E-Commerce is essentially business that is conducted electronically, primarily over the internet. E-Commerce relies heavily on online marketing, online payment processing, and automated data collection.
While there are many advantages to E-Commerce it is relatively new and there are still many challenges that must be overcome. Here I have listed some of the most common obstacles to a new start-up, as well as ways to overcome them.
Security is always a concern to customers who are shopping online. We have all heard the horror stories of someone shopping online, only to have their information stolen, bank accounts cleaned out, and credit score ruined. If online shoppers do not feel your website is secure they will not give you their information, no matter how great your prices are .or how much they love your product.
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Always choose a hosting service that has stringent security measures in place. All payment data should be encrypted, and all data backed up every day. The shopper should always be reassured that all information is secure. There should always be a valid contact number listed on the webpage, as well as a mailing address. If at all possible there should be a way of processing payments over the phone. As well as a place for customers to leave comments and feedback,
Confusing Buying Process
Many customers find the actual buying process online confusing. There should be no hidden fees. Registration processes should be simple, and should not be very time consuming. And shipping prices should be reasonable.
Customers cannot find your site.
If you search nearly any product on Google, you are almost guaranteed to get hundreds; if not thousands of results. The solution is SEO Optimization. SEO Optimization involves the correct use of keywords. Making the page optimal for search robots to find, and many other techniques that move your site up the list of search results.
Poorly laid out site.
Today’s customers want to find what they are looking for, make their purchase, and move on. If your Customers are having a hard time finding products they will likely move on without purchasing. Customers need to be provided with a site that is easy to navigate. With a search window as well as categories.
Customers can not physically see or touch the product
Most of us have ordered something online, anxiously awaited its arrival, only to discover it was not what we had expected. This is one of the hardest problems to overcome in E-Commerce. Your site should contain multiple images of each product. Images should be a good indication of the product. If possible merchants should offer a money back guarantee if the customer is not satisfied.
It’s hard to up sell
There is not a live person to offer add-ons, or inform the customer of additional required items. Your site should be set up in a way that suggestions are offered when a customer makes a purchase. The suggestions should be made on the same page as the purchased items. If a customer purchases a set of golf clubs for example, golf balls should be displayed on the same page, along with prices if possible.
Your page should be able to translate to Spanish, Arabic, etc
While E-Commerce has many challenges, and barriers to overcome. A properly set up
Site, and methods can overcome these obstacles. Below is a list of dos to help merchants and prospective merchants along the way.
- Strong data encrypted security measures
- Valid contact information and a way to do phone orders
- Reasonable shipping rates
- SEO Optimized
- Images of all products
- Language translator
Serge is the technical founder of Edictive an online E-commerce software boutique company.