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Owning a business can be tough and all business owners face challenges they must overcome to thrive in their industry. Whether you own a brick-and-mortar store and want to dabble in online sales or you’re ready to jump headfirst into e-commerce, it’s important to know about challenges you may face.
When you understand the common barriers for online business, you can develop a solid plan to navigate these challenges.
One problem that e-commerce businesses face is ensuring they offer the right product for the time, demographic, and industry. The online marketplace is inundated with inventive and unique products and your business may fade into the background if it can’t offer the right product at the right time. Amazon alone had almost 119 million products listed for sale in 2019; consumers have enough choices that they can be selective.
No matter what e-commerce industry you’re in, to compete with other online sellers, you must:
Examining your competitors’ products and identifying how you can improve its quality or functionality also helps ensure you’re selling the right products.
E-commerce businesses can have more competition than brick-and-mortar stores. In most cases, consumers can compare one company’s products to every other online offering worldwide, as opposed to only those stores or products available in a single town or region. Therefore, it’s crucial for online stores to find the right market, and understand the competitors active in that market. A strong competitor analysis allows e-commerce sellers to better understand their market and how other sellers approach it. To create a successful e-commerce marketing strategy, you must conduct a strong competitor analysis by:
When you become an expert on your competitors’ businesses and products, it’s easier to identify your market and how you can stand out.
Whether you implement an e-commerce wholesale business model or sell products directly to the consumer, the right technology is crucial to your success. Integrated e-commerce software keeps your inventory organized and ensures your customer has a good experience with your brand. When choosing the technology you need for your online business, consider:
Advanced technology can help you avoid online order errors so you can lower your return rate and keep customers happy. An easy-to-navigate customer portal is crucial to keep track of orders and record customer details. This data can be used later when deciding how much inventory you need and to keep in contact with customers.
To serve customers efficiently, your e-commerce business must store data, such as customers’ names, contact information, order history, and payment methods. Consumers put their trust in your business to collect, store, and utilize this data with care. Cybersecurity measures for your e-commerce business are key to maintaining this trust. To ensure you have the right procedures in place, it’s important to:
Data storage and cybersecurity is a unique problem for e-commerce businesses since most brick-and-mortar retailers don’t need to worry about this challenge. Keeping your eyes peeled for suspicious behavior and training staff on how to identify potential threats helps keep your data safe.
Brick-and-mortar retailers may focus their marketing efforts on eye-catching signage or involvement in community events. As an e-commerce business, you’ll have different marketing obstacles to conquer. Your marketing plan should center around online visibility and converting leads into customers. To create an effective marketing campaign, you should:
As an online business, you have numerous digital marketing opportunities that can help increase brand exposure. Take advantage of these opportunities to gain visibility and convert leads into sales.
Brick-and-mortar retailers can develop a memorable customer experience with interesting store decor and friendly staff. A good customer experience creates loyalty and turns browsers into customers.
As an online retailer, your customer experience is just as important. To provide a customer experience that’ll win you a loyal fanbase, make sure that your:
Get feedback on the customer experience frequently and make changes and updates as needed. Consider offering discounts or other rewards to loyal customers.
While e-commerce businesses don’t pay rent for a retail space, they do have inventory and shipping costs to consider. Your product pricing is a crucial component to success. You want to be competitive but you also want to make a profit. When determining product pricing and shipping costs, think about the:
There’s a fine line between offering competitive pricing and ensuring your company makes a profit. You may need to continually adjust pricing to meet customer expectations while making money from sales.
Online shoppers are generally more wary of retailers with complicated return or refund policies. When e-commerce businesses don’t offer returns or refunds, consumers may be hesitant to order. A simple return and refund policy is crucial to increasing sales. When developing your policy, it’s important to:
Implementing these strategies may increase sales and allow you to create a large customer base. However, maintaining this growth for the long-term is what’s important for the longevity of your business. To ensure you remain profitable, you should:
In the e-commerce sector, you face a unique set of challenges that threaten the success of your business. By confronting these obstacles with strategies that set you apart from competitors, you’ll see an increase in sales and exposure.
Take a look at our guides, blogs, and webinars for more B2B e-commerce marketing strategies:
B2B e-commerce marketing strategies to drive conversions
The best targets for your omnichannel marketing to reach B2B customers
10 strategies to grow your e-commerce business revenue
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