An online presence is a crucial aspect of your company’s success, and in today’s digital world, businesses need to adapt and move with the times.
Whether you’re starting an online business from scratch or moving your existing company online, e-commerce businesses present their own set of challenges for entrepreneurs. But the benefits of an online presence outweigh the complexities that you need to overcome.
Being online opens your business up to new customers and eliminates many of the overhead costs associated with having a brick and mortar store. A business website also allows your customers to access your products or services anywhere and anytime.
If you are looking at starting your own e-commerce store and doing it yourself, here are the top five challenges that people who have done it before experience, along with the solutions.
1. Complex Setup
A common misconception is that starting your own website is a complicated task to undertake. This is particularly true if you want to venture into building your website from scratch. Website development is a highly technical undertaking that requires a specialist in the field. Web Developers can charge up to thousands of rands to build a website. Plus, it can take months before your e-commerce website gets off the ground.
Most entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury of big budgets and time. Employing the services of a Web Developer is not a feasible solution for small business owners. And building a website from scratch will require too much time.
Solution: So what do you do when you need an e-commerce website fast? Get a DIY Web Builder.
Web Builders are built to simplify the process of getting a website. To avoid complex setup processes, choose a website builder with an easy-to-use website editor. Avoid web builders that require a separate e-commerce setup or plugin and opt for an E-Commerce Store Builder that already has built-in e-commerce capabilities. An e-commerce web builder will eliminate the need for additional setups and offers a ‘plug-and-play’ mechanism to website building.
2. Data Security
E-commerce websites deal with sensitive information, and data security is essential for your customer’s safety and peace of mind. Data breaches can infect your website with viruses and also compromise sensitive data. Customers need to know that their credit card information, login details and email addresses are safe on your website.
Solution: How do you secure your website data? You can secure your website data by being proactive and prepared.
There are things that you can do preemptively to limit the risks of website attacks and manage them effectively if they occur.
- Regularly backup your website data
- Install SSL certificate
- Use anti-malware software
- Use complex passwords and regularly update them
- Conduct regular security updates
One of the benefits of the E-Commerce Store Builder from 1-grid is that they handle all your system and security updates so you can focus on other aspects of your business.
3. Customer Experience
Your website needs to not only look good but also be user friendly. Providing a good customer experience without any glitches, goes a long way in customer retention and receiving good reviews from your customers.
Providing a good user experience can be difficult for new e-commerce websites, and it can also make or break your bottom line. Customers come back to websites that are easy to navigate and have a seamless checkout process.
Solution: How do you ensure your e-commerce website provides a good customer experience? Have a fast-loading, easy-to-navigate website that is mobile responsive with a beautiful layout.
Here’s a checklist to ensure a seamless customer journey:
- Make sure your site speed and navigation are seamless
- Choose a mobile-friendly theme
- Have clear product images and detailed descriptions
The best way to improve your website is to constantly check and go through the journey from start to checkout. Also, ask your family and friends to do the same and give honest feedback. Most website builders are mobile-friendly and allow you to view your website on various screen sizes.
4. Order Fulfilment
From the point a sale is made up until the customer receives the order is a crucial part of the business. Order fulfilment can be a complicated process, especially for small businesses. Fulfilling customer orders on time plays a large role in customer satisfaction and retention. Late orders and customers waiting too long for their products can hinder the growth of your business.
Solution: How do you improve order fulfilment? Have a full understanding of the order fulfilment process.
The order fulfilment process is a chain of events that all work together to ensure that the customer receives their order on time. Understanding all the steps makes it easier for you to manage expectations and be accurate with the expected shipping dates you provide to your customers.
- Receiving orders: this is the first aspect of order fulfilment. Ensuring that you receive customer orders instantly means that you can fulfil them promptly. The 1-grid Web Builder delivers customer orders straight to your inbox and empowers you to action them immediately.
- Inventory: always have full visibility of your inventory; the amount of stock you have, and the storage facility you utilise.
- Processing: once the order is received, retrieve, pack and get items ready to be shipped. Ensure that you have the necessary packaging and follow special shipping instructions.
- Shipping: send products to the customer using your chosen method of delivery.
- Returns: have a set returns process if customers return an item.
There are costs involved in starting an e-commerce business or taking your company online. Entrepreneurs more often than not, have limited financial resources and this may be a problem because starting an online business requires financial resources.
Solution: How do you deal with the costs of starting an e-commerce website? Find a cost-effective solution.
Find an e-commerce option that will give you the best for less. A tip is to find an all-encompassing e-commerce solution that allows you to build a beautiful website, add your products and safely accept payments.
The E-Commerce Store Builder starts from as little as R319 a month and features:
- Free web hosting
- Drag and drop website builder
- Add unlimited products
- Unlimited pages
- A free .STORE domain
The store builder is a robust business tool for entrepreneurs and empowers you to have full control of your business. The online space has an abundance of opportunities for SMEs. Investing the necessary time and money into your online presence will yield positive results.