E-commerce empowerment acts as a driving force for organizations to enter the market, equipping them with the strategies and resources to succeed in the realm of online retail.
However, businesses face hurdles in the e-commerce landscape that can impede progress and profitability. This article uncovers the obstacles encountered in e-commerce enablement along with providing practical solutions to overcome them.
Number 1- Slow Shipping Speeds
Businesses in the evolving field of e-commerce are greatly concerned about the delays in shipping. In today’s world, consumers have become accustomed to the convenience of receiving their packages on the day.
Have developed high expectations accordingly. When deliveries are not made promptly, dissatisfied customers often switch to competitors who offer service. Slow shipment speeds not only leave customers dissatisfied, but also poses a risk to brand loyalty and competitiveness.
It’s crucial for businesses to prioritize an efficient fulfillment process in order to tackle the challenge of shipping.
This involves partnering with a fulfillment provider who can meet or even exceed customer expectations when it comes to shipping.And it also need to be flexible and adaptable.
By working with a fulfillment partner who is committed to delivering orders on time, businesses can ensure that their delivery schedules align with what customers expect.
Number 2- Shipping Location Constraints
The proximity of your e-commerce fulfillment centers to your customers is essential when it comes to determining shipping speed and cost efficiency. Having fulfillment centers strategically positioned near your customer base has the advantage of reducing the distance that products need to travel.
This results in shipping times and lower shipping costs. Conversely, if you have one fulfillment center or multiple centers located in strategic areas, it can significantly slow down the shipment schedules.
To address the problem of shipping limitations, it is advisable for e-commerce businesses to collaborate with a fulfillment provider that has located warehouses.
Conducting market research can help identify the areas where your customers are based, enabling you to choose a fulfillment partner with facilities. Additionally, companies with a customer base should select a fulfillment partner that can streamline shipping.
This involves not only ensuring delivery but also optimizing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of overseas shipping operations.
Number 3- Using a Complex eCommerce Fulfillment Software
Numerous companies encounter a hurdle when dealing with their e-commerce fulfillment software despite having products and robust e-commerce platforms.
If a company employs a software system that proves challenging to implement, integrates into workflows, or lacks smooth integration with other crucial business applications, it can disrupt operations, impede shipping efficiency, and generate both employee and customer dissatisfaction.
To address these concerns, businesses should prioritize choosing user e-commerce fulfillment software that integrates smoothly with existing platforms and applications.
By aligning the software’s capabilities with your business requirements, you can ensure operations improved shipping efficiency and a satisfying experience for both your team and customers.
Number 4- Lack of Branding Opportunities
In the world of e-commerce, it is crucial to find ways to stand out and capture consumer attention. However, one major challenge that e-commerce businesses face is the opportunities during the fulfillment process.
Sending products in unattractive packaging does not contribute much to building brand recognition or creating a personalized experience for customers.
To effectively address this challenge, it is crucial to invest in customized packaging and branding opportunities. When a distinctive tailor-made package arrives at their doorstep, it sparks excitement and engagement.
This exceptional customer experience cultivates loyalty. Encourages repeat purchases. Moreover, showcasing your brand through packaging sets your shipments apart from the brown boxes flooding the market.
It also expands your company’s reach as your distinctive packaging becomes a topic of conversation, driving word-of-mouth marketing. By utilizing e-commerce fulfillment as a means of branding and marketing, you can significantly enhance your company’s visibility.
Number 5- Inefficient eCommerce Returns
The costs associated with e-commerce returns have significantly increased. Returns often end up at the e-commerce fulfillment center for businesses that do not have locations.
However, if these companies are not prepared to accept, evaluate, and replace these items, they will remain in storage. Go unnoticed as part of their current inventory. Failing to resell returned items quickly can greatly impact revenue generation.
First and foremost, it is important for companies to prioritize offering a customer-friendly return process. Customers highly value the convenience of easy returns as it plays a role in their decision to make online purchases.
However, simply having a return policy is not sufficient; it is equally crucial for the fulfillment provider to have the capability to effectively carry out these returns.
Choosing an e-commerce fulfillment service that has return processing capabilities, efficient infrastructure, and an adequate workforce is critical.
These service providers are able to handle volumes of returns, minimizing any negative impact on the customer experience while still maintaining profit margins.
It is essential to manage the “return and repair” process, which accounts for around 10% of supply chain expenses. This management ensures there are no bottlenecks in the supply chain that could potentially reduce profitability by up to 30%.
Ultimately, selecting the right fulfillment partner is key to streamlining returns and staying competitive in the e-commerce industry.
Number 6- Free Shipping Expectations
The concept of shipping has become ingrained in the minds of today’s consumers, with an incredible 75% expecting this benefit when they shop online.
This trend can be attributed, in part, to players like Amazon and Walmart, who have made delivery the standard. However, providing shipping can be financially challenging for startups and small-to-sized e-commerce businesses.
Businesses face options when it comes to tackling the challenge of meeting customer’s expectations for free shipping. Consider a small increase in product prices, just enough to cover the expense of shipping.
Surprisingly, many customers may not notice even a minor price increase, but they are more sensitive to the presence of delivery expenses. According to Wharton School of Business research, free shipping saves a consumer $6.99, which is more appealing than a $10 discount on the purchase price.
If boosting product prices is not an option, firms can consider offering free delivery on purchases over a particular amount, bundling things for free shipping, or introducing free shipping at specified periods when financial constraints are less onerous.
To ensure e-commerce businesses can meet customer expectations and maintain sustainability, it is crucial to design free shipping options.
One key aspect of this process involves determining the threshold for offering shipping. By doing so, companies can strike a balance between satisfying customer demands and managing expenses effectively.
Number 7- Damaged Products
Damaged or mis-delivered items are a serious concern for e-commerce enterprises. Leading US couriers, such as USPS, UPS, and FedEx, delivered over 13.5 billion packages in 2018, with a stunning 11% of them being damaged or mis-delivered.
This corresponds to approximately 1.5 million lost or damaged products. The consequences of damaged products go beyond the immediate loss of the item.
Businesses must manage product returns, replace or repair damaged items, offer discounts on future orders, allocate labor for additional customer service tasks such as filing insurance and freight claims, handle inspections and repairs (or disposal) of returned items, or risk losing both customers and potential referrals.
Minimizing the problem of damaged products relies heavily on the way we pack them. To reduce the likelihood of damage during delivery, online sellers should take measures.
This includes using packaging materials, trying out types of custom boxes, individually wrapping items inside the box, providing cushioning to protect them from hitting the walls, avoiding excessive packing, and safeguarding against moisture damage by using plastic bags and silica gel packets.
By implementing packaging practices, we can significantly decrease the chances of damage during transit. Additionally, businesses have the option to outsource their packaging and shipping processes to e-commerce fulfillment centers that specialize in secure product handling.
This further reduces the risk of damage and associated costs.
Number 8- Abandoned Carts
Online retailers often encounter the issue of abandoned shopping carts. It’s quite common for customers to enthusiastically load up their shopping carts with items, only to leave them behind when it’s time to complete the purchase.
According to the Baymard Institute, this is a problem, with 70% of shopping carts being abandoned. The main culprits behind this phenomenon are costs, like shipping and taxes, the requirement of creating an account, and a complex checkout process.
To sort the issue of cart abandonment, we need solutions that focus on enhancing the shopping experience. Firstly, let’s simplify the checkout process to make it more user-friendly and efficient.
Forcing customers to create an account allows them to complete their purchases as guests. Additionally, it’s important to be transparent about any fees involved during checkout so that customers aren’t taken by surprise.
Another approach worth considering is implementing a flat-rate shipping system. Allowing customers to enter their zip code before proceeding with checkout.
This way, they can see shipping charges upfront. By implementing these techniques, we can reduce friction in the purchasing process, build trust with customers, and ultimately increase e-commerce sales by minimizing cart abandonment rates.
Number 9- Poor Customer Service
In the realm of online commerce, it holds immense value in retaining customers. As per reports, 70% of businesses believe that it costs less to hold onto existing customers than to acquire ones. In fact, acquiring a customer could be up to seven times more expensive in comparison.
Regrettably, extensive research indicates that organizations are potentially forfeiting an astounding sum of up to $62 billion on an annual basis due to subpar customer service.
In this contemporary era inundated with an overwhelming surplus of e-commerce entities vying for a common customer base, surpassing expectations in customer service is no longer an indulgence but an unequivocal necessity.
To combat the predicament of inadequate customer service, e-commerce enterprises can employ various noteworthy techniques.
While not all businesses possess the financial means to sustain round-the-clock telephonic assistance, they can nonetheless ensure a seamless online ordering experience and establish channels through which clients can seek immediate resolutions to their pressing queries.
Moreover, augmenting customer satisfaction is readily achievable by promptly addressing emails within the ensuing business day. Furthermore, an effective strategy involves integrating artificial intelligence in the form of chatbots.
These AI-powered chatbots are adept at effortlessly handling basic client inquiries, thereby facilitating expeditious responsiveness and website support.
An elaborated FAQ section on the website can also be a great resource for customers, answering frequently asked questions and difficulties.
By prioritizing great client experiences through these strategies, e-commerce enterprises may improve customer retention, lower the cost of customer acquisition, and strengthen their market competitiveness.
Number 10- Backorders
Backorders happen when there is a demand for an item. We don’t have enough inventory to fulfill current orders. This means that the item will be available in the future.
However, it can be frustrating for customers because they often prefer to switch to another seller who actually has the product in stock. This leads to lost sales and leaves customers feeling dissatisfied.
E-commerce businesses have strategies at their disposal to tackle the issue of backorders. It is crucial to analyze purchasing patterns in order to predict trends and adjust inventory accordingly.
For instance, during demand, it can be beneficial to stock up on items while reducing inventory during off-seasons. Another effective approach is diversifying suppliers so that if one supplier runs out of stock, another can step in to fulfill orders.
Maintaining communication with customers about the reason for delays and providing estimated replenishment dates is essential. Additionally, offering discounts to customers who are willing to wait can be a way to show appreciation.
Collaborating with an e-commerce fulfillment center equipped with software can provide insights for better inventory management and help minimize or eliminate backorders.
By implementing these tactics, e-commerce businesses can enhance customer satisfaction, retain sales, and improve inventory management practices.
In conclusion, it’s important to acknowledge that e-commerce brings its share of challenges; however, there are solutions available. Fulfilment service providers like Globallyfulfill can help in overcoming these obstacles by ensuring shipping processes and ensuring customer happiness.
It will take care of all the hassles for you, including shipping, returns and packaging, allowing your company to gain greater customer satisfaction.
Remember that by addressing these difficulties with fulfillment as a foundation, your online business has the potential to thrive in the world of e-commerce.