In the UK alone, statistics show that one in each seven purchases is made online. These numbers grow everyday, but is ecommerce easy for retailers? The answer is no, unfortunately. There are challenges that ecommerce managers face everyday, and every time they are able to tackle them, a new challenge arises.
In this article, we’ll discuss a little bit of what worries ecommerce managers and a few possible future challenges that ecommerce is going to face soon.
Many people are still afraid of purchasing online. They wonder if their credit card information is going to be stolen, or that the website is not secure enough to store their payment details. Between 2016 and 2017, online fraud increased 5.5%, which didn’t help ecommerce in this issue. However, there are ways to make consumers trust you.
One of the easiest ways is providing safe ways to pay, like Paypal, credit cards, VISA, and many others. Their logos should be prominently displayed on every page at the bottom, so that users can be certain that nobody’s going to steal their payment info and that your payment process is legitimate.
People are also wary of 60-day return warranties, but you can ease their worries by providing them with the info they will need to track their order so that if anything goes wrong, they still have time for returning the product.
It’s also crucial to have an SSL certificate installed on your website to provide the https:// reference. Otherwise, browsers like Chrome will inform possible customers who are visiting your page that your website is not secure, which will make them not even get to your website to begin with.
Some retailers have issues keeping a steady revenue along the year due to the seasonality of their products. This happens to many companies who sell specific products whose demand is seasonal, which means they’ll make the most of their sales during summer or winter and then spend the rest of the year barely making a profit.
The way to approach this is to take the risk with new products which can be used during other seasons. As an example, Internet Gardener used to have only 10% of their sales during winter, which meant 90% of their sales were made during summer in the Northern Hemisphere. To oppose this tendency, the company started selling Christmas garden decorations. This brought an increase in their winter sales up to 30%. Seasonality is still there, but it has much decreased according to Andy Baxter, managing director of Internet Gardener.
This type of action might seem risky, but it comes with large benefits for the company. Diversify your offer and you’ll not only tackle seasonality but also reach out for different customers who might not have been interested in your store before.
Even though you might have easy forms of payment and engaging products, that’s not enough to make sure your users will buy your product. Usually a lot of factors contribute to cart abandonment. In fact, it has been reported that seven out of ten carts are left behind by users with no purchase.
The biggest challenge about this issue is identifying the problem with your customer journey and make it easier for people to buy through your online store.
A few factors to take into account when analysing your customer journey are ease of navigation, technical considerations, efficiency and speed of your site, customer engagement, and the precise cart abandonment location and reason.
Besides these factors, it helps to have personalised (to some extent) messages across the customer journey to make them feel sure about buying. This analysis that will always help your ecommerce store reduce the abandoned carts: the longer and deeper you dig, the more information you’ll have that will help you understand why people are leaving their shopping behind.
Putting reviews across the customer’s journey through your website will also help increase user trust, which also reduces cart abandonment. Make sure your website is optimised to give an easy shopping experience – sometimes users put a halt to their purchase just because your website is confusing and the payment process is not streamlined. This factor is also connected to customer trust: the more customers trust your brand, the more likely they are to proceed with their purchase.
The state of the ecommerce industry is constantly changing due to both changes in technology and pressure from customers. Customers want more and more, and they’re more impatient than ever.
With video presumed to account for 79% of online traffic in 2021, it’s not difficult to imagine shoppers clicking a video to add a product to their cart. Shoppable video provides the perfect environment for a quicker customer journey as it shortens the path to conversion.
While it seems a bit far-fetched, this reality is soon to come true, approaching fast as one of the most likely challenges in ecommerce.
For small retailers, this might be a large investment to make, but as shoppable video becomes a reality, more and more companies are going to offer this service at affordable prices. It might be difficult for small retailers to spend a chunk of their advertising money on something that is still an ongoing experiment, but this is going to become a necessary investment over time.
Something that has always concerned ecommerce managers, and still does, is the influence that large players like Amazon have in the ecommerce industry. With its ease of navigation, it might be soon that people stop using Google to look for a product and look for it directly at Amazon. Its search function makes it quite easy to find out the exact product that you’re after.
Amazon already accounts for 50% of online shopping activity, and as it starts offering advantages like same day delivery, it will be harder and harder to compete. The only chance small retailers have is to bet on offering something that Amazon does not provide.
While offering quick delivery is always an advantage, small ecommerce stores need to ensure customers they’re the better option through personalisation, efficiency and price competition. They might even try and outrank Amazon for search terms, but that’s a whole other issue.
This is a difficult battle for small ecommerce, but one they’re willing to fight. Small retailers need to figure out their niche and make sure they dominate it. For this reason, it helps to have the right thinking in your ecommerce team. Reach out for ecommerce recruitment specialists who will provide your team with the perfect fit for your workforce. The right people make your company better and bring new ideas to the table, which helps your online store stand above the competition.