As the e-commerce industry continues to rise due to significant advances in technology, there are endless opportunities to be had with starting your own ecommerce business or moving your existing business online.
With frequent changes being made to regulations and rules, it is important to consider the challenges that also occur whilst starting up your business. Below are some of the main obstacles that you may have to face during the initial stages of your e-commerce journey, as well as some guidance and tools that may help you tackle them.
What are the challenges and how can you overcome them?
Finding the right product
You may have an existing business and loyal customer base before making the transition to becoming an e-commerce business, but for those wanting to set up a new venture finding the right product to sell is crucial. With Amazon taking over the e-commerce market where you can source pretty much any product from one place and other players giving access to China manufactures at a low cost you need a unique product or selling point to drive customers to you site. Always do thorough research into your competition and make sure you stand out from the crowd.
Digital marketing channels are evolving, and retailers need to rely on more that one type of channel to drive traffic to their online stores through leveraging SEO and social media. The marketing channels and approach they use needs to be tailored to their target audience and monitored to ensure efforts are pushed to where the audience is engaging.
Online retailers can spend a significant amount of money driving traffic to their online store with conversion rates typically being low. The key to success is building an email subscribers list for the longer term where you can target your custom audience for potential customers and to retain interaction with existing customers.
Attracting new customers is more expensive and time consuming than retaining existing ones. It is therefore important that retailers get the most out of their customer bases to retain them for the future.
Step one is ensuring the initial transaction is a smooth and easy process making them want to return through faultless customer service, the products being easy to browse and the all-important payment stage is simple to navigate. You then need to keep customers engaged through targeted marketing and promotions.
Getting the technology right
Retailers will face challenges in receiving growth and retaining customers if their technology is limiting them. It is important to invest in a good technology foundation including but limited to your shopping cart solutions, inventory management, CRM and marketing analytics. Retailers must spend the time to decide carefully who they work with and receive recommendations from other retailers.
Cyber & Data Security
One of the biggest challenges that comes with eCommerce is the security of data, a technical issue with data can cause severe damage to the retailers’ operations and brand image. Customers are aware of the importance of their data and the need for data privacy so you should only hold the data that is necessary.
It is very important you have the right security to prevent cyber-attacks and have controls to avoid any data breaches.
Hiring the right people
The people behind the scenes will make your business and it is vital to attract the right talent in order to achieve your visions and aspirations
E-commerce customers can purchase from anywhere in the world and it important to make strategic decisions around the territories in which you will trade and supply products. Selling cross boarder will bring challenges with conversion of currencies and shipping of goods but it is also important that you understand the tax implications of trading in these jurisdictions and duties that may impact your customer on receipt of the goods.
Need help or guidance with starting your own e-commerce business, or moving online? Contact us with any queries you have below: