About a decade ago, you could have sold just anything on e-commerce and make lots of money because the competition was minimal; technology was limited, and so on. Today, the growth of e-commerce is touching the skies, mainly due to the digital transformation in the country. The industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of 51% by 2020 and achieve remarkable growth. E-commerce is considered one of the best ways to interact with the customers and particularly, B2C e-commerce sites are meant to fulfill the needs of customers in every possible manner.
Setting an online store is expensive, understanding customer choices is difficult, converting visitors into buyers is another challenge. Always remember that the customers are not only looking for the right products or right prices but they look for a complete shopping experience package. As a B2C e-commerce business, it is vital to support the customer throughout their shopping lifecycle, which starts from the selection of the right product, quality of the product, on-time delivery, post-purchase experience with the store, customer service if anything goes wrong with the order.
Today, not all e-commerce businesses are making money consistently as many challenges are standing in the way. The rapid growth of e-commerce also poses many challenges and requires every online business to keep an eye on these challenges to understand the hindrances in their way.
In this blog, we highlight the 7 most bugging issues in B2C e-commerce business and most importantly, the tips and ways to solve them.
The Top 7 E-commerce challenges and how to solve them
1. Choosing the wrong technology partner and tools
Technology is the backbone of e-commerce business and one of the most important deciding factors for your online business performance. A large part of e-commerce is dependant on innovation, technology, personalization and automation, only a single wrong selection can hamper your efforts.
Sourcing the right technology partner and tools is a complicated process as compared to other core business processes. With the rapid pace of e-commerce technology, it is extremely important to ensure quick service delivery.
There are many options to sell online. Many small businesses sign up with the existing marketplaces like Amazon, eBay that allows listing products on their storefront. But it provides limited control over your B2C e-commerce business, setting up your website with feature-rich and scalable solution allows you to gain innumerable benefits.
The e-commerce businesses looking for an excellent e-commerce technology partner need to ask some questions to find the best solution for their business:
- Can the software be customized for my business needs?
- How easy the software is to set up and use?
- Can it help in increasing business profits?
- Does the software require too much of software maintenance, or it is a one-time setup?
- What security measures are taken to protect the information of customers?
- Are there any transaction/order limits?
- Can physical store software integrate with online data, resources, and operations?
- What kind of support is expected from the online B2C e-commerce technology /solution provider?
- What is the total cost of setup and maintenance?
2. Lots of window shoppers and Lack of buyers
The most painful point of running an online store is getting visitors but not being able to convert them into buyers. For an e-commerce business, every single sales count because flooding your showroom with customers will not make any profit for the business. The matter of the fact is that you need to convert website visitors into paying customers.
So, getting traffic without conversion is more or less like taking the right position in a game, but not scoring a single point. Many top e-commerce platforms like StoreHippo can drive your marketing efforts to convert the website visitors as well as email leads into customers. For example, the shopping cart abandonment feature provided by StoreHippo, is an excellent tool to bring back the lost customers with strategic follow-ups. Always, keep in mind that conversion optimization is a continuous process.
3. Lost online visibility
In 2004, online sales were merely 1.6 percent of the total retail sales but going fast forward to 2018, online purchases have made up to 58 percent of retail sales. Online sales have come a long way and one of the primary reasons behind this success is deft utilization of e-commerce marketing tools and techniques.
With so many B2C e-commerce stores, it has become a big challenge to cope up with the online visibility factors. It is time to rethink your e-commerce strategies and attract more actionable visibility on the store. For example, the excellent features of search engine optimization, email marketing, dynamic pages, integrated discounts and coupon management provided by StoreHippo can help your e-commerce business perform better in the competitive online market. Grow your website traffic and make the action of customers work for your business.
4. Sloppy Shipping and Fulfilment
Most of the e-commerce players are facing shipping and fulfillment issues that ultimately leads to inefficient order management, delayed orders, mismanaged inventory, dissatisfied customers, increased costs, negative brand image, and much more. The shipping and fulfillment can definitely make or break an e-commerce business. Every online shopper expects its order to be delivered fast and with the lowest shipping cost.
Combating this challenge is very difficult in online business. To survive in the competitive market, shipping and fulfillment can make a big difference.To experience hassle-free, automated and discounted logistics solutions for your business you should look for a logistics aggregator.. ShipKaro , StoreHippo’s logistics aggregator platform can give a major boost to your business by helping you reach domestic and international markets. What’s more your B2C logistics will get added benefits of multiple partners, COD support, automation and discounted delivery, all at one place.
5. Poor Customer Service
Neglecting customer service is the biggest mistake for any e-commerce business. If customers don't see your contact number, email address, customer support on the website, they lose the reliability factor and back away from your store. Buying online is completely a matter of trust, especially for new customers. The customers want to be assured that they will be served and their payment is secure in case of prepaid orders.
People need to understand that your customer service team is always ready to resolve any issues they might have. Always make the contact details easily accessible for your customers and provide as many options as you can. Live chat is also a great option because it removes maximum barriers and solves the problems better and faster. The dynamic features of StoreHippo top ecommerce platform supports the customers interactions in a unified manner with a combination of SMS, emails, push and web notifications. It ensures to keep the customers engaged and updated throughout their journey.
6. Inaccurate stock management
A lot of customers get back from the e-commerce stores when they see the three words "Out of Stock". This can destroy the overall e-commerce business and drive away the customers forever. A lot can go wrong when the stock management is inefficient and online business does not deliver their promises, especially when customers give damaging negative reviews online. It can lead to further loss of revenues and customers.
Hence, it becomes very important to have a proper stock management system in place, as it allows B2C businesses to operate at maximum capacity, avoiding stock-outs, keep up with the delivery timelines, and ensure to run the shipping smoothly. Maintain up-to-date inventory, keep the stock synced with sales, get out of stock options, multiple logistics partners with StoreHippo. Many clients have gained tremendous benefits, Read more case studies here.
7. Maintaining customer loyalty
Acquiring a new customer is more than five times costlier than retaining an existing one. And the success rate of selling to a current customer is more than 60% as compared to a success rate of only 5-10% to the new customer. It clarifies that customer loyalty is a big challenge for B2C e-commerce businesses and it becomes very important to retain the maximum number of customers.
The most important factor to maintain customer loyalty is to provide excellent customer service. The positive shopping experience is a MUST for the customers so that they are happy and likely to stay with you forever.
The last word
Surviving in e-commerce competition is no less than a war and requires dynamic strategies every day. If you are not adept at e-commerce, shipping and logistics, online marketing, customer services and don’t want to struggle with all of them, let StoreHippo top ecommerce platform assist you with best of the e-commerce services and provide a better chance for you to flourish in the market. Start your 14-day free trial and explore how StoreHippo features help you solve these bugging B2C e-commerce issues.