Running an eCommerce business isn’t as easy as we think. It comes with its own challenges that can directly affect the bottom line, cause losses, and harm your brand’s reputation.  

With the eCommerce industry running at its all-time high, customer retention and revenue generation is becoming a major issue for business owners. In this article, we will take you through some of the major challenges store owners face these days and how to overcome them by taking a few intelligent steps- 

Competition 

Each day, a new online store opens up! In such a scenario, staying ahead of the competition or for the matter of fact, staying at par with the competitors is a major challenge that eCommerce business owners need to overcome. You need to keep up with the pricing, products, and services – all competing for the same target audience.  

How to overcome the challenge? 

  • Overcome price competition by having a very clean and concise company value proposition that your customers cannot get elsewhere.  
  • Make sure your website looks professional, is unique and is optimized according to Google’s algorithm.  
  • Try to pick a unique product or service. This lets you become a leader in a smaller demography, and increases your website’s domain authority.
     

Customer Identity 

Verifying the right identity of a visitor to your website is another major challenge faced by many eCommerce store owners. There are chances the information they enter is not genuine or they are not interested in buying from your store.  

This happens mostly in cases of cash-on-delivery purchases. If a customer decides to add fake contact details to order a cash-on-delivery item, it causes a major revenue loss for the seller. Let’s take a look at how to overcome this issue- 

How to overcome the challenge? 

  • Keep an eye out for any kind of fraudulent activity. Activities such as repeated bulk orders from a single ID or any pin codes that do not match with any state should be flagged as fraud orders. Send an automated mail to the given contact details to verify the genuineness of the customer. 
  • Use software that performs multi-layered authentication to verify customer details. 

 

Abandoned Shopping Cart 

Statistics suggest that nearly 68% of shoppers abandon their cart before making a purchase. This can be a huge loss for merchants, especially for those in the small to mid-size segments. Some industries witness cart abandonment as high as 83.6%.  

How to overcome this challenge?  

There are several ways how you can overcome the challenge of shopping cart abandonment- 

  • Exit-intent pop-ups – These pop-ups are an excellent way to retain customers. These pop-ups appear right when your customer is about to abandon the cart. It captures your shopper’s attention and is also a brilliant opportunity for you to offer any giveaway to retain him.  
  • Make sure the shopping cart that your customer sees is optimized for mobile. Over 70% of users in the US use their mobile phones for shopping. Longer loading times and unoptimized images on your shopper’s mobile screen are clear indicators of an ‘abandoned cart’.  
  • Offering free shipping can be another great way to overcome this challenge. Shoppers often abandon their carts after seeing the hidden costs at the checkout process. Try to offer the ‘free shipping’ banner much before the customer reaches the checkout page – may be in the notification bar on your home page or a pop-up highlighting the offer.  

 

Sustainability 

Nowadays, more and more people are inclined towards sustainability 

They prefer shopping from brands that take a sustainable approach in making sales. Many eCommerce businesses are still struggling with making a sustainable brand as a number of factors are taken into account when it comes to contributing to a healthier planet.  

Returned items alone cause carbon emissions equivalent to burning around 250 Kgs of coal, and the defective ones are dumped in landfills causing further pollution. So how do you meet your sustainability goals and keep your customers happy? 

How to overcome this challenge? 

  • Reducing deadstock is a major step you can take to become more sustainable. Deadstock is that inventory that is never going to be sold and is typically dumped in landfills. Efficient inventory management is the only way to reduce deadstock and create a sustainable business. 
  • Reduce Returns – As mentioned earlier, returns are a major cause of climate change. Tie up with returns management software that can help you reduce returns and also increase business profitability. EcoReturns by Saara uses AI-ML-technology to reduce returns and helps you meet your sustainability goals. 
  • Over 80% of shoppers feel that eCommerce businesses use excess packaging material to ship their items. Read all about eCommerce packaging here. Try using recyclable packaging that can be used again to pack certain items.  

 

Product Returns and Refunds 

Did you know over 60% of customers look at your online store’s return policy before making a purchase? 48% of shoppers will come again to your shop if your returns and exchange process is seamless. It’s a tricky scenario for merchants to ensure customer satisfaction when they want to return an item they did not want to keep.  

How to overcome this challenge? 

  • Be extremely transparent about your return policy on your website. Place it in such a section of your website where it is clearly visible. Your customers should be able to read through your return policy, so make sure the language is easy-to-read and concise. 
  • Consider offering customers store credits and other coupons and discounts during their time of requesting a return or exchange so that they don’t leave dissatisfied.  
  • Always remember that returns and refunds are a part of great customer support.  

 

EcoReturns by Saara enables eCommerce merchants to reduce returns by an average of 30% and save up to 80% on operational costs. Starting right from suggesting product descriptions to identifying risky orders and automating the returns and exchange process, EcoReturns is an end-to-end returns management platform that is free to install for any Shopify store owner. Read more about EcoReturns here.  

 

Omnichannel Shopping Experience 

This is the age of omnichannel shopping. It’s a major challenge for eCommerce businesses to match up to the expectations of shoppers where they want to avail ordering from multiple platforms such as aerie website, e-com marketplaces such as Amazon, Instagram store, Facebook store, and of course the good old-fashioned brick and mortar store. 

The omnichannel shopping experience has become a must deliverable for a growing business to avoid opportunity losses. New businesses that have set up these channels have an edge over their competitors. 

How to overcome this challenge? 

Innovative businesses have overcome the above challenge by focusing on their target clientele and drawing analytics on channel traction. So, a business revolving around a niche product would rely more on Instagram to sell its products while a mass-market product would choose its own website as the primary channel. The company’s size and scale will also play an important role here. A high margin low volume product would prefer investing in a brick-and-mortar store while a fast-growing, high investment seller would be more accommodative of a low margin high volume channel of selling such as Amazon.   

To help businesses, several B2B players have emerged which enable the business to consolidate the orders into one portal for easy fulfillment.  

Final Say 

New businesses will need to optimally leverage technology to consolidate orders, reduce returns, improve conversions and identify customers.  

Consistent data-driven strategic decisions will help a business thrive in this time where customer profiling is possible basis his or her engagement with the platforms.  

Lastly, even though the above challenges can be handled with the help of technology but the mantra of creating a successful D2C business remains the same – finding the right product-market fit, constantly listening to your customers, and product innovation to stay relevant in this ever-evolving market.  

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