5 Common Challenges Faced by Retailers in Ecommerce and their Possible Solutions
As the ecommerce industry is advancing and more and more retailers are acquiring a space for their online stores on the web, surviving the competition out there is becoming a matter of concern. Online buyers, today, have endless choices and alternatives to make purchases and only a few ecommerce stores providing unparalleled shopping experiences to their buyers tend to win the battle of being the most preferable and trusted one.
But, how does one go about creating great user experiences? Intriguing web design, smooth navigation, appealing discounts and promotions, free shipping, product quality, checkout ease and wide variety; all these factors boil down to customer experience. Right from visiting the website to navigating through and selecting products to checking out, it’s all about how you make your visitors and customers feel while they’re on your website that helps shape their buying decisions.
While considering abovementioned factors remains important to attract visitors and persuade them into buying, creating seamless experiences is no child’s play. It takes a lot of effort, dedication and diligence to influence and encourage them to buy from you, repeatedly and consistently.
Like aspects that influence buyers to rely on your ecommerce website for their shopping needs, there are factors that drive them away from your store. It can be anything from a non-responsive web design to poor customer care support to unexpected shipping costs that can push your visitors and potential customers into abandoning your website.
With that said, here are some major challenges that online merchants are faced with during their ecommerce operations. In addition, there are possible solutions that will help you overcome these common challenges and fuel your online operations.
Challenge #1: High Customer Acquisition Cost
Acquiring new customers or converting prospects into retaining customers is one of the biggest challenges online retailers have to face today. From getting interested buyers to know about your brand to educating them about your products and services to encouraging them to buy, customer acquisition is a tricky process that costs a lot of money. Though most retailers largely depend on social media promotions and internet advertising for their branding and customer acquisition, the truth is that the acquisition cost is quite high on the internet itself.
Solution: A strong, thoughtful marketing framework and retention strategy is what businesses require in order to acquire valuable customers. Content marketing is a common yet effective way of acquiring customers. Creating content that generates interest, attracts prospects to your site, answers their questions, displays a sense of creditability certainly helps turn prospects into leads and leads into loyal customers. In addition, search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click marketing are great techniques that get your website visible on the web only to get noticed by your potential customers. Email marketing is another proven tactic to turn your prospects into active and paying customers.
Challenge #2: Customer Loyalty
Retaining customers is as important as acquiring them. The last thing you would want is t to drive a prospect to your website after some significant efforts and have him/her abandon your site after a few moments. And, this happens with retailers that fail to provide seamless yet consistent experience. A lot of online merchants lose their potential customers to their competitors because their competitors offer better quality customer service or most favourable discounts. A hassle free experience is what buyers seek and that is what makes your prospects convert and retain.
Solution: Customer interaction management is an approach that can help create superiors customer experiences. The approach focuses on factors that drive customer satisfaction. While interacting with your customers you can build a relationship of trust and make your customers realise that you care, which in turn will encourage your customers to shop from you and rely on you for their future needs.
Challenge #3: Cash-On-Delivery Threat
While cash-on-delivery (COD) is an ultimate payment option for online buyers across the world, the same has been a matter of uncertainty. Cash-on-delivery payment mode leaves the credibility of customers questionable. Given the retailer has only limited information of the customer, the retailer is completely uncertain whether their customer is genuine or not. The lack of verification in COD leads to huge revenue losses for many merchants worldwide.
Solution: In order to validate the buyer’s identity, a text or email message can be sent out to the customer’s registered number or email address. An automated call or Interactive Voice Response (IVR) can be dialled to reach out to the buyer and ask to validate the delivery address. This will help ensure the identity of the buyer and eliminate the risk of revenue loss.
Challenge #4: Returns and Refunds
Again, return and refund facilities are an added benefit for online shoppers, however, a tricky job for retailers at the same time. Every time a buyer unsatisfied with the product or its quality, it takes a heavy toll on the retailer. Not only do most returns and refunds leave retailers with a significant revenue loss but they scar the reputation of the brand or retailer. Especially for those offering free shipping to their customers, cost of logistics becomes an issue of utter concern when it comes to returns and refunds.
Solution: Although, there’s no certain solution to control returns from customers, retailers can always ensure the quality of their product(s) before sending it out for delivery. In addition, the cost of operation can be minimised with proper return management. Collaboration with reliable logistic partners and vendors (third party integration) will allow for smooth shipping and customer satisfaction.
Challenge #5: Overlooked Customer Issues
The biggest known challenge with ecommerce is lack of personalisation. As the buyers cannot touch and feel the products they intend to buy, issues and concerns are only inevitable to occur. However, occurrence of issues and concerns from customers’ end isn’t that big a problem that ignoring those concerns or complaints is. When customers’ concerns go unnoticed, it damages your brand reputation and jeopardises your credibility.
Solution: Customer service plays a vital role in addressing customer issues and achieving their highest level of satisfaction. Implementing easy to use interfaces and appropriate customer ticket solutions enables customer care executives cater to every customer ticket generated at any channel efficiently.
The Final word
Hundreds and thousands of ecommerce merchants are hitting the web every day and many are ready to go online sooner or later. The ecommerce industry is hetting more brutal and challenging than ever. For online stores to stand out and create a buzz around their brand, it is necessary that they equip themselves with state-of-the-art solutions.
Magento has acquired quite a proven track record for providing millions of merchants with advanced ecommerce features and functionality to reinforce their core operations and bring in sales and revenue. Hiring a Magento specialist or professional Magento web design and development firm for your ecommerce business will ensure you get the best return on your investment and your customers the best shopping experience while buying from your online store.
With a Magento expert by your side, your ecommerce is sure to perform and yield better. So, if you haven’t got it yet, it’s high time you build and grow your online business on Magento.