Tough competition in the eCommerce industry is not the only problem that besets small businesses today. While there is still much to learn about the internet, the same cannot be said for online shopping. We know what customers want. We are customers ourselves. When we want to buy something, we check the internet for information about it. And ever since the coronavirus happened, we’re essentially buying anything we can find on the internet—food, toiletries, personal protective equipment (PPE), and many more.
Customers no longer have to run to and from a brick-and-mortar store. All they have to do is open their smartphones, click on an app, or enter your URL address on their browser, and they can shop for anything they want. The rise in eCommerce paved the way for businesses to transition to digitalizing their operations. Although the retail industry still offers physical goods and services, these are also taking place in an online environment.
But the benefits of eCommerce don’t mean the industry is foolproof. In a way, these benefits only gave rise to the magnitude of challenges that face them. From competition to cybersecurity, the list seems to be endless. But in no way does it mean that the industry will not rise to the occasion.
Perhaps, the biggest challenge to the eCommerce industry is the threat of cybercriminals. They scam their way into your system and steal as much data as they can. They can duplicate your website and change just one letter on the URL address to scam your customers. These cybercriminals can also steal customer information and erode the trust that you have gained from your clientele.
Any form of threat that gets to your customers will impact your sales. This has no space in a small business operation. You cannot afford to have downtime in operations and sales. A quick solution to this is to hire an IT company. A team of experts specializing in cybersecurity will protect your company from any form of cyberattack.
Another risk that small businesses should be wary about is their websites crashing every time there’s a significant number of visitors that stress the servers. This usually happens during big events such as a product launching and a sale. The problem when your website crashes is that casual customers may lose interest in seeing your offers. Since they cannot access your website, they would rather check out the next website on their list. They will not wait for you to get your site up and running again.
The solution to this is to increase your bandwidth and thus, the website’s capacity to host visitors. It is a small price to pay considering that you may be losing customers every time your website crashes. Make sure that this never happens.
It’s not only your technology that should keep up with the demands of the times. You will be surprised that consumers are now ordering more items than ever. They’re not trooping to the stores for their holiday shopping. They’re online and safe there, and they want to keep it that way.
If you are inundated with more orders than you expected, you can outsource order fulfillment to another company. This will increase your efficiency since you will be able to ship the items immediately. When there are preorders or backorders, make sure this is clear with your customers.
While it is hard to generate web traffic (lead visitors to your site), making these customers convert is harder. You can build and design a website that will generate some kind of buzz among consumers, but can you make them convert? To turn your web traffic into conversion rates, your website must be clean, modern, trustworthy, user-friendly, easy to navigate, and virus-free.
It all boils down to your products. What are you offering? Do they need what you’re offering? Are these items going to make their lives easier? Your products need to provide value. Above all, you need to target the right niche. The right products marketed to the wrong audience will reach nowhere.
Keep in mind that there is no way the shift to eCommerce is merely a passing trend. It is here to stay. eCommerce isn’t the future. Your business needs the necessary readjustments and redevelopments to keep up with the ever-changing times. It is a test of your resiliency as an entrepreneur, but the challenges of online retail shopping will only intensify as the years go. It is not going to slow down anytime soon, so buckle up for a ride.