The e-commerce business has risen at a breakneck pace, with total sales anticipated to reach $1.065 trillion by 2023. However, when compared to brick-and-mortar store owners, you face distinct hurdles as an e-commerce business owner. For example, E-commerce enterprises must adhere to specific rules and regulations, and cybersecurity is a primary issue to secure the security of all data kept online. Hence, our experts have compiled a list of the top challenges faced by SMBs while working and hoping to succeed in the e-commerce landscape.
Small firms that concentrate their efforts in the e-commerce market require rules and procedures to establish a sound cybersecurity architecture. A small firm cannot afford delay in operations and sales in the event of a cyberattack because every transaction is a marginal financial success on which the business depends. Because a small business’s income is dependent on it, it needs a solid cybersecurity framework to keep data safe and secure while empowering staff to apply rules and technology to resist cyberattacks. Small businesses can improve their cybersecurity risks by bolstering their defences against vulnerabilities with tools like stricter access control and data security software.
Businesses must have an incident response strategy in place that spells out what they will do if they are the victims of a cyberattack. For example, in the event of a ransomware attack, the business may be unable to access critical files and data, such as inventory reports, that are required to provide service to customers. A response strategy can assist a company in reducing downtime in operations while still offering service to customers through alternative channels, such as phone sales.
Globalisation has effectively reduced barriers worldwide, and combined with the power of the internet, e-commerce has increased competition exponentially. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to create USPs and stand out from the crowd.
Small businesses face a variety of challenges, particularly in the e-commerce sector. You must stay on top of the competition with pricing, products, and services, all of which are vying for the attention of your target consumer. You can beat pricing competition as a small business by having a very clear company value proposition that customers can’t obtain anywhere else. Due to no fault of your own, the e-commerce industry has become so crowded that separating apart from other e-commerce enterprises has become difficult. Therefore, it’s critical to set yourself apart from your competition in order to stand out and attract new clients to your company. This can be achieved by ensuring that your website boasts a professional touch and looks highly optimised. Moreover, make sure that your website content is aligned with the current Google algorithm to rank it higher. Also, by focusing on creating a unique proposition, you can aim to target a specific demographic and create a niche for your business.
Fulfilling Orders on Time
E-commerce is riddled with challenges, but some challenges are more intrinsic. For example, you might be used to delivering products on time through your stores or your own portals, but when you enter the e-commerce space, it is necessary for you to fulfil all orders on time. The varying delivery locations and inability to streamline the supply chains are the major challenges. Hence, invest your time and resources in optimising your delivery channels through planning and implementation. Otherwise, growing on e-commerce websites will become a tedious process. Remember, one bad review can drastically affect your business.
Matching the Customer Experience Expectations
As an e-commerce company or one that does some selling online, you may find it difficult to provide your consumers with the same level of service that they would receive in a physical store. Pricing and client segmentation are two of the most neglected aspects of the consumer experience when shifting to e-commerce. Customers want to be treated as well or better online as they are in person; therefore, customer experience is extremely critical when launching an e-commerce effort.
Companies struggle to meet these new needs since accurate pricing, analytics, and consumer segmentation are required. Successful e-commerce experiences necessitate the same, if not greater, clarity in product offerings, price, loyalty programmes, and other factors as a face-to-face purchase. Your clients demand more in a world where everything happens online, and they are also better informed about your products, prices, and competitors. They expect to be treated the same way they are treated in person and online, so if they can get a certain price in person but not online, they become irritated and shop elsewhere.
Ensuring High-Quality Traffic and Higher Conversions
Building, establishing, and operating an e-commerce website is difficult enough, but delivering high-quality conversions is even more difficult. You need a website that is current, clean, user-friendly, trustworthy, and reliable to convert your traffic into paying clients. Because every sector is different, it’s critical to know who your target audience is before creating a website that speaks to them. However, creating a successful business website is only the beginning. The second – and arguably most crucial – step is to optimise the content on your website using SEO.
The global average conversion rate is less than 3%, making getting relevant visitors to your site a challenge. To guarantee that your sites are optimised for relevant search terms, undertake extensive short-tail keyword research. Long-tail keyword research should be undertaken to identify the relevant ‘what,’ ‘how,’ ‘who,’ and ‘where’ inside your niche because the competition for these phrases will most likely not generate immediate web traffic while they are just getting started. Many businesses used to believe that if they had an online store, buyers would find it. That is no longer the case today.
They may have been able to rely on a stumble-upon effect when there were fewer e-commerce stores, but the internet is today too crowded and noisy to do so. As a result, attracting the customer’s attention and engaging them must be more significant and impactful. To compete in the noisy e-commerce industry, e-commerce SMBs must first define who they are trying to reach in order to build a customer base that will provide a steady stream of revenue and loyal customers.
If your potential clients can’t locate your website, getting quality traffic can be a challenge. It’s a major issue for e-commerce enterprises, and it has the potential to make or break a company. It’s doubtful that prospective clients will find the company if it doesn’t appear on the first page of Google’s search results for relevant terms. Investing in SEO is the greatest approach to overcome this obstacle. Keyword research, on-page SEO best practices, and developing high-authority links to a website are all things that e-commerce businesses should do. If all of the above is done correctly, your search exposure will improve, and your lead generation will improve.
Influencer marketing is effective for apparel businesses, but if your e-commerce business is built on a product that solves a problem, getting your website to rank on Google for terms relevant to that problem through SEO efforts maybe your best option. In addition, understanding your target market is essential for determining which marketing channels will create traffic that converts into purchases.
Issues with Return and Refund Policies
A robust return and refund policy could mean the difference between success and failure for your business. That may sound extreme, but it is accurate. If you want your brand to be recognised, consumer pleasure should come first, and whatever you’re offering should match what’s advertised. Yes, in an ideal world, the thing you’re selling would never have a flaw, but that isn’t always the case. Instead, the buyer may have the buyer’s regret or discover that the item is not what they expected.
Create a smooth, quick, and easy return policy by being transparent. Make it simple to comprehend and not overly restrictive so that the consumer does not have to go through the effort of returning an item. People are less inclined to believe you’re selling something worthwhile if you don’t have a strong return and refund policy. Because internet businesses are less well-known, when a site advertises “no returns or refunds,” the buyer is far more inclined to believe it’s a dangerous purchase or, worse, a scam.
Finding the Right Niche
Finding product-market fit is the first step in any business, and e-commerce is no exception. The degree to which a product meets market demand is known as product-market fit. Building a product that addresses an issue you have is the quickest approach to find that fit. Finding the correct market for your goods, on the other hand, isn’t easy. Our experts have provided some suggestions on how to make it easier.
If you haven’t yet identified your ideal consumer, we propose making some educated guesses about who your target market is and targeting them with Facebook advertisements. When you eventually make a sale, strive to learn everything you can about the folks who bought your goods and use every means necessary to discover more of them. You can figure out the best strategy to reach your ideal clients once you’ve figured out product-market fit.
Maintaining and Growing Sales
The next step is to make sales after you’ve determined your products, set up your website, and created a small company marketing strategy. Making a sales strategy and selling your products and services may appear to be a no-brainer, but it isn’t always that simple. E-commerce is used to increase sales. SMBs must have the right product at the appropriate pricing and be at the top of the customer’s mind when they are ready to buy. This traffic might be difficult to come by, therefore it’s critical for a company to earn the trust of its customers in order to generate sales. Aside from clients remembering you when they need something and being enthusiastic about your goods, your website has a significant impact on the number of sales you make.