E-commerce is booming. Even traditional brick and mortar businesses have started online versions of their stores to get more revenue and keep up with the times. Setting up an e-commerce website is very easy and most people can get it done in a matter of days. However, setting up a website and gaining success with it are two different things.
The competition in this field is intense. You’re trying to stand against entities like eBay and Amazon. Trying to get a foothold in this business requires considerable effort, planning, and patience. In essence, starting an e-commerce website isn’t a get-rich-quick gambit that would improve your fortunes overnight. Here are some of the common challenges you’re likely to face.
Establishing Reputation and Customer Loyalty
The only way to defeat the competition is through customer loyalty and recognition. That’s not an easy thing to earn, especially if you’re a new business without an established customer base. If you want to compete with the big players in the industry, you need to earn a stellar reputation. That would take time and effort but the end result is worth it.
The first step to achieve this is to give something for your customers to connect to. One of the best ways to earn their trust is to show your legitimacy. Display your address and phone number on the website, post a video testimonial, a video welcome message, and introduce your team to your customers. When you do this, you’re more than just a faceless entity. That would establish the first bonds of trust that you can build upon.
Keeping Up With the Orders
The next challenge that most small business owners face is orders. Companies like Amazon make it seem so easy but it isn’t. The product needs to reach the customer on time and in good condition. To get that result, you need to pack it well, choose the right carrier, and ship it on time. Different carriers have different logistics and different rates.
It will take some time for you to figure this out and create a smooth sailing system. However, until you figure it out, you need to come up with ways to keep your customers happy and engaged.
Security of the Shopping Cart
Your customers are going to make online payments and share sensitive information with your website. Keeping this in mind, security should always be your top concern. No matter how small your e-commerce website is, there’s always a chance that it might be hacked into. Once that happens, you’ll have a very hard time trying to earn back your customer’s trust.
You need to be very careful when you choose your shopping cart and the hosting service. You should research which shopping carts are the most secure and choose a hosting service that has a good reputation. You should also change your administrator password regularly and perform frequent checks.
If you successfully manage all these hurdles, you’ll e-commerce business will take off and you’ll start seeing profits soon.