There’s no question e-commerce is here to stay and continues to grow (to a projected $600 billion dollars by 2019). While this means there are more shoppers and the chance to increase revenue, it also means increased competition and a very fickle consumer base.
We’ve highlighted the most common problems retailers face on their e-commerce platform as well as a few solutions to make them go away. How many of these can you check off your list?
1. A lack of trust
By now, consumers are used to buying products online, even from new businesses. However, they are very careful about what websites they deal with and won’t make any purchases if they don’t fully trust you.
Solution: Make sure to have a modern, professional responsive website. Don’t have any broken links or functionality problems. If you do have a copyright display on your pages, make sure it is set to the current year as the site needs to be up to date. Using a secure “https” connection is mandatory, too, when taking credit card or other sensitive information. Real customer reviews also helps establish that others have had a good experience buying from you.
2. No visitors
If you build it, will they come? Not necessarily. Just because you are selling a quality product at a fair price doesn’t mean the word gets out.
Solution: Create an exciting press release that you can send to news sites or blogs in your niche. Be creative with your announcement (and be sure to make it newsworthy) so your business will really catch their eye. You can also offer free samples of your product or service in exchange for reviews. Consider buying Google AdWords and target mid-level keywords that have low competition.
3. Lookie-loos but no buyers
If you do have visitors that are checking out your stuff but not making purchases, the question you have to ask yourself is: why?
Solution: This is one of the fundamental problems of e-commerce and there are many factors that can influence your customers’ behavior. You may want to experiment by A/B testing pages using different pricing, graphics, and language. Visit the site yourself and try to imagine being a first time visitor. Is the navigation confusing? Is it too difficult to check out? Are the product descriptions enticing enough? These are all areas of your site that need to be continually monitored and tweaked.
4. Angry customers
If you are not careful with your fulfillment chain, you could have a rash of irate consumers. They can flood your phone lines, overwhelm chat rooms, and, worst of all, leave negative reviews around the web.
Solution: Keep careful tabs on the entire fulfillment process. Ensure your buyers can easily track their shipments. Go the extra mile in packaging – don’t just put things in a plain wrapper, make the unboxing part of the experience (find product packing tips here). Make customer service a priority and be sure to offer no-hassle returns.
While you always want to treat your customers with respect, you have to take precautions against those that are trying to steal from you or others.
Solution:Make sure to monitor your site for attacks. For purchases, you may want to consider sending verification emails or add “I’m not a robot” captchas. Be wary of COD orders, avoiding if at all possible; if not, request a phone number and voice verification. Make sure your Credit Card approvals are correctly implemented, but note that if you set the verification criteria to be very strict you might increase abandonment . Report any suspicious activity to the local authorities, and, if severe, to the FTC. To reduce your own liability if you are breached, keep as little personal information about your customers as possible.