The Most Common Challenges Faced by E-commerce Businesses in 2023
| 4 minutes read
Over the last 10 to 15 years, the eCommerce sector has shocked the world with its capabilities, and during the pandemic, it looks like it had got wings; we mean, the business observed massive growth. As we are digitalizing, people’s preferences are changing; they want everything at home. The same way Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hotstar had encouraged people to watch movies from home.
Statistics say that the e-commerce share of total global retail sales has seen tremendous growth, and this tradition will continue in the upcoming years.
This growth has also raised several eCommerce challenges as well. With this meteoric growth and demand for online business, running eCommerce is not easy, especially for small businesses. When it comes to eCommerce Amazon and Flipkart, these two names come to your mind. Still, many other small eCommerce companies in India and the US face the most common challenges. Therefore we’re going to discuss some common challenges faced by eCommerce companies. We want to add one more thing: small businesses, even Amazon and Flipkart, faced many challenges because the eCommerce business might look fascinating, but they bring huge responsibilities.
Below, you can find the top 5 challenges eCommerce businesses face globally.
1. Unexpected Product Returns & Unlocking Refund Options
The most common challenge of any eCommerce business is product returns and unlocking the option of refunds. It’s easy for you to ask for a return, but do you know it costs a good amount in shipping, and overall the return policy hurts the eCommerce business?
Research says around 30% of all products ordered from an eCommerce store are returned compared to 8.89% in a physical store. Processing returns, exchanges, and refunds are common problems most eCommerce businesses face. And remember, whenever you return the electronic product, the seller faces difficulties repurchasing the same product because you already opened the packaging. So overall, the company and the seller suffer losses.
The other common problem is that some customers opt for the Cash-On-Delivery (COD) option and refuse to accept the product – which results in substantial revenue losses for many e-commerce companies.
2. Deal with Negative & Suspicious Reviews
Whenever you purchase any product, we are sure you check the reviews and ratings, and if the product has some negative reviews, you might change your mind and sign out from the app. And who suffered the loss? eCommerce companies suffer from negative reviews because they lost a customer, and you were supposed to purchase, but you did not execute at the last moment.
If and when you receive a bad review, remember that it does not mean your product or service is terrible. Most likely, the review was a result of mismatched expectations or simply a bad day on the reviewer’s part.
So, what is the best way to deal with bad reviews?
You have to check whether the seller is selling a genuine product on your platform if you find a common issue, then you should immediately contact the seller and ask about the product they are selling. And apart from this, the other problem is a fake review or suspicious review from some users who misguide the purchaser’s mind.
3. Data Security Breach
One of the significant threats to eCommerce is a data security breach. The majority of the buyers save their card details on the eCommerce apps (Except CVV). And therefore, many hackers and fraudsters hack the card details (debit and credit) of the users and exploit them financially. During the pandemic COD (cash on delivery) options were closed, and therefore customers did not have other options, and vice versa; they saved their card details which was an easy target for hackers.
The other thing was that hackers were calling or mailing and asking for sensitive information from their customers. However, there were specific measures taken by eCommerce companies still that don’t give you the guarantee of complete data protection.
4. Supply Chain Issues
This is one of the common problems faced by eCommerce platforms globally; supply issue problems are caused by weather, infrastructure, location, connectivity, roadblocks, and many other factors.
These problems can cause delay or cancellation of the product; whatever the situation is, the company suffers loss. Always remember customers don’t want to listen to the reason for cancellation or delay; therefore, in case of a delay, they cancel the order, which leads to heavy loss because you already paid for the courier service.
This is a tedious procedure that requires a lot of R&D on all the e-commerce platforms selecting the supply chain model. So, these were the top challenges majorly faced by eCommerce businesses globally.
5. Gaining Customer Loyalty
How could we forget customer loyalty? They are the pillar of any business. If you create the base of customer retention, you get additional customers through their recommendations. As per the report, 83% of them prefer to recommend a business they trust.
After some positive words, now let’s focus on the problems; building customer loyalty is not easy, especially for eCommerce companies. For example, suppose you’re a loyal fan of Amazon, and if you find something cheaper on Amazon, 99.9% will switch to Flipkart to purchase the same product at a more affordable rate. So it’s very tough to cement your customer; this is the reason company offers reward points, cashback, and free home delivery.
All you can do is have the best customer care experience, listen to the customers’ problems, send a new product or refund the amount in case of a fake or torn product. Implementing these things will build trust among customers. And as a result, you will be able to develop a fan base, and customers will be loyal to your business.
Last but not least, when it comes to dealing with negative reviews, as we have mentioned above, negative feedback doesn’t mean you’re selling the wrong product; it simply means by mistake that a specific customer faced some issue without any intention.
Advice- Do not hide negative reviews; instead of hiding, answer them and let the world know that you’re considering the complaint. People only trust those businesses with negative and positive reviews; otherwise, they would be regarded as paid reviews.
eCommerce market is enormous to beat the competitors; you have to be extraordinary, and nothing can go wrong until you allow someone to do wrong to you. Therefore analyze the market, listen to the customers and strengthen your customer support. One more thing is, to be active on social media and analyze the comments and their reach on social media.
Suprotik Sinha is the Content Writer with Synkrama Technologies. He writes about technologies and startups in the global enterprise space. An animal lover, Suprotik, is a postgraduate from Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication (SIMC) Pune. He carries 6+ years of experience in Content Writing, and he also worked in mainstream broadcast media, where he worked as a Journalist with Ibn7 ( now known as News18 India) and Zee Media in Mumbai.