5 challenges e-retailers may face and how to overcome them

Understand some of the common challenges faced by online seller and how to overcome them

by Ayesha Siddiqa on 08/03/2018
5 challenges e-retailers may face and how to overcome them
Most of the businesses face some form of hiccup every now and then. As with every financial endeavor, online selling may also pose some problems for e-retailers. Here are some of the most common challenges faced by online sellers and solutions for overcoming them:

Product returns and refunds:
While shopping online, a lot of customers check for return policies before making the purchase. Needless to say, if an online seller offers easy returns, chances of customers buying from them is higher. A customer can return your products when they are no longer in need of it, it did not meet their expectations or when the product is damaged in some form. This can be a downside for the e-retailer because the cost of shipping and picking up products could be quite high, causing a loss of income. Additionally, if there are multiple instances of returns, the brand name could get tarnished.
Solution: First of all, set the right expectations with your customers. Provide detailed product images and product descriptions. Pay careful attention to the packaging of your goods to avoid damage during transit. Put in place stringent QC checks and be flexible with your returns policies to meet customer demands – this will earn you customer’s trust.

Customer loyalty:
Ease of online shopping encourages customers to look for best prices rather than sticking to a particular brand/vendor. It is very tough to earn a customer’s loyalty in times when competition is high. Good customer experience may or may not go unnoticed. However, if a customer has had a bad experience, they are bound to raise it as a concern, which may in turn affect your online ratings.
Solution: Good customer service always goes a long way in earning customer’s loyalty. Answer customer queries promptly and be available to them when they have issues with the products or a particular service. Deliver on or before time whenever possible, offer free shipping and easy returns and refunds. Seek timely feedback and work on it to better your business, in order to secure customers for a lifetime.

Pricing competition:
A highly competitive market results in varying prices for the same product across different online marketplaces or even within the same portal amongst different sellers. Small businesses are affected by such competitive pricing as they cannot afford slashing product rates owing to their small profit margins. This may greatly affect your chances of securing a buy-box spot.
Solution: Assess the market trends and provide competitive pricing for your customers. You can either do this manually or make use of Amazon’s winning Automated Pricing Tool if you are a seller on Amazon.

Brand recognition:
While online selling platforms may give you the option to display your brand, due to a lot of competition your brand may get lost in the plethora of options for the customers. Also, similar or same products can be available with different sellers on online marketplaces. This may result in less than favourable sales performance of your online selling business.
Solution: Create a unique brand identity that resonates with the customers and makes them want to buy from you. This can be done by providing good quality products, dedicated customer service and fast and easy shipment procedures. In addition to this, maintaining complete transparency with your customers by creating good product catalogue and providing detailed product descriptions. This may help you earn a five-star seller rating and build a good reputation for your brand.

Sales conversion:
A business sustains on sales conversion which can then be recycled into overhead costs and improving efficieny. However, converting clicks and views into actual sales can often be a challenge, especially when customers aren’t sure of the value that the product brings along.
Solution: Use sales events to your advantage by offering deals customers cannot refuse. Compelling copy/product description and bullet points with helpful answers to customer questions can influence buying decision, resulting in a higher sales conversion.

A one-stop solution – Amazon:
Amazon has a global reputation of being a customer and seller friendly platform. One can sell almost anything on the many marketplaces it has to offer. It takes care of shipping, returns and refunds with the FBA program. Additionally, it provides a platform to build your brand as well as well as improve your business growth by exposing your products to the right audience. Just register on Amazon and avail the world-class services offered to its sellers.
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