Going by recent records, the e-commerce industry is on a steady growth path. Last year, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported a 14.5 percent growth in online retail sales, which amounted to more than $340 billion.
That said, even a thriving industry has pain points. If you’re new to the e-commerce game, knowing the potholes you’re most likely to come across can make all the difference between failure and success.
Below are three major hurdles that online merchants face, and how best to overcome them.
- Acquiring and retaining customers
Unlike brick-and-mortar businesses, e-commerce merchants lack the privilege of engaging and convincing customers face to face, which makes it challenging to get and maintain clients.
Regardless, fostering customer loyalty is the only guaranteed way to stay ahead of your rivals. Make sure your customers are accorded a pleasant shopping experience and ensure the checkout service is quick and hassle-free. It may also help to create a live chat feature, interactive blogs and loyalty programs, which will all encourage buyers to stick around.
- High Bounce-rate
After working tirelessly to bring customers onto your site, you may be wondering why only a handful of these new visits are converted into sales. In truth, however, more than half the people that visit e-commerce websites bounce without looking at anything besides your landing page.
To encourage your visitors to shop, engage them with tools designed to help them find the products they want. You can incorporate recommendations directly on your landing page, and refine search terms to include those that customers are most likely to type. The faster visitors can find what they want, the less time they will have to change their mind.
Online merchants suffer tremendous losses resulting from chargebacks. When a buyer successfully disputes a sale, for reasons ranging from clerical errors to fraudulent activity, the business often ends up losing both the sold item and the money.
To reduce the possibility of chargebacks, ensure all orders are billed accurately and outline descriptions clearly so that your customers don’t have any reason to contest a sale. You may also want to impose a “no-return” policy, to let buyers know the risk first hand.
If your business is prone to chargebacks, you can reach out to your payment processor and sign up for any useful services they may have. eMerchantBroker helps its clients to prevent chargebacks by giving them access to Ethoca’s alert system, which issues notifications immediately a customer files a chargeback, giving you enough time to dispute it.