E-Commerce: eShop challenges and how to avoid them on your own eShop in 2021
A complete guide to all the difficulties an eShop faces in 2021
We often hear that in 2021 the development and success of an eShop are two processes very demanding and complex, accompanied by a large number of challenges and difficulties.
What exactly does an entrepreneur need to do to enter the world of eCommerce?
In 2021, in the era of constantly evolving technology and daily online activities, the main function that a business has to implement is to build and strengthen its own online presence, its own eShop in the context of eCommerce.
However, while all companies are struggling to launch the success of their eShops and consolidate their position in the global eCommerce space, the vast majority of them record failure data in a very short time!
What are the real difficulties you will need to face in starting your eShop?
Statistics, based on surveys and studies conducted in the UK on 1,253 eShops that failed in their first year of operation, showed that 90% of eCommerce businesses fail within the first 120 days of operation! At the same time, it was found that among all the companies that enter the field of online businesses, only 78% of them manage to maintain their business operation and course beyond this first trial year.
These numbers and percentages are undoubtedly shocking and make quite obvious the difficulties that a company has to face to promote its eShop in the world of eCommerce, to face the dynamic competition and to start its business course in the context of technology, online transactions and activities with its ideal audience.
Why does eCommerce have huge failure rates?
It is a fact that each online company, depending on its subject and its field of activity, has its own separate business goals and follows different practices in order to reach the desired success rates.
However, based on the failure rates of eCommerce and the concerns of the majority of entrepreneurs, it becomes clear how most eShops share exactly the same difficulties and reasons for failure.
For this reason, the best thing to do is to acquire the knowledge so that you are fully prepared and informed to better meet the upcoming challenges.
Below, we will analyze some equally serious challenges and difficulties that a company is called to face for the ideal operation of its online store in the context of eCommerce.
As we have mentioned, the world of e-commerce in 2021 hides difficulties that can often prove to be catastrophic for businesses and eShops that do not know the proper way to solve them and are unable to deal with them immediately and effectively.
Online Advertising, Social Media and SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
In eCommerce, an eShop is not a shop window on a busy shopping street. Instead, the reality is that every online store is lost in the sea of the internet, among other eShops, that are all struggling to surface.
In order to achieve this, to be able to stand out, but also to promote their products and services properly and effectively, a basic condition is the combination of three functions: advertising – Social Media – SEO. Their combination is the most efficient way to promote an eShop, so that it can stand out to the public.
Starting an eShop, if the entrepreneur does not deal with the above ways of promoting the store in the world of the internet, it is almost impossible to achieve the sales he wants.
According to the survey which proved the failure of 90% of eShops, 37% of the participants typically said how their online business failed as they could not either design the appropriate marketing campaign or complete it effectively.
Without Social Media, no online presence can grow. Thus, for an eShop the correct use of social networking platforms is a key to development and success.
Engaging with social media is a daily activity of the vast majority of active online consumers, which emphasizes the importance and value that should be given to social networks as a means of promoting an eShop.
The tactics that must be followed for an eShop to have the best result through its presence on social media are relatively simple, but require systematic engagement with the world of social.
Active Presence on social media
In order for a company to reach new customers through the social media of its eShop, a basic condition is to maintain frequent active activity on these platforms. In this way, it will be possible to highlight more effectively what it offers to the public, to build relationships and to maintain frequent communication with it. Only in this way, it will be able to develop the public’s trust in its brand, since without a systematic presence it is extremely difficult to make its presence felt and to remain in the interest of the users.
Another necessary procedure that an eShop should follow on social media, in order to obtain the results it desires, is to publish the products it offers with the corresponding links so that the public can be easily redirected to the eShop page with the detailed description of each product and the possibility of purchase.
Professional profile / feed
A key part of the success of a social media account is the appearance of the profile. For this reason, the social media manager of eShop, should be interested and concerned with the way and the order in which the posts are made on the profile, so that it looks beautiful and organized and emphasizes its professional character, without sketching posts that disturb the harmony of the profile and annoy the visitor.
The use of stories is also a smart practice that needs to be followed by eShop to emphasize its active presence to the public. The organized and systematic publication of content in the stories strengthens the communication with the public, enabling the eShop to increase the engagement of its posts.
Of course, in order for the above practices to work, it is essential to have the appropriate quality content. Beautiful photos, with high quality and resolution, related to the object of the company’s activity are the important points for a complete and quality content that will highlight the professionalism and the products of eShop.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO, search engine optimization, is one of the most useful tools that a website can use to its advantage, and yet even today many websites deny its benefits.
Especially in an eShop, with the challenges of huge competition and difficulties in detecting it by its ideal audience, the importance of SEO is unimaginably great.
SEO practices and methods can be applied to specific points of each eShop that will give the whole website the impetus it needs to highlight its identity and content.
Quality Product Descriptions
In an eShop, the number 1 point to base on SEO methods is product presentation. In this part, the descriptions should be large, detailed, quality and provide completely any information related to the product. Thus, the user is fully informed about the product before sale, but Google also adequately understands the same product, with the result that eShop receives separate results for each product separately and not only for its catalog.
Quality articles for social media and sales
Practically, an eShop, what really needs is to be able to reach customers and create bridges of communication between them. Thus, the piece of writing can be used for this reason, since some quality articles on the subject of eShop and the expensive products / services it offers to the public, are ways that present the public better eShop itself.
With an absolutely quality article related to the subject of eShop, according to the SEO specifications, Google will display high in the search results the article itself as well as will strengthen the products that will be mentioned in this text.
At the same time, here social media plays a very important role. The publication of quality articles on social media, which arouse the interest of users, fully describe the theme that dynamically develops and promotes Eshop products, creates the conditions for increased sales and growth of traffic rates throughout the eShop.
Online advertising: benefits and costs
In 2021, it is now imperative for every online business and every eShop to follow online advertising practices. Nowadays, when the competition between online companies is very high and is constantly evolving, advertising is the number one factor for a more direct and dynamic promotion of an online store.
And yet, there are many businesses and eShops that fail to make good use of online advertising.
Advantages of online advertising
In general, through an online advertising campaign, the benefits of a business are huge. A key advantage of online advertising is the wide audience to which you can promote your product. Based on simple searches, internet users are more likely to come across your company ad while browsing the internet, regardless of where they are located. At the same time, the ability of digital advertising to target exactly the audience you are interested in is undoubtedly advantageous for your eShop, while the opportunity given to you to precisely control your advertising data is at least efficient. Finally, online advertising is characterized by short time requirements, in contrast to the more classic forms of advertising and promotion which are very time consuming to design, implement and bring results.
Online advertising costs
Let’s focus on the important ones now. The cost of advertising that an eShop can utilize to better promote itself and its products, depends on the factors discussed above. SEO and Social Media maximally affect the cost of advertising. The more enhanced SEO is, the stronger the presence on social media and the interaction of the public through these platforms, the lower the cost per click of advertising.
In the same vein, applying advertising practices to an article that was previously effective and brought dynamic results on its own, is sure to bring geometrically increasing success results. So, even in this case, the cost for advertising, of course, will be lower, contributing to the overall reduced cost per click.
In short, an eShop exploiting the potential of social media, SEO methods that highlight every aspect of the eShop and advertising in key points, can boost its success rates and leave behind any difficulty and competition. The mistake that can easily get your claim denied is to fail.
EShop Construction Quality
It sounds trivial and simple, but it is one of the most important reasons why most eShops fail nowadays. The right eShop that will be a fully effective store for digital customers, is the one that has been properly implemented with all its aspects developed just for each case separately, for the object of each company.
In no case can we rely on ready-made eShop construction standards, for a complete and successful result. These templates may facilitate businesses with a minimum volume of products, without development margins as they can not be compared with specially and professionally designed and manufactured custom made eShops.
For companies with a large volume of products, with wholesale (b2b) functions, with the ability to connect to other platforms to increase sales (eg Skroutz), with stock management settings, etc., what is required is the cooperation with an eShop company who is fully aware of this subject but also what is needed in each case to deal with difficulties and systematic development.
These difficulties and requirements mentioned above characterize every effort to build and maintain an eShop by a competent and professional company that works on each store separately, without the easy solution of the provided – and not evolving – eshop templates.
In short, an eShop must have a proper way to manage functions such as shopping cart, product return / exchange, purchase process and payment method, users who create accounts on its platform, etc.
Product Photography for your eShop
The main difficulty that eShops have to face in order to better highlight their content and products is photography.
As for the product photography and the photographer who will take on this job for an eShop, the hard but real one applies – whatever you pay you get.
Many eShops, therefore, due to poor organization, negligence, delay or limited budget, resort to alternatives of reduced quality or prolong for a long time the process of photographing products, making it difficult on their own to complete and develop their own eShop.
Photography Cost for eShop
Regarding the cost of these photos, of course this varies depending on the number of photos, the frequency of photos, their quality, etc. Of course, in order to obtain the most attractive and at the same time realistic virtual content by promoting your products beautifully and easily, it would be good to choose very carefully, so that you find the opportunity to better highlight your eShop.
Photography time requirements
The truth is that the processes required for an eShop in order to operate fully effectively on eCommerce requirements, are many and imperative.
However, in terms of product photography, you need proper organization and systematic care of the budget and stocks, so that the photography is done in an immediate period of time that corresponds to the current collection / season and at the same time does not exceed the cost of your available resources, since so the whole process will be delayed at the expense of the eShop.
As we have said before, the visual content that is important and necessary to be included in any eShop must be characterized by quality and maximum clarity.
For the best promotion of a company’s products through its online store, quality photos with the appropriate light to accurately highlight the material and color of the product, are a basic requirement, so that each customer can fully understand every detail of the product that interests him, through the photo that accompanies it.
Failure or refusal to invest funds for eShop
In some cases, starting an eShop can be a cheaper option than setting up a physical store. But it is at this point that most entrepreneurs make the crucial mistake and their eShop immediately fails.
With minimal stock and refusal to invest additional funds, there is no way to develop and strengthen an eShop and it is a matter of time until each company leads to the complete failure of its online store.
The additional funds and their investment in marketing campaigns, Search Engine Optimization, selection of partners (photographers, models, etc.) are necessary for the development of any eShop, since without them any other effort is futile and ineffective.
Competition in eCommerce
When a new company tries to succeed in eCommerce through its own eShop, competition is one of the main difficulties it has to face. In an increasingly competitive environment, it makes sense that a start-up online business would find it difficult to survive among other already successful eShops.
In order for an eShop to stand out in its industry, among the competing companies, the most important thing is to have clarified its goal from the beginning, to have defined its ideal audience but also to have studied the way in which it will be able to stand out.
If for example an eShop is active in selling swimwear, a very smart and efficient practice to stand out is to think of alternative ways to promote, keywords such as “handmade swimwear”, “vintage swimwear” that differ from the most common keywords that often gather the most competition.
How will you beat the competition in eCommerce?
In addition to the good SEO practices that are worth implementing, it would be useful to analyze the practices and procedures followed by competing companies in eCommerce, so you know exactly what promotions they use, if they have high conversion rates, what platforms they use, what are their business goals etc. In this way, you will be able to better and more effectively configure your own platform aiming to stand out in places where you reach your customers but your competitors lag behind.
Product purchase costs and shipping costs
Among the main reasons that an eShop fails in its first year of operation, are the prices of its products and the shipping costs that accompany an online purchase.
In fact, in the survey mentioned above, among the 1,253 newly established eShops that did not last more than 120 days of operation, 29% of them owe the failure to the exact prices and shipping costs that made the potential customer reconsider and look for a more advantageous and economical solution to buy in another eShop.
Lack of customer service via eShop
In a physical store, the customer who is interested in being informed about the respective products or proceeding to a purchase, it is necessary to receive from the competent employee any help and information needed about the product or service that interests him.
Even more, in an eShop, where everything is done digitally and there is no ease of direct human communication between employee and customer, it is necessary to provide excellent customer service at any time.
On the other hand, the lack of adequate service does not create a pleasant browsing atmosphere and trust between the company and the customer, who may have difficulty navigating and prefer another eShop with better customer service conditions, which is just a click away.
Unattractive web design / eShop environment
Imagine walking down one of the busiest shopping streets in your area. The store that will catch your eye and probably make you want to see its products, will definitely be the one that looks more neat, organized, clean and stylish.
This is exactly how eCommerce online customers work. When internet users browse the search results in order to find what they want, what piques their interest is an eShop with a nice design and comfortable browsing conditions. Undoubtedly, a well-designed eshop without chatter and without navigation barriers, will be the one with the highest conversion rates.
Abandoning eShop before ordering
One of the biggest challenges an eShop faces in terms of its customer activity in its digital environment is not completing an upcoming order and abandoning it. Research has shown that the highest rates of abandonment of an online store are observed during the process of completing the user’s order. This may be either because the payment process in your online store is complex, complex and difficult for otherwise interested visitors, or because the general browsing conditions at the stage of completing an order are not ideal and user-friendly.
How will you enhance order completion in your eShop?
Simplification of the purchase process
Completing an order should be a smooth and easy process for any user who has already spent some time browsing your eShop until they come up with the product they really want to acquire and now just want to make a quick purchase without delays. For this reason, the conditions he is facing at this point should be the best. A few order steps, no annoying pop up windows and ads, fast loading and a variety of payment methods are the elements that will upgrade your eShop purchase process and will undoubtedly make it easier for every user.
Optimized mobile browsing conditions
The majority of modern consumers, depending on their age and lifestyle, spend a very considerable time using the mobile phone every day.
So it is not at all difficult to understand the fact that in the context of eCommerce, many surveys have shown that over 65% of online shopping is done through mobile phones. For this reason, optimizing your eShop’s navigation conditions for mobile phones is a practice that will undoubtedly help increase your online store conversion rates.
According to Neil Patel, the chances of a user making a purchase on their first visit to your eShop are slim. For this reason, it is important to follow strategies that promote your eShop products to internet users who have re-visited your online store. In this way, conversion rates can be increased up to 60%.
Return / Exchange of purchased products
In order to be able to stand out in the internet space and enhance the success and promotion of your eShop, your number one goal of course must be the excellent service of your customers. In this context, a clear and simple procedure for refunding or changing products is a basic condition for providing your eShop visitors with the best conditions for browsing and online shopping.
According to a survey, 70% of respondents said that the change and return policy of an eShop plays an important role in whether they make a purchase or leave the online store before buying a product. So you realize how important it is for an eShop to offer easy conversion processes to the buying public.
How will you offer your eShop customers excellent customer service terms regarding returns or product changes?
Transparency and convenience
In order to serve your customers comprehensively, when they want to make a change or return of a product they bought from your eShop, it is necessary to be completely honest with the policies of your store but also to provide easy and simple conditions.
In the process, if your customers are having trouble figuring out what to do to get a product back, they will surely reconsider seriously whether to make another, next purchase from your eShop.
Variety of Options
It is especially important when it comes to your e-shop policy regarding returns and product changes that you give your eShop customers a variety of options for the change they want to make.
As in the buying process, it is very basic and useful to provide alternatives that will facilitate the buying public and will be fully satisfied with the service you will provide.
Cyber hackers, also known as cyberattacks, are not an uncommon issue. On the contrary, it is a situation that many online businesses are faced with from the beginning of their operation to be absolutely sure that neither their website nor the details of their registered customers are at risk.
At the same time, the penalties for those involved in cyber-attacks are by no means insignificant, proving that these attacks unfortunately continue to occur frequently on the internet and are a constant nightmare for all website and eCommerce business owners.
How to protect your eShop from cyberattacks?
For the security of your eShop, frequent and repetitive backups of all the files and data contained in your online platform is a very smart, effective and easy way to prevent cyberattacks-related problems.
All you have to do is choose a reputable and competent company that knows the subject well, so that it backs up on a frequent basis to be absolutely sure of the preservation of your files, especially if their content is extensive, important and contains information relevant to the operation of your eShop.
Controlling the server on which your website or eShop is hosted is a necessary process. And here, it is especially important to choose a reliable and guaranteed quality and secure company to host your eshop, so you can be sure that you do not take risks from there. At the same time, it would be good to reconsider if you really want to compromise with shared hosting, as it is possible that if a website of the same server is hacked, cyberattack problems will be caused in your own eShop.
Installing additional security programs is strongly recommended to confirm the absolute security of your eShop and files that of course do not want to be infected by cyber viruses or hacked.
One could say that ,nowadays, at a time when everything is done online and e-commerce is rapidly growing worldwide, the success of eShops would be what everyone expected.
And yet, the growth of eCommerce and the success of eShops are now inversely proportional.
With 4 out of 5 small online businesses failing immediately after they start operating, it is clear that every business running its own eShop has to deal with more obstacles and issues than one might expect.
As discussed above, the reasons why eCommerce often fails are common to 90% of eShops that fail to boost their success and stand out from the competition.
From your financial resources to your customer relationships, what is certain is that the process of running your own eShop is very demanding and time consuming in order to be able to evolve and rank in the successful 10% of eShops worldwide.
The most important thing is to be cautious and fully prepared to face situations that can put your business in a difficult position and make the operation of your eShop difficult. With the right information and the adoption of precautionary strategies, it is possible to avoid the very common challenges of eCommerce and focus on your most basic goal: serving your customers and the success of your eShop.
However, if the management of eShop focuses on its 5 main pillars of operation – SEO, social media, advertising, proper construction and arrangement and photography of products – and is active based on the combination of these individual elements, it is sure how success rates will start to make their presence visible with a geometric increase.