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The “Human Error” Factor: How it can destroy your Shopify Business

Published on
December 27, 2023

As a Shopify store owner, you’re likely accustomed to handling things manually. Relying on apps whose operations are difficult to understand can be risky. However, consider this: can a single employee really pose a threat to your Shopify product catalog, profitability, and even the existence of your store? The answer is a resounding yes. In our years in the data protection field, we’ve seen countless cases where clients experienced devastating losses due to accidental data deletion or alteration.

Let us share a story about a dropshipping store (spoiler alert: it has a happy ending, thanks to backup). Next, our expert will guide you on optimizing store operations with large data volumes while minimizing error risk and protecting your Shopify store.

From Excitement to Chaos: A New Employee's Costly Mistake

Meet Mike, a newly hired employee in a growing dropshipping business. As an e-commerce project manager, his first task was to expand the store's product line by adding new t-shirts and updating existing ones. The company owner, Levi, stressed the importance of avoiding errors and maintaining high-quality standards, giving Mike full access to the Shopify catalog.

Eager to impress, Mike began adding new t-shirts manually, as he was unfamiliar with automatic tools. He entered the t-shirt name, description, price, and other details, carefully checking for errors. However, in his attempt to organize the catalog by removing duplicates, Mike accidentally deleted several SKUs, causing some t-shirts to become unsearchable. Shopify doesn’t have a trash bin, so once an item is deleted, it's gone.

When Levi returned, he found duplicate tees, missing SKUs, and incorrectly assigned categories, leading him to contact our support team.

How Did the Dropshipping Store End Up Losing Its Data?

Our experienced team lead noted several mistakes:

  1. Giving a new employee full access to Shopify Admin without proper training or supervision.
  2. Not ensuring understanding of how to change the catalog correctly, including the store's organization and standards.
  3. Lack of emphasis on double-checking.
  4. Absence of clear goals for the employee’s tasks.
  5. Sole reliance on manual work without providing effective tools or resources.
  6. No clear system for reporting mistakes or issues promptly.
  7. Inadequate support for fixing mistakes and errors.

Fortunately, Levi had a backup system to prevent data loss from accidental deletion or errors.

Manual Data Entry in Shopify Stores

Manual data entry in Shopify stores is susceptible to errors, which can lead to lost sales, decreased customer satisfaction, and damage to the store’s reputation. Common human mistakes caused by manual data entry and editing in Shopify stores include data entry errors, accidental deletion of products, back-end/code errors, duplicate products, SKU mistakes, deletion of blog posts or pages, incorrect product categorization or tagging, and inaccurate pricing or inventory levels.

Automated processes can save time and reduce error risk. Before manual editing, consider importing a catalog in Shopify using efficient tools. Utilize Shopify apps and tools to streamline workflows and improve business operations.

A Full Guide on Mitigating the Risk of Human Errors with a Shopify Product Catalog

  1. Limit Backend Access: Grant access to the Shopify Admin only to trusted employees. Ensure they access only the necessary store areas.
  2. Provide Proper Training: Ensure employees understand the Shopify platform, including the store’s organization and standards. Encourage participation in Shopify Community discussions.
  3. Be Cautious with CSV Files: CSV files require accuracy. Follow Shopify's guidelines when using this tool.
  4. Use Automated Shopify Upload File Tools: Consider third-party apps for bulk editing, such as Shopify bulk editor, Hextom: Bulk Product Edit, and Ablestar Bulk Product Editor.
  5. Implement Backup and Recovery Systems: Use apps like BackupMaster to prevent data loss. Always create a backup before major changes.
  6. Use Best Shopify Inventory Management Apps: Tools like Stock Sync and Inventory Planner Forecasting can help manage inventory and prevent errors.
  7. Regularly Review the Catalog: Check for errors, duplicates, or missing information.
  8. Establish Standardized Operating Procedures: Develop customer service policies, safety procedures, merchandising guidelines, and training manuals.
  9. Set Clear Expectations and Goals: Communicate task goals clearly and provide regular feedback.
  10. Establish a Communication System: Create a system for reporting errors promptly. Assign a team to handle error reports and encourage open communication.

Extra Tip: Never underestimate the productivity of an incompetent employee. They may make more mistakes in a few hours than others do in days!


We hope this article raises awareness about the risks of manual work on Shopify product catalogs. Manual errors can lead to unsearchable products and negatively impact sales. We welcome your feedback at Our team of data protection specialists is always happy to respond

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Alex Tchórzewski
Customer Engagement and Security Manager, BackupMaster