Running an e-commerce store has many benefits when compared to other types of businesses. First of all, start up costs are usually much lower, customer service is streamlined, and you don’t have to deal with the preoccupations of running a brick and mortar business. However, many new entrepreneurs make the mistake of jumping head first without considering the real issues e-commerce business owners have to deal with every day. In this article, we’re going to explore four real challenges e-commerce businesses face on a daily basis.
Lack of Trust for Your Website
Build it and they’ll come, right? Sure, but not everybody will buy. And in many cases, it has to do with a trust issue. Most people will simply not buy from a site they can’t trust. This lack of trust could be for many reasons.
Maybe they don’t trust the payment processor you’re using. Many companies wrongly assume that buyers would rather pay through a merchant solution, but that’s not the case for everyone. Maybe you don’t have the proper security certificates on your domain. Many people overlook the importance of security certificates and how important they are when building trust. Any company that deals with sensitive personal information will usually need to have an SSL encrypted domain. In some cases, it boils down to appearance and reputation. A poorly laid out website or one with an outdated layout might turn off potential buyers.
However, there are a few simple things every e-commerce business owner can do to instill trust. First of all, clearly display your contact information (with your phone number if possible) and address on your website’s homepage. Second, join the Better Business Bureau and display your certification clearly as well.
The Better Business Bureau is an organization whose sole purpose is to make online business better and safer. Members with a strong track record are favored by customers. However, you’ll have to make sure that you provide the best service possible as negative reviews could affect your brand.
Last but not least, try to get as many testimonials as you can for your website. Social proof is one of the easiest ways to build trust with new customers, and testimonials are one of the easiest ways to use this to your advantage. Try to include pictures as well if you want your testimonials to have a stronger impact.
Fraudulent Activity and Hacking
Chances are that if you run an e-commerce website, you will be exposed to hackers. Hacks can be something as small as minor changes to your site’s layout to more serious issues such as your clients’ payment information being published. However, there are steps you can take to protect your site from hackers. One of the easiest things you can do is have a strong password and change it often. Also, make sure that you change your shopping cart’s configuration regularly as well. Change your database’s location often and stay informed about the latest security breaches.
Chargebacks are another major issue you might have to deal with if you operate your own e-commerce website. While there are some steps you can take to diminish the chances of chargebacks, fraudulent ones can be hard to dispute. This is why you should choose a payment processor with strong anti fraud protection and consider hiring the services of recovery companies such as The Chargeback Company. These companies will be able to reduce the amount of chargebacks you’ll have to deal with by signaling pre chargeback activity, for instance.
Poor Knowledge of SEO
It’s still surprising in this day and age how many people have absolutely no knowledge of SEO. Some e-commerce business owners only bother with putting their website online and hoping for the best. Needless to say, this won’t help you when it comes to SEO. SEO has changed greatly over the past few years and building a few backlinks won’t cut it. Google prioritizes rich websites with valuable content.
One of the first things you need to do is work on your product descriptions. They should be rich and well detailed. Try to aim for at least 100 words per description if possible. Another thing that will allow you to generate content is reviews. People love reviews, and so does Google. User generated reviews are a great way to deepen your site’s content with little to no effort.
But if you really want to take it up a notch, one thing you could do is post buying guides. Buying guides can be between 1500 and 5000 words long and should feature links to one or more of your products. However, they should not be mere selling tools, but should actually be helpful to your customers.
No Understanding of Social Media Marketing
Social media plays a major role in people’s perception of a company as well as their buying decisions. Not knowing how to use social media to your advantage will set you back quite a bit in 2017. According to a report by L2ThinkTank, 63% of gen Yers surveyed claimed that they interact with a business’s products through social media and 50% said that social media directly influences their perception about a particular company.
Damage control is essential when it comes to building a reputation online, and through social media, every blunder is amplified tenfold. This is why you should have a strong social media strategy in place not only for marketing purposes, but for customer service as well. Building a good relationship with your clients will go a long way and actually show you care.
While e-commerce businesses have many advantages that should not be neglected, they have their share of issues as well. This is why it is important that you’re well informed about the ins and outs of running a successful e-commerce website before you make the jump. Make sure that you learn everything there is to learn about social media management, fraud and chargeback prevention, and site security as well. Also make sure that you do everything in your power to build a trusting relationship with your clients from the get go.