The e-commerce industry has grown exponentially, with total e-commerce sales expected to reach $1.065 trillion by 2023. As an e-commerce business owner, you have unique challenges compared to brick-and-mortar shop owners. E-commerce businesses have unique rules and regulations to follow, and cybersecurity is a top priority to ensure all data stored online is protected. Besides, there are various eCommerce challenges that small-medium businesses face.
Here are the few biggest eCommerce challenges in 2022 & solutions to solve them
1. Cyber & Data Security
When it comes to eCommerce, one of the biggest challenges faced is security breaches. There is a lot of information/data that is involved while dealing with eCommerce, and a technical issue with data can cause severe damage to the retailer’s daily operations as well as brand image.
Solution: Be vigilant and always back up your data. Post that, you can install security plugins onto your website to prevent it from getting hacked. There are several plugins out there; pick one that works best for your eCommerce website.
2. Online Identity Confirmation
When a shopper visits an eCommerce site, how would the retailer know if the person is who they say they are? Is the shopper entering accurate information? Is the shopper genuinely interested in the eCommerce products?
If you do not have the accurate details or information, how do you proceed? Well, it does become tricky. The solution would be to invest in online identity verification.
Solution: There are different ways to incorporate online identity verification. Some examples include biometrics, AI, single sign-on, one-time password, two-factor authentication and so on.
3. Drawing Attention of a Perfect Customer
Shoppers have a countless number of options to choose from these days. If they are looking to buy a pair of shoes, they do some thorough research before finalizing on one. If shoppers have several options, how do you make sure they pick your business? How do you go about finding that perfect customer that wants your product, at your rate and to the places you can ship?
Solution: Partner with companies that help you target your customers. Digital marketing is preferred over traditional marketing because it can target your ideal customer. While this might not happen overnight, with A/B testing, finetuning and analysis – your products could be showing up to potential customers on different social media platforms.
4. Loyalty of the Customer
There are two facts that show the significance of customer loyalty: (I) It can cost up to 5 times more to acquire a new customer than retaining an existing one, and (II) the success rate of selling to a current customer is 60-70% compared to only 5-20% success rate of selling to a new customer.
The above two specifics are evidence of how important customer retention or loyalty is. Once a customer makes a purchase or utilizes a service from a retailer, they have to make sure that they keep this customer for life. But how this can be made possible?
Solution: These are a few different methods that can be used to retain customers. The first would be to have excellent customer service as a customer is happy to have purchased a great product, but they are overjoyed when the customer service is on point. The next step is to keep in touch with the customer through a method that they like, be it an email, SMS, or blog post. So you need to be sure to find out what works best for your customer. The last point you should consider is to let them know about new products, sales promotions, and discount coupon codes for remaining loyal to your business.
5. Experience of the Customer
Customer experience or user experience is key to a successful eCommerce website. Shoppers expect a similar if not the same experience as one they would get in a brick and mortar store. The flow of the website, the segmentation of the website and the retail personalization of products based on the shopper’s preferences are imperative.
Solution: There are several ways to improve the user experience. The most important would be to have a clean and simple website so that shoppers can navigate through it easily. The next point would be to have clear CTAs (call to action) so that the shopper knows exactly what to do.
6. Transforming Visitors into Paying Customers
One of the biggest eCommerce challenges is to convert visitors into paying customers. An eCommerce website might have a lot of traffic, a lot of clicks and impressions, but they are not making the sales they anticipated. What can they do to get more sales?
Solution: The first step in this is to understand why your visitors are not converting and are you targeting the right audience? Is your mobile website working seamlessly? Do your online platforms face technical challenges all the time? Does your customer base trust you? Do you personalize your website for your customers? Always think from the perspective of a visitor and see if you are doing everything possible to make them pay customers.
7. Analysis of Competitor and Competition
Have you heard of a Jam Experiment? Well, it has quite a controversial conclusion, which is the less you offer customers, the more likely they are to actually purchase something. A lot of people these days are exhausted by all the options that are out there. A simple search for something like a smartphone will give you thousands of options – how does one make a choice?
From a retailer’s standpoint, how do they stand out from the crowd? How do they bring visitors to their website instead of buying a similar product from their competitors?
Solution: Always do a thorough analysis of your competitors. Find out what products they are selling, how they are generating leads and how they keep in touch with their customers. The next step would be to make sure you stand out from the crowd, be it the colours you use, the topnotch functionality of your website, or the amazing user experience offered. And lastly, offer services or products that are unique and relevant to your customer base.
8. Price and Shipping
Everyone has heard of customers who prefer to purchase products from places that have free shipping. eCommerce giants like Amazon provide such attractive shipping deals that customers rarely want to look at other places. How does one bring down costs for shipping?
Solution: While all eCommerce sites cannot completely get rid of shipping costs, always look to find options that work for your customer base. Would a subscription reduce the cost of shipping? Would a certain time of the month give them lower shipping costs? Or is there a carrier that is reliable but offers a cheaper rate? Be sure to do your research and find the best possible solution for your shoppers.
9. Return and Refund Policies of a Product
Today, there are many online shoppers who look at a retailer’s return policy before making a purchase. When an eCommerce site says “no returns or refunds”, it makes a shopper nervous and less likely to trust the retailer. When shopping online, customers want the flexibility of making a mistake that doesn’t cost them.
Solution: Customer satisfaction is the most important factor for any retailer. Therefore having a flexible return and refund policy not only helps with customer satisfaction it also helps with customers making purchases without being nervous.
10. Fixing eCommerce Challenges with the Right Technology/Partners
Choosing the right technology or partner will make or break your business. A retailer’s growth might be stunted because their technology is limiting them or because they have hired the wrong partner to help them manage their projects.
There are a lot of aspects that need to be in place for a successful business, but a good technology foundation is vital.
Solution: Partner with Vue.ai, a unified Visual A.I. platform that is redesigning the future of retail commerce to fix all your eCommerce challenges. Using image recognition and data science, Vue helps retailers generate product and customer intelligence and combine these with market insights to power growth.