This blog gives you a glimpse of the most common problems and challenges faced by E-Commerce business owners across the globe. If you are looking to transition from a physical store to an online entity, knowledge about these challenges will prepare you for this change.
If you own an e-commerce business, every morning brings a new challenge for you. There is a constant struggle to stay on the top, quite literally if you consider the ranking of your website on the leading search engine results pages. When you own a brick and mortar shop, you have the traditional business rules and regulations to follow but when you own an E-Commerce business, the set of rules that you have to abide by begin to change drastically. There are new issues at hand, strange risks to be aware of, weird software and hardware problems, different viruses, bugs and malware to deal with, never ever heard of cyber security risks and so much more that you have to wrap your head around. But if you do not open up to learning these concepts and function accordingly in this digital age, you will be risking the longevity of your e-commerce business. Our experts have listed down 7 most common challenges faced by E-Commerce business owners around the world and a little tip on the side on how to overcome them:
Challenge 1: The Question Of Cyber Security
You can never deny the rising importance of cyber security practices and tools for E-Commerce platforms. No online marketplace/E-Commerce business can afford to have any downtime in their operations and sales.
What they need is a proper cyber security framework that will keep their data safe and secure. Proper cyber security standards and laws prevent businesses from ransomware attack, viruses, malware attack, data theft, breaches and many other security threats.
Challenge 2: Infrastructure Problems
This is another category of challenges faced by budding e-commerce apps and websites. The internet is accessible to a lot of users spread across the entire world. But there are places in many corners of the world where the internet hasn’t been able to knock at the consumer’s door.
Move a little further and there are several areas where the internet has not reached.
- The fiber set-up and poles are not laid properly
- The equipment needed to ensure the smooth running of these apps and websites is not within the reach of the country’s government
- Also, many major geographical areas around the globe don’t support the minimum bandwidth required to launch these apps in the first place
- Other than this, the outreach of smart wireless devices cannot be seen in many areas and that puts a big question mark on the relevance of e-commerce platforms to begin with
So, this is a major e-commerce business problem.
“According to an independent study, the penetration of personal computers is quite high in the US which stands at 500 per 1000 of population.”
Identifying and choosing the correct market where the basic internet infrastructure is not really a problem is cohesive to the survival of your e-commerce platform. This market will present a strong demand for your e-commerce platform and the many offerings listed on it. To further your penetration into this market and expand your reach, you will begin by targeting the most ideal demographics and income groups. This will define your product niche and help you formulate business strategies that will enable smoother and more efficient operations.
Challenge 3: How To Increase Your Online Visibility?
For any business to establish a strong online presence and sustain it successfully, it needs substantial and organic traffic flow to its website. Too frequent and extended server downtimes, lack of user-friendliness in the interface, no option for safe and secure payments and the like can lead to less orders and loss of revenues.
And for this, the website needs to be optimized to enhance its online visibility. This is where search engine optimization comes into play. You have to do SEO and perform constant technical analysis of it to make sure that your online visibility is strong. Incorporate the best-in-industry and customizable payment gateways for safe and secure transactions. Make your site mobile-friendly with the help of for example, accelerated mobile web pages and more.
Challenge 4: Dealing With The Rising Competition
The E-Commerce space is brimming with competition. There is highly competitive pricing, products and services that offer the same quality as yours and the various marketing and promotional tactics adopted by your competitors that make it even harder for your brand to establish its place in the digital picture. You cannot run away from the level of saturation that e-commerce brings along with it. It will become very difficult to distinguish your brand from your competitors and highlight the unique selling points of your products and services. This is a very big challenge in front of an eCommerce marketplace owner who wishes to target his audience and increase his domain authority.
For this you will have to identify and solve the pain points of your consumers before your competitors do. The moment you are able to convince your prospects that your product is something that they are missing in their lives, you will start making more sales. Work towards building your own niche and price your offering correctly. Do not hesitate from taking the risk associated with innovation. Provide exceptional customer service to beat your competition.
Challenge 5: Delivering Exceptional Customer Experience
If you do not have a secondary means of selling your products and services, you have to deliver customer experience that is exceptional and unmatched. There is no other way around it. Customer experience when overlooked can hamper your market share significantly.
For this, you have to know what your competitors are offering their customers in the same price range and in the same product/service category. If you are able to delight your customers, they will keep on returning to you. Make sure that your customer care team always remains helpful, courteous and respectful to your customers. Make other customer-centric companies such as Amazon your idol and learn from their problem-solving approach to improve relations with your customers.
Challenge 6: Getting Quality Web Traffic And Enhancing Conversion Rate
You have competition every step of the way and therefore, if you want your customers to become a constant source of revenue for you, you need to draw them to your website and convert them into loyal shoppers. If you are new to ecommerce, building, designing and successfully running a popular website is going to be very difficult for you.
The success of a website is usually measured by its average conversion rate. Therefore, it is crucial that you understand your audience well enough before you even begin designing a website. When it comes to optimizing your web pages, proper research needs to be conducted on both short tail and long tail keywords so that your SEO is right on point. So, the belief needs to be shed.
“if I build my online store, my customers will find me on their own.”
Challenge 7: Coping With The Changing Technology
Like we always say, the only constant is change. If you are not constantly adding more terms and words to your tech vocabulary, you are way behind your competitors. The biggest challenge is to keep yourself updated on the latest technologies that impact your business all the while performing the core functions of your enterprise to keep it running smoothly. The fear of new and advanced ways of doing business is what we have to deal with every day.
You need to keep on updating your website and the various security systems you have in place so that your users find it easy and safe to visit your website and shop from you. The responsibility of constantly conducting proper research and putting in enough effort towards developing and innovating your website/E-Commerce marketplace to attract more consumers is one of the most dreaded online business challenges for any business owner. In many instances, E-Commerce business owners need to migrate from their existing online shop to a more advanced platform to improve their load times, optimize their content, provide better service, and upgrade to better security systems and much more.
These challenges are not static. These risks that online marketplaces take up on a regular basis are not set in stone. Nothing is absolute. There is no one single approach to overcome these problems and challenges either. As technology advances further, E-Commerce business owners will constantly have to evolve with it. More advanced ways of conducting business will bring in newer threats as well as novel opportunities with it. What is going to keep you ahead and continuously overcoming these challenges is your positive outlook and your will to adopt better and more futuristic solutions.
(Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Zapbuild)
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