5 E-Commerce Challenges And How You Can Overcome Them!
Just like any business, e-commerce has its own set of challenges. Here are 5 challenges and ways to overcome them.
Success comes right after you have overcome a challenge. Well, at least in most cases it does.
Through the rainy mornings of Cherrapunji and the scorching afternoons of Jaipur, neatly packed products are delivered to the customer’s doorstep. This undeterred convenience, often termed as luxury shopping was possible because of the vast reach of e-commerce in India.
Over a 100 million Indian consumers shop online every day making India a host to some of the largest e-commerce marketplaces. This is the width of the impact e-commerce has had on Indian businesses thus far. So, if you are wondering what could possibly be a challenge for this rapidly growing industry, you are probably not the first.
From regular interactions and anecdotes received from online sellers across the country, we have shortlisted the following five:
Fear Of Too Much Competition
Very often, sellers and business owners are clouded with the misplaced fear of losing their customers to excess competition online. It is true that more and more people are realizing the promising potential of Indian e-commerce, but there will always be more customers to buy from you.
There has been a 50% rise in the number of people choosing online retail over traditional shopping and one of the major reasons leading to it is the lack of product availability locally. When you sell online, you don’t just sell within a geographic confinement. You become a national player and more often than not, your products are in demand throughout the year.
A good example would be a wool seller from Delhi who may lose out on business during summer but not if he is selling online. The need for wool in Kashmir, Himachal or Uttarakhand will seldom cease. Also, in a country where the population exists in billions, it is rare to experience a dearth of customers.
E-commerce Platform-Related Issues
Whether you own an e-commerce website or have registered yourself on one of the leading online marketplaces like Amazon, platform related challenges can grow to become a huge deterrent. The usual concern of your products not getting enough visibility, buyers visiting your product page and exiting without buying from you or in some cases when your products are simply parked in the cart but not purchased, have an easy solution.
Think about the keywords that you have used to write the product description and the product title. A simple and precise product title will attract the buyer to your product page and a well-detailed product description will help relevant products show up accurately in the search results.
Once a customer has discovered the product they want to purchase, you need to ensure that your product is priced competitively. Overpriced products with high shipping and delivery rates can lose your customer interest. Also, in case a customer decides to come back and buy the product later, they should find the product at the same price. Regular price fluctuations can delay a purchase decision giving the customer hope that the cost will come down.
Regulatory & Taxation Concerns
Owning a business doesn’t seem as taxing as filing for taxes does. It almost feels like a whole different world where you have to first file for your own tax liability and then again for your business. But, with the latest and improved tax regulations in place, your online business taxation process can take place online.
That’s correct! There is an option for e-filing your taxes which accepts scanned documents and digitally signed signatures.
You can also get all GST (Indirect taxation system in India) related information from the A to Z GST guide launched by Amazon in an attempt to help business owners’ transition smoothly but is now regularly being updated with the latest GST regulations and requirements.
Basically, even though the payment of taxes happen through a simpler process you can still seek assistance at really nominal costs and relax.
Is Online Selling A Sustainable Model?
To answer this, you must know that in today’s world nothing comes with a guarantee. But, if you have ever wanted to own a business, beat the traffic and work from home, spend more time with family/friends, work within your own terms or simply just evade that job interview, online selling is a great alternative.
The online selling model is as sustainable as any other business model. However, because setting up an online store in an online marketplace is free & it doesn’t require an investment and it makes online selling a preferred choice for many business seekers.
Thousands of customers have already taken to online shopping and are now heavily dependent on it replacing offline retail more rapidly than ever. It has helped manufacturers overcome the challenges they faced in the hands of middlemen and therefore gained business owner loyalty across the country.
Online marketplaces like Amazon also ensure that you get timely payments without you having to follow up and thereby not blocking a large portion of funds.
Human behaviour tends to link loyalty to popularity. This is also why large corporations continue to invest in traditional display ads that cannot provide substantial proof on ROI but you can witness impact on sales. A customer needs to feel secure while making a purchase, but if you are a new brand they feel sceptical.
Therefore, if you have an established online store on a popular e-commerce marketplace, the chances are that your customers might eventually start buying directly from you (your own e-commerce website). You can also gradually see a drop in early cancellation rate once a customer starts buying from your regularly.
If you feel like we missed out on something, let us know in the comments section below.
About the Author: This article is contributed by Amazon India Seller Services.