Despite the pandemic and political uncertainty, eCommerce sales in the US will reach a value of $1 trillion by the end of 2022. On a global scale, this figure will reach $5 trillion. This upward trend in valuation shows that eCommerce is an ever-growing sector, thanks to the digital shopping boom.
But as eCommerce amasses more value, the challenges it presents for businesses, retailers, and wholesalers continue to grow. Factors like changing consumer behavior and not optimizing advanced analytics are causing headaches for business owners globally.
In this article, we’ll address common eCommerce problems and present solutions to mitigate their impact.
The not-so-secret sauce for eCommerce success is to put the consumer first. Research has shown that 88% of shoppers won’t return to a website after a terrible user experience. In fact, most consumers are willing to pay extra for a better experience.
However, the same research mentioned above shows that only 70% of online businesses prioritize the site’s (or app’s) usability and the customer’s convenience. And to make matters worse, only 55% of eCommerce companies carry out any form of UX testing before rolling out products.
To optimize customer experience, take a page from Google. The company has stayed at the top because they pay attention to consumers’ needs. Their recent SERP algorithms even factor user experience in SEO rankings, which affect the organic exposure of online businesses.
When it comes to the user experience, personalization also plays a significant role in shaping how users approach your products and services. If the customer feels a personal connection with your brand, they are more likely to buy from you.
Accenture reports that 65% of consumers are willing to buy from any business that can offer them relevant products. Even with current privacy concerns, around 68% of respondents won’t mind sharing their data with companies if it guarantees them a personalized shopping experience.
To give your business the best chance to flourish, you must personalize product recommendations based on each user’s activity. When launching campaigns, use segmentation practices to divide your audience pool.
Tools like Opt-in Monster, Monetate, and Optimizely will help you experiment on ways of personalizing the shopping experience in order to boost engagement and conversions.
Nike takes personalization to the stratosphere with the Nike By You campaign, allowing users to design their custom shoes. L’Oreal also uses Perso — an AI-powered beauty personalization system — to help customers choose products based on their skin types and preferences.
At IntexSoft, we’ve also created a 3D configurator for businesses to display their products in a 3D environment using virtual shelves and racks.
Online shoppers abandon purchases due to different reasons: tedious checkout processes, few payment options, or indecision. Whatever the reason for not completing a purchase, this problem is a headache for business owners.
But you are not alone in this struggle; Statista shows that a whopping 80% of shoppers don’t complete their purchases. That means only 2 out of every ten visitors will buy something after browsing your site.
So, how do you nudge more people toward buying your services?
For starters, make the checkout as smooth as possible. Reduce the number of forms to the barest minimum. If possible, create an opt-out for users who don’t want to register when completing an order.
Also, you can use push notifications and email reminders to nudge them into completing their purchase. Cart re-engagement tools that top brands use to boost sales and conversions include Conversio, CartStack, Rejoiner, and AbandonAid.
With the number of modern tools available, anybody can start an eCommerce business. While this is a welcome advancement in some areas, it also saturates the market with goods. As an owner of an online marketplace, you’ll find yourself in competition with several retailers, wholesalers, and resellers.
But you can stand out by delivering an alternative to what the rest of the field is offering — you’ll need a unique selling point to turn heads in your direction. Even if you are a small business trying to carve out a niche in your industry, you can copy successful practices from established brands.
Apart from that, you should consider conducting extensive competitor research if you want to obliterate your competition, as Amazon tried to do with Barnes and Noble.
Despite the ubiquity of data and analytical tools, it is surprising that most businesses have not adopted data-driven solutions to improve decision-making. According to MicroStrategy, only 57% of companies rely on data to drive change and efficiency.
Notwithstanding, business owners are relying more on big data in all aspects of their business operations. Although most of these data initiatives focus on describing the information and generating insights, some companies now predict the market and consumer behavior.
Netflix uses predictive analytics to forecast shows its users will likely find appealing, thereby improving the viewing experience. Data management tools like Google Analytics and Optimizely can help you obtain insights for your marketing campaigns and other processes.
Privacy and data security are one of the most common eCommerce problem, owing to the activities of hackers and other cyber threats. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, cyberattacks have increased in frequency by 20%.
Typical online attacks on eCommerce platforms include phishing, ransomware, DDoS attacks, Magecart attacks, and SQL injections. The recent Cardbleed attack affected 3% of eCommerce platforms that run on Magento.
Although most of these attacks can cripple businesses completely, taking the proper preventive measures can help keep your data safe.
If you own a website, use an HTTPS protocol and an SSL certificate to provide basic security. Also, only download software from trusted vendors. And during installation, use airtight access control to limit the users that can view the underlying infrastructure.
For eCommerce platforms offering payment services, use a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) accreditation. Most importantly, use fraud detection tools like Riskified to notify you about potential attacks before they occur.
Gone are the days of placing all your eggs in one eCommerce platform. Today, businesses can reach audiences on multiple platforms simultaneously, thanks to omnichannel delivery strategies.
But despite the promises of omnichannel marketing, most marketers don’t know how to do it right. Regardless of the channel through which you are promoting your platform, users just want a consistent experience across the board.
So, create a marketing campaign that maximizes your platform’s visibility while delivering a personalized experience to individual consumers.
And bear in mind that what works for one channel might not work for the others. For instance, pop-up ads perform better on websites than on social media. Therefore, gather performance data from which you can optimize your strategy to boost business growth.
Moving your goods from the warehouse into the hands of paying consumers is a complicated task that most budding businesses realize the hard way.
If multinational companies like Sony can struggle to fulfill orders for PS5 consoles, then logistics will definitely be a problem for retailers and wholesalers.
Another issue related to logistics is the price of shipping itself; this contributes to abandoned carts.
So how can SMEs solve this logistics issue?
For starters, you need to decide if you want to handle logistics in-house or if you want to delegate to dedicated third-party carriers. Try to adjust your options according to the size of the business and the daily order volume. And — this is important — consider adding free shipping to entice users into completing purchases.
Even if your eCommerce marketplace is easy to use, online shoppers will encounter issues when trying to buy goods. And the presence of online support will determine if they will leave your site for your competitors or not.
A report from SuperOffice claims that 77% of customers will not use your site if it doesn’t offer live support. Kayako reports that 79% of businesses claim that offering live chat has positively affected sales, revenue, and customer loyalty.
If you want to keep consumers engaged with your content — and your product offering — you need chatbots and live chat features. Chatbots like MobileMonkey and Botsify can help you automate your responses in order to address customer concerns faster.
Amazon Lex chatbots can understand the caller’s intent, which improves the success rate of interactions and solves your customer’s requests via self-service.
The best brands make it easy for shoppers to return goods if they are not satisfied with the quality. According to ComScore, 60% of online shoppers prefer shopping with retailers who have a clear return policy.
If you want to solidify your reputation as a top player in your niche, you need to create a transparent refund policy that revolves around providing the best possible shopping experience for the customer.
Here are renowned brands that have aced product returns (with slogans):
Getting new customers is a hurdle, but keeping them is an entirely different race. Successful businesses try to retain most of their customers. Although an average retention rate of 75% is ideal for a retail business, you should strive to keep all your customers.
With customer relationship management (CRM) systems, you can build and nurture relationships with your customers.
Here are ways to maximize the impact of CRMs:
Customer management platforms like Bitrix24, Zoho CRM, and Agile CRM can help you manage sales, marketing, and customer service operations on one platform.
At IntexSoft, we have extensive experience in CRM development, customization, and integration. Our eCommerce development team can help you build enterprise solutions that can handle all areas of your business.
As an eCommerce business owner, you’ll encounter several problems affecting how customers discover and interact with your product. To ensure that your business maintains steady growth, always put the user experience first. Use automation tools to analyze data and deliver quality products to consumers. And most importantly, figure out ways to retain your core audience while acquiring new prospects.