Building an e-commerce business is a tough job. It requires lots of time, effort, and resources to drive traffic to your online store. But, the work of an e-commerce marketer doesn't end there. In fact, it becomes more demanding from there. As a marketer you've to make sure that you make the most out of every visitor you drive to your site. Because, if you're not able to convert those visitors into customers or, at least, subscribers, then all that hard work and investment goes down the drain.

The future of marketing is beyond customer acquisition. The challenge for you, as an e-commerce marketer, is how to convert visitors into subscribers or customers in their very first visit. Well, the answer is you need to avoid all the mistakes you can, to increase your chances of conversion.

Here is a list of five such mistakes most e-commerce marketers make while developing a marketing strategy for their website.

1. Not Using Popups

Most marketers focus on the top of the funnel. But, if all that traffic is leaving the site without converting then there is a serious problem with your marketing strategy. After all, traffic is just a vanity metrics. You can have a thousand visitors on your site every day, but if you're not able to convert them then, that's a sheer waste of your time & resources. And, there is no guarantee that you can attract the same visitors again.

So, what can you do to overcome this problem? Well, it's not possible to convert every visitor into a customer on their very first visit, but you should, at least, try to acquire their email addresses. That way you can try to market to these customers in future and earn a sale.

Data suggests, 98% of your visitors won't buy on their first visit and 55% of website visitors leave your website within the first 15 seconds of their visit.

But, popups can help you. They are powerful marketing tools that give you a chance to capture your visitors email addresses before they leave your site permanently. Also, they allow you to recover abandoned cart instantly, or to up-sell and cross-sell. For example, if someone has purchased a camera from your site in his or her last visit you can show a welcome back pop up featuring camera cases on their subsequent visit. This way you have more chances to convert them into a repeat buyer.

2. Not Offering Free Shipping

There's a reason free shipping is so important: 73% of online shoppers noted unconditional free shipping as "critical" to purchase (source: E-tailing Group) It motivates the potential shopper to take an action.

93% of online buyers are encouraged to buy more products if free shipping is included (Source: Compete)

Shoppers spend 30% more per order when free shipping is included (Source: Wharton)

Other than that, high shipping charges are among one of the most common reasons that induce shoppers to abandon their carts, 44% of shoppers leave a cart due to high shipping cost (Forrester study)

By just offering free shipping, you can boost your conversions a lot. But, that doesn't mean you have to offer free shipping to each and every customer and incur losses. You can offer free shipping on high margin products, or you can encourage shoppers to buy more products to get free shipping, or you can offer free shipping to customers who place orders frequently. This way giving free shipping will not cost you much.

In fact, offering free shipping on certain order value is one of the successful tactics to increase your AOV (average order value).

Tip: Clearly highlight your shipping policy at the top of your site to avoid cart abandonment at the time of checkout.

3. Forgetting to Target the Cart Abandoners

Let's accept it: cart abandonment is inevitable. As per Stats, 67 Percent of shopping Carts are abandoned. You can't just sit and expect these shoppers to come back to your site and complete their purchase. That's too passive.

By only sending a cart recovery email, you increase the chance of getting these customers back to your website and complete their purchase.

Tip: Instead of sending a single cart abandonment email, send a series to get better results.

4. Not Optimizing the Checkout Process

At the end of the day, running a business is all about the bottom line and profits. And, that isn't possible without optimizing your checkout process for higher conversion. Still many e-commerce marketers don't pay much attention to the checkout process resulting in a loss of millions of dollars due to checkout issues.

When creating your checkout process, you need to ensure that it's as frictionless as possible.

If you want your window shoppers to become paying customers, make checkout so simple & easy that anyone can do it.

Optimizing your checkout process will not only improve your conversion rates but will help you provide a great customer experience as well.

5. Not Harnessing the Power of Social Proof

When shoppers first come on your website, they aren't familiar with your brand, so you need to win their trust before they purchase from you.

Customers shopping online cannot check your products physically, so they need some surety from your side to believe that you're worthy of their trust. There are several ways to build trust, but one of the easiest and the best ways to do that is to include product reviews.

According to an E-consultancy survey, "88% of consumers consult reviews when making a purchase, and 60% were more likely to purchase from a site that has customer reviews on."

People love to check reviews before they make a decision. It shows them that other people also liked the product and gives them the confidence to purchase.

These are some of the common mistakes that can sabotage your ecommerce business. If you are making any of these mistakes at present, it's high time you correct them. Running an online retail store requires you to think constantly outside of the box. Make sure your conversion isn't suffering because of these five mistakes so many other marketers are committing. And you'll be well on your way to drive more sales in a short matter of time.

Published on: Feb 17, 2016
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