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8 Shopify Problems That Can Tank Your Ecommerce Store (and How to Solve Them)

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So, you’ve decided to move your eCommerce store to Shopify, one of the biggest eCommerce platforms there is. Great! Now you’ll get thousands more customers and your business will set you up for life. End of the story? Well, not quite.

Shopify is well-known for the teething problems it can cause, especially for small businesses. There’s a whole host of things that can go wrong when you’re migrating your business to another site, and any one of them can spell doom for your company.

However, there are things you can do to mitigate these issues, and this article is here to help you with that.

This page will lay out eight of the most common Shopify problems, and give you all the information you need to stop them from tanking your eCommerce store. Read on to find out all the details.


1. Multi-Channel Integration

First of all, what is multi-channel integration?

Simply put, it’s the practice of interacting with customers via multiple “channels”, both direct and indirect, in order to sell them goods and services. Channels can include email, telephone, social media, and even geolocation tracking to sell a product based on location.

Multi-channel communication is crucial to a business’s success, as the more customers you can reach, the more likely you are to come across people who will be interested in your product or service.

How does this relate to Shopify? 

The problem is, once you set up your Shopify account, you’ll have to link it with each one of your other channels. This can be time-consuming and technologically inefficient, as it can cause bugs and errors within Shopify’s operating system. 

In order to avoid unnecessary complications, it’s imperative that you are knowledgeable in all of your channels: how they work, who’s using them, and the systems in place to manage them. If you’re familiar with all of this, integrating Shopify will be much easier.

shopify problem example

There are other techniques you can use to take some of the strain off while you work on your integration. For example, setting up an automated receptionist to take customer queries can free up more of your time and effort, or hiring a web developer to take care of the more complicated technical aspects of your multi-channel integration.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that your shop must become the central focus of your business. All channels must lead to it, and your shop must have the ability to link to each channel. It’s time-consuming, yes; but very much worth it.

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2. Setting Up New Products for your Online Store

This is one of the most common Shopify problems: bugs in the product onboarding process.

It’s incredibly frustrating for a lot of business owners - hardly surprising considering the amount of time and effort it takes to open a shop, only to fall at the final hurdle.

There are several ways that adding new products to your Shopify store can go wrong, and just as many accompanying error messages. Here’s a quick-fire list of potential errors you might come across when onboarding new items, and how to fix them:

Inventory Stock Error

{“errors”:”Unable to claim inventory”}

{“errors”:”Inventory not available; Asked for {5184082563=\u003e1}, got {5184082563=\u003e0}”}

Solution: Either increase the inventory quantity or cancel the order and refund the customer on Shopify.

Product Stock Error

{“errors”:{“order”:[“Line items is invalid”],”line_items”:[“Title can’t be blank”]}}

Solution:Manually manage this order, or cancel and refund the customer.

Product Variant Error

Cannot find product variant, sku: 1234567890, retailerRef: 54321012345

Solution: This error can appear if you are using multiple integration tools for Shopify. If you’re not careful, the product won’t register anywhere and will appear to not exist. Manually manage this order or cancel and issue a refund.

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Stock Syncing Error

Error while syncing inventory for variant: VARIANT_NAME to: STORE_URL

{“errors”:{“base”:[“Option values provided for 1 unknown options”]}}

Solution: This error appears only when you are collaborating with a third-party inventory. In this case, the inventory is unable to sync with the online store. To rectify this, you must note the relevant product ID and contact the customer support team of the third-party inventory system.

code error with shopify store

Image Source

3. No Increase in Sales

This has got to be the most heartbreaking problem on the list. You’ve done everything you were supposed to. You set up your Shopify shop, you integrated it flawlessly with all of your other marketing channels, you smoothed out every bug and error, and for what? For your Shopify store to sit there empty, getting no more sales than it was before. 

The problem is that you’ve missed something. Clearly, something crucial. People just don’t seem interested in buying your products, which means that along the way something has not been communicated correctly.

Sometimes, you have to go back to Shopify basics. Go back over all your processes with a fine-tooth comb, and really get into the nitty-gritty of what your customer base wants and how you’re going to give it to them. 

Perhaps the problem lies in conversion rates. Remember, a huge amount of web traffic will not always equal a huge amount of sales. What’s stopping people from making that step from browsing to buying? Is the user interface clunky? Is the theme unappealing? Is there not enough product information on your page?

4. Finding Customers for Your Shopify Store

Sometimes, conversions aren’t the problem. What if you’re struggling to get people to visit your Shopify store at all?

This is, thankfully, a fairly common problem, and one that’s easily fixed.

First-time Shopify users almost always experience issues with web traffic at first, and it’s for the simple reason that eCommerce is a whole different ball game to traditional marketing. What worked for your business before probably won’t work now. 

shopify store about finding customer

Image Source

You’re going to need to rethink your whole marketing plan - people scroll past or click away at the drop of a hat, so your Shopify page needs to grab them by the metaphorical throat (don’t go actually grabbing people by the neck, please) and not let go.

Here are some things about your page you might have missed:

  • Is the theme eye-catching? Whether it’s bright colors or a pastel mood doesn’t matter, it just needs to be consistent and professional-looking.
  • All of your information on your eCommerce platform needs to be in grammatically correct, readable English.
  • Make sure the “purchase” button is visible and stands out against your Shopify theme.
  • Ensure your multi-channel advertising is up to task: don’t ever underestimate how powerful social media or email marketing are at drawing people to your site.
  • Above all, think about your audience. For example, some older people won’t know the finer points of a platform like Shopify, so keep it simple.

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5. Marketing Management

Managing multiple channels simultaneously is incredibly challenging, especially if you’re a small business owner who might not have a huge team to support you. Think about it. You’ve got to run about five different social media accounts, set up email marketing campaigns, as well as run the Shopify page itself. That’s a lot for anybody.

Thankfully, Shopify has realized this and is coming to the rescue of small businesses. 

There are a whole host of apps that are partnered with Spotify to help you to run your business as efficiently as possible, from website personalisation software to shipping and tracking management programs. Here are just a few:

  • Product Reviews

A handy app where customers can automatically leave reviews for you to check.

  • Omnisend: Email Marketing and SMS

Email and SMS marketing campaign automation. Perfect for large-scale campaigns.

  • CedCommerce

An app that assists you in stock inventory taking and other organizational tasks.

An easy-to-use landing page builder. Great for those for whom design is a challenge rather than a pleasure.

Shopify has an entire app store dedicated to programs and software that can make your Shopify store journey easier. Making use of them can keep your eCommerce store from tanking, and can save you from burnout in the process. It’s a win-win situation.

pagefly app for shopify

6. User Interface Issues

Sometimes, something as simple as a broken button can cause a huge pile-up of web traffic and disable your Shopify store until it’s fixed. It’s of extremely high importance, therefore, that you constantly keep up with site maintenance and fix any bugs you come across as soon as you spot them. 

However, coding is not the only user interface issue that can risk tanking your platform. Lack of accessibility is also an important factor.

We’ve already mentioned subjects like theme and appearance, but accessibility is a huge aspect of good user interface as well. Is there text-to-speech software enabled on your site? Does it work well without affecting other areas of the page? Remember, the more accessible you can make your site, the more customers will be able to view (and potentially buy) your products.

7. ERP Integration

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, and it’s an important component of any business.

Simply put, it’s an umbrella term for any software that helps to automate a company’s essential business functions. For a Shopify store, this could include handling orders, billing, shipping, and managing supply chain issues. 

Where the problems start is trying to do this all by yourself, or with only a small team to help you. We’ve already discussed the dangers of burnout, and trying to integrate your ERP system alone makes it much more likely.

Therefore, to get the best out of your ERP systems it’s a good idea to make use of RPA. But what is robotic process automation

It’s, perhaps unsurprisingly, exactly what it says it is. It’s the automation of a company process using robotics, and it can be an incredibly useful tool when it comes to integrating your ERP systems with your new Shopify store.

shopify problem and how to resolve

 We’ve already mentioned apps that Shopify is partnered with that can make your platform-running experience easier, but they all still require some degree of human management.

Imagine it: a completely automated order process. A program that sorts out billing and shipping issues for you. Wouldn’t that make life so much easier?

It can also be utilized in site analytics, which brings us on to our next point. 

8. Analytics Issues

Analysis reports for your Shopify store are one of the most chronically underlooked features of all eCommerce stores. Not only do they show you how well your Shopify site is performing, it, crucially, also shows the areas that need improvement. 

Not paying attention to your analytics is certainly a mistake that can tank your eCommerce store, but another issue many budding online business owners face is that they simply don’t know where to start. Thankfully, there are many online resources that can point you in the right direction.

There are several factors you must take into account when considering your analytics on your Shopify store. Which areas show good performance? Which areas show poor traffic or sales targets? And pivotally, which areas fly under the radar altogether? Sometimes, good analysis is just as much about what you can’t see as what you can.

Above all, using analytics to optimize your Shopify store is all about patience. You must take something called the test-and-learn approach: change something small, wait for a couple of weeks, and check how your analytic reports change. If you continue to do this, your Shopify store will be in top condition.

What Now?

Well, there you have it. Eight of the most common Shopify problems and how to get around them. We’ve talked about it all - from setting up the platform, to running it, to getting customers on board, and to fixing those pesky software errors.

shopify conclusion

Shopify is a brilliant platform, and these problems should not discourage you from setting up the Shopify store of your dreams. In fact, you’ll hopefully feel bolstered by the knowledge that you’ll be able to solve any issue that comes your way.

About the author:

Jenna Bunnell - Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Dialpad

Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted VoIP phone system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Here is her LinkedIn.

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