In the past two decades, mankind has experienced a revolution accompanied by a swift shift of all daily physical life matters into online ones.
In the modern day, a large majority of globally successful businesses are completely or partially online in their marketing and operations. These businesses grow by the day, and the number of customers keeps increasing.
But this does not mean that they do not face problems. As ‘Every rose has its thorns’, online businesses face certain problems as well, especially the growing ones and new startups.
According to an estimation, by 2040, 95% of purchases will be made online, so now is the right time for retailers to face ecommerce challenges & find solutions for them.
- Cyber and Data security issues:
In e-Commerce, of data and content is arguably the most vulnerable part of an online business, and hence a threat of security breach is one of the biggest challenges faced by online businesses.
E-commerce and online businesses have all their data online, on websites and in the form of blogs, and any technical issue with this data can cause a severe damage to the retailer’s day to day operations and consequently also damage the brand’s image and prestige in the market.
- Attracting the perfect customer:
As vast as the market has become, and as accessible as it is, the customers have innumerable options to choose from when buying products or hiring services.
If a customer is looking to buy some clothes, they conduct research and gain access to countless clothing brands, independent individual clothing sellers, online thrift stores etc., so the final decision could be any one of those.
This is the problem faced by businesses. If customers have several options, how do you make sure they pick you? How do you go about finding that perfect customer that wants your product, at your rate and to the places you can ship?
- Policies of returning and refunding:
A research conducted by ComScore suggests that over 60% of customers who shop online say that they look at whether a retailer provides a decent return policy before they make a purchase from them.
The “No returns or refunds” written on an online site makes the customer nervous and consequently they are less likely to trust the retailer. Customers demand the flexibility of making a mistake that doesn’t cost them, and business ought to provide them that.
- Order fulfillment:
Not everything has to fall on the back of the small business owner. You could be inundated with more orders than you are prepared to handle on your own. If such is the case, the traffic can be overwhelming for an online business and can even prove disastrous if they do not entertain all the customers.
Therefore, Order fulfillment should be outsourced to a third-party fulfillment company whenever possible for increased efficiency.
It is a problem faced mostly by new startups and small businesses.
The issue that arises is that how is a new and unestablished online business supposed to get quality traffic to their site and turn visitors into customers if people can’t find the site to begin with? It’s a big issue for e-commerce businesses, and one that could make or break a business.
“If the company doesn’t show up on the first page of Google’s search results for relevant keywords, then it’s unlikely that prospective customers will find them,” said Michael Anderson, marketing and SEO specialist at GeoJango Maps.
- Nurturing the ideal prospect:
Online retailers put an unnecessarily large amount of focus on communicating product offering as well as promotions, and ignore the valued and potential prospects.
Having a large amount of customers is not worth the while if they are not properly being engaged with. It is better that a small list of prospects shall suffice, one that has potential is the one that shall be nurtured. Meaning, less but effective and loyal customers are better than a myriad of ones that may bring you no actual good.
- Achieving long-term growth:
Increase in sales in certainly necessary for growth of business, but what is crucial is the profitability in the long run. Many business fail to understand that they must find profitability in the smallest of terms that essentially proves beneficial in the long-run.
From the viewpoint of a seller (online business), how can they stand out in a crowd of numerous other retailers who provide the exact same facilities. How can they bring the customers to purchase specifically from them?
Harsha Reddy, co-founder of Small Biz Genius says:
“Distinguishing yourself from your competitors is crucial to standing out and attracting new customers for your business. This can be accomplished by making sure your website looks professional and is optimized correctly to suit today’s Google algorithm,”
- Choosing the correct circumstances:
Many online businesses may face growth challenges because of unfavorable circumstances of their own making, including either technology that may be limiting them or that they might have hired the wrong partners/agencies to help them manage their projects.
Hiring the wrong partners or agencies to help you implement projects or oversee marketing campaigns may also limit your growth. Online retailers must choose carefully who to work with.
Retailers wanting to achieve growth must be built on a good technology foundation.
- Lacking the required agility:
Agility is the capability of a business to introduce advancements, develop and deploy digital content, react to seasonal changes, etc. rapidly.
A large number of companies find it difficult to move or change quickly as per the needs of customers. It is usually because they can’t integrate new technologies efficiently with their existing system, and as a result of which, penetration into the market gets harder.