The e-commerce boom in the country is such that every other business now wants to sell online. In a country like India, with a population of more than 1.3 billion and smartphone penetration steadily rising, it sure makes sense to set up an online business.
But running an online business comes with its share of challenges, just like every other business. If you plan to start your own online business, here are 9 of the challenges you should watch out for-
1. Brand Visibility
Running an online business opens up the geographical boundaries. Unlike running a physical store where you only compete with other similar stores in your locality, you will be competing with hundreds and thousands of online stores on the internet. Amid this cut-throat competition, one of the most significant challenges is to attract the attention of the consumers.
|You’ll have to rely on SEM, SEO, SMM, and other digital marketing strategies to boost your brand visibility.
2. Right Product
A common reason why online businesses fail to attract buyers is the product they are selling. With millions of options to choose from, why’d someone want to purchase your products? If you are just about to start your online business, ensure that your product/s addresses your target consumers’ pain points.
|The focus should be on offering unique (problem-solving) products and reaching the right people at the right time.
3. Product Quality
Nothing sours your relationship with the customers as poor product quality does. Ensure that you have adequate quality assurance measures in place so that every product that ships out is of top quality. Interestingly, consumers do not mind paying higher prices for premium products.
|Work towards improving product quality backed by market research, even if it means selling the product at higher prices.
4. Competitor Analysis
Your online business could fail even before it is fully established if you do not analyse your competitors. As consumers now can compare products online with just a few clicks, it is necessary for you to offer something better than your competitors.
|Research the type of products your competitors offer, understand their marketing strategies and review their price points to gain an edge over them.
5. Right Marketplace
Most online sellers begin their journey on popular marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. As these platforms already have a vast user base, it is a smart way to get instant visibility. But not every popular platform might be the best choice for the type of products you offer.
|Choose a marketplace after researching the product categories that are most popular on these platforms. You can choose one or get listed on multiple such marketplaces.
6. Website Security
If you want to create your own e-commerce platform, security should be a vital consideration. As an online business, your website will collect buyer information like name, age, address, and even bank account details.
|Take adequate measures to keep buyers’ details and transactions protected. A single cyberattack can damage your reputation for good.
7. Website Design
Another critical aspect of your website is its overall design. The bounce rate will be significantly higher if potential customers are unable to navigate your website on desktop and mobile seamlessly.
|Give special attention to product descriptions and images to provide customers with the best possible online shopping experience.
8. Customer Service
Excellent customer service is one of the most effective ways to build brand loyalty. Ensure that your customers are able to reach you through phone and email, preferably 24×7. Also, make sure that buyers can easily find details regarding returns, shipping costs, etc., on your website.
|The more positive the customer experience is, the higher the chances of the customers to shop from your store again.
9. Shopping Cart Abandonment
One of the most common challenges faced by online businesses is shopping cart abandonment. You can reduce it considerably by ensuring that you have a smooth and simple check-out process.
|Tools like live chat have proven to minimise cart abandonment rate. Moreover, use technologies like visitor segmentation to reach out to the customers at different stages of the buying journey.
Running a Successful Online Business
While the online business has vast potential in India, the challenges are only expected to increase with time. But every challenge is an opportunity for you to improve your brand.
Now that you know some of the most common online business challenges and how to resolve them, take a proactive approach to avoid them or, at least, minimise their impact. Professional assistance from a reliable digital marketing company can help you get closer to your digital goals.