Ecommerce is a continuously growing and evolving industry. Development of ecommerce has opened new opportunities for businesses, whether it’s an already established business or a new venture. Likewise, customer behaviour has also been changing as more of them turn to online stores to either research or purchase products. As a result, having online presence is no longer an option for a business, it’s a necessity. Its ongoing development means that each year it would be evolving, which will trigger high competition. As a result businesses in the ecommerce industry may face challenges in order to survive.
Online shopping experiences are quite different from shopping at brick and mortar shops, therefore building trust and reliability is very important for businesses to be able to develop customer loyalty. The website is the very first impression that the customers will have, therefore it’s important to have a well-designed and user friendly website, in order to attract traffic and customers. Another method of achieving confidence in customers and to get an edge over competition, online retailers can provide a ‘package tracking platform’.
This has become a vital marketing strategy for online retailers, as consumers generally tend to do a basic online search to learn about a brand or a product. Content marketing includes a range of tactics such as social media, blogging, e-newsletters, mobile content, etc. Nowadays sites featuring original content are more likely to do well, therefore it is important for ecommerce businesses to understand the tactics which work best for them, their customers and brand in order to be effective in content marketing.
Today ecommerce has evolved to mobile shopping, most of the consumers use their smart phone or tablet to purchase products via web or through an app. Therefore it is mandatory for online retailers to provide services that support mobile shoppers as well. It has now become a necessity for online retailers with ecommerce platforms to have mobile presence as well.
Consumers expect reliable delivery methods, amidst, there are also many online retailers out there who provide free shipping services. It has become necessary to have easy shipping, quick delivery and hassle free return policies. Therefore delivery charges, holiday shipping demands and speed in delivery are common challenges faced by ecommerce businesses.
Using big data
Big data is trending in e-commerce and online marketing. It gives an opportunity for businesses to gather insights about their customer behaviour by tracking customer browsing patterns, purchasing behaviour and decisions. This helps businesses to focus more on customization/personalization to improve customers’ shopping experience and also very beneficial for predicting sales forecasts based on the trends.
Consumers highly depend on customer services, therefore many online retailers are faced with the challenge of providing the best customer support. It is mandatory to have a good customer support system in place in order to cope up with competition. These support systems can be via e-mail, inbound phone calls or “contact us” forms, however it is important to have these options properly in place to avoid any disappointment. A website providing self-service customer support through FAQ will enable to reduce the number of calls and e-mails.
International online retail
Ecommerce has removed geographical barriers, now it is easier than ever before to connect with new customers and expanding into new international markets especially via online channels. However, even though online retailers are keen to grow into international trade it shouldn’t forget the customer support that’s goes in hand with it. It is necessary to be able to provide the logistics for international orders such as reliable shipping methods, customer support in different languages, etc. in order to be competitive.
Ecommerce industry is growing rapidly, hence challenges faced by online retailers are also changing constantly. Therefore it is important that the online retailers identify what challenges them the most and work on methods to improve and be in par with competition.