Marketing & Customer Service
The ecommerce world is an extremely competitive one and there are many challenges faced by ecommerce companies today. It is advancing at a rapid rate, and a lot of ecommerce companies are attempting to enter the business daily.
With a survival rate of less than 10% in the first year, it is crucial to be aware of the main challenges faced by ecommerce companies and how to overcome them. This industry is a brutal and saturated one that demands businesses to arm themselves with a unique solution to differentiate themselves from the crowd.
So, let’s dive in.
Whether your company is in its very beginning stages or has reached the point of maintaining a well-established customer base, it’s extremely important to stay in the know of the most current marketing trends and techniques in your industry.
Along with marketing, another one of the challenges faced by ecommerce companies is attracting customers, keeping them, and gaining their trust.
Overcoming these challenges can be done by creating great content, having a strong social media presence and always looking for ways to improve your customer service.
No matter what stage your ecommerce is in, creating high-quality and original content will be a major contributing factor to your company’s success. Creating content that resonates with your customers will make them want to interact with you, purchase from you and the end goal is to maintain a following.
It is important to be creative, original and compelling.
Pareto’s 80/20 rule. Say what?
This is the formula to follow to grow your business: your promotions should be comprised of 80% informational content and only 20% promotional content. 100% of your published content should be relevant, interesting, and unique.
If your ecommerce is successful at creating proper content marketing, it can attract more positive attention, interaction and a sustainable conversion rate like no other marketing method.
Think of ideas like blog posts, videos, and newsletters!
Social Media Marketing
Though social media marketing is not a new idea, it’s an important one to remember. Social media platforms allow your company to communicate and relate to customers in a personal way.
If used properly, platforms can generate engagement, interaction, boost organic traffic to your website and develop a larger customer base.
Google Analytics is a great tool to monitor the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Consistency in voice and tone is crucial in creating a personality for your brand and building trust with your customers.
We are now seeing technology that allows for customers to purchase right off of your social media platform. This is called Social Commerce.
Social networks are becoming the new online marketplace. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have a feature that allows direct purchase and payment on their sites.
It’s as easy as seeing a product you like in a picture on an ecommerce business account, clicking the ‘buy now’ button and purchasing the item right then and there.
If utilized properly, social media networks can change the game and help overcome one of the challenges faced by ecommerce companies.
Email marketing is easily one of the most effective ways of reaching out to your customers. In order to ensure that it’s successful, you need to be creating and providing content that is useful and allows for socializing.
Transparency about your company in email marketing is also a great way to make the customer feel valued, and we all know that a happy customer = a loyal customer.
Don’t forget to monitor the analytics of your efforts to make sure you are effectively using your time and resources.
For specifically measuring the effectiveness of email marketing, a tool that provides the open rate and the click rate is ideal.
Now, what do all of these marketing techniques have in common? They are customer-centric.
The Customer is Always Right
How many times have we heard this? Well, there is a reason. Customer service is the number one most important element when it comes to success as an ecommerce company.
It is not an easy task to keep all of your customers happy all of the time, and this is one of the biggest challenges faced by ecommerce companies.
Deep breaths. We are here to help.
Web Store Personalization
Why? Well, the relationship between seller and buyer means that the more personalized you are, the more pleasant it is to buy from you. Without personalization, your clients won’t benefit from customer-specific pricing or accurate sales tax and shipping fees.
This is a major topic because people tend to have a psychological thing about keeping track of their order. In some cases, the customer will panic if they don’t know where their product is or haven’t been updated on its delivery.
Slow and late deliveries. THE worst. Customers who have experienced these issues are less likely to buy from the same ecommerce business again. This is a big issue. It’s also a problem because unhappy customers tell their friends, who tell their friend who… well, you get it.
The good news is: happy customers also tell their friends! To protect your relationship with your customers and maintain a loyal customer base, consider using a package tracking software system.
Package tracking highlights deliveries that are slowed down and helps you quickly find a solution before the customers realize there’s an issue. It also provides full transparency to your customers, which builds trust and, in turn, builds loyalty.
Since shipping is one of the biggest challenges faced by ecommerce companies, having a software handle all of your shipping needs means there’s one less challenge you need to worry about and it often results in happy customers.
Problem free shipping involves proper inventory management and shipping management systems. Automation of these business processes allows the entire business to run in a streamlined manner, which customers will recognize and ultimately trust.
A user experience also means offering exclusive features such as flexibility of payment methods and the ability to fulfill occasional rushed/emergency orders. Accomplishing these will make your business stand out from the competition.
As mentioned, the speed of delivery is as important as the product quality for a customer. We would not be incorrect in saying that logistics could be the deciding factor for the success of e-commerce companies when it comes to retaining their customers.
Last mile deliveries (the delivery of product from the fulfillment center to the final customer) account for 30% of all logistics costs. There is heavy reliance on tech companies to provide them with solutions.
Third party logistics for ecommerce companies can help them manage orders in a much more efficient manner.
3PLs can help overcome the challenges faced by ecommerce companies by:
- Allowing them to focus on their business
- Saving $$$ on shipping
- Getting rid of manual inventory audits
- Scaling businesses easily
- Fulfilling customer services and returns
Outdated distribution models
Unfortunately, many businesses are operating on an outdated distribution model. It’s hard to let go, we know, but it’s time.
Traditional models aren’t always the best way to operate ecommerce businesses as there is a huge need for flexibility and seamless technological integration.
Integration. Say it again. Integration! This is key. It helps manage inventories accurately and ensures a high operation efficiency. This is an all around great thing to have as it means that customers are happy and also hopefully employees.
The ecommerce giants are waging a war for logistical supremacy. Amazon has invested in freight shipping and Walmart has scrapped its Prime rival program, opting for free shipping for a large proportion of its customers instead.
When big companies like these two have competitive distribution channels, it means they are able to compete for customers with increasingly attractive delivery programs.
The last challenge we will discuss (and solve) is the cost of shipping. High shipping costs turn your customers away. Fact.
It is not unknown to you that you have many competitors in the market selling the same products as you do. In order to stand out from your competitors, you must offer free shipping.
But, I can’t afford to offer free shipping!
Yes, you can, and here’s how. Told you we were here to help you.
Breaking news: It’s time to embrace automation and integration. It is of utmost importance to tackle logistical challenges like the ones mentioned and ensure the most efficient process for your employees and customers.