August 14, 2015 Last updated September 18th, 2018 621 Reads share

The Major Ecommerce Challenges Encountered by Retailers

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It goes without saying that eCommerce has changed the way we shop now a days. Every

These are the key areas for ecommerce challenges:

Dearth of Verification Measures

A portal is unaware of customers until they enter the information once they sign-up to an eCommerce portal. This is further heightened when customers opt for Cash-On-Delivery (COD) purchase, as businesses remain uncertain about the authenticity of the customers. This can be brought under control if textual/ email messages are send out to the customers to validate their identities.

Most of the Customers’ Concerns Go Unnoticed

An excellent customer service is the most important factor in any business. Ecommerce business receives abundant inbound interactions with more than 75% being complaints and concerns. However, when these concerns go unnoticed, it compromises the business’s standard of quality and its image. However, with easy to use interface and proper ticketing solutions, employees can better cater to individual customer issues.

The Pricey Delivery Boy

Some eCommerce companies are facing high attritions, rising salaries, volume –based bonus, potential dearth of feet on the ground and additional benefits to provide to the delivery person. As online marketplace, on demand retailers as well as third-party logistics firms always have to chase delivery boys to reach customers on time. Merchants believe that the delivery person represents the brand behind it, and, if they don’t get that right on place, it would ruin the entire business.

To avoid such circumstances in near future, companies should start providing the delivery boys ‘uniforms and a sense of ownership.’ They should financially contributes towards the maintenance of the boys and make service levels clear to the fleets. Also, once the boys are on the board, they should be given some basic training on how to interact with the customers, get acquainted with their assigned areas and make use of technology.

Tricky Delivery Process

Every online business has their unique set of challenges. One of them is the lack of retailer’s control on the parcel delivery process. With the rising shipping rates, the delivery companies are providing a very little control to the retailers. In some countries, one of the biggest roadblocks for the online retailers is the Government policy banning freight vehicles, gas-fueled and electric tri-cycle to deliver parcels. This is posing a number of problems:-

  • Firstly, the delivery people are detained, their vehicles are seized and sometimes they’re given fines for violating regulations due to the pressure of meeting the delivery timeframes.
  • Secondly, if the vehicles are seized and the delivery person is detained, the packages are not getting delivered as promised.
  • Thirdly, to combat the costs of tickets for the seized vehicles, companies are simply driving up their delivery costs. These costs are eventually becoming a burdensome to the customers.

To defeat such situations, many online companies are using courier companies to deliver the goods as ordered and the couriers are turning to smaller modes of transportation to do the needful. Another alternative for the parcel companies is the use of crowdsourced delivery service. Such an option can stretches across multiple retail segments. These companies are alerting pre-qualified drivers for a pending delivery through the use of smartphone app. In this case, the driver picks up the merchandise from the retailer and delivers it to the end-users. Crowdsourced models are growing and although they’re expensive, they’re doing a good job when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Competition, economy, logistics infrastructure and political regulations are gradually proving as severe roadblocks for many companies. But as the market grows, so do the solutions to the problems.

Product Return and Refund Policy

It is natural that every online merchant wishes to do their best to make customers happy with the products ordered.  However, given the hassles and the costs associated with the return and refund of any products, return and refund policy can put a severe financial strain on any type of businesses. The question of who pays the shipping costs for online returns has been a point of discussion in the eCommerce space. But on the contrary, the option of free return shipping and refund is a great leverage for people who are looking to make a purchase online.

The top priority of any eCommerce business regarding product return and refund should be to have a transparent policy that is easy for the customers to find, understand and refer. In a nutshell, ‘No Return’ policy is never going to fly with customers who expect high-quality services and conveniences.

Cyber Security

Cyber security is a big concern for almost all the eCommerce retailers. In fact, Governments of several countries are pressing the need for laws to deal with the increasing reality of cyber crimes and data breaches. The year 2014 saw a massive share of customer data breaches with high-profile stores in US. In most of the cases, it’s not high-level espionage, terrorism or social activities, but, simply opportunistic behaviour. There are several factors responsible behind this threat. The prominent ones are:-

  • Weak passwords
  • End-users using malware-laden websites
  • Poor network securities
  • Unpatched technologies
  • Insecure system configurations

An in-depth security strategy starts with establishing a culture of proper security and speed. Also there are security resources protecting your business. The most important step in addressing retail security challenges is recognizing their destructive potentials. Companies must use technology that can assess any damage, removes the vulnerability and communicates the real responsibilities to the public. Retailers must make use of analytics-based security tools, scan the incoming data, identify anomalous behaviour and report it to the IT admins for further analysis.

Ecommerce industry is demanding. It wants businesses to arm themselves with the best ideas and creativity in order to differentiate themselves from the crowd.

Images: “Abstract symbol e-commerce (done in 3d)/Shutterstock.com

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Sumita Dasdutta

Sumita Dasdutta

Sumita Das Dutta is a technical content writer and associated with digital marketing services, SEO audit, social media engagement and blogging on IT & Online Marketing services. Her writing focuses on contemporary digital media marketing trends. She is working at Indus Net Technologies and aims to constantly evolve creativity and share innovation through her articles.

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