E-commerce marketing practices vary significantly based on industry, customer habits and the products being sold, but there are some key aspects that stay the same across the entire sector. To stay relevant and competitive, businesses need to regularly review and adjust their e-commerce marketing strategies for optimal engagement and results. Here are 12 critical aspects of e-commerce marketing that are long overdue for an overhaul.

What’s one aspect of common e-commerce marketing practices you think needs to change or could use an overhaul? Why?

1. Customer Retargeting

Retargeting is a vital e-commerce marketing tactic, but I believe that it could use an overhaul. Most banner ads I see in the course of my internet usage are either from companies I own or from sites I visited at one point but have no interest in buying from. I am a sample size of one, but my experience leads me to believe that retargeting can and should be smarter and more effective. – Adam Mendler, The Veloz Group

2. Sponsored Listings

There are popular e-commerce sites prioritizing sponsored listings over what people are really looking for. Very often, these sponsored products are just vaguely related to what a person needs. This creates a bad user experience and should be curtailed as much as possible. Put sponsored listings farther down the list and make sure they’re relevant to ensure your users get what they really want. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

3. User Experience Design

There are way too many e-commerce sites out there with a poor user experience design. Of course, products and customer service are important, but if you undermine the UX of your website, you’re stopping your business from producing sales and other conversions. Focusing more on how people use your site allows you to make the necessary tweaks to keep them engaged. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

4. Customer Engagement

Customer engagement — It’s a buzzword these days, but not much more than that for a lot of businesses. If an e-commerce business is going to survive and thrive, they need to establish real and genuine connections with their customers. It might be through social media or another avenue, but if a business can’t find a way to do this, their chances of long-term success are slim. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

5. Native Platform Marketing

More than half the adults online buy from their mobile phones yet internet entrepreneurs build e-commerce stores as desktop sites first before optimizing for mobile. I think the way to go is mobile-first. It’s where the consumer is, and all designs and interactive features of a website should function appropriately on mobile. Mobile marketing isn’t an afterthought. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

6. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing needs to be overhauled or eliminated entirely from the e-commerce world. The very term implies too much psychological power over consumers, as if they’re not smart enough to make their own decisions. It lends itself to being insincere and off-message with your e-commerce brand. Instead, focus on creating an authentic brand and online presence that resonates with consumers. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

7. Pay-Per-Click Advertising

I’d love to get rid of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for e-commerce sites. Not because of anything e-commerce business owners do, but rather, because it affects consumers negatively. People often hesitate to click a link when they see it’s a paid ad, leading to fewer store visits and possibly sales. Or, people may click and not buy anything, meaning you paid for the click for a $0 return. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

8. Hyperbolic Sales Copy

Oftentimes the sales copy used on e-commerce websites is really overstated with hyperboles, urgency, abnormal discounts and vague testimonials. This might seem painfully obvious, but such copy is writing checks their products can’t cash. Instead, use authenticity and honesty in your copy. This fosters and encourages trust in your brand, and positions your brand as a trusted source. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

9. Email Blasts

One e-commerce marketing strategy that I find ineffective is sending out email blasts. This type of thinking works off the assumption that your customers all think alike. We know that lead segmentation is essential to growing your business, and segmenting requires personalized emails. Business owners are actively changing this technique as more brands are starting to focus on personalization. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

10. Social Commerce

Social commerce is one aspect that should change. Expect more online influencers and creators to contribute in assisting the online buying and selling of products and services. Smart brands are starting to do product placement features with influencers where the influencer will promote the product and then provide a link to where their fans or followers can purchase it. – Andy Karuza, LitPic

11. Fancy Web Design

E-commerce business owners are better off spending time focusing on customers over fancy web design. A large percentage of online store owners believe that their flashy website is the thing that gets them sales. In actuality, they would be far more profitable if they focused on building an easy-to-use experience for their audience. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

12. Sales Tax Collection

Adaptation of sales tax is something that is soon going to be happening across the board. However, while solutions like Shopify and WooCommerce make it easy to start an online store, what options will there be for easy sales tax collection and management? This is something that many e-commerce sites will need to have in place before 2021. – Zac Johnson, Blogger