Running your own online business is undoubtedly a lucrative venture, mainly since an online platform eliminates many of the standard costs associated with brick-and-mortar stores. However, this doesn’t mean that eCommerce businesses don’t have their fair share of difficulties.
With that said, what exactly are the typical issues online store owners face? Additionally, what can they do to overcome them so that they can boost their sales and experience entrepreneurial success?
Let’s find out.
Running an eCommerce Business: the Common Challenges You’ll Face Online
Although running an online store is significantly less costly than running a brick-and-mortar one, this doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter challenges. In fact, you’ll experience a new set of challenges when running an online store simply because of the platform you’re using.
What are these challenges? Here are some examples:
1. Fierce Competition
Anyone can start an online store, and you can always start small, which makes it more accessible for those who can’t afford to take out loans just to start their own business.
However, this makes the eCommerce industry even more competitive since you’ll have to prove that your goods or services are better and worth the money your potential customers pay. What’s more, you have to do all of these before they even check out their carts.
Because of fierce competition, you need to find ways to boost your sales and marketing. Sales enablement strategies like the ones provided by Pitcher allow you to engage your customers through personalized and relevant content, thus making sales reps more productive and effective at closing deals. One of the most crucial aspects of running an online store is fulfilling orders promptly because customers tend to stick to sellers with fast shipping aside from high-quality items. Hence, it’s worth outsourcing order fulfillment. But, why should you outsource order fulfillment?
According to redstagfulfillment.com, order fulfillment services greatly contribute to the bottom line. The order fulfillment process involves picking, packing, and shipping items, as well as storage and returns. A good order fulfillment partner designs a custom solution, executing your online store’s order fulfillment process smoothly and successfully.
With order fulfillment, you can save plenty of time, effort, and even resources. You don’t have to hire an in-house team to process and ship orders on time. Therefore, you can focus more on enhancing your sales and marketing tactics to keep up with the industry’s tough competition.
You’ll also need to promote your business so that it reaches every possible member of your target audience. Moreover, the more visible your business, the higher the chances customers will discover and buy from your store.
Of course, this is easier said than done, especially since the internet is inundated with so many ads that web users just ignore them. This is called “banner blindness,” and it can negatively affect how well your message resonates with your audience.
In addition, a vital aspect of brand visibility relies on your blog content. It’s a must to publish interesting, informative, and optimized content. Search engine optimization (SEO) boosts your other digital marketing campaigns because it helps increase the visibility of your web pages in search engine results pages (SERPs). Otherwise, no matter how well-designed your website is, you won’t reap the promising benefits of your other marketing campaigns.
Security is crucial for any successful business, but securing your online store can be trickier and more complex, unlike brick-and-mortar stores, where you can take physical measures to protect your business.
With an online store, you’ll have to implement advanced security measures to ensure that your customers’ data is safe and kept away from the wrong hands. Customers, previous or future, won’t trust you if their personal information is compromised after transacting with your shop.
4. Increasing Sales
If you’re starting an online store, sales are undeniably a crucial aspect of your business’s success. However, considering how fierce the competition is, boosting your online store’s sales can be admittedly tough.
You need to have the right products or services and offer them at the right time and price. This means you need to understand what your intended market needs and how you can fulfill them.
You also need to ensure that your brand is at the top of your target market’s list once they’re ready to check out and make the final purchase. Of course, you can do the work to boost your sales, but doing so still isn’t a guarantee that customers would actually buy.
Overcoming Adversities in Business for Increased Sales: Some Helpful Tips and Strategies
While all the challenges above affect different aspects of your business, they all boil down to one issue in particular: boosting sales. After all, the more people buy your product; the more established your brand will be.
So, what can you do to overcome these issues and increase your store’s sales? Here are some helpful tips.
1. Revise Your Shop’s Pricing Policies
When it comes to selling products and services, how you price your goods can significantly affect your customers’ decisions to buy. This means you have to strike that perfect balance between making a profit and making it appealing to your customers.
Some of the typical pricing policies businesses follow include:
- Competition-based policies
- Cost-based policies
- Demand-based policies
- Value-based policies
With that said, if you feel like your customers aren’t responding well to your prices, consider revising your pricing policies. Doing so ensures that you maximize your store’s sales without overcharging your customers.
2. Monitor Your Competition with Data Scraping
As mentioned, the competition can be fierce among online stores, which is why you must employ strategies that will help you get ahead. One of these is monitoring your competition, and you can do this by gathering crucial data online through automated tools.
When you scrape eCommerce data from your competitors, you’ll get more precise insights into what they’re doing and why they’re successful. In turn, you can apply what you’ve learned to your own strategies to increase your sales and improve your chances of success.
The good news is that you can use various web scraping tools to scrape eCommerce data online, but you can also do so manually. However, the latter can be more time-consuming and tedious. If you’re curious about the best eCommerce sources to scrape, you can find it here.
3. Improve Your Security Measures
Customers need to be able to trust the store before they consider buying from it, and you can’t establish that trust and generate additional sales if you can’t guarantee that their personal information will be safe.
That’s why you need to implement tighter online security measures to make your online store less vulnerable to cyberattacks. You can use methods like adding an SSL certificate, complying with PCI DSS standards, and utilizing a content delivery network (CDN).
If potential customers can entrust you with their sensitive data, especially their financial information, they will be more likely to make repeat purchases if they like your products.
4. Optimize Your Marketing Strategies
An effective marketing campaign is crucial to increasing your brand’s visibility online and boosting your website’s sales, but you can’t do that if your potential customers ignore your ads. That’s why it’s best if you take steps to optimize your marketing campaigns.
For example, you can consider trying different ad formats to prevent banner blindness among your target market. You can also test out marketing campaigns before launching them on a larger scale to see which strategies are most effective.
The more people see your brand online, the more likely they will recall it when they look for the specific products you offer.
Running an online business is admittedly not easy, and the virtual world entails a different set of challenges that can affect how well your online store does and how much profit it generates from sales.
With that said, hopefully, this article has shed some light on what you can do to overcome these struggles and boost your online store’s sales.