The 6 Challenges Faced by e-Commerce Businesses

Updated: Aug 19, 2021


Challenges can arise when you’re running an ecommerce business. There are a lot of moving pieces and it’s easy to feel like you haven’t got a handle on everything. This isn’t necessarily surprising, given the fast-paced nature of ecommerce. With consumers impatient for their deliveries and retailers desperate to boost sales, it can be difficult to stay ahead of the curve and ahead of the game. There are plenty of ecommerce businesses out there, but not all are guaranteed to succeed.


A growing ecommerce business should be a memorable challenge that every owner would like to experience. However, when the owner is not well-versed with the nuances of running such a business, he or she has to rely on vendors and marketing agencies for help. Read on to find out the six challenges ecommerce businesses commonly face.


1. Growing Traffic

Many businesses struggle to get visitors to their website, let alone sales. With the increased number of eCommerce options available to consumers, it has become increasingly difficult to compete for the attention of shoppers.

An eCommerce business needs to focus on two things: acquiring traffic and converting customers. This is the foundation of any eCommerce business. Acquisition and conversion are directly correlated. The more traffic you drive to your site, the more potential customers you have, the higher conversion rate can be. Research has shown that almost half of the businesses fail in their first year and the top reason for that is a lack of traffic. Reaching that many new people is hard and expensive, which is why most businesses fail at this.


The lion’s share of traffic to eCommerce sites comes through search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search ads. Sites that prioritize SEO and paid search marketing not only have a significantly greater number of visitors coming to their site every day, but they also attract a much higher quality pool of customers. Similar to SEO and paid search, email marketing is another inexpensive but highly effective channel for getting more relevant traffic to your site.


Getting your product or service to a large audience is what sells your products or services. If there is no one to buy what you are selling, it doesn’t matter how good your marketing or business skills are.


2. Attracting Repeat Customers

Online shopping is convenient, but you might not have the same type of relationship with customers as you would in person. Not only will you need to entice them to buy again, but you’ll also need to make sure they have a reason to keep coming back after their first purchase.


If you are like most eCommerce businesses, your customers purchase, but never return after that. It’s like your first date is amazing (you make a great impression), but when it comes to dating again (returning to your site), your customers find you boring. Your value proposition is not clear, or your customers don’t trust you enough (or both). Why do repeat customers matter? Every customer you lose is an opportunity to deepen the relationship and increase overall lifetime value of the customer.


Studies have shown that a 1% increase in repeat customers could have a compounding effect on your business growth. The average eCommerce business struggles to build a repeat customer base and even small improvements can lead to significant cumulative improvements over time. Its important to take into consideration approaches that help build a subscriber/follower base to open the opportunity in building stronger relationships with their customers which in turn will lead to higher conversion rates.


Multi-channel customer retention campaigns coupled with cross-selling capabilities through the use of mobile apps, can help businesses retain customers for life. Additionally, for brands who want to communicate more frequently with their customers, a great way to keep connected is through cultivating a community on social media and sending out personalized email campaigns. This way, businesses can incentivize their customers to revisit and follow their brand through these mediums.


3. Generating Sales

In a recent study by VoucherCloud found that almost half of eCommerce stores are not hitting their revenue targets. When it comes to generating revenue, there is a lot to think about – from creating an appealing product image to using the right keywords in SEO and writing compelling copy for your product listing. Achieving big results for your business relies on pulling out as much performance as possible from these areas.


Sales are the lifeblood of any business; without sales you’re just a website with great products. There are many things you can do to increase sales such as focusing on optimizing your conversion rate, improving data tracking and working on your email marketing and social media marketing. However even the most valuable assets of online businesses are often lost in a sea of competitors and keywords, despite placing exclusive focus on these aspects. The art of creating effective campaigns is not a “one size fits all” strategy; it’s about tailoring your approach to suit your target audience and your business.


So how can online retailers keep generating sales? By developing a sustainable marketing strategy that relies on the tried-and-true methods of direct response marketing. With the right approach, your eCommerce business can succeed at generating sales without compromising their brans or budgets.


4. Agility In Technological Advancements

Many emerging and established businesses are experiencing challenges when it comes to adapting to new technology. Whether it be a business that has just begun ecommerce or one that has been in the space for several years, the prospect of introducing advancements, developing and deploying digital content, reacting to seasonal changes, and/or doing anything to help their customer experience is an overwhelming process. The time, effort, resources it can take to upgrade any component of your business to keep up with your customers’ behavior can be a daunting task. It gets even more difficult when you have a limited budget or team. From the predominant rise of mobile to adaptive product images, consumers today want real-time, socially oriented experiences that provide for a highly personalized and frictionless shopping experience.


The way in which digital content and updates are consistently deployed, the capability and agility of a business to adapt becomes so much more important. The pace has become so rapid that speed has become necessary for brands now, as they need to keep up with a precipitously changing consumer market. Brands need to start thinking about how to manage and deliver changes faster as well as implementing controlled strategic planning in making sure you are taking full advantage of new marketing opportunities while also scaling down the focus to your appropriate audience and brand.


5. Keeping Products Fresh and Relevant

The rules of retail changes dramatically when you are trying to sell products online. The longer you are selling a product, the higher the changes that they will have already been purchased by one of your customers. Chances are their need for that product has changed as well, which means it is time for the product to be refreshed. With all these factors, it’s easy to see why there is so much pressure to keep your products fresh and relevant. Creating an environment where consumers can return to buy again and again is essential. This can be achieved through building a strong product catalog, which includes the right products and content, delivering a seamless experience for your customers, and by providing meaningful recommendations.


6. Meeting Social and SEO Needs

Creating content has become more important than ever before. With eCommerce retailers popping up all over the internet, it’s become a competition for companies to keep up with the ever-changing generational trends and having to consistently pump out content to leverage their existing traffic to increase their online sales and revenue. There is a common misconception within the new age marketing industry that amateurs and experts can create content that will drive sales, sadly this is not true. There are many factors in creating content that will generate sales for your business.


Factors include:

  • Social media integration

  • Search engine optimization

  • Content creation

  • Creative advertising

Social media integration is essential when it comes to selling products and generating revenue online. The foundation of social media integration for both B2C and B2B businesses lies within creating a unique voice and tone for your business.


To Conclude

With a well-rounded approach, the right tools and industry advice at your disposal, your business will be armed and ready to get these roadblocks out of the way. Contact MarketPartner today if you want help with ecommerce or any other aspect of an online retail business. We have experience in this space as we are experts in helping companies reach their goals for success through our expertise in SEO marketing strategy development, PPC management and conversion optimization services among many others.

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