In 2021, retailers will be the Titanic and they will continue to play even though they are sinking.
There has been a boom in everything from the number of YouTube food channels to the extra pounds in many people since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
The number of retail sales volume is only one thing that has consistently declined. In fact, the UK’s Office for National Statistics reported 5.1% drop in retail sales due to covid-19 – the largest drop ever recorded since it was instituted 30 years ago.
The report by S&P Global Market Intelligence indicates that 2021 will witness the highest number of retail bankruptcy filings in a decade, with 43 retailers filing for bankruptcy (including industry leaders like Art Van Furniture and Lord & Taylor).
E-commerce retailers, however, can be hit doubly hard by the pandemic!
The retail sector will benefit from e-commerce in 2021
Although most retail sectors have taken a hit, one of the most intriguing changes coming up in 2021 is the shift to digital. In addition, people are now shopping via e-commerce instead of physical retail stores, as the number of Google searches has increased.
Since the lockdown started, businesses have managed to squeeze four years of change in four months, from a business transformation and skills perspective, according to Sanjay Gupta, Country Head and VP, Google India.
Satya Nadella’s statement in Microsoft’s quarterly earnings report to Wall Street on digital transformation confirms the view that e-commerce will flourish in the ‘new normal’.
In two months, we’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation. Every day, we help customers adapt and stay open for business in a world of remote everything—from remote teamwork and training to sales and customer service to critical cloud infrastructure and security.
– Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
The number of online purchases by 2040 is projected to increase by 95%, so retailers need to prepare for ecommerce Business challenges and find solutions now. A growing number of entrepreneurs are taking advantage of e-commerce as consumers increasingly shop online.
Furthermore, we all know that ecommerce business registration in India are on the rise.
Here are the ten biggest challenges facing ecommerce in 2022 and how to overcome them
1. Cybersecurity & Data Security
It is difficult to avoid security breaches when it comes to eCommerce. Taking care of eCommerce involves a lot of information/data, and if there is a technical problem with data, it can severely harm the retailer’s brand image as well as their daily operations.
Make sure you back up your data always. To prevent your website from being hacked, install one of the several security plugins available, and pick the one that is best suited for your eCommerce website.
2. Verification of online identity
The retailer has no way of knowing if an eCommerce shopper is who they say they are, if the shopper is entering accurate information, and if the shopper is genuinely interested in products.
Suppose you don’t have accurate information, what should you do? Well, it does get tricky. Perhaps, you should invest in online identity verification services.
Online identity verification can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including biometrics, artificial intelligence, one-time passwords, two-factor authentication, and more.
3. Finding the Right Customer
These days, shoppers have a wide variety of options to choose from. If they are looking for a handbag, they conduct extensive research before making a purchase. How do you ensure shoppers choose you when they have so many choices? How do you find the customer who wants your product, at your rate, and to the places you can ship it?
Digital marketing is preferred over traditional marketing because it enables you to target your ideal customer. Solution: Partner with marketing companies that enable you to target your ideal customers. Despite the fact that you might not see your products on different platforms overnight, A/B testing, finetuning, and analysis could help you reach out to potential customers.
4. Providing excellent service to customers
Customers expect an experience similar to what they would get in a brick-and-mortar store when shopping on an eCommerce website. The flow of the website, the segmentation of the website and the retail personalization of products based on the shopper’s preferences are imperative for the success of the site.
Solution: Several ways exist to improve the user experience. The most important one would be to have a clean and simple website so that shoppers can navigate through easily. Having clear CTAs (call to action) will help the shopper figure out what he or she needs to do. Here are ten ways to make your user experience better.
5. Retention of customers
There are two facts that prove the importance of customer loyalty: (a) acquiring new customers can cost up to five times as much as retaining existing customers, and (b) selling to existing customers has a 60-70% success rate compared to only a 5-20% success rate when selling to new customers.
Those two facts demonstrate that customer retention is very important. Once a customer purchases a product or utilizes a service from a retailer, that retailer must make sure that the customer stays for the long haul. How can they do this?
In order to retain customers, these are a few different methods. The first method would be to provide excellent customer service – a customer is happy to have purchased a great product, but they are ecstatic when their customer service is excellent. Once you have chosen a method of communication that your customer prefers – whether it is an email, SMS or blog post – be sure to determine which method works best for your customer. As a last resort, let them know about new products, sales promotions, and special coupon codes because they have been such loyal customers.
6. Growing your customer base by converting shoppers into paying customers
Getting visitors to become paying customers is one of the biggest challenges an eCommerce website faces. The site might receive a lot of traffic, clicks, and impressions, but they are not making the sales they anticipated. How can they improve?
First, you have to figure out why your shoppers aren’t converting. Are you targeting the right people? Does your mobile website work seamlessly? Are your online platforms constantly experiencing technical challenges? Do your customers trust you? Are you personalizing your website to appeal to them? Always think from a shopper’s perspective and find out how you can make them a paying customer.
7. Analysis of competitors and competitors
There is a controversial conclusion to the Jam Experiment, which states that the less you offer customers, the more likely they are to actually purchase. People are becoming increasingly fatigued by all the options available to them nowadays. A simple search (personalized search) for something like headphones will give you thousands of options – how do you choose?
Is there a strategy retailers can use to stand out? How can they attract shoppers to their website instead of buying similar products from their competitors?
Find out what products your competitors are selling, how they generate leads, and how they keep in touch with their clients by analyzing them thoroughly. Next, make sure you stand out – whether that is with your colors, top-notch website functionality, or amazing user experience. In addition, you should provide services or products that are unique and relevant to your clients.
8. Shipping & Pricing
Most customers prefer to buy products from places that provide free shipping. eCommerce giants like Amazon provide such attractive shipping deals that customers rarely want to shop anywhere else. How do you reduce shipping costs for your company?
The shipping costs are impossible to eliminate for all eCommerce sites, but always look for ways to make them work for your customers. Is it possible to lower the shipping cost with a subscription? Is there a carrier that is reliable but offers a lower rate at a certain time of the month? Do your research and find the best solution for your shoppers.
9. Return and Refund Policies
ComScore says that more than 60% of online shoppers check a retailer’s return policy before purchasing. A shopper might feel nervous and less likely to trust an eCommerce site if it says “no returns or refunds”. Customers want to be able to make a mistake without being penalized when shopping online.
In order to achieve customer satisfaction, retailer’s must have a flexible return and refund policy so that customers do not feel nervous when making purchases.
10. Selecting the Right Technology/Partners to Resolve Your eCommerce Challenges
A retailer’s growth might be stunted because their technology limits them, or they have hired the wrong agency to help manage their projects. Choosing the right technology and partner is crucial for success.
For a retail business to be successful, many aspects must be in place, but a good technology foundation is crucial.
For all your eCommerce challenges, partner with Vue.ai, a unified Visual AI platform that is redefining retail commerce. With Vue, retailers can generate product and customer intelligence, combine it with market insights, and grow their businesses using image recognition and data science.
Despite a lot of exciting and positive changes in eCommerce, there are still many online businesses that struggle with the challenges that eCommerce brings. Nothing has propelled eCommerce more than the conditions of 2021. Any eCommerce business can benefit from the above solutions in order to reach their ideal customers and sell more products.