7 Biggest Ecommerce Challenges in 2021 and How to Overcome Them

Krunal Shah

Oct 14, 2021 | 7 min read

As the world adapts to a drastic new digital transformation due to Covid-19, the e-commerce sector is up for a new set of challenges ahead. Website optimization, service over multiple digital touchpoints, and cybersecurity are just some of the challenges that come with the territory. The conversion rate of websites gone down to an average of 3%. Website optimization is the key to driving prospective customers, and e-commerce business owners can achieve relevant site traffic by staying informed.

The evidence can almost look threatening, with the UK reporting a massive drop of 5.1% in e-commerce sales. Additionally, many industry hotshots also filed for bankruptcy, crowning 2020, the year of bankruptcies in the last decade.

This article will focus on the top challenges e-commerce owners face in 2021 and map out some steps to find solutions for them.

Shipping and Store Management

Businesses are often juggling multiple online platforms like Facebook and Instagram. It can be difficult to maintain an eCommerce website. To help this, many companies are building data-enabled solutions to make it easy for businesses to manage their shipping, store management, and omnichannel solutions like BOPIS (buy online, pickup in-store). Leveraging such data will also help retailers measure KPIs and AOVs (Average Order Values).

Steps to Solve:

  • Focus on creating a unique brand culture that aligns with your values. Business owners can do this by creating a seamless and transparent experience from store browsing, purchasing, ordering, and shipping.
  • Transparency is a crucial factor, with a lot dependent on how you engage with customers. This includes displaying correct contact information, reviews, and staff photos that build trust and reliability.
  • Engage with your customers as they're browsing the site by tapping into their thoughts through live chat.

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Security Breaches

E-commerce means engaging in commerce over the internet. It sounds like a pretty appealing prospect, right? But it can be dangerous too. Undoubtedly, one of the biggest challenges facing eCommerce is security breaches. There's an insane amount of information involved in the process, so technical issues with data can be disastrous for retailers. Moreover, it also makes your sites highly vulnerable to cyberattacks that can potentially take a devastating hit on website security. These attacks bring many viruses and malware with them that can also infect the customer data.

Steps to Solve:

  • Host your site on a standalone server and manage them on your own. Multiple sites on the same server can put all the sites at risk if malware enters through hacking. It can result in infecting the entire server and e-commerce store too.
  • Create backups of the complete database and files. The frequency of backups is directly proportional to the size of the website.
  • Ensure to install plugins and components for security like firewalls and two-factor authentication to prevent hacks.

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Choosing a Reliable Technology Partner

When you are thinking about starting a retail business, it is essential to consider the technology to help your business thrive. Your business growth is dependent on the technology you choose. Choosing the right technology partner, which can provide a range of services, can be the difference between success and failure for your retail business. It is crucial to have a good platform in place before you can grow your store.

Steps to solve:

Third Rock Techkno has the arsenal of robust technology stacks to develop highly scalable, feature-driven, mobile-optimized and user-friendly e-commerce stores. With experienced and expert Nodejs developers for hire, e-commerce business owners can increase their site traffic in no time.

Verification of User Identities

Sometimes, the information entered in the sign-up forms may not be genuine, and you can't tell if they're really interested in your products. When a visitor fills out a sign-up form for your site, you want to make sure they're a real person who actually wants to buy something. This way, you avoid fraudulent accounts or bots, resulting in lost revenue with COD purchases.

Steps to Solve:

  • Always make a point to keep a check on any suspicious activity. You can tell that something's fishy if there's an unusually high volume of orders or if the zip codes don't match up with the state or city.
  • Always verify customer information before shipping out an order. You can solve it by sending them an automated link to validate their data, or by making them go through a verification process when they say they are paying with cash-on-delivery.
  • Invest in installing software solutions with multiple layers for verifying the authenticity of any attempt. With SSN verification and instant authentication, e-commerce business owners can easily identify the identities of their users.

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Targeting Right Users and Making them Repeat Customers

A poor customer experience can almost create a butterfly effect for e-commerce business owners. The challenges can create substantial long-term effects on attracting the perfect users, building customer loyalty, and making them come back to your store. Users expect consistency in user experience if they decide to come back again for shopping.

Business owners also need to understand that: 1) Acquiring a new customer can cost them 5 times more than retaining current ones, and 2) The success rate of making a sale with an existing customer is higher than offering it to a new one. Hence, converting visitors into regular customers is tough because even if the site generates high traffic and impressions, it still falls short of revenues.

Steps to Solve:

  • Keep your website free of bugs and unnecessary lengthy processes of filling forms, resulting in cart abandonment.
  • Nearly three-fourths of all online sales can be attributed to mobile shoppers, so ensure that your site is optimized for mobile. Give your customers very few hurdles to complete a purchase with a shorter loading time, disabled pop-ups, and better-designed images.
  • Send your customers an email reminder that they have an incomplete order.

Cart Abandonment

The challenge of cart abandonment is a common one for online retailers, with stats showing that 68% of shoppers abandon their carts. It's hard to identify the reason why these shoppers leave their carts midway through completing a transaction. The challenge is not just how to reduce cart abandonment, but also to find out why it happens in the first place.

Steps to Solve:

  • You can start by surveying your customers, looking at your analytics, and taking a look at your competitors. Once you know the issues, you can test different solutions and see what has the most impact.
  • To recover abandoned shopping carts, you can try retaining users through email. Email them asking why they didn't finalize their purchase. You can offer them an irresistible deal or discount with a link to bring them back to your site again.
  • Emails don't have to be only about asking customers to complete a purchase. It could also signify that you want to make their next experience better. You can also try retargeted ads focusing only on the users who visited and left without any purchases.

Decreased Conversion Rates and Sales

Poor conversion rates are a key indicator to measure your business success. You may feel like you're struggling to convert customers. This is because you're not meeting the expectations of your customers. Avoiding these problems includes knowing your target audience, having a robust online presence, and writing high-quality product descriptions. If the customer doesn't enjoy your site, then they will never come back.

Steps to Solve:

  • Start by building a strong and consistent presence for your business is identifying your target customers and crafting marketing strategies to suit their interests and needs.
  • Increase traffic to your website through SEO, compelling content that resonates with your audience, and persuasive copy that sells both your products and business.
  • Consider offering an omnichannel experience for your shoppers that provide the same intuitive user experience across all the outlets like desktops, mobiles, tablets.

Product Refunds and Returns

Shoppers care a lot about the return policy before purchasing a product. They want to know that they can get their money back. You want to be able to offer a fair and accessible return policy, not a hassle. Customers will shop more if you have a less complicated return process. Your business endures a loss in shipping costs and reputation when customers have to follow long, confusing, or hard-to-find return policies. However, refunds and returns are an inevitable part of an e-commerce shopping experience. Hence, stores need to ensure they provide friendly customer service with transparent and straightforward policies.

Steps to Solve:

  • Put your customer at ease by ensuring they can find all the details about your Terms & Conditions and FAQs. You also want to make sure your returns' policy is detailed, but not intimidating.
  • Try using more inclusive phrases like "we're happy to help with any questions" or "don't hesitate to contact us." instead of dominating phrases like "you must" that might put customers off.
  • Offer various shipping methods, payment methods, and refund policies, and provide incentives for dissatisfied customers.

The Final Words

Businesses need to partner with cutting-edge companies to bring their idea to life in today's eCommerce world. Partners must work together on both the technology and the processes while emphasizing trust, transparency, and communication. Alignment with modern software technologies like digital agility and discussing project expectations can help business owners choose the right technology partner.

Contact us with your next e-commerce development project requirements.

Krunal Shah

Krunal Shah is the CTO and Co-founder at Third Rock Techkno. With extensive experience gained over a decade, Krunal helps his clients build software solutions that stand out in the industry and are lighter on the pocket.

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