Every year brings forth new trends and changes in technology. These changes and advancements can be great growth opportunities for vibrant and savvy eCommerce companies. However, these changes can also present challenges to businesses that are not ready to face or adapt to them.
The world's best eCommerce companies are those that adapt to current market and technology trends. Such companies are also keen to identify any probable risks and come up with viable solutions to help them remain at the top.
A lot has changed in the way we do business. Traditionally, business was as easy as just selling stuff and making money. The competition was not as stiff as it is today, and the dynamics were more stable.
2020 was challenging for eCommerce businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was an unprecedented change in almost every aspect of a business. Although people have adapted, the challenges are expected to persist in 2021.
Any eCommerce company that wants to have a competitive advantage has to be aware of the changes or advancements taking place in the industry. Here's a list of the challenges that you should consider going forward to keep your eCommerce company successful.
1. Cyberattacks and Security Threats
Cybersecurity is crucial for eCommerce companies. Unfortunately, cyberattacks have become common in the current digital age. Big eCommerce companies, such as Alibaba, fell prey to cyberattacks in 2020. This means that small and medium-sized businesses are at an even higher risk of cyberattacks.
Most eCommerce businesses cannot afford to have downtimes and potentially lose customers. Dealing directly with eCommerce customers and their order fulfillment requires diligence. Any delayed eCommerce transaction or delivery directly affects your business and brand reputation.
Malware, phishing, eavesdropping, and cross-site scripting attacks, among others, can lead to complete business loss. It is advisable to have a concrete cybersecurity framework to deal with any apparent cyberattacks. Also, a response plan will help you deal with the effects of a cyberattack should it happen.
2. Advanced Product Information Management
The Internet and the web have revolutionized business. eCommerce is quickly becoming the main means of conducting business. The world has become smaller and individuals can buy and pay for items across borders at any time.
COVID-19 almost paralyzed traveling and in-person transactions so many people are relying on online shopping more than ever before. For this reason, you have to get your shipping, logistics, and fulfillment process right. As an eCommerce business owner, ensure that your business accommodates every customer by organizing and managing product and customer information.
You can use product information management (PIM) tools to help organize your information and partner with an experienced 3PL fulfillment company to ensure your company’s logistics can handle increased demand.
3. Attracting and Dealing With the Right Customers
Online shopping is changing rapidly. The online shopper of last year is different from that of 2021. This has redefined eCommerce tremendously. The number of product reviews and information sources is increasing every day. Smartphones are also revolutionizing eCommerce. Customers can easily access social media platforms, Google, and Amazon for product reviews.
The ultimate goal of any business is profit-making and eventual long-term success. Attracting the right customers requires you to figure out your target market, how to reach them, and how to appeal to their needs. If you can find and keep the right customers, your eCommerce business will be a success.
Business is surrounded by competition in terms of prices, products, and services. eCommerce is saturated, so you should try to go the extra mile to stand out from competitors.
Although it is common in business, COVID-19 heightened the competition in eCommerce as many businesses increased their online presence. Only the best businesses are assured of reaping the most from their industry.
Building a unique and recognizable brand will help you stand out from competitors and even attract new customers. Professionalize and optimize your website and maximize your customer focus to become the best.
5. Customer Personalization
Customers enjoy a personalized online shopping experience. Online businesses rely on consumers' location, social media preferences, and browser history to provide personalized products or services to their customers.
With many companies asserting their online presence, customers want deeper personalization. Upping the personalization scale is a big challenge for most eCommerce businesses.
PIM compliments customer personalization. You can also incorporate AI to optimize the level of customer personalization.
6. More Complex SEO Searches
Keying in the right words is not enough to identify potential customers. Search engine algorithms have become more complex with the ability to prioritize users' experience. The highest-ranking pages are the best performing.
Voice search is believed to become more dominant by 2025. Online clients are adopting voice assistants to make online purchases. Google Assistant and other voice-enabled search assistants like Amazon Alexa are becoming more popular among internet users.
The future of successful eCommerce companies will rely heavily on voice search. There is great untapped potential in voice searches that can help your business grow as more individuals adapt and become more comfortable with this new technology.
7. Order Delivery
The COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected online businesses. As governments initiated curfews and quarantine measures, people could not visit malls or markets. They were relying more on online shopping.
Unprepared eCommerce companies might have experienced a surge in orders that they could not fulfill. To prevent these issues or to accommodate growing demand, you should consider outsourcing your order and delivery services to a trusted 3PL order fulfillment provider. These companies provide fulfillment services that can streamline the process and find the most cost-effective shipping solutions for your eCommerce business.
Turning eCommerce Challenges to Opportunities
Business dynamics keep changing. Change can be beneficial or detrimental to your eCommerce company. Last year was filled with uncertainties, mainly due to the pandemic.
Challenges in eCommerce are inevitable. Technological changes and trends present challenges that would be wise to consider. However, every challenge has a solution, which presents an opportunity to get a leg up on the competition.
For all your fulfillment and shipping challenges, we can work with you to determine a custom solution to fit your needs. Contact us for a custom fulfillment quote today!
Rakuten Super Logistics is a leading eCommerce order fulfillment company that provides the scalability, flexibility, and cost savings retailers demand.
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