Running an online business can be extremely challenging for solopreneurs and entrepreneurs who run their own startup or e-commerce company.
With more clients and users going online, businesses and organizations need to align with the changing trends.
The current pandemic has forced traditional offline businesses to establish an online presence. Yet, this move created a ton of challenges for biz owners and employees who have shifted to remote working.
These challenges can be anywhere from product development to online marketing to time management to customer retention. Such challenges are common to new companies online.
Our goal in this article is to provide you a list of these challenges to be more equipped to handle and overcome them.
8 Common Challenges Faced By Online Businesses
Remote workers in a team may live in different places and have different time zones. They work in a virtual office environment rather than in a traditional office set-up.
This may present challenges in terms of team collaboration and communication. Some issues may also be technical, logistic, marketing, or user experience, to name a few.
1. Understanding the importance of conversions
Converting prospective buyers into customers is essential for survival for your online business. For example, a slow loading website can drastically lower your conversion rate because it affects your users’ experiences.
This leads to a loss in your revenue and decreases your customer loyalty.
2. Retaining existing customers
Every online business should understand that it’s more cost-effective to retain or keep an existing customer than finding new ones. Customer retention is essential to the success of any online business.
For example, if your website is unavailable or some pages don’t work, a customer might think of leaving. This is common in service-based businesses. Again, it affects the revenue stream of your online venture.
Ensure that your website does not become unavailable for an extended period due to an unexpected technical error.
3. Testing your online business platforms
Testing your online website or app or any other platform under your business in production is the best way to avoid any technical errors. Moreover, it helps to ensure that all online applications or websites are performing well.
However, testing can be nerve-wracking and an expensive process for some businesses. But it is important to understand how your digital product or application will perform when real users access it.
Providing a great user interface and easy navigation is essential to build your brand reputation. Also, an effective way to retain and attract new customers.
Without testing the application or website in the production phase, these are likely to fail and may cause major setbacks. So, it is important to test your online product, website, or application before making it live.
4. Expanding your business into new markets
Are you thinking of expanding your online business across different territories and countries? This strategy can be extremely challenging as you need to tailor your content and offers to your international buyers’ preferences.
This may entail adding more features to your offers or changing existing ones. Consider translating languages, optimizing for different keywords as part of your international SEO efforts, changing your pricing, and increasing transparency to build trust.
5. Finding the right service providers for your online business
Working with the wrong serving providers will cost you a lot of time and money. No business owner wants to waste these valuable resources.
The first step is to identify the kind of help you need from freelancers based on your business’ goals. Does your website require blog content? Compelling graphics? A new tool for generating leads?
While searching for the best service provider, make sure to check their profiles and reviews. Please have a chat with them and ask them to provide actual work samples.
6. Managing the logistics
Logistics plays an important role while you are running an online business.
This can include the transferring of payments, shipment of goods or products, payrolls, providing technical or customer support, and managing all paperwork, including taxes, import tariffs, to name a few.
7. Having a proper online marketing strategy
Digital marketing is the backbone of any online business venture. This helps with promoting and creating awareness about any product or services to a wide audience in a short amount of time.
Online businesses should establish a good marketing strategy, regardless of its focus – organic or paid traffic.
It’s important first to understand your niche and the target users to put together a marketing strategy. At the same time, analyze what your competitors are doing to come up with better strategies.
Here’s a list of various online marketing strategies that will increase your brand awareness, website traffic, followers, and potential customers:
- Web design
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Email marketing
- Online press releases
- Blog writing
- Social media marketing
8. Scaling your online business
To help your business thrive online for a long time, you need to develop a solid plan. Where do you see yourself in a few months or years? What needs to be done to get there?
You might find yourself needing to automate certain processes that used to be manual. For example, if you manually posted every social media content based on your users’ time zones, you might end up getting exhausted and not being able to rest when you’re supposed to.
Also, consider funding opportunities, new hires, entering a new market, or experiment with new offerings. Overall, it would be best to have a well-established plan based on your current situation and resources.
To conclude, these are some of the common challenges faced by various companies or organizations while running their businesses online.
No matter your product or service, make sure that you know your niche well and identify your target customers’ unique needs. Find the right service providers and always have a solid plan in place.
Hopefully, these eight challenges open your eyes to the realities of running a business online. This way, you’re able to prepare better!