eCommerce giant Amazon will turn 25 next year. But they have to go through a range of online business problems and must have solved them efficiently to become ecommerce marketplace dominator. We’ve listed some of the top ecommerce challenges an eCommerce business can face and we would explain how to fix these problems. Even if you are thinking of starting a new eCommerce store, or facing any of these ecommerce challenges then you should pay close attention to the list and move in the right direction to achieve success.
eCommerce business is all about the right execution. If you get the equation right, the rest should follow. Setting up an online store requires a lot of time, investment, and efforts. Remember that your online store should offer a good shopping experience to the users. Customer satisfaction becomes an important factor to make your eCommerce business successful. If you want to get a greater share of the pie in the eCommerce game, you would have to stay competitive in the market by trying different methods and best in class ecommerce website store solution.
List of Top 12 Challenges faced by eCommerce Businesses:
- Images not done right
- Product Description Optimization for Search
- Unfriendly Returns Policy
- Digital Payment Failures
- Additional charges
- Slow Online Store Website Speed
- Lack of Faster Checkout Options
- Suspicious Reviews
- Shipping Methods and Time
- Questionable Customer Service
- Neglecting SEO
- Missing Omni Channel Experience
Let’s understand these e-commerce challenges and solutions in detail:
1. Images not done right
We live in a visual world. When a customer lands to your store, the first thing they notice is the images of the products. Studies show that store visitors are first engaged by the visual elements on the website. The quality of images of the products you sell can make or break your eCommerce store’s reputation. If you want photos that bring results and sustainable growth, high-quality images of products should be used. Show the purpose of the product or show it in use. Often the online customers who buy online would have never seen the product in real. They want to examine the items before buying. It’s important for eCommerce store owners to convince the users to spend on buying the product. Compelling images can increase the sales of your online shop.
For instance, if you’re selling clothing, it’s always good to show a clothing on a human body rather than on a mannequin. If you’re selling home furnishings, you can get the products photographed in a living room or office set up. Have more than one image clicked from multiple angles of the product? Try to show the close up of the features of products you’re selling.
2. Product Description Optimization for Search
Product descriptions should have clear-cut detailed information about the items you’re selling. Avoid using careless content for product descriptions. The content should be focused on human readers, and not crawler scripts. Make sure that all products have meaningful descriptions and accurate product details. It can be a good idea to hire a professional writer to create engaging and unique content for the products you sell.
3. Unfriendly Returns Policy
Shopping online is usually risky for consumers. Nobody would want to be stuck with items that do not fit them or are damaged on arrival. Some countries have a law where consumers have the right to return the purchased items online within a defined timeline. Beyond that, you can make your own set of rules for returns and exchanges. Avoid being too strict as it can put off the customers in the first place. The laws for exchange or returns may vary from country to country.
Being an eCommerce store owner, you should strike the right balance between providing a generous returns policy and managing the cost of returns. No matter what policies you decide for your eCommerce store, they should be revolving around the convenience of the buyers and low costs for the returns. Remember that people would not prefer to buy from your store if they feel that you’re discouraging them to return the things. Free returns may seem appealing for the end users but think of all the possible scenarios of return postage while devising the policies for returns and exchanges.
4. Digital Payment Failures
Whether a customer makes online payment by credit, debit card or net banking, or any other digital wallets, failure of digital payments can be frustrating. A technical issue with your website or faltering internet connection results in the payable amount being debited from the customer’s account but the same is not credited to the seller’s account. Retrieving the amount isn’t a quick process. It should be clearly mentioned on your website that it may take around 7-10 working days before the money is refunded to their bank accounts. Such situations can improve with cashless transactions. Tips on payment gateway integration.
5. Additional charges
How many times has it happened that you’ve added products in your cart and when you’re about to place an order, you noticed an additional shipping charge? Some eCommerce stores offer free shipping over a certain amount of orders. Some stores have different shipping costs for individual products. When the customer selects multiple products in a single order, the shipping cost may be multiplied.
6. Slow Online Store Website Speed
It’s rare that the potential buyers would land up to the product page directly, check out there and then. They would like to browse and explore different products. A slow loading website can frustrate the users and they may leave your site without purchasing anything. They might look for the same product at your competitor’s site. eCommerce store owners should aim at maintaining a fast loading speed where an each takes less than 3 seconds to load. There are many online tools that can help you figure out the bottlenecks and improve the speed of your website. Here are some easy tips to optimize speed of your Magento store.
7. Lack of Faster Checkout Options
One of the most frustrating problems faced by the online website owners is checkout or cart abandonment. Nobody would like to waste time for checkout. A customer goes through the entire process of adding products to cart and leaves your website without purchasing the item. One-click checkout can help you prevent cart abandonment. Allow the customers to save the information and other details for a faster checkout.
8. Suspicious Reviews
We all know that good reviews will increase the chances of sales. But what about the neutral or negative reviews left by the unsatisfied customers? There may be a few fake reviews also. 100% positive reviews can turn off the potential customers. A natural, balanced spread of opinions can attract the users and they may be able to show trust in your brand. Avoid any suspicious reviews on your website. Encourage the customers to leave genuine reviews about your products and services by offering them special discount or freebies.
9. Shipping Methods and Time
Online shoppers care about shipping costs and delivery methods. How quickly you deliver the products matters a lot for most of the buyers. A negative shipping experience can have a huge impact on your business. eCommerce merchants compete on customer experience for shipping the orders. Even if the shipping is free, customers would expect fast delivery of their orders. Regardless of the shipping method used, the buyers would expect the delivery within a week. Try to choose carriers that can provide tracking service and notifications when the parcel is shipped, when it’s on way, arrived near the destination, and when it will be delivered. Real-time tracking gives complete peace of mind to the customers.
10. Questionable Customer Service
Questionable customer service is a complete NO for any eCommerce business. If you neglect customer service, then you cannot head to anywhere. If people find it difficult to locate your phone number or email address, they may feel that you’re hiding something. Lack of clear contact information on your website can be a sign that your company is not trustworthy. It’s important that people can see a clear way to reach you. Purchasing online is a matter of trust, and new customers always look for reliable stores to shop for products and services. People who handle the customers should be able to resolve their queries and provide appropriate solutions.
11. Neglecting SEO
This can prove to be one of the biggest mistakes while running an online store. There’s no doubt that content is the king when it comes to SEO, but store owners cannot neglect technical SEO. Duplicate content, duplicate page titles, improper meta tags, and descriptions, and forced URL structure can have a negative impact on the SEO of your website. No matter how many thousands of dollars you may have spent on building your eCommerce store, all would go waste if your website lacks SEO and marketing. Make sure that your website is SEO-friendly right before it is launched.
12. Omni Channel Experience
Most of the consumers use their mobile phones to shop for products online, but some others may choose desktop, tablets, or telephone also. Using different channels for promoting and distributing products can help eCommerce website owners grab more sales. Omni-channel retailing can help the shopper’s purchase products from well-integrated channels and achieve seamless shopping experience.
Lack of transparency of inventory across the enterprise, and navigating each and every customer uniquely are the biggest challenge for retailers in implementing omnichannel. The solution is to use customer data to drive iterative improvements and create a seamless and personalized user experience.
Challenges faced by eCommerce for 2018 aren’t different from the ones faced by them during the previous years. Yet, we can assume that intensity has increased with the technology advancements and market cut-throat competition. The customers’ expectations are also changing with the advancements in every sector. Let’s gear up to face the challenges faced by eCommerce website owners and find suitable solutions.