E-Commerce Marketing Boo boos

E-Commerce Marketing Boo boos

Jem Henderson

It can be very difficult keeping all of the plates spinning when you are an online marketer. With emails, social media, PPC and SEO all to worry about, sometimes even the best laid plans can fall to ruin. Learning from other people’s mistakes is always better than having to learn from your own, so here are some examples of how not to do e-commerce marketing.

Picking the Wrong Domain Name

Take Dickson – a website selling products that gather data such as temperature. Their domain name? dicksonweb.com. See the issue? What if I add some capital letters? DicksOnWeb.com.

It’s Pen Island all over again. They’ve now changed it to dickasondata.com. Still, not much you can do with a name like Dickson.

Begging Instead of Persuading

Good marketing is about targeting the right people with the right message alongside prices and offers which make that person feel positive about a brand and encourages them to buy something. Not sending begging letters.

Choies Echo sent an email which read:

Dear Mr./Miss. Kind:

Please give me two minutes!

I just graduated from college. Today is my 25th day in probation period. I LOVE this job so much and I wanna stay here. There are just 6 days left, however, my performance is not standard. (15s passed…)

Here are clothes I picked out, please have a look, please put them into shopping cart and pay SO I can keep my favourite job in my favourite company! (40s passed…)

Last 20 seconds, Thank you for looking at this. I hope you will like these clothes and I can get my job so next time I can introduce more good products for you! Thank you again, whatever the result it may be.

We imagine said probationary member of staff was let go as they can’t spell, add up and obviously don’t know much about marketing!

Using a Disaster to Promote

Using any disaster to promote your brand will end up being another one. Gap tried to do it during Hurricane Sandy, and another brand, Tied to the South tried to get retweets for each of the people that died on 9/11. Not the most sensitive of moves.

Untargeted Advertising

Staples in the US ran ads for tampons without specifying that the ads should be shown to women. While watching men being embarrassed in the ladies sanitary products section is amusing, it’s not really a marketing tactic that works.

Not Finishing your Campaign Before Launch

Gap managed to make this list twice, as they also ran an Adwords ad which read ‘Create New Headline/new line 1/new line 2. Hopefully not by the same person as the disaster strategy.

Poor Timing

Like a stand up comic not used to the stage, bad timing can sink your campaign. La Tasca did just that, launching a’ 40% off this Sunday’ email campaign that arrived in users’ inboxes at 10.39pm on the Sunday it was meant for. It’s the thought that counts, right?


Remember, before launching any new e-commerce marketing campaign that you’ve thought it through properly. Unless, of course you want to throw a #susanalbumparty.