A Guide For The New Age eCommerce Manager:How to Tackle Challenges Around Scaling An eCommerce Store
Updated: Jan 11
eCommerce websites come up like mushrooms these days, with over 24 million sites in existence today. However, not all of them know how to sell effectively, which is where the opportunity lies. But setting up an eCommerce site is the easy part! Bringing in traffic, and converting that traffic to hard revenue is a completely different ball game altogether. Plus, once you do have buyers, the challenge is to keep them coming back, and not getting lured away by your competition!
We list here the top challenges faced by the New Age eCommerce manager and some very handy solutions too.
Challenge: eCommerce products that get returned by the buyer
Solution: Sometimes people are wary of shopping online, to begin with. It is advisable to give as much information as possible about the product upfront: size, material, ingredients if any, delivery options, reviews, testimonials, and photographs from multiple angles. Despite all this, sometimes products get returned. Before accepting the return order, as an eCommerce manager ask for a review and try to find out just why products are getting returned. The return form can include questions like sizing issue, color/fit issue, any other issue, or whether the customer simply changed their mind. Some returns happen because the item shipped had a defect or did not resemble the item in the picture on the website. In this case, you may need to track down the vendor or manufacturer to figure out the problem. Know that returns are an inevitable part of eCommerce and be prepared with a robust reverse logistics setup. This will allow you to salvage some value from returned items to stem expenses from refunds, returns, and exchanges.
Challenge: Less online payments, more COD requests
Solution: Just like shopping online sits outside the comfort zone of some people, others may be reluctant to pay online, opting for the relative safety of cash on delivery instead. However, it carries an element of risk for the seller. In such cases, there are a few things you can do. Offer them rewards for online payment, or perks like free shipping. Cashbacks or loyalty points that are redeemable on the eCommerce platform may also appeal to some of your clientele. Moreover, people like choices and are more likely to pick one that they are comfortable with. Your checkout page must have a whole selection of payment options, including credit or debit cards, wallets, QR codes, secure net banking, etc.
Challenge: Failure of online payment Solution: An eCommerce manager must ensure that the eCommerce website has a secure and efficient payment gateway. Losing a sale due to site failures and crashes can be unfortunate, but sometimes beyond your control. For instance, a payment not going through when a bank’s server is down. If you find that a customer is not reattempting to pay, send a discount or offer to them. Or send them a message suggesting an alternative mode of payment. Keep on the lookout for new methods of payments for a better user experience. Buy Now Pay Later is coming up in a big way, ensure your platforms have all the new and advanced payment methods.
Challenge: Low conversions Solution: There can be several reasons for low conversions, and the actions you take depend on where the potential customer is falling through. For example, some eCommerce retailers run campaigns for a specific product but display a common landing page with all the products listed instead. The customer then experiences dissonance between what they saw in the ad vs. what they see on the website. Likewise, potential customers may also fall through at the product page level, which means that they haven’t found enough relevant information to help them make a purchase. Product videos are often very effective at conveying the features of a product. Using data, you can begin to understand exactly where customers fail to convert, and can fix one element at a time to gauge its impact on your conversion rates.
Challenge: Sales have stagnated Solution: Slow seasons are inevitable. Sometimes you, as the seller, have to come up with ideas to shake things up a little. Changing the look and feel of your website to reflect the season is one great way of refreshing the experience. You need not overhaul everything; just add little touches or pops of color, or even falling snowflakes. Also, see if you can add new product pictures or send “just in” notifications. Run online events, quizzes, giveaways via collaborations with influencers or bloggers in your product category. Announce a sale to unload some inventory. Offer site visitors something in return for signing up or purchasing something for the first time.
Marketing strategies that can help you can scale your business
1. If you find that your eCommerce sales have slowed down somewhat, it is time to give your website content a shot in the arm. Make good use of the downturn to perform a bit of eCommerce keyword research. Optimize all your website content in terms of SEO. Optimize your product images and videos as well, and furnish them with new, keyword-driven descriptions. Showcase your products and refine your pitch to the best of your ability.
2. Use tactics like rewards for registration to build your email list from day one. While there is nothing like landing a sale with a first-time visitor to your site, getting an email address from a new, non-buying visitor is a very good consolation prize. Email newsletters are a great, direct form of communicating with your customers and reaching out to new leads. An email goes a long way towards converting prospects into buyers. With email capture, you can also hope to increase ROI from any paid social media campaigns you may float.
3. Try to build trust and loyalty of your customer from day one. Reassure them of your business’s solid credibility and keep sending updates to first-time buyers about the status of their order. Make sure you come across as an efficient, attentive seller who is much more than the products. When customers align themselves with your brand identity, they are more likely to return and recommend you to others.
4. Create a well-planned sales funnel. Measure what happens at each stage of your sales cycle using the right tools, and fix any issues that might be preventing your customers’ movement from the top of the funnel right to the bottom.
5. Optimize your eCommerce store’s parameters for maximum conversion. Combat cart abandonment at the source, i.e. checkout and cart pages. If a buyer is about to jump ship, an exit popup with an offer too great to pass up might do the trick.
With the growing popularity of eCommerce, the role of an eCommerce manager has become crucial for the success of an eCommerce business.