Everything is going digital. The recent advancements in today’s technology have made it possible for the entire planet to be connected through the Internet. The 21st century has brought in an influx of significant developments such as social media platforms, 3D printing, and e-commerce websites.
An e-commerce website acts as the online version of a brick-and-mortar store. Because of the general migration towards being digital, it has become a necessity for brands to establish an online presence. E-commerce has opened the world to a brand new shopping experience.
With just a few clicks, an individual can order and have shipped straight to their doorstep new clothes, new equipment, and even their dinner for the night. E-commerce platforms have taken the entire world by storm. However, before jumping on the bandwagon and opening up your e-commerce website, it is best to understand the risk that comes with this venture.
Online Security Breach
One of the biggest problems that come with the online world is its security risks. There are many threats that are present in the digital universe. Hackers can breach the network of your company and thus gain unprecedented access to sensitive information such as company data and your customer’s credit card information. Your e-commerce website must be adequately protected.
Protecting your e-commerce platform from hackers and fraud is crucial. Before setting up shop, you should enforce additional layers of network security, including a secure firewall. The web developer that you hire should ensure that your website has standard security protocols in place, such as an SSL certification and Data Encryption.
Client disputes on-site can be a headache. Just imagine how much of a problem it can be with off-site clients that you can only talk with digitally. It can be tough to deal with irate customers. One of the most common causes of client disputes is customer refunds.
Customer refunds can happen when either the item was never delivered, the customer was dissatisfied with the product, if the product is damaged, or when the product delivered does not match the customer’s order.
You have to figure out how to refund the amount that your customer’s card has been charged. It is crucial that you complete refunds as soon as possible to avoid frustrated customers.
Just like a brick-and-mortar store, vendor disputes can be quite tricky. There are cases when vendors do not give the products on time or even not deliver at all. This issue can cause a considerable number of problems for your e-commerce website, especially when you are just starting.
The brand reputation is on the line, so you want to make sure that your business delivers. You can mitigate this with an ironclad contract. Contract risk management is necessary to guarantee that you do not encounter any issues in the future.
E-commerce means hiring a courier service to deliver products from your warehouse to the customer. The speed of delivery is one aspect that can boost customer retention and loyalty.
Many problems can go wrong with a sketchy courier service:
- Huge shipping fees
- Packages not arriving on time
- Packages not even arriving
- Packages with damaged goods inside
- Packages going to the wrong address
These issues will reflect, not on the courier service’s reputation, but yours. Customer satisfaction is essential to the survival of your e-commerce website.
It goes without saying that you should only sign up with a legitimate courier service. Your products carry your brand. The customer experience must not get affected in any way.
Poor SEO Ranking
An e-commerce website is only as effective as its SEO ranking allows it to be. Creating a website is a tricky business. Making it is easy. There are servers out there that already ell ready-to-use websites. All you have to do is choose a template and fill it up with your products, services, etc.
However, getting it to rank on top of Search Engine Results Pages and increasing its online visibility is an exhausting task that is best left for the professionals.
Sign up with a legitimate SEO Agency. While cheaper, there is not much value added by freelancers. Most of them rely on age-old SEO tactics that’s been out phased by Google, i.e. cloaking and keyword stuffing. There is a high chance that your site may even get penalized. Search Engine Optimization can help improve your brand recognition, online visibility, and of course, your sales. One SEO case study stated that a website could gain up to a 313% increase in organic traffic.
Credit Card Scams
It is common for e-commerce websites to deal with stolen credit card information. Hackers, thieves, and frauds can easily use a credit card that is not theirs to complete a transaction with your business.
Tighten your online security measures so that it can quickly identify a sketchy or fraudulent transaction.
Interacting with infuriated customers personally is an exhausting task. Anyone who has worked in customer service and retail will tell you this. It is much harder when you’re communicating with them only through an online messaging platform. At the same time, it is much harder to convey an accommodating facade through the
Extend your patience. Remember that how you deal with customers will reflect on your brand. One misstep can seriously damage your reputation.
While there are many risks, most of them not included in this article, starting an e-commerce website has a high ROI. Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, running an e-commerce website does not require substantial overhead costs.
Starting small and not jumping the gun at the slightest hint of success is critical. Take note of market trends, fads, and consumer behavior. They will prove to be helpful in providing you with insights on how to steer your e-commerce website to success.