3 Eye-Opening Reasons Your Online Business Will Fail In 2019

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Are you happy with how your online business is performing? Are you getting enough sales or leads from your website to make good profits?

Frustrated that you can’t seem to hit those heady heights that you’ve been dreaming about?

Well, unfortunately the bad news is your online business is destined to fail in 2019

unless you do something truly different than what you have been doing so far.

Over the last 10 years optimizing 100’s of websites, I’ve witnessed and learned this difference that makes online businesses become major players, and left others faltering in their shadows.

To help make sure you don’t make these same mistakes too, here are the 3 major differences causing 90% of online businesses to fail to meet their true potential:

Reason #1: An Unhealthy Obsession Wasting Money Driving Traffic to a Sub-Optimal Website

Failing online businesses waste huge amounts of marketing budget on driving traffic to their website to boost sales, instead of fixing holes in their poorly performing website causing high bounce rates, high shopping cart abandonment rates, low conversion rates and low repeat visit rates.

Instead of paying attention to improving their website so that it engages and converts their visitors better, they are addicted to the next biggest online marketing trend. Social media is the latest major offender of this – always hoping the next new cool advertising method or trend will finally bring them success.

The fix? Spend just 10% of your marketing budget on conversion rate optimization (CRO) to improve your leaking website, and start converting many more visitors into sales or leads. Many of your competing websites aren’t doing this either, so it will give you a great advantage. Here are some great CRO resources for you to get started:

Reason #2: An Egotistical Company-Centric Website Focus Instead of a Visitor-Centric One

Failing online businesses are not focused on their website visitors, solving for their major needs and having an engaging easy to use website. Instead, the business owners think they know what is best for their visitors and their business – often alienating visitors and perpetuating their sub-optimal, poorly converting and selling website.

They usually don’t do website usability testing to get feedback from visitors, they rarely run visitor surveys, and don’t gain insights from watching visitor session recordings.

They also rarely do A/B testing to find which variations and content converts the most visitors, which is a key ingredient of effective CRO and much greater online revenues.

A highly visitor-centric ensures high satisfaction and engagement from your visitors, increasing the chances of them purchasing, returning in the future, and spreading the good word about your fantastic website.

The fix? Start placing major focus on making your website much more visitor-centric. Here are some great articles and tools to help you get started:

  • Use usability feedback tools like UserFeel.com to discover your visitor’s challenges and issues with your website.
  • Use a great tool like Hotjar to gain insights from visitor click maps and visitor session recordings.
  • Create some A/B tests to figure out which website variations engages and converts visitors best (instead of you or your boss just presuming).

Reason #3: A Dependence on Their Website to Convert Visitors First Time, with No Follow-Up

Failing online businesses are too focused on converting their website visitors the first time they arrive, and don’t take advantage of key ways to follow up with them, bring them back to their website and increase the chances of them purchasing.

They often throw the kitchen sink at their website visitors when they arrive, overwhelming them with information and choices, hoping they see something that engages them before they leave – yet often failing, frustrating visitors and causing a low chance of them returning.

This destructive habit then feeds the expensive need to keep buying traffic to replenish their leaking bucket of a website (feeding back to reason #1). Frustrating, right?

The fix? After improving your website using conversion optimization best practices, start focusing on getting visitors to return by re-marketing to them using auto-responder emails and re-targeting ads.

  • Create an awesome lead magnet that dramatically increases the amount of visitor emails you capture, for example a first time purchase discount or a useful guide relating to what you sell.
  • Learn best practices for using email marketing tools like GetResponse to continually follow-up with your visitors and increase the chances of them coming back to purchase.
  • Start learning how to run re-targeting ads to engage previous visitors while they are browsing other websites and get them to return to your website.

And remember its much more cost effective to convert someone using these methods who have previously been to your website, than to drive more new visitors.

Wrapping Up

Some online businesses don’t suffer from all of these three costly mistakes, but rarely do they avoid all of them. How well does your online business measure up? Which of these 3 are you most guilty of or most satisfied with? Please comment below with your thoughts, reactions and confessions.

Found this article useful? Please share it on social media. Thanks!

  • Mark Hickson

    Very interesting Rich. I know I don’t spend much time trying to get visitors to come back and convert – definitely inspiring me to start doing so!

  • Faith Watson

    I would not have thought of number 3, Rich–I’m going to add that to my list of what I need to do for sure. But number 2, I’m especially partial to. Nice job helping your readers understand how their audiences are people, not just targets. The best motivation for a conversion is a great fit between the provider and the buyer–get the rest of our pieces in place with you and we’ll be ready to rock!

  • Hi Rich,

    Getting clear on your goals helps you kill these reasons. Excellent stuff. Focus on building the best site for your ideal customer to see the greatest success. Go with the pure intent. Be positive. Listen to positive feedback, and of course, learn to trust in your intuition, it never fails you.


  • Hi Ryan – Great to hear from you and thanks for the kind words.

  • Hi Faith – Thanks for the comment. Yes, number 3 is the reason that is most ignored! And I agree, doing all those 3 will certainly help build a greater fit between the provider and seller – so many online businesses are so narrow minded and sales focused. Hopefully this helps them understand what they really need to change!

  • Thanks Mark – glad I helped inspire you!

  • gregtooke

    Great stuff. I plan to dig in and read all of the linked articles as well!

  • Mark Hall

    Thanks, Rich. I, too, have seen these issues Many times, especially #2! I’d add this tool to the “voice of customer” mix: qualaroo. It’s a great way to hear straight from your actual users where your site is missing the mark (questions or concerns unaddressed, and wishes unfulfilled). It’s also essential to monitor your social / review channels, as these channel tell you what your prospects and customers Really think!

    Re: #3, we need to remember that – especially for optional, “discretionary” purchases, the experience is multi-touch, and multi-device. So follow up communications is essential. Marketing is Dialog, not just a one-shot deal.

    Cheers, Mark

  • Ann07

    You’ve said it right!

    I agree that these are the major reasons why a business might end up with failure.

    Failing businesses hardly ever do A/B Testing to find their best converting and selling content. As what I’ve read from the article above, they are not focused on their visitors and even on solving their major needs.

    Glad you’ve included suggestions on how to fix or avoid such mistakes. These articles that you’ve linked will surely help.

    Thanks for this informative content!


    By the way, I found this post shared on Kingged.com

  • Thanks for the comment Ann!

  • Hi Mark – yes Qualaroo is a fantastic tool for gather voice of customer. Thanks for the comment!

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