By the end of 2019, the eCommerce industry will be worth a staggering $600 billion. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone in the eCommerce sector is generating a bucket load of sales.
To get a good chunk of this $600 billion, eCommerce business owners still have to ensure they are adopting the best working practices and expanding their business sustainably to meet consumer demand and keep boosting sales.
In order for you not to lose sales when your competitors are growing their own businesses, here are the six most common obstacles eCommerce business leaders face as well as how to solve them to ensure future growth and profits.
Top Challenges eCommerce Business Owners Face
1. Detecting Fake Customers
Without a brick and mortar establishment, detecting fake customers for an eCommerce business is more difficult.
For businesses that allow cash-on-delivery (COD) purchase, establishing a customer’s identity and ensuring they are real is essential for protecting the business’s bottom line.
Definition of cash-on-delivery: Cash on delivery (COD) is a type of transaction in which the recipient makes payment for a good at the time of delivery.
Using an identity verification service will help avoid filling bogus orders for phantom customers and ensure each and every order filed comes from a real, legitimate user.
2. Responding to Competition
When your business starts doing well and others can see your success, it invites many other players to enter the market. They see your success and believe they can replicate it with their own eCommerce store.
This often happens especially if you are the first to identify a hot selling product in your niche and locality.
Responding to this sort of competition is often challenging to eCommerce owners. It is tempting to become embroiled in price wars, promotional battles, or go the other way and avoid stepping on each other’s toes.
However, instead of worrying about competitors, when faced with increased competition, focus on your own company. Keep doing what made you successful and find a way to communicate what makes your company unique. This is a smart way to beat competition in the ecommerce industry.
3. Allocating Your Marketing Budget
Many small but profitable online businesses that can be quickly launched in a couple of days don’t define their target audiences clearly enough. How bad?
They may spend money on social media ads like Facebook advertising, LinkedIn advertising, Twitter advertising or Instagram ads, targeting a broad range of users, many of whom will never use their products.
If you don’t know jack about how to optimize for paid traffic, it is better to focus on identifying which marketing channels are delivering the most customers, and channel spending into these marketing avenues instead.
Doing this will help you market your products more efficiently and have you making more money by spending less on advertising.
For years now, we’ve been helping businesses like yours to manage their social media advertising so they can focus on other important aspects of their business that will be quite difficult to outsource. If you think we can help you contact us today.
4. Generating Repeat Business
An eCommerce business cannot survive on new customers alone. If you’ve been focusing all your marketing energies to acquire new customers, please, stop and re-strategize.
You need both new and returning customers to grow your ecommerce empire pretty fast.
Building customer loyalty is imperative, but no easy feat without the opportunity to interact with customers and users face to face.
In order increase the volume of repeat sales, invest in customer service to ensure each and every customer has an enjoyable experience purchasing from your site.
Live chat support options, tracked shipping, and photos of your staff on company social media pages provide transparency and opportunities for customers to interact with your brand. Having these things on your site are proven strategies for boosting ecommerce conversion.
5. Learning When to Delegate After Growth
As the ecommerce business owner, knowing when to delegate is a skill that takes times to learn, particularly after expansion.
As your company grows, you will have to delegate more to staff members. While each owner will be different and each company will have its own culture, generally, as the business owner, you would want to maintain control over the big-picture strategies.
For smaller, day-to-day decisions, your key staff members should be trusted to make the right decision without your constant input.
Failure to learn when to delegate as a leader, your ecommerce business will likely struggle unnecessarily.
6. Setting the Right Return Policy
63% of American shoppers check the return policy before purchasing from an eCommerce provider. This means that the wrong returns policy could hamper sales and have a significant impact on the bottom line.
Be transparent with your returns policy and lay out the terms of returns and refund in simple, easy-to-understand language.
In your refund policy, clearly outline what you expect from the customer without using overbearing language like “you must”. Also, outline what the customer should expect from you.
If you have never written returns policy before or seen one used by other ecommerce business leaders in your niche, we suggest you download a couple of returns policy templates online.
Finally, ensure all members of your staff are aware of the returns policy. This is because they will be the ones dealing with dissatisfied customers.
Understanding how to respond to dissatisfied customers could mean the difference between building a lifelong business relationship with a customer, and them being left unhappy and ready to tell their friends about the negative experience they had with your company.
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