While e-commerce provides a great way to make a living, it is not always smooth sailing. There are a lot of challenges that online sellers face, that if not taken care of, can lead to failure.
Most times, this failure is caused by a lack of preparedness to common challenges of selling online. Knowing how to overcome these challenges and building a plan can improve your chances of succeeding. Here are five common challenges to selling online and how to overcome them:
Choosing a reliable service provider
When starting an online store, the first and most critical decision is finding reliable service providers. Otherwise, you will face growth challenges because either the technology you adopted is limiting you or you hired the wrong service providers. If you want to achieve growth, you need to find reliable service providers. This includes website builders, manufacturers, payment processors distributors among other things. So start by outlining and understanding all the services you will need, how they are priced and if the solution can scale with your business.
A recent research study done by the BigCommerce showed that a user-friendly site has a 64% higher chance to make sales. This goes a long way to explain the importance of aesthetics. The right service provider will not only help you develop professional relationships and secure customer experience, but they will also help you understand why it is important.
A wide variety of payment options
Online consumers expect online buying to be easy, efficient and safe. They want to have choices when it comes to payment options. Providing your customers with an easy way to pay increases customer satisfaction and drives more sales.
According to the checkout conversion index of PYMNTS.com, 40% of online buyers abandon their cart between the period of visiting an e-commerce store and making a purchase. Most online consumers already have all their payment details saved with a payment service like PayPal, Amazon Pay or Apple Pay, which makes it easier for you to make sales if you accept their preferred payment methods.
Reconciling payments for both online and offline store
Another common challenge that comes with selling online is reconciling online and offline payments. When you operate in the real world and the digital space, accounting can get real messy fast. Fortunately, there are some cloud-based tools that can do this for you, saving you a lot of time and headache. For instance, accounting software that seamlessly integrates with popular payment service providers like PayPal can help you keep track of both your online and offline payments in one location.
Regardless of how you get paid, these tools quickly and automatically merge and reconcile these payments. This helps cut down the time spent on manually sorting through outstanding invoices and spreadsheets. These tools can also be beneficial at tax time.
Expanding your business into new markets across the globe
One of the main benefits of e-commerce is its ability to open sellers to new markets around the world. However, for you to sell overseas, you need to tailor your e-commerce business for international buyers. Some of the important factors that you can consider include; localised, secure payment methods, website translations, localised pricing that allows you to compete with native vendors, and transparency in currency fees and exchanges.
If you are looking into global online selling, you need to be able to accept a variety of payment currencies. Also, electronic payment services like mobile payments, e-wallets and credit/debit cards help online sellers compete in international markets by allowing customers to pay in their native currencies. Choosing a payment service provider with the necessary infrastructure in place provides a practical and immediate solution.
Connecting offline and online shopping experience
Todays’ shopper wants a seamless and reliable multichannel shopping experience. Hence, it is crucial that you make your brick and motor and online stores an extension of one another. For instance, you can set up services where shoppers can buy online and pick up at the store or buy online and return to the store. This will create a unique and engaging experience for your shoppers and help drive sales.
In this digital day and age, the edges of using technology to fuel your operations are evident. As a result, the e-commerce industry is advancing at a scorching pace with a lot of websites entering the business daily. However, the survival rate of these businesses is less than 10% after the first year in operation. E-commerce is brutal and demands players to arm themselves with innovative solutions to some of the most common challenges of online selling.
To be successful as an online seller, you need to try and think about and plan all the challenges you might face as you scale your business. Being proactive about putting viable strategies in place will improve your chances of succeeding in your trade.