Problems are not always bad, but it is a problem if you are dwelling in them and do nothing. Consumers tend to think that everything related to the internet should be exceptionally fast. However, many tend to forget that e-commerce is a mix of 90% internet and 10% offline operation. Due to that, many issues are coming from the high expectation that put e-commerce into having a huge room to improve.
Without further ado, let’s delve below the common problems faced by e-commerce:
1. Catering to the urgency
According to a survey by PwC, most consumers would be willing to pay an extra charge to get their items delivered the same day, less than 3 hours time and 1-2 hours time after choosing. When you see this pressing demand, you can’t turn a blind eye even if it is hard to implement. In fact, you can consider hiring agents for your products where they can perform cash-on-delivery.
Opening agentship opportunity to the locals has been very useful in solving the late-delivery problem. It is also an exciting opportunity to local and gives you a massive reach to the consumers.
2. Facing fierce competition
If you look around, some businesses are similar to yours. But that must not be the reason why you start or why you shouldn’t. Even if there is only one missing puzzle that you could identify from other existing business, who would’ve thought that piece of the problem is one thing that consumers need the most. Hence, do not easily give up on finding the colour that can distinguish you from others.
3. Bridging the brick and mortar gap
This always crosses your mind when you are at the stage of starting an online business where you worry about not having a brick and mortar store. But, it is always essential for you to not to give the excuse saying that online shop is all about selling based on the picture. That is straight up irresponsible to your business and also your customers.
If you are starting off in e-commerce, you probably don’t have any storefront yet. But, as has been mentioned in the first challenge, you can get your agents act as the fulfillment point to cater to those customers who want to pick-up the item personally.
4. Adjusting to consumer preferences
If last year your customers are fond of using a credit card, this year they might switch to e-wallet and NFC-enabled payment to breeze in the checkout page where they only need to scan the card at the back of their phone and get the card registered. It is essential to analyze each of their payment patterns so that you are not missing the customers who take payment option crucial. When their payment preference is catered, it will be faster and pleasant for them to finalize their purchasing decision.
5. Retaining Customers
E-commerce is different now. It has a very minimal competition back in the day. Far, one day a customer goes to you, the next day they go to your competitor. One common thing that always makes customer retention difficult is due to failing to keep up with the consumer expectations and experience. Retaining customers are just the same as repeat customers, and that is why you should think of the long-term value when serving them.
You could strategize your very own loyalty program such as rewarding them for their attendance, free samples or voucher for each purchase or review. You can also place the ready-to-use loyalty program to let them earn their shopping points quickly.
It may be not too early to talk about drone delivery and other advanced technology. But, PwC has found out that more than half of the global population would not consider having the drone to deliver their goods which still have a long way to go to adapt to the customers. In 2018, the most important thing for you to do is actually to strengthen your primary. Without a strongly basic, you will probably go bust earlier before the new era approaches.
Article by Nurin Fatini Abdul Ghani
About the Author
Nurin Fatini Abdul Ghani is a researcher at a marketing department in a fintech company.