Studies illustrate the e-commerce industry’s constantly increasing growth rate and its immense potential to multiply these numbers in the future. From a small business to a large corporation, every business should tap into the e-commerce industry to boost revenue. However, it is not all roses and cakes. There are many obstacles that merchants face in this internationally competitive industry.
Below is the list of some common e-commerce challenges and their possible solutions:
- Failure To Adapt
Adaptability or agility refers to a company’s ability to embrace changes quickly. Many businesses struggle to adapt on time and fail to meet fast-changing customer demands. This is often due to their inability to integrate new technology into their old systems effectively, making market penetration more challenging.
Solution: Cloud solutions are often less expensive and can easily grow to meet changing e-commerce requirements. You need to pay monthly or annual charges depending on the specific solution. Furthermore, cloud-based systems eliminate the need to manage IT infrastructure and negotiate with suppliers.
- Inadequate Verification Measures
When a consumer registers on an e-commerce site, businesses know nothing about them apart from the information submitted by these individuals. In other words, you are always susceptible to customers’ credibility. As the firm is unclear whether or not the consumer exists, the doubt further intensifies when they opt for a Cash-on-Delivery transaction. Over time, this has resulted in significant revenue losses for the e-commerce industry, and stakeholders believe that the future of online shopping heavily hinges upon how businesses tackle this issue.
Solution: One tried-and-tested way to address this impediment is to text or email the consumer to verify their identity. When customers select the cash-on-delivery option, contact them by an automated call to confirm the shipping address. This would not give the incorrect impression to consumers that they are being questioned and accomplish your goal as well.
- Lack Of Live Chat
The modern-day generation does not like sending back-and-forth emails or calls for any assistance. Nowadays, customers see live chat as the most reliable method of communicating with e-commerce stores. But, despite the visible popularity of live chat, most e-commerce stores fail to stay on top of it. Statistically speaking, nearly a whopping 50 percent of customers say they had a poor live chat experience in the last month.
Solution: Unlike the common assumption, providing live chat is not all about installing a chatbot on your e-commerce site. You have to consider several other factors to up the game. To begin with, slash response time. One of the most common complaints consumers have about the live chat is the lengthy wait time. So you should make it a point to come up with prompt responses. Also, your conversation must have a human touch. People should feel as though they are conversing with a real person rather than a machine.
- Below-Par Data Protection
E-commerce heavily relies on data, and a data-related technical problem may severely harm a retailer’s everyday operations, not to mention brand image. While the expansion of e-commerce has skyrocketed online transactions, it has also drawn the attention of hackers at the same time. In fact, e-commerce businesses have emerged as soft targets for cybercriminals. Stats suggest that about 32.4 percent of all hacks occur in the e-commerce industry.
Solution: Customers are at the heart of your e-commerce security. They are the principal stewards of their private information. Since customers often prefer to set easy passwords, you should ask them to do otherwise. You must draw a policy that obliges users to use strong passwords that include a mix of alphabets, numbers, and symbols.
- Poor Customer Experience
If you are already running an e-commerce company, you would know that having a great product is not enough to stay afloat in the market, let alone prosper.
Indeed, the items you sell have a significant influence on your company’s future performance. However, product quality is no longer the most important component to attract online customers. By today’s standards, providing a robust customer experience has become instrumental. As an e-commerce store, focusing on customer experience increases brand loyalty. If a consumer has a great buying experience and believes the company cares about them, there is a strong possibility they will reach out to you when they want to shop again. This is especially important for businesses selling consumable goods.
Solution: A simple piece of advice for spicing up customer experience is to create a customer-centric website. First and foremost, the website should be simple to use. Make sure the buttons and links are visible to visitors right from the get-go. Also, be careful while choosing color, background, and font style. Finally, your website must be quick to load. Customers are irritated by sluggish site performance, not to mention it dents your SEO.
- Unfriendly Return Policy
Returns are an inescapable part of selling online. Customers return things for various reasons, including a damaged product, an incorrect item, a product that differs from the advertisement, etc.
The alarming return rate is the elephant in the room for e-commerce businesses. In fact, it has the potential to wreak havoc on your bottom line. Unfortunately, a fair proportion of vendors disregard return policies regardless of their enormous importance.
Solution: Do not keep your policy a secret. Make sure your customers do not go on a treasure quest to come to terms with the return policy as it nurtures doubts in customers’ minds. The ideal place to provide a return policy is confirmation emails. This is the best way to let customers know that you care about them right off the bat. Another smart strategy to turn your policy customer-friendly is to extend the window of return. Well-documented studies reveal that more flexible return time restrictions that provide sufficient time to customers account for fewer returns by reducing the customer’s sense of urgency.
Over the last few years, e-commerce businesses have been expanding at an unparalleled pace, especially after the pandemic. While the potential seems limitless, it does not mean the e-commerce business owners do not confront problems along the way. But the good news is that you can get over these hurdles by taking the right steps.