In 2019, over 1.9 billion people around the globe used online platforms for shopping. That is an eye-popping number for any sector. So, if you haven’t taken eCommerce seriously yet, then you have probably missed the bus.
eCommerce sales have doubled since 2015, and this doesn’t mean that all is well, and everyone is making money. While eCommerce is a convenient way to reach customers in any geography, it is also posing a lot of challenges for eCommerce owners.
Let us find out the challenges faced by eCommerce business owners and their easy solutions.
Omnichannel Customer Experience
Today’s customer is spoilt of choices. As an online shopper, the customer has several options to reach out to a business, including website, social media, email, or live chat, among others.
Customers can contact you through various touchpoints.
The question here is, are you offering all the relevant options through which your customer can do business with you? Businesses that are left behind in omnichannel retailing might lose their business to more tech-savvy competitors.
No one does Omnichannel marketing better than Disney.
And you can also easily emulate Disney’s omnichannel model as well. Here is a simple solution to it.
Do some research about which channels are mostly leveraged by your customers. Customer support should have the option to contact customers through their preferred channels, including email, video call, live chat, social media, or in-app messaging, among others.
For example, if your customer queries are coming more through live chats, then it would be wise to beef up the team of your live chat customer service executives.
The idea is to equip your team with the right technology that enables your business to serve customers across all touchpoints.
Innovative Sales Strategy
It is quite possible that your sales strategy is still stuck in the last decade. Offering high incentives and lucrative offers are not going to attract more customers.
Today’s customers are more informed who are looking for more value in personalization.
eCommerce businesses should leverage data-analytics to their advantage for actionable insights and efficient visitor segmentation. It will help you identify and connect with your visitors, depending on their past conversations, customer journey, geography, referral page, and browsing behavior, among others.
This will help in understanding the needs of your customers in a better way. You would be able to offer them more personalized services and offers they need. This would lead to more conversions.
Engage Your Customers & Earn Customer Loyalty
Businesses are spending big dollars to earn customer loyalty. Even the most efficient eCommerce websites are struggling to create new customers and keep them loyal to their business.
The trust can only be earned after multiple transactions. And you must make sure that each transaction went smooth and met the expectations of the customer.
Is it difficult? Yes, it is! So, how should it be done?
An online customer goes through a long journey before hitting the ‘BUY’ button and making the payment.
From finding your website on Google or Social Media, browsing the categories, reading reviews, selecting the product, placing the order, and receiving the delivery of the order, everything should go as per the expectations of the customer. A completely satisfied customer will come back!
Well, offering excellent service is a core thing. What else can be done?
Offer your customers a great loyalty program that offers great rewards and value.
Make your service a priority over profits. Delight your customers randomly by offering freebies or discounts as a reward for their loyalty.
Give a human angle to your business by posting blogs regularly that would talk about your business journey, challenges, and customers.
You can also display your address, contact information, pictures of staff, customer testimonials, and credibility badges on your eCommerce website to earn trust and goodwill.
Verify Customer Information
eCommerce channels have empowered customers to shop without having to interact with the shopkeeper. They can keep their identity anonymous.
eCommerce websites only get the information that is filled by the customer. There is no way to authenticate that information. Online businesses are losing a lot of revenue by delivering cash-on-delivery (COD) orders placed through fake numbers, invalid addresses, and wrong identities.
It can be solved easily in a step-by-step manner.
As an eCommerce business owner, you need to verify every customer information.
Validate the email address by sending a verification link and mobile phone number by sending a one-time password (OTP). You can verify addresses of COD orders through automated calls triggered to the mobile phone of the customer. Dispatch the order only after the customer verified the address verbally.
You can also look out for suspicious orders by identifying fake addresses and phone numbers. Fake orders are normally high-value COD orders placed on wrong addresses.
Provide a Satisfying Return/Refund Policy
Product return and refund is the biggest headache or any eCommerce business owner.
When a dissatisfied customer returns a product, it causes a huge loss in shipment. And more importantly, the reputation of the business takes a beating.
According to a research report, in the USA only, the cost of return deliveries would cost north of $550 billion by 2020.
Ironically, that gigantic number still doesn’t include restocking expenses and inventory loses.
But return and refund are also a big part of great customer service for any eCommerce business. Hence, ignoring return and refund policy is not an option.
Publish your return and refund policy in clear words on your eCommerce website to communicate exactly what you are offering. Be transparent, and never try to hide your policy.
You can even make your refund/return policy sound conversational and make it pleasant to the eyes.
Take this return policy, for instance:
Train your staff to assist customers efficiently in the event of a return or refund.
Focus on your pricing plans
eCommerce websites are competing on prices. You may find the same product listed on multiple sites with different prices. And the customer will most likely buy from the website that offers the lowest price.
Another factor that plays a major role is delivery time. Online sellers, including Walmart and Amazon, leverage shipping infrastructure spread across the country. They ship orders from the nearest fulfillment center to ensure the fastest delivery.
How can you meet the expectation of fast and free delivery?
You need to become a resourceful shipper and leverage fulfillment warehouses to reduce the delivery time. You can also develop a range of unique products that are not available with other online businesses to minimize the expectation of faster delivery.
Cyber fraud is a nightmare for eCommerce business owners. From the risk of losing confidential customer data to facing false transactions, a lot of money is always at stake.
It can be handled efficiently with proper due diligence and cybersecurity.
Manage your own server, ensure proper authorization and regular updates of security plugins. And avoid using FTP to transfer files as well for the highest security and authentication ensure Cheap EV SSL is installed on your eCommerce website.
That is all with the challenges and their solutions. eCommerce sound easy, but it is also a tricky business to be in.
But simple solutions can make your business more efficient and profitable. Implementation of these solutions will help you expedite the efficiency of our online business easily.