The idea of making money on the internet has its upsides, but one should not underestimate the hardships that come with it. After all, if the whole thing was easy, more people would do it and become successful.
No, overcoming the challenges is part of the process. Even if you find a relatively narrow and untapped market with next to no competition, it does not necessarily mean that there will be a demographic big enough to make the business successful. And that is just one example of a potential challenge.
Below, you will find 7 common ecommerce challenges that aspiring entrepreneurs need to overcome if they want to succeed.
Let’s start with order fulfillment. More often than not, beginners go with the dropshipping business model because they do not have to invest as much time and money, not to mention the risks and more time to focus on customer service.
Whether you want to sell custom 60s t shirts and other merchandise or smart home appliances, you will need to find a reliable supplier. And that is a perfect example of a challenge that can be hard to overcome.
Not only are you limited by the availability because of your niche, but some suppliers will already have plenty of partners and be reluctant to work with more.
Since you are going to depend on a supplier so much, it is crucial to put as much effort as possible into researching what you can about them.
You might think that cybersecurity should not be a concern when you are just starting. The reality is that even small and new websites get attacked, and the frequency of DDoSsing and other forms of attacks increases when the business establishes itself and gets more customers.
For the most part, it is your competitors playing dirty tricks, but you should not discard the possibility of random attacks.
Ideally, you want to invest in multiple security layers and create safety nets. Also, do not forget that security exists not just for the uptime and the overall performance of the website. You have to consider the possibility of customer data getting leaked, which would result in a lot of negative consequences.
Competition is inevitable, but you will have to find ways to overcome it if you want to find success. Sure, overcoming already established brands can be an impossible challenge, particularly if you do not have that many resources to back you up.
Nevertheless, the fact that there are other brands in the same niche should not demotivate you from trying. If anything, you should treat the obstacle as a means of motivation.
To overcome the competition, you will need to think outside the box and look for ways to attract customers to your side while also trying to establish your authority in the industry.
Customer Loyalty and Retention
Customer loyalty and retention are tricky because you will first need to establish the business and convert leads into actual shoppers. What follows next is the process of persuading your customers that they should stick to your store and not look elsewhere.
The question is how you can accomplish that effectively. Some brands like to offer incentives, such as discounts, free shipping, and other benefits for loyal customers. Other brands focus on customer service and product quality and depend on the work they do to speak for themselves. Of course, the latter option also presents the challenge of ensuring good customer service and product quality.
Ultimately, if you wish to succeed in the ecommerce business, do not expect to rely on an influx of new customers. It is more efficient to focus on retention.
These days, website optimization is not really such a big issue, thanks to all the available themes and one-click content management systems that let you have a website up and running in a matter of seconds.
Having said that, you should still make sure to invest in a reliable host that ensures the website’s uptime. Also, do not forget about mobile optimization because roughly half of all online shoppers use smartphones and tablets.
And while we are on the subject of mobile devices, sometime down the line, you might want to start considering the idea of an iOS and Android app to make things for mobile shoppers even easier.
Returns and Refunds
Returns and refunds are to be expected given that shoppers are buying goods online and they cannot check the product in person.
It can be demotivating to have your stuff returned, and refunding the money does not feel great either, but you need to accept the fact that these things happen. Make sure that you have a proper system that automates the returns and refunds so that the shoppers are satisfied.
The idea of scaling a business should be on your mind regardless of how far into the venture you are. One of the best metrics to measure success is to see the growth of a business.
Be it more customers, new product introductions, or other aspects, a scaling and growing business will give you more motivation to continue. It is a matter of finding ways to grow. And do not fret if the growth is slow or insignificant. As soon as you are on the right path, you should be good.