customer which is evolving.

    So, to really keep making money with ecommerce sites, the research, strategies, goals, and promotions must evolve to align with the changes of needs of the target market.

    These changes are timely and so identifying the right timing will help the business ‘engage and make sales at the right time’

  7. Hi Freddie,

    These are absolutely good points when it comes to things that affects that success of ecommerce sites. I must add that effective customer support is one factor I look out for in an ecommerce system.

    If the customer support is poor or inefficient then its a sign that the ecommerce business has failed.

    Customer support helps to reinforce the trust that customers has on the brand. This is needed for returned purchases and loyalty!

  8. Hi Freddie,

    It is helpful learning of the reasons making money with ecommerce sites may not be possible. The facts you have listed and explained are clear and convincing.

    However, I must add that making money from ecommerce site – just like other businesses – demands the provision of real value. If there is no real granted the customer or the target audience, then making money would be difficult.

    So,we must take steps to create and deliver value in the products promoted. Selling products that are NEEDED must be a priority!

  9. Of course if one is not making money with ecommerce site then there is a problem. Something is wrong with the brand or the promotion. Identifying the core reason for the lack of money is important.

    From the reasons you have shared here, one may conclude that not defining the target audience and not promoting to the target audience are major reasons ecommerce fail.

    Thus, corrections must be made to that every goal and plan of ecommerce in presenting and promoting offers must be geared towards customer satisfaction!

  10. Hey Freddie,

    Thanks for sharing this piece, and especially for pointing out some of the mistakes that could result in not making money for the ecommerce sites.

    Readers with ecommerce sites can now take advantage of the facts, correct the mistakes and start making money with their ecommerce sites.

  11. Hi Freddie,

    The reasons you have shared for not making money with ecommerce sites can be generalized. However, specific sites are affected by specific problems.

    So, the place of proper research in identifying where the problem lies must not be ignored.

    My point is that every ecommerce webmaster must do research to determine the cause of its specific sales problem. And, he must develop the best solution for the problem!

  12. Hi Freedom Blogger,

    I agree with you on this remark: “The one thing that separates successful businesses from their struggling counterparts is the ability to execute on winning strategies.”

    If a strategy that is employed by an ecommerce site is not helping to make money, then its time to change it!

    Success is all about identifying what works and applying it!

  13. Hi
    I am currently investigating the merits of an ecommerce store. One of the angles that I have come across that is highly recommended is to have one store rather than many and to, at least initially, sell one or at most just a few products so as to concentrate energies and tracking on thos efew products. Franklin Hatchet does a great series of videos on setting up an ecommerce store; they’re available on Youtube I believe.

    Thanks for your insightful post