The half dozen Ecommerce Startup Challenges
Opening a business is not an easy job. The one who decide for business setup needs to invest great time and cost. As an option Ecommerce is most common solution for the entrepreneurs with little investment. Really Ecommerce solves your most of the problems like heavy investment in showroom, sales staff, maintenance staff, stocking, transpiration and customer management. However Ecommerce has its own problems which need to be address by business who aim to go online.
Most of the business who successfully overcome these roadblocks shine and make good value for money but the one who fail to do so reach to painful dead end.
In this paper I try to point out most common issues of ecommerce and their possible solutions:
1. Ecommerce Website Design - Yes, you know most of our entrepreneur friends waste their 90% of ecommerce development time discussing design and layout of ecommerce website. They worry about how site will look like. As a ecommerce designer we even hear "I want my website like flipkart" "I want like snapdeal" etc. Believe me friends don’t even go for higher end designs for your ecommerce store. You should have seen eBay’s first website who introduced ecommerce to the world. Jazzy and great design can't fetch customers for you. At the end what customers will look is value for money. Let be your ecommerce a very basic white backgrounder webpage with meaningful navigation and product listing.
2. Product Images - For most of the business product Images is a big job. Professionals take higher cost sometime it costs more than ecommerce engine itself. But without great product photograph customers will not pay attention. Many try 3d Images or multidirectional images. This is valid concern and has to address logically. Say you are established player you must have product Images from catalogues you have printed, use them. For the startups take a decent cam take product photo 2-3 sides and use them. It is better if photo size is medium, lightweight and white background. Try for JPG image format. Later you can update product Images. For Image cropping and sizing ask your website design/support company they should able to support you.
3. Payment gateway - Startups are suggested not to go for payment gateway until they already have one. This is because there is lots of headache while getting payment gateway as well as integrating it to ecommerce engine. Once you have your orders flowing in, you can integrate and function with automated payment. While implementing ecommerce engine why not make cash or delivery as your payment option if possible to do so. You will get two benefits here firstly avoid getting payment gateway and integrating to your ecommerce engine, secondly cost of your ecommerce website will be low.
4. Shipping Rates - Make flat rates of shipping as far as it possible. Or you can define within Karnataka shipping is xyz and outside will be abc etc. May your shipping partner charge dynamic but don’t bother your customer with all that. What an ecommerce customer want is a product he is not interested in shipping rainbow at all.
5. Ecommerce Operations - Confirming the order, updating stock, verifying payment, initiating dispatch, ensuring delivery to customer and customer support. These are real ecommerce operations also called as backend operations. Most startups won't pay proper attention and when they get first customer due to no proper/defined operation they miss opportunity to impress customer and finally first customer turn to last customer. I think when you plan your ecommerce website make sure your ecommerce website development company has proper backend developed for you to access and operate. Customer handling is more important. Belief or not customer love to get pampered but don't bother him.
6. Marketing of Ecommerce Website - The most very next question you get in your mind is how to do marketing for my ecommerce website. Then you google and find all fancy SEO, SMM, Freelancer, Guarantee stuff which claim x visitors per day or xx likes. Remember increasing number of visitors and like will not help until you get real customers. Listen to SEO Internet Marketing Companies you offers decent plan and approach to increase market share. This topic I have covered in separate thread in detail you can read it here.
I hope this information will help you while setting/initiating up your ecommerce business. Please leave your comments/feedback. All the best.