10 problems that e-merchants are most likely to face
An e-merchant is a full-fledged merchant, who can deal with everyday worries during his activity. Some issues are also related to the specificities of e-commerce. Because to make their way on the web, e-merchants must deal with any third parties: suppliers and customers, as for conventional commerce, but also delivery providers, payment solutions, external services to their customers. the solution, not to mention the provider for the e-commerce site ...
Do you want to get started in e-commerce? First, consider these 10 concerns that e-merchants may face, and find out how to solve them.
1- DELIVERY: DELAY, LOSS OF PARCELS, DAMAGED PACKAGE, ETC.
If in a store, the customer leaves the store with his product, this situation is not the same as the e-commerce. The user sends you money for a product he does not have yet. From the payment, he will wait impatiently for the arrival of his order. Problems can always arise: the delivery provider has lost a package, the product has been damaged during transport, or you have simply fallen behind before shipping.
This can cause customer dissatisfaction, which will then need to be managed. The idea is to be transparent and responsive and to keep it abreast of the situation as soon as possible. If you are in discussion with the delivery provider to find a lost package, keep the user informed of your steps, do not wait for him to come to the news. Similarly, if you are late in your parcel preparations, for example, inform him of the expected date of shipment.
Finally, if the product has been damaged during transport, quickly propose a solution according to your legal notice, whether a total or partial refund or a replacement.
Internet users who have received good communication in the case of a dispute generally keep good relations with the e-commerce site, 95% of negative opinions turn into loyal customers if a solution has been made. The responsiveness of the after-sales service plays a big role in the image of a company!
2- PAYPAL: PAY ATTENTION TO THE FRAUD OF SOME INTERNET USERS
Paypal is an online payment solution appreciated by customers because it is easy and fast. Beware, however, of some scams from malicious Internet users. They are rare but can occur, so it is advisable to know how they work and how to guard against them.
Indeed, Paypal mainly favors the buyer in case of dispute, and this is used by fraudsters. The best-known scam is to indicate that the product has not arrived and to ask Paypal for a refund or to declare the product as not matching or not working, then to send back to the e-trader a package empty or of equivalent weight to the original, but not containing the product.
It is quite difficult to guard against such scams. One solution is to indicate the weight of the package on the shipping label. Thus, if the malicious Internet user sends back an empty package or with a different weight, you will have an argument against Paypal to assert your rights.
We also advise you to offer the online payment service of a bank. You will no longer have an intermediary in litigation, which will leave you more room for discussion, but you will have to be very responsive to ensure customer satisfaction.
3- INVENTORY MANAGEMENT, SUPPLIER REPLENISHMENTS
Just like a store, an e-commerce site must pay attention to the management of its inventory, especially in the case of successful products generating many sales.
This is probably the most complex aspect of running a business. We must evaluate the number of sales of a product over a given period, know the supplier's replenishment time for this product, to know when to recommend it without falling out of stock.
This management can be even more complex in the case of a store coupled to an e-commerce site. In this case, the ideal is to have an omnichannel solution to have a stock management grouped between the site and the store. Thus, the stocks of the e-commerce site are updated according to store sales, which avoids online orders while there is more physical stock.
4- DEPENDENCE OF GOOGLE DECISIONS (HTTPS, MOBILE, VISIBILITY ...)
Google is the world leader in search engines and by extension the visibility of websites. Most sites are more than 50% dependent on Google for traffic. Despite plans for new search engines competing, the supremacy of Google seems destined to last a few more years ...
And this can impact e-merchants when Google changes the rules of the game. Recently, there has been the requirement to switch to HTTPS to make Google Shopping campaigns, in addition to displaying the non-security of data in the Chrome and Firefox browsers. There was also the announcement Google Mobile First which, although its deployment is not planned before the end of the year, forces websites to take into account this future impact and move to mobile compatibility, even if it was not planned in their budget ...
This is why we always recommend changing the traffic acquisition channels of websites, so as not to depend solely on Google for visibility and transactions.
5- THINK ABOUT THE LEGAL OBLIGATIONS BEFORE EACH PROMOTION
Promotions, such as sales, for example, are governed by laws. Balances are the only commercial offer that allows sale at a loss to empty a useless stock. Sale products must be present on your e-commerce site at least one month before being promoted, and the display of certain mentions is mandatory. Destocking and discounts can be implemented the rest of the year, but the sale at a loss is then prohibited, and some information such as the date of validity, or the old and new price must be displayed.
If you want to set up a contest for your community, also find out about the legal context. Legal notices governing the use of the contest and its prizes must generally be written.
Like any business, e-commerce is governed by laws and regulations, remember to inform you and apply them before any commercial offer!
6- LACK OF TIME: E-COMMERCE, A MULTIDISCIPLINARY PROFESSION
An e-merchant is not just a merchant. He is also the webmaster, web editor, commercial animator, after-sales service, graphic designer ... If these professions are not delegated to external service providers, or to internal employees, it is the e-merchant who manages the entirety tasks to be performed on the site: write texts, make visuals for promotions or newsletters, prepare packages, make external communication, answer questions from customers ...
Evaluate the time needed to complete all these tasks before you start e-commerce! Discover our infographic on the typical day of an e-trader to familiarize yourself with this multidisciplinary profession.
7- NEGATIVE CUSTOMER REVIEWS: HOW TO GET SOME POSITIVE
It may be that despite all the care taken in the preparation of orders or customer follow-up, you receive negative opinions on one of the tools to collect them. You must then extract all the possible positive from these opinions. Indeed, perhaps you will improve your package preparation process or response to customers.
Negative reviews can also be good for your image, since, according to Trustpilot, 65% of Internet users place more trust in a site if they see negative reviews. Indeed, only positive reviews may seem suspicious, as it is virtually impossible that you have absolutely no problem in any order. And even if it's the case, there are always dissatisfied ones.
8- THINK AND CARRY OUT YOUR DIGITAL STRATEGY, CHOOSE THE COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
In continuation of the multidisciplinary profession, e-merchant must also promote and facilitate its Website. It must determine the communication channels to use (social networks, newsletters, partnerships, online advertising, blog, videos ...), define the messages to be transmitted, set up an editorial schedule, create visual, etc. A job in its own right!
Getting help from an outside provider for some of these tasks can help to free up time for managing your e-commerce site.
9- THE TOUGH COMPETITION OF THE WEB
Unless you are in a niche sector, you risk competing with a large number of e-commerce sites that offer the same products as you. Marketplaces are also fierce competition. Thus, you sometimes need to make a tariff watch to align your prices and remain competitive or offer additional services that will stand out from your competitors.
10- THE COST OF EXTERNAL SERVICES FOR ADVANCED FEATURES
Sending newsletters, marketing campaigns, collecting opinions, these functions are rarely integrated into existing e-commerce solutions and need to go through external service providers. If well managed, these features are quickly profitable, e-merchants sometimes neglect these tools in their operating budget. So do not hesitate to start with the basic features and then go upmarket once the return on investment arrives. With this, you should gradually grow your business online!
The day-to-day life of the e-shopkeeper is filled with things to manage, to plan, lots of little tasks to do. It's far from easyand the image that people outside of e-commerce often have: the person who makes his expeditions in his garage works in the morning and then has the rest of his day free! While auto-entrepreneurs working from home may have flexibility in organizing their day, the hours of these online traders are often not counted. And past a certain size, there is the question of a dedicated room, employees to delegate certain tasks, perhaps even the opening of a store in addition to the website ... Like the giant Amazon that opens stores, but also smaller players, the store brings additional opportunities and can complement the online store.
You want to embark on the adventure of e-commerce and seek a provider to assist you in the creation of the site, but also advise you on a daily basis?