The e-commerce industry gets bigger each year, with no signs of slowing down. With e-commerce growth comes eCommerce challenges.

As more consumers grow comfortable with online buying, especially with the surge in online sales provoked by the COVID19 crisis, there are increased opportunities for stores of all sizes.

Starting an e-commerce store has also got easier in recent years, with platforms like Shopify and Prestashop streamlining the setup process.

There are, however, a number of eCommerce challenges that most store owners have to face.

So what issues should an eCommerce newbie be aware of?

 


1. Cart Abandonment

reduce ecommerce shopping cart abandonment

Cart abandonment is a serious challenge for every store owner.

Sometimes the checkout sequence is not particularly intuitive or secure, so consumers back out of a purchase. In many cases, though, a consumer has not committed to a purchase, with indecision playing a key part.

How to Decrease Your Abandonment Rate?

You have to reduce cart abandonment levels, to increase your sales. Collecting email addresses allows you to follow up with further promotions, possibly offering a coupon code.

In addition to that, you can retarget your customers and enhance your brand across third-party sites.

Discover 3 eCommerce Cart Abandonment Hacks You Don’t Want To Forget 


2. Product Development

Product development can be a painstaking process for store owners.

Initially, you will need to come up with a product idea, preferably something unique that is not offered across a range of sites. You will then need to have samples produced, before moving on to the production phase. 

If the product doesn’t prove to be popular, you could be faced with a lot of unwanted stock.

 

How To Optimize Your Product Development?

You can increase your chances of success by:

  •  performing research on suppliers
  • surveying your audience to see if there is demand
  • drop shipping existing products to test the marketplace.


3. Customer Service Communication

From the first visit to a site, people expect a quality customer support system.

You can reduce the need for customer services by providing clear and visible instructions that deal with common questions about shipping and returns. 

You also need to think about how consumers like to communicate, depending on their age range and preferences.

Multichannel Communication:

An effective system will cater to the multi-channeled customer preferences we see today, including:

  • cold phone calls
  • warm emailing system
  • webinars
  • social media communication (Instagram, Facebook Marketplaces, etc..)


4. Converting Leads to Customers:

Acquiring a new customer is a difficult process

To build a successful e-commerce business, turning leads into buyers is essential. As a retailer, you need to map a flawless experience from start to finish to ensure that your customers will always get back to you. 

Along with developing exceptional products, make sure the buying process and customer service experience are seamless. You can also develop loyalty programs to encourage people to return.


5. Returns Management and Refunds

Returns and refunds are vital factors for e-commerce stores.

Consumers don’t have the option of checking items in detail, so expect to be able to return them if they are not happy. It is important to have a clear and accessible returns management system and refund policy.

That’s why successful stores avoid negative reviews and bad customer experiences by going out of their way to please people who have a product issue.


6. Shipping Costs

shipping cost

Numerous tests have been conducted across a range of stores that found offering free shipping led to greater conversions.

In fact, customers can be reluctant to pay for shipping costs, making it a key factor when dealing with competing offers. You don’t, however, have to offer free shipping if it does make you lose money and decrease your profit.

 

What You Can Do Instead:

 

Opt for products’ exclusivity and diversity, so customers won’t compare competing offers. You can also try to streamline your processes, possibly using a fulfillment center to lower overall costs

Discover 5 Ways That Are Proven To Reduce Shipping Costs


7. Competing with the Giants

On the one hand, competing with the giants like Amazon can be a struggle for smaller store owners. On the other hand, large stores can buy in bulk, helping to reduce their costs. Their fulfillment process might also help them save money, allowing them to offer similar products to your own at a reduced price.

How to Better Position your Brand?

Smaller stores can stand out, particularly when they brand themselves effectively. There will be an audience who don’t want to buy from a major retailer, instead preferring smaller brands that offer a personal experience and an authentic touch.

Using social media and blogging, in this context, helps build a community around your brand and the products you sell.

You would like to read: The Ultimate Guide To Compete With Amazon


Wrapping Up: eCommerce Challenges

Every business opportunity will have issues that need to be overcome.

You will like to check this infographic: 7 eCommerce Trends to Watch Out for in 2021

Similarly, one of the most exciting parts of entrepreneurship is solving a difficult problem and growing your knowledge and experience. Hardships, conversely, can also help thriving entrepreneurs move to a new level.

The satisfaction of overcoming a problem could be the factor that inspires you to move forward with your e-commerce goals.

Optimize Your eCommerce Business Today