So you’ve decided to create an ecommerce website. Congratulations! You are about to embark on an exciting journey that connects you with customers around the world and puts you in charge. And it’s a great time to join the fun. Ecommerce is experiencing double-digit growth year over year and is expected to hit $4 trillion worldwide by 2020!
Still, there are some serious challenges to running your own ecommerce business; especially when you are competing with smaller merchants and web giants in an already bustling digital marketplace. But don’t get discouraged, anything worth doing, is worth doing right.
Below are a few of the frustrations ecommerce vendors experience and how to overcome them.
Storage Wars: One of the first struggles for an ecommerce SMB is simply finding where to store your products. Investing in a storage facility can be an additional operating cost, but keeping boxes in your home or office can create clutter quickly. Drop shipping is another option for vendors who want to a third party to handle manufacturing and delivery. It’s really up to you, but whatever you choose, remember to avoid overstocking as this can lead to headaches down the line relating to capacity and sluggish sales.
Products Cost Too Much: Ecommerce is a tricky thing. Buyers love it because they can find niche items, but they might be less likely to buy expensive items like furniture or electronics from an SMB. While a few big sales might be enough to keep your business afloat, it’s definitely much harder to move these larger or pricier goods.
Products Cost Too Little: Conversely, it’s difficult to turn a profit selling low-cost products. Sure, you might make dozens of T-shirt sales, but you may need to sell hundreds to put your business in the black. The key here is to sell a healthy mix of inexpensive and big-ticket products.
Clumsy Ecommerce Platform: Building your own service from scratch can be tough, which is why most users create an ecommerce website from a reputable platform provider like Shopify. One major benefit of working with a provider is that they offer recommendations and add-ons for almost anything you might need. However, some still decide to do things themselves which can often lead to poor design and clunky user interfaces. Whatever you choose to do, be sure your ecommerce store is sleek, easy to use and appealing to the eyes.
Returns & Refunds: Nothing deflates enthusiasm like closing a sale then processing a refund. To keep this from happening, be sure that you handle customer service issues before they become refunds. Perhaps the problem is as simple as switching the size or color of the item, in which case you can facilitate and exchange. Customers will appreciate the extra effort to make things right.
Weak Cybersecurity: Sorry to be the barrier of bad news, but hackers and cybercriminals love ecommerce websites. There is just too much financial and personal information for them to ignore; and if a crook can get their hands on it, then can pilfer your site for all sorts of products and goodies. If you want to keep your business (and your customers) safe, consider investing in a robust cybersecurity policy. It’s much cheaper than losing your shoppers and products to some faceless hacker.
Lack of Marketing Knowhow: Building up a customer base requires a lot of work. It takes a little bit of social media marketing, some email marketing, maybe some paid advertising and possibly even some content creation. This can be especially hard for a limited staff, so consider implementing each method as you go rather than biting off more than you can chew.
Remember, creating an ecommerce website isn’t a ‘get rich quick scheme’ — but rather a continuous dedication to online sales. Keep this in mind and you’ll be sure to overcome any obstacles that stand in your way.