By Brian Mechem
Globally, ecommerce businesses are flourishing, and sales are increasing. By 2021, ecommerce sales are expected to reach nearly $5000 billion.
Trust me, creating your ecommerce website is the easiest step. The real challenges will follow once you’ve developed your website and want to grow your business. Managing your ecommerce business and relationships with your customers are where it gets really difficult.
So, how are you going to solve these challenges?
If you have an ecommerce startup that’s going through a bit of struggle, now might be a good time to pause and evaluate. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common areas where many ecommerce startups struggle. And we will also talk about the possible solutions. So, let’s get started.
We know that smartphones have taken the world by storm. The use of mobile devices is briskly increasing and so is the percentage of searches made from mobiles. It increased from 0.7% in 2009 to nearly 53% in 2018. Use mobile devices and boost your ecommerce business.
Just by creating a website for your ecommerce business, you can’t expect your business to take off. Apart from having a great website, you must also consider developing a mobile site. This will ensure that you are not losing a huge chunk of potential customers.
There are various aspects which you must take into consideration when developing a mobile-friendly website. Otherwise, it’s not going to boost your business’ growth.
- Optimize your mobile checkout – You must make the checkout process a seamless experience for your customers. Many ecommerce startups overlook the importance of optimizing the checkout process. The process may be very well-structured and free from errors on desktop or laptop. But it may be faulty and even malfunction on a mobile device.
- Provide an excellent user experience on mobile – You must focus on providing an overall excellent shopping experience to your customers. It’s easy to navigate and browse products on a desktop or laptop. You must ensure that prospects are able to easily navigate from one page to another on the mobile site too. Ensure that without any hassle, your potential customers are able to find what they are looking for.
Other than creating a mobile-friendly website, you may also want to consider developing a mobile app for your ecommerce business. Trust me, it can be a real game changer.
2. Challenges in Checkout
When we talk about ecommerce payments, the first thing which comes to mind is security. Along with security, speed and convenience are two other important factors which you must keep in mind. I’m sure you don’t want your customers to abandon your ecommerce site because of payment issues. Let me tell you, payment issues can frustrate customers easily and prevent them coming back to your website.
To address the security issues, I would recommend you to have an SSL certificate on your website. This will ensure the security of your customer’s data related to payment details. You also should consider providing multiple payment options to your customers. Not having multiple payment options can lead to your customers canceling their orders and not proceeding further.
Now you don’t want this to happen, do you? So you need to make sure to have a checkout process that’s convenient and easy-to-use. Allow your customers to purchase your products as a guest, without having to create an account.
Amazon provides multiple payment options for their customers during the checkout process. This certainly provides a great customer experience.
3. Gaining the Trust of Consumers
Gaining the trust of consumers is one the biggest challenges of an ecommerce startup. It takes time to build a brand’s credibility and win customers. Even though you may have some fantastic products, unless people believe you, they won’t invest in your brand.
But how are you going to gain their trust in a short amount of time? The answer is influencer marketing. This strategy has stood the test of time and proven to be very effective. You can also use this strategy to strengthen your product marketing strategy.
Did you know that people’s purchase intent increases 5.2X when brands combined their tweets with those from influencers? Through influencers, you can speak directly to your potential customers. It can help you tap into new markets and gain customers. Influencer marketing also helps you by generating organic traffic and leads to your website. It is a great way to win the trust of your target audiences quickly.
But how do you leverage influencers?
Well, there are many ways to partner with influencers for your marketing campaigns. You can ask them to promote your store by talking about it on their social media profiles. You can also share the content created by influencers on your social profiles.
You can ask influencers to share reviews about your products on their blogs or social channels. Or you can write guest posts on your influencer’s blog. When writing a guest post, don’t forget to link it back to your own website.
For example, Jaclyn Hill, a beauty influencer, has over 5.4 million followers on Instagram. On her website, she mentions a list of beauty brands she uses. Links like these are a great source of organic traffic to a brands website.
4. Navigation of Your Website
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Imagine visiting a website and not knowing where and how to move. If your ecommerce website or app is not user-friendly for navigation, visitors won’t stay for long on your website. And you might lose business.
You must consider the placement of the cart icon and your navigation links. Make sure that they’re prominent and can be found easily. When creating the website, along with design and layout, you must consider the ease of navigation for a first-time visitor.
Give your customers the freedom to search and refine the results. You can do this by adding various filters near the search bar. Your main product category will surely have sub-categories. So, develop multi-level navigation menus. Nike organizes their product categories and subcategories in a very efficient manner.
There are many challenges in an ecommerce business, especially if you are just starting out. However, with a little effort, you can overcome most of them. Find suitable influencers and collaborate with them to win the trust of your potential customers. And provide a flawless shopping experience to your customers.
If you can think of any other struggles faced by ecommerce startups, please share them in the comments below.