The idea of starting an E-commerce store and becoming financially independent sounds quite attractive. It would be difficult to find someone who would not be interested in such an opportunity.
According to Oberlo, roughly 2.1 billion people worldwide will shop online in 2022. Moreover, E-commerce sales surpassed 4.2 trillion dollars in 2020.
The spike is noticeable because of the pandemic since more and more people had to do their shopping online.
With that said, do not expect that your E-commerce journey will be easy. There are quite a few challenges that await those who decide to start an E-commerce venture. Whether you can overcome them or not depends, but at least make sure to familiarize yourself with potential obstacles before you commit.
- 1 Top 7 E-commerce Challenges & How to Overcome Them
- 1.1 Challenge #1 – Choosing the right suppliers
- 1.2 Challenge #2 – Dealing with returns and refunds
- 1.3 Challenge #3 – Struggle for pricing and shipping
- 1.4 Challenge #4 – Differentiate yourself from competition
- 1.5 Challenge #5 – Customer retention and loyalty
- 1.6 Challenge #6 – Increasing demand for cybersecurity
- 1.7 Challenge #7 – Catch up with Ecommerce trends
- 2 Conclusion
Top 7 E-commerce Challenges & How to Overcome Them
Challenge #1 – Choosing the right suppliers
More often than not, E-commerce beginners stick to the dropshipping business model. For example, if they are thinking about starting custom clothes line, it is more convenient to look for a supplier and focus on coming up with designs you would put on hoodies, t-shirts, and other clothes.
However, the issue is finding a reliable supplier. And it is not just about the product quality. You need a supplier that does not run out of stock, offers flexible shipping options, has decent prices, and provides product variety.
Challenge #2 – Dealing with returns and refunds
It is never fun to see customers returning goods and asking for refunds, but these two are part of running an E-commerce store. Returns happen because of different reasons. Some people might find that the product is not to their liking or failed the expectations.
Incompatibility is also a common cause. For instance, they order computer hardware that does not fit their setup.
Of course, not all returns result in refunds. In some cases, you can expect to replace one product with another which is still better than not selling even if it takes resources to organize a replacement.
Returns and refunds are challenging not just because they lead to direct losses. Managing the return and refund system can be difficult if there are too many orders to process. Failing to process a single return because of an error in the system might lead to negative feedback from customers.
Keep these things in mind and make sure to use a reliable return and refund system that eliminates potential errors or, at the very least, minimizes them.
Challenge #3 – Struggle for pricing and shipping
Setting the right price might not be as easy as one expects. Your expectations might fail if, after calculating all the expenses, you realize that there is hardly any profit in it for you. Sure, increasing the price seems like an obvious solution, but what about the odds of selling a product that is expensive?
Shipping is another problem that might not seem too obvious at first. It is fine if you use dropshipping and have a reliable supplier who takes care of the shipping for you. At the same time, some E-commerce stores manufacture and ship the goods themselves. There are no guarantees that all the goods will reach the destination, and taking such losses into account is not something that every E-commerce store does.
Challenge #4 – Differentiate yourself from competition
Before starting an E-commerce business, niche research is one of the first things one should do. However, after spending some time looking into available options, it becomes quite clear that there are hardly any niches that are not too competitive.
Ultimately, though, you will still need to pick one to start the business. And going up against brands that have already established themselves will be a challenge, especially if you lack the resources to invest in your marketing campaign.
Challenge #5 – Customer retention and loyalty
Customer retention and loyalty is another common E-commerce challenge. Despite establishing yourself as one of the best in your respective niche, you might still find it difficult to attract new customers.
Emphasis on customer retention and loyalty should also be there. Unless you put in enough effort, they will go to a different online store. Do not rely on just your product quality, but also offer customers incentives, such as free shipping or exclusive discounts.
Trying less popular advertising methods, such as SMS marketing, to send reminders is worth a shout as well.
Challenge #6 – Increasing demand for cybersecurity
Do not be surprised to become a target of a random cyberattack even if you own a relatively small E-commerce store. And do not think that these attacks are coming from your competition. While that is a possibility, a DDoS attack or another cybersecurity threat could be from someone or something that has nothing to do with E-commerce.
Even minor attacks cause a headache because they add more pressure and require additional resources to take care of the problem. Thankfully, modern E-commerce solutions come with security tools that prevent the majority of potential threats. However, if your store becomes a popular target for cyberattacks, you will need to seek help from security software developers.
Challenge #7 – Catch up with Ecommerce trends
Keeping up with the latest E-commerce trends is not that simple. When an innovative technology appears on the market, one has to question whether it is worth adopting it or not. Innovations come and go, just like fads do.
On the other hand, failing to recognize a worthwhile trend and not adding it to your store might result in losing customers.
E-commerce store owners need to be at the top of their game to make quick and right decisions on eCommerce trends.
To sum it all up, E-commerce could become your ticket to financial independence, but creating a profitable venture is not that easy. Even if you find some ground, there are still plenty of obstacles that will make you anxious and force you to second-hand certain decisions.
Thanks to this article, you should know what to expect if you decide to go on an E-commerce journey. And whether all the hassle is worth it comes down to your choice. Consider each challenge with a positive perspective to overcome problems. At last, you are going to grow your business, succeed and stand out from your competitors. Always find smart solutions to deal with each problem and you are surely going to overpower all.