Cracking the Major Issues Plaguing E-Commerce Companies Today
“Making a profitable e-commerce store is hard work. I love the fact that Shopify clients help each other in our forums. I love the fact that everyone feels like we are in this together and that we all will succeed together.”– Scott Lake, co-founder, Shopify
E-commerce strategies are constantly evolving and re-invention is vital for survival in this powerful industry. Competition is fierce and despite the promising figures, it doesn’t mean that all retail e-commerce companies are minting huge money. Sticking to old methods in developing the e-commerce business can be a blunder. You have to think on your feet for every aspect of the business from customer service to website maintenance.
Let’s look at the major problems faced by most of the e-commerce companies and their solutions.
Problem: Online Identity Verification
An e-commerce website portal cannot identify between a genuine and a fake customer. As such, when a customer opts for Cash-On-Delivery (COD) purchase, invalid or incorrect customer information, like contact number and address creates a revenue loss.
Solution: Ensure setting up necessary checks to identify dubious entries and verify customer information. These include checking zip code for state/city match, textual message or e-mail to confirm e-mail address and phone numbers, and automated call to validate the delivery address, amongst others.
Problem: Product return and refund headache
In a survey, it was revealed that the e-commerce returns are growing by every minute with the last five-year period clocking in a 94.8% increase. And more and more customers before making a purchase are reviewing the return policy. Irrespective the reason, any returned product is a heavy loss of shipment and reputation for the e-commerce retailer. Particularly with the prohibitive logistics and shipping costs for small businesses that offer free product delivery.
Solution: Clear and transparent return and refund policy, today, signify great customer services in the retail e-commerce industry. So, while designing returns policy you should keep in mind that the policy is drafted in easy to read and understand language without any scary implications like, ‘you are required’. Also, the expectations in terms of payments and shipping should be clearly provided for effective customer assistance.
“Customer service is what you and your organisation provide. Customer loyalty is the result of the service.” – Shep Hyken
Problem: Competitive pricing and warehouse & shipping struggles
Big online merchants nurture price competition which badly affects the small retail e-commerce companies. This is evident through sellers listing products across sites with less price and free shipping. At the same time, smaller sellers cannot offer these competitive selling rates and shipping options, which are possible for big companies due to widely spread warehouse & shipping facilities.
Solution: Amazon and Walmart with their distributed warehouses have shipping amenities all across the country. Likewise, smaller e-commerce companies, to survive in the competitive market need to disperse their own inventory to fulfilment warehouses. In addition, web stores are increasingly offering corresponding solutions to sellers for a better reach to customers, for instance, several e-commerce makers and manufacturers selling through Shopify use Shopify track inventory which allows you to manage your inventory and production process.
Problem: Data Security
The web is crawling with nightmarish security issues and fraudsters are trying every day to access your confidential data.
Solution: Refrain from using common FTP to transfer files – manage your own servers. Also, data risks can be minimised with constantly updating shopping cart. Instruct your developers to take back up, periodically at regular intervals. If you review closely, you will realise that cybercrime is not restricted to sellers or buyers. And one does wonder who is really safe online!
“You can’t look at the competition and say you’re going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently.” – Steve Jobs
The online businesses have to struggle every day and survival mandates application of the best strategy for every aspect of the e-commerce business. These are the times to be agile and use the ideal advances to jump-start your retail e-commerce growth.