Online businesses, especially ecommerce are not rid of challenges. This money-making arena is filled with frustrating problems you might encounter as an entrepreneur. As a start-up, e-commerce is surely one way to sell your products, or other people’s products online. There are a variety of options when it comes to e-commerce. Each option comes with its own set of online business challenges.
Some online entrepreneurs sell their own items through the Internet. On the other hand, some prefer to sell through drop shipping. A lot of successful businessmen have bought items from distributors for online reselling. Regardless of the type of setup you have, you are sure to encounter a lot of problems faced by small businesses. Marketing challenges are one of these.
As you might know, setting up an ecommerce store is not as easy as it seems. Fortunately, we have created an article to let you know various ecommerce challenges and solutions to these frustrating obstacles.
The Challenge: How To Have A Multi-Channel Shopping Platform
Customers actually research with regards to their purchases before ultimately shelling out money. They make sure they are well-informed and are confidents about the items they want to purchase and use. Thus, it is best for you to incorporate various marketplace platforms (including social media shopping platforms) into your online store.
When you are reached through social media, you make it easy for users to get through the entire sales process. Remember to always offer quick checkouts and single logins.
The Challenge: Having A Choice For Customers To Checkout As Guests
One of the online business challenges entrepreneurs face is the huge amount of customers abandoning the cart. Customers are more likely to leave your website if they are obliged to register and create an account before purchasing. The psychology of people is very complicated. However, one thing is for sure, most people want instant gratification. People buying online want to purchase their desired items easily.
To overcome this challenge, it is best for you to have a guest checkout option throughout the entire sales funnel. You don’t want to lose your customers to your competitors just because you want to force them to sign up.
The Challenge: Gaining Your Customer’s Trust
One of the greatest problems faced by small businesses is gaining their customer’s trust and loyalty. To do this online, you have to make sure you create a professional website. You should also showcase your security badges and certifications to show that you are legit. Marketing challenges can be solved by including a “Contact Us” page which includes your physical address as well as your contact information.
In addition, let your customers know that their information is secure during the entire sales process. Add testimonials and if possible, put a picture of your entire team showcasing their specific job details. If you are unsure of what you are doing, make sure you hire a reputable graphic or web designer to design your marketing materials as well as your website.
The Challenge: Security From Hackers
Ecommerce challenges and solutions can be very tedious to handle. One of the most important challenges facing online entrepreneurs today is the rampant number of hackers preying on your business.
To overcome this challenge, it is best for you to hire a web developer or a webmaster to manage your website for you. It is best to check pages regularly and fix errors as they appear. You wouldn’t want to lose your customer’s trust by compromising the confidentiality of their personal information. You also don’t want to be locked out of your own ecommerce store unable to manage it. With a reputable webmaster and a secure website, you have a bigger probability of gaining customers that trust their personal information on your business.
The Challenge: Providing Affordable Products And Shipping Costs
Online customers research their products before buying. They usually look for the most competitive prices of products that have exactly the same qualities. The Internet is a huge competing marketplace. You are competing with everybody from around the world. Customers are turned off by high prices and high shipping costs.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to research your competitors making sure you provide quality products, services, and shipping options at affordable rates. You can find the best, high-quality supplier which sells their items at reasonable costs. In addition, you can try to offer free shipping as a tool to promote your business’ products.
The Challenge: Content Marketing
Content is king, as they say. As an online entrepreneur, you should be wary of the fact that customers will always look for useful content, those that provide real value. Large online stores have the resources to produce endless content that is useful to their customers. Thus, as a business owner, you should know the ins and outs of producing and marketing great content to attract more customers.
The Challenge: Having Promotions And Flash Deals
When it comes to e-commerce, the competition is seriously tough. You are competing with the whole world after all. So how do you stay ahead of the competition? How do you attract customers and get them to buy through your website? The best thing to do is to offer flash sales, deals, promotions, and group coupons that will tickle your target market’s interest. Provide a “unique,” special offer that nobody can find anywhere else. This will allow you to get more customers and enhance your conversion rate.
The Challenge: Having A Mobile-Responsive Website
Are you sure your online store looks good on a mobile device? These days, people are shopping more and more through their mobile devices. If you are not mobile-responsive and if your website is hard to navigate on smartphones and tablets, you are losing a big chunk of the Internet pie.
People use their mobile devices to read reviews, compare products, and get product information. This is a significant trend nowadays. Thus, you have to make sure you create a website that is mobile-friendly.
The Challenge: Using Social Media
Ecommerce is filled with various complexities that allow you to use multiple strategies to reach your target market. One of these marketing strategies is using social media to your advantage. Communicate with customers through social media channels (e.g. Facebook, WhatsAp, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) and get feedback. You can also use these channels to promote your products.
Using social media is a time-consuming process. However, when done well, it will prove to be beneficial to your business. You can hire a social media manager to manage your social media presence to enhance your brand’s reputation. If you want to do it yourself, you can use Hootsuite which allows you to streamline the entire social media management process.
The Challenge: Improving Website Load Speed
If you have an ecommerce store, your site would need lots of pictures to showcase your products. The best way to improve load speed is to resize your pictures and use .png formats. It is also best to use a high-quality hosting platform because they can be a big factor in your page’s loading speed.
The Challenge: Reaching Out To Your Target Market
It is hard to reach out to your target market especially if there is a big pool of choices for consumers. The best way to do this is to list your products on third-party sites. These might include Amazon, eBay, Buy.com, and Google Shopping. Chances are, your competitors are putting their products here too. The best way to expand your reach is to expand your locations in a variety of Internet real estate.
The Challenge: Product Returns And Refunds
When customers are unsatisfied, they usually return the product to you. This leads to a heavy penalty on shipment and reputation. The best way to tackle this challenge is to have a proper returns management system which leads to decrease in the cost of operations. In addition, this system should be seamlessly integrated with logistics partners and vendors.
The Challenge: Verifying Customer Information
Any person can easily enter their information in your website. This leads to questionable data regarding a particular persona. The business is unsure of this customer. When a Cash-On-Delivery purchase is done, the business is not sure whether the customer will surely pay for the product or not.
The solution to this problem is to have a verification system in place. This might be an email or a SMS message that verifies the identity of the customer. When a COD purchase is done by a particular customer, an automated call can be placed to verify that particular customer’s delivery address.
The Challenge: Keeping Up With Customer Issues
If you have a big ecommerce store, it is likely that you have a lot of questions or complaints from customers. This is a challenge you should face. Interacting with your customers can be hard but you have to do it if you want to live up to your reputation.
To overcome this challenge, proper ticketing solutions should be implemented. The entire customer support platform should be easy to use. Prioritization measures with regards to particular tickets should be taken into action. In this way, your customer service representatives will know which tickets to address first.
Ecommerce challenges and solutions are definitely things online entrepreneurs should take into account. It is not enough to think about making sales. You have to think about the big picture. If you want to be ahead of the game, you should always be one step ahead of the challenges you have to face. Research every possible challenge out there and come up with a solution that benefits both you and your customers.