Written by Uri Strauss

Common issues that eCommerce marketers face on every website

The e-commerce industry is booming like never before, with more and more people embracing the convenience and ease of online shopping. Retailers are hopping on the digital bandwagon, but they face a whirlwind of challenges. From customers’ ever-changing behavior to the delicate balancing act of providing stellar service while making a decent profit, e-commerce businesses have their work cut out for them. On top of that, keeping up with shifting trends and new technology adds to the complexity.

However, fret not! These e-commerce challenges aren’t roadblocks; they’re opportunities for growth and improvement. By automating processes and embracing modern technology, you can conquer these hurdles and thrive in the digital marketplace. So, without further ado, here’s a handy list of critical e-commerce challenges you need to tackle head-on for your business’s success.

Online Identity Verification

When a visitor visits an e-commerce website and creates an account, it’s crucial to ensure that they are a legitimate person who genuinely intends to make a purchase. This precautionary measure helps prevent the creation of fraudulent accounts or the infiltration of bots, which could lead to significant revenue losses, especially in the case of cash-on-delivery (COD) transactions.

Whenever a customer signs up, it is essential to send them a verification link to confirm their account. In the case of COD purchases, consider utilizing automated calls to the customers, requesting them to validate the delivery address. Additionally, leverage automation tools to identify and flag fake phone numbers and email addresses, and cross-check whether the provided zip codes align with the corresponding state or city.

Furthermore, remain vigilant for any signs of suspicious activity. Keep an eye out for unusually high-value or large orders that may raise red flags and warrant further investigation. By implementing these measures, you can help safeguard your e-commerce business and minimize the risks associated with fraudulent accounts or bots.

Providing Great Customer Experience

One of the most significant hurdles for online retailers is ensuring a seamless and effective omnichannel customer experience. Today’s customers expect to engage with your brand through various touchpoints, including your website, phone, email, social media, physical stores, and more. It is essential to unify all these touchpoints for a cohesive customer experience.

Establishing an omnichannel customer experience is crucial in the retail and e-commerce industry. Companies that fail to adopt an omnichannel retailing strategy risk falling behind, as highlighted by ecomdash.

The solution lies in developing a well-rounded omnichannel strategy by considering customer needs and implementing the appropriate customer experience technology. Here are some steps to address these e-commerce challenges:

  1. Determine how your customers prefer to engage with your brand and which channels they use most frequently.
  2. Utilize customer experience technology to establish seamless communication with customers across their preferred channels. This could involve phone support, email, live chat, video calls, online help centers, or in-app messaging.
  3. Leverage interaction history to enhance conversations with customers. Unified view features offered by customer experience platforms can provide valuable context and insights.

Increased competition – 

The e-commerce industry is currently flooded with over 5 million platforms worldwide, creating a highly competitive landscape. To survive amidst this intense competition, businesses are striving to enhance their services and adopt new sales strategies to attract a larger customer base. However, these endeavors require significant financial investment and allocation of resources. As a consequence, many online businesses face the difficult choice of either closing down entirely or enduring losses and narrow profit margins in their quest to stay competitive in the e-commerce market.

Returns Management

A significant portion of consumers who make online purchases opt to return their orders due to various reasons. The availability of a favorable return policy often influences consumers’ decision to make a purchase. Failing to have an effective system for managing returns can result in a subpar customer experience. Processing return orders incurs additional costs for the e-commerce industry, as it involves re-initiating the supply chain process. What further compounds the challenge is the rising occurrence of return fraud, particularly in cash-on-delivery transactions, posing a significant threat to online businesses.

 Consider implementing the following solutions:

  1. Streamline the Return Process: Simplify and optimize the return process for customers by providing clear instructions, user-friendly return portals, and pre-paid return labels. Make it easy for customers to initiate and track returns, enhancing their overall experience.
  2. Enhance Communication: Keep customers informed throughout the return process. Provide timely updates on return status, refund processing, and any other relevant information. Clear and proactive communication helps build trust and customer satisfaction.
  3. Implement Efficient Reverse Logistics: Develop a well-structured reverse logistics system that minimizes handling and processing time for returned items. Optimize inventory management to efficiently handle returns, refurbish or restock items when appropriate, and minimize waste or loss.
  4. Prioritize Customer Service: Offer responsive and helpful customer support dedicated to addressing return-related inquiries and concerns. Well-trained support staff can assist customers in navigating the return process, providing assistance and ensuring a positive experience.
  5. Analyze Return Data: Regularly analyze return data to identify patterns and trends. This analysis can uncover insights on the reasons behind returns, enabling you to make informed decisions on product quality, packaging, or sizing. By addressing common issues, you can minimize returns in the long run.
  6. Combat Return Fraud: Implement measures to detect and prevent return fraud, especially in cash-on-delivery transactions. This may involve verifying delivery addresses, monitoring suspicious activity, and employing fraud detection technologies to safeguard your business.

Finding the right logistics partner

The logistics aspect of e-commerce is a critical factor in enabling the growth and expansion of online businesses. It encompasses crucial operations such as inventory management, warehouse organization, efficient order fulfillment, and, notably, last-mile delivery. Therefore, selecting the appropriate logistics partner holds utmost significance as even a minor misstep can disrupt the entire supply chain and directly impact the profitability of the e-commerce venture.

Maintaining customer loyalty

One of the obstacles faced by e-commerce businesses in establishing customer trust and loyalty arises from the fact that sellers and buyers often lack personal knowledge or visibility of each other. This lack of familiarity can hinder the development of more personal and meaningful interactions.

Addressing this challenge in e-commerce necessitates a dedicated investment of time and effort. Through consistent engagement across multiple transactions, a company can gradually foster the trust and loyalty of its customers. Building these foundations of trust and loyalty is a gradual process that requires consistent commitment and customer-focused practices.

Shopping cart abandonment

It refers to the scenario where a customer adds items to their online shopping cart but leaves the website without completing the purchase. This can have a detrimental impact on conversion rates and revenue generation.

Several factors contribute to shopping cart abandonment, including unexpected shipping costs, complicated checkout processes, concerns about payment security, comparison shopping, and even distractions during the browsing session. Addressing this challenge is crucial to maximize sales and improve the overall customer experience.

To combat shopping cart abandonment, e-commerce businesses can implement the following strategies:

  1. Streamline the Checkout Process: Simplify the checkout process and minimize the number of steps required to complete a purchase. Offer guest checkout options to reduce barriers for new customers and provide a smooth, hassle-free experience.
  2. Transparent Pricing: Clearly display all costs, including shipping fees and taxes, upfront to avoid any surprises during the checkout process. Offering free shipping or providing shipping cost estimations early on can help alleviate concerns related to additional expenses.
  3. Build Trust and Security: Display trust badges, secure payment options, and clearly communicate your website’s security measures to reassure customers about the safety of their personal and financial information.
  4. Retargeting and Abandoned Cart Emails: Implement retargeting campaigns to remind customers about their abandoned carts through personalized ads on other websites or social media platforms. Additionally, send automated abandoned cart emails to gently remind customers to complete their purchase and potentially offer incentives like discounts or free shipping.
  5. Clear Return and Refund Policies: Clearly communicate your return and refund policies, making them easily accessible and understandable to customers. This instills confidence and reduces any hesitation customers may have about making a purchase.
  6. Offer Live Chat Support: Provide real-time assistance through live chat support to address any concerns or queries customers may have during the checkout process. Prompt and helpful responses can help overcome any last-minute hesitations and lead to successful conversions.

Cross Border Competition

The global nature of e-commerce allows platforms to expand their reach through worldwide shipping, thereby enhancing scalability. However, cross-border e-commerce presents various challenges that can hinder international shopping experiences. These challenges include high currency conversion rates, customs charges, elevated shipping costs, security concerns, lack of transparency, and slower transaction processes. As a result, consumers may feel hesitant or cautious when it comes to shopping internationally.