Owning an eCommerce business requires a lot of tenacity. Competition is steep. Sometimes it feels like you’re spinning in circles and not getting anywhere. There are certain hurdles every Ecommerce business has to jump over to be successful.
The good news is that these eCommerce challenges aren’t impossible to overcome. It’s all about recognizing the problems and knowing how to fix them.
Here are six eCommerce challenges and how to solve them.
Challenge #1: Picking the Right Products
You can’t talk about eCommerce challenges without addressing the products. Picking products often starts before you launch your online store, but choosing the right products should be an ongoing task. You have to ensure you’re offering products that are in demand, unique, and competitively priced.
With giants like Amazon and Aliexpress, picking products is crucial. Are you offering anything unique, and if not, are you selling it at a competitive price point? Beyond that, do consumers actually want what you’re offering?
To overcome this challenge, you must do your research. Scope out the market and ensure that your products are in high-demand, and then make sure you’re offering something unique. Whether you go with a price advantage, or a uniqueness factor, you have to choose products that make customers want to shop with you.
Challenge #2: Getting Quality Customers
Getting customers is the hardest part of any business. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Research has shown that the whole “build it, and they will come” mentality is a myth.
To overcome this challenge, you must have a steady marketing plan in place. This strategy must include search engine optimization (or SEO), social media, paid advertising, email campaigns, and more. You need to build a complete traffic and customer acquisition funnel that will drive consumers to your website and encourage them to purchase.
Challenge #3: Customer Retention
One of the biggest challenges facing eCommerce shops is customer retention. There’s always another online store offering some variation of what you’re selling. And again, competing with the eCommerce giants requires that you take extra steps to keep your paying customer coming back for more.
To overcome this challenge, you have to start with customer experience. Ensure that every part of shopping at your online store is pain-free and enjoyable. Beyond that, offering discounts, customer loyalty programs, or regular personalization integration (like emails, chatbots, saved purchases, etc.) are all great options to keep your buyers coming back.
Challenge #4: Verification and Security
With the recent upswing in fears about online security, making buyers feel safe while they shop is a constant eCommerce challenge. Not only do you have to ensure that your site is secure via SSL encryption, but your payment portal need to be encrypted and secure too. People need to know that their information isn’t in danger of a data breach. Also, you need some verification that the shoppers are who they say they are.
To overcome this challenge, you need to face security head-on and not take any shortcuts. Unfortunately, no matter which route you go, you’re going to have to cough up a little cash. You must have the correct certificates, seals, encryptions, and software to keep you and your customers safe.
Challenge #5: Shopping Cart Abandonment
It’s always amazing when your eCommerce store has a steady stream of visitors. However, it’s not so sweet when they’re all leaving their carts without buying anything. Cart abandonment is an incredibly frustrating challenge, because it’s both good and bad. It’s good, because if people are making it to the cart, so you’re doing something right. However, figuring out why they’re leaving without buying can often be tough to figure out.
To overcome this challenge, first, make sure your checkout process doesn’t have any bugs. If things are getting glitchy right at the point of sale, customers are going to leave. Also, try decreasing the amount of information you require from your shoppers. Making them fill out too much information is annoying and time-consuming. Try adding a chatbot to offer a quick solution for questions in the buying process.
Beyond that, address your delivery dates, return policies, and shipping fees. Research has shown all of these things can dramatically impact cart abandonment rates.
Challenge #6: Website and Customer Experience
Your website needs to be impeccable. While website appearance is always important, this is especially true in an eCommerce business. More people are shopping mobile, and patience for load times has decreased significantly. If the user experience is lacking, your profits will inevitably suffer.
To overcome this challenge, optimize everything. Your site is your storefront, and it needs to be in good shape. It needs to load quickly and be easy to navigate. Your product descriptions, reviews, and pictures all need to be pristine. It must be accessible on mobile and tablet. Like with security, you can’t take any shortcuts on customer experience. If you can’t fix these problems yourself, hire someone who can.
Furthermore, it’s essential to have some analytics going, so that you have hard data on how your customers behave on your site. If they keep leaving after visiting a specific product page, then there’s probably something wrong with that page. If they’re only looking at one page and leaving, then you need to work on engagement and flow.
Ecommerce Challenges aren’t impossible to overcome. Identify the challenges and prepare to beat them. With a focused effort and a little knowledge, you’ll be prepared to handle any problem that comes your way.