eCommerce Challenges and the Solutions
- eCommerce

eCommerce Challenges and the Solutions

4 Alarming Challenges of Every eCommerce Organization & the Solutions

Around 2 billion people flock to e-commerce platforms to have a simplified shopping experience. One-click payment, one-day delivery, easy returns, and enormous rewards are perhaps the biggest crowd pullers. While e-commerce players have maximized every opportunity to simplifying user-experience for customers, they are yet to create a similar experience for sellers.

Growing annually at 23% globally, the e-commerce industry has disrupted the physical stores but many challenges need to be dealt with before it becomes a utopia. Marred with multiple challenges in customer service, payment, logistics, seller engagement, and catalog management, e-commerce is constantly on the lookout for path-breaking innovations.

Alarming e-commerce challenges that need to be addressed immediately include

  1. Refund Fraud 

Trickster has come up with innovative ways to shun money out of e-commerce players. In the latest development, fraudsters are now using stolen credit cards to pay in advance for products or services online. Once the payment is successfully placed, they write to e-commerce platforms seeking a refund in another account by claiming that their credit card has expired.

E-commerce platforms are at an immense loss when such frauds occur because:

  • They have already shipped the product
  • They help customers receive a refund in a different account
  • The original credit card holder adds a chargeback request as soon as he or she realizes about the fraud 

E-commerce platforms are the receiving end here because to simplify customer experience they have removed multiple checks and verification.

Solution

In cases of credit card expiration and overpay claims, e-commerce players can take numerous steps that can help them decipher whether it is a stolen card or not. Some of the most common steps taken by leading e-commerce platform are:

  • Verify your address registered with the card, such details can be verified through banks withholding funds for a week at least. Holding refunds until the product is returned or the chargeback period is over will help e-commerce players.
  1. Duplicate Listing & Brand Interference

It is astonishing to find that 30% of all products ordered online are returned. Duplicate listing and imitated products are the number one reason why 1 out of every 3 product is returned. Genuine sellers with huge stock of original products are suffering at the hands of fraudster selling on e-commerce platforms.

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Duplicate listing occurs when unauthorized sellers with imitated product list items separately instead of listing them under already created marketplace serial number, (ASIN in case of Amazon). When new listings are created, it leads to the same product being shown multiple times in the search result.

Another problem is Brand Interference, which occurs when imitated products are listed with genuine tags or attribute values. For example, when a fake shoe is listed with the “Nike Original” tag, it will start reflecting in search results for queries like “Nike” and “Nike Shoe”. Customers will find these products genuine and order them only to return it later.

Brand interference impact e-commerce platforms in the following ways

  • Steals opportunity from genuine sellers
  • Impacts the overall customer experience
  • Increases return rate
  • Increases customer churn and impacts CSAT negatively

Solution

Catalog management requires tremendous and incessant efforts from marketplaces because 83% of customers are not willing to buy from a store after just one bad experience. Leveraging catalog management services like catalog enrichment and catalog quality check and render such problems obsolete.

Catalog Quality Check: In this process, industry leaders go through the catalog looking for all the errors in the product description, images, and tags. For example, graduates from the fashion industry are hired to proofread product descriptions and run a check on images of products from the Apparels category. Such intricate processes weed out errors that might be invisible to the common man leading to better product understanding by customers.

Catalog Enrichment: Assigned agents go through the catalog looking for misplaced attribute values and tags. Finding and removing errors helps the on-site search engine understand the product and category it belongs to, which removes errors like brand interference.

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3. Lack of Communication between Seller and Buyer

E-commerce marketplaces are heavily biased towards customers that is why over 50% of sellers on Amazon are also selling on other platforms. The lack of favor from e-commerce platforms has coaxed sellers to look for alternative opportunities leading to a rise in drop-shipping.

One-click return, instant refund, and free pickup are some of the biggest online seller pain points. The fashion category receives order worth $6 billion but the maximum refunds, returns, and frauds occur in this category only.

Major concerns of sellers are

Bracketing: The event where customers order multiple variants of the same product only to return the ones that didn’t work is called bracketing. Customers order multiple variants just to be sure that they receive the correct product without getting it returned again and again.

Returning fake products: Customers often buy imitated products from the local market and then place an order for genuine products from the online store. On arrival, they place a request for a return and send the imitated product back to marketplaces. Sellers are huge losses here because marketplaces do not compensate for these losses.

Solution

Bracketing occurs when customers want to have the right product at the earliest. When customers are not willing to return multiple packages to have the right product, they end up ordering multiple products.

By putting the requisite information in the product description and adding high-quality images, marketplaces can make it easier for customers to understand the product leading to lesser bracketing events. Catalog quality check has multiple benefits like:

  • Controls return rates
  • Improves decision making
  • Impacts sellers positively
  • Drives conversion and increases revenue

Return checks: Training pickup agents to verify the authenticity of the product returned by the customer can help marketplaces minimized frauds where customers return fake products.

4. Compliances for Keeping Customer Data Secure

Popular companies like Facebook, Quora, Sony, and Yahoo have succumbed to increasing threats of a data breach. In a bizarre event, Uber had to pay $100,000 to get hackers to delete the stolen data.

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With the average cost of data breach touching $3.9 million, it gets necessary for e-commerce platforms to put in checks that restrict unauthorized access and keep customer’s data safe.

Industry leaders have established norms and compliances that helps online stores avoid data breach and unauthorized access to cardholders’ data. Failing such compliance can have an immense effect on e-commerce platforms.

Some of the impacts of failing compliances include

  • A hefty fine imposed by varied councils and governments
  • Bad reputation leading to the closure of the business
  • Misuse of your platform for carrying out funding for trafficking and terrorism

Solution

Getting compliant and furnishing it year after year is perhaps the best way out of data breaches and hefty fines. Some of the must-have compliances for e-commerce stores are:

PCI DSS: Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard ensures that all cardholders’ data are safe and secure from unauthorized access. This compliance encrypts all data that is transferred over a connection line to avoid illicit access by unauthorized personnel.

KYC: Know Your Compliance is one of the must compliances because it helps governments identify people who use online platforms for funding terrorism and trafficking.

ISO: ISO family includes a list of certifications that helps businesses integrate third-party apps and services seamlessly.

Final Thoughts

To make e-commerce a thriving industry, entrepreneurs have relied heavily on technology. Real-time tracking, the card on delivery and IoT have helped e-commerce players gain the trust of common people. It is about time that e-commerce marketplaces start using state-of-the-art technology to empower sellers and safeguard themselves.

With compliance, quality checks and real-time monitoring of complaints, marketplaces can cut on frauds and help sellers grow. When sellers are empowered and they register growth, e-commerce marketplaces grow on automatic mode.

eCommerce Challenges and the Solutions

Putting the Pieces Together – Build, Grow, Convert

About Linda Taylor

Linda Taylor is an experienced business and marketing consultant with MattsenKumar LLC. Linda’s vast exposure to growing B2B SMEs, E-commerce and improving Customer Experience enables her to create quality content in the form of Articles and Infographics. With a focus on benefiting the masses, Linda is creating content that adds value and routes companies towards success.
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