E-commerce has become the go-to option for anyone looking to make money from online business. E-commerce is known to be a business that entrepreneurs can do without investing huge capital before breaking into the industry.
As smooth as the e-commerce business appears, it does require more tactics than meets the eye. Different product or industry has their own unique ways of marketing. Hence, the reason why not all strategy fits all store. It varies from store to store depending on the product niche.
Before the advent of online buying and selling, people were very comfortable about getting items from physical retail stores. With the evolution of e-commerce, in the early years, it is quite easy to get more sales using the internet. However, in recent years, more and more stores have been established in the e-commerce industry. Hereby increasing the number of retailers and competitors of the same product.
In all of this, there are some common challenges faced by online retailers as regards marketing their products, sales, and customer base.
These challenges are our focus in this article to help other store owners read and also know how to handle such when they get to the point.
Challenges Faced By E-commerce Store Owners
1. How To Start
Most e-commerce merchants are faced with this challenge. Choosing between building a custom website or owning a store on e-commerce platforms like Shopify or Woocommerce is a common issue.
This is coupled with how to design or set up the store so that it can attract customers to buy. For new folks in the e-commerce space, it is advisable that you start with an established e-commerce platform. This helps you increase your brand trust in the mind of buyers.
Online customers feel a lot safer when they see the store operates on a popular e-commerce platform. To get past this stage, you can run your store from e-commerce platforms. Doing this is less costly when it comes to engineering and website setup.
Platforms like Shopify provide customers with a database from which their store operates. And this brings fewer server issues to your table compared to having a custom website.
2. Attracting customers
This is the major wall for stores that are entirely new on how to compete with existing e-commerce stores with great street credibility.
To acquire sales for every e-commerce store, you need to get customers. Getting customers is the next thing after setting up your online stores. When it comes to this, the deal is to attract target customers and not just any random online buyer.
You need to know how to reach online buyers who can be converted to sales. To achieve this, you can invest your efforts and resources into paid campaigns or ads on social platforms. This is what most e-commerce stores leverage in order to get the kind of customers who are interested in their products.
The culture for online buyers today is to get information about a product they want to buy from reviews from customers who have bought similar items. The challenge for most retailers is how to convince customers who haven’t bought from them before to purchase an item.
Knowing how to convert such customers can help you as a store merchant to increase your customer base and sales.
3. Cart Abandonment
The first hurdle is how to get customers. The second hurdle is to convert them to sales. In between these two hurdles, there are times when you will have customers who have added items to their cart without checking out.
Cart abandonment happens due to several reasons. Some of which are from the customers’ end and some on the part of the store owner. The peculiarity of cart abandonment is that you might not be able to place your hands on why each customer has abandoned their cart. This makes it difficult to sort out this challenge.
However, there are practical solutions that can help you deal with this as a store owner. Retargeting campaigns, emails, discounts, and shorter checkout procedures are ways you can use to reduce cart abandonment.
4. Customer Retention
It is a popular idea that the kind of profit you get from returning customers is more than what you get from first-time buyers. This is because first-time buyers use their first purchase in a store to test brand credibility and customer experience. Hence, the reason for them buying fewer items.
How to get customers to return to buy from your store becomes a challenge. It is quite easier to gain a new customer but more work will be done to make that customer return to keep buying from the store.
Usually, e-commerce merchants engage in marketing strategies to help keep first-time buyers loyal to buying from the store.
One of the strategies used by store owners is to optimize the thank you page so that customers can be retargeted with offers that can encourage them to return and make a new order. That is why the Reorder button is a feature of the Thank You Page Builder to help you boost customer retention rate for your Shopify store.
5. Driving traffic to the store
Visibility is a thing for e-commerce stores. It is necessary that you are able to reach more audiences with your store out of which you will get some converted to sales.
No matter how top quality the product you sell is, people, need to know that a store like yours exists first before they can visit. Getting traffic to the store becomes a challenge, especially for new stores that are just starting out. Some existing stores also experience these issues.
However, you can drive traffic to your store using many marketing channels, and engaging the social platforms can help you acquire the kind of customer that you seek.
6. Order fulfillment
After a customer makes an order for your products, it then becomes your duty to get the order delivered to the customer.
Order fulfillment is one of the unique selling points a brand can have. This is because it boosts customer experience in a greater way. You can easily attract more customers and build a base of loyal ones because they trust your fulfillment process to be efficient and satisfying.
Some stores do not have the capacity to own a direct fulfillment service. So they engage third-party e-commerce fulfillment services to get their orders delivered. In the process, these fulfillment service providers may treat the recipients in a not-too-good manner. And this can smear the brand’s reputation.
This is one of the challenges faced by retail stores. The probable solution is to ensure that the fulfillment service used by your store is a trusted one that has customers at the center of their business.
With these few words, knowing how to handle the common challenges highlighted in this article can save you a lot of stress from having to directly experience them. Aside that, you get a chance to speed up your Shopify journey by avoiding these hurdles.