It’s officially 2023!
If you’re an e-commerce retailer, you know that with every new year, comes new opportunities—and challenges. This year, the retail world will have to work harder than ever to stay relevant, hit sales targets, and find a way to keep customers happy.
The good news? The shift to digital shopping is continuing to grow, with an estimated 218.8 million US consumers expected to shop online this year alone (that’s 65% of the entire US population!)
With more shoppers turning to online shopping, and more competitors entering the market, retailers will be faced with a variety of challenges. In this post, we’ll take a look at the greatest challenges e-commerce will encounter this year, and ways to overcome them.
1. Growing Customer Expectations
It’s pretty safe to say that this year in e-commerce, everything begins and ends with customer satisfaction. Today’s consumer has higher expectations than ever before, with an increasing demand for online shopping experiences that are faster, easier and filled with personalization.
The demand for a great customer experience is so high that 86% of shoppers are willing to pay more for it. And any retailer knows, the better the customer experience, the higher the spend—and the more likely they will keep coming back.
Anticipate what your customers want, and then meet those requirements.
Step 1: Do your research.
Start by keeping up with current and emerging retail trends, which will help you pivot your e-commerce strategy accordingly.
Step 2: Identify your customers’ biggest pain points.
Knowing what your site’s visitors are looking for (and wanting to avoid) is imperative to meeting their expectations and getting them to cross the conversion finish line.
Step 3: Integrate the necessary solutions.
Now’s the time to update any changes your e-commerce site may require. This could include anything from simplified checkout processes to mobile applications to expanding your delivery and payment options. Don’t forget about excellent customer support either. Studies show that 87% of customers spend less or completely abandon brands with ineffective customer service.
2. Dangers to Data Security
One of the biggest e-commerce challenges this year will be ensuring data privacy for customers. The more online consumers, the more information about them being collected, processed, and stored. This personal information is a gold mine to hackers, cyber-attacks, and other data breaches.
A study by Cybersource found that 3.1% of global e-commerce revenue is lost because of payment fraud. While that number appears low, it translates to tens of billions of dollars each year (projections for 2023 alone are expected to exceed $48 billion).
Keep all of your customer data as secure as possible.
Step 1: Have the right infrastructure in place.
Reduce data security concerns by implementing IT security components (applications, tools, networks, etc.) that are capable of handling large amounts of data.
Step 2: Test and back up your data regularly.
Install a security plug-in onto your e-commerce website to thwart off hackers, and perform testing for fraud detection.
Step 3: Safeguard your payment options.
Work with payment service providers that offer security measures like data encryption, onsite penetration testing, and tokenization of payment credentials to decrease the chances of fraudulent charges. Add their badges to your checkout page to increase trust and credibility with your customers.
3. Rise of Cross-Border Trade
This year, cross-border e-commerce is anticipated to surpass $2 trillion. However, many online retailers have yet to take a proactive approach in ensuring their site is global-friendly.
How come? With the growth of cross-border e-commerce comes a list of challenges such as currencies, language barriers, and complications with cross-border delivery. But with 57% of shoppers having made a purchase from an overseas retailer in the last six months, online stores who remain idle risk falling behind in new revenue and customers.
Tap into this growing market as soon as possible.
Step 1: Partner with payment processing providers.
Third-party payment processing providers support transactions in foreign currencies, making it much easier for your global customers to shop (and for you to manage).
Step 2: Implement a multilingual website.
Providing a site that is able to translate to other languages can considerably improve your conversion rates. For added customer satisfaction, consider investing in multilingual customer support.
Step 3: Create a network of local warehouses.
If your e-commerce store operates internationally, setting up local warehouses in key locations around the world will not only simplify shipping, but also lower costs and significantly decrease the risk of lost packages.
4. Scaling Supply Chain Logistics
Supply chain issues aren’t new in the world of e-commerce, but improving logistics around this requires a lot of time and effort. Despite real-time tracking becoming the new standard for deliveries, 62% of companies have limited visibility of their supply chain. In order to keep up with customer expectations, online retailers will have to take a forward-thinking approach to how they manage their delivery processes.
Implement dynamic scaling logistics into your supply chain strategy.
Step 1: Utilize logistics data.
Logistics data helps detect delays, optimizes your delivery routes and programs, and creates transparency with your customers.
Step 2: Gain visibility of your entire supply chain.
Supply Chain Visibility (SCV) tracks inventory and provides a straightforward communication system that keeps you informed on the various components of the supply chain process.
Step 3: Provide real-time tracking.
Real-time delivery ETAs keep your customers updated on their orders, resulting in more practical customer expectations and a better overall delivery experience.
5. Finding the Right AI Technology Partner
With artificial intelligence dominating e-commerce right now, falling behind is the last thing you want to do. If you haven’t yet implemented AI into your e-commerce strategy, your customer (and conversion) progression will likely be limited to less than your bottom line desires.
This same sentiment applies to who you work with, too. Partner with the wrong company, and you could find yourself feeling alone on a very crowded e-commerce island, without any rescue team in sight.
Knowing which tech partner best fits your e-commerce needs is a big decision to make—especially when it comes to meeting customer demands for more personalized shopping experiences. Fortunately, narrowing down the options doesn’t have to feel overwhelming.
Partner with Granify for all of your e-commerce conversion and optimization needs.
Step 1: Boost your digital revenue.
Step 2: Give your customers experiences that delight.
Granify enhances the shopping experience by pinpointing and targeting shoppers based on what matters most to them. The result? Personalized shopping experiences that feel tailor made (because they are!)
Step 3: Schedule a free consultation!
Getting started isn’t only easy, but costs nothing (except a little bit of time). You’ll discover why we’re able to optimize billions of shopping sessions annually, translating to hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental sales for our clients every year.
The e-commerce industry will always be evolving. With that comes new
mountains to climb, hurdles to jump, and customer demands to meet. Recognizing what lies ahead is the first step to conquering any obstacles headed your way.
Your best bet? Get your e-commerce ducks in a row now by leveraging the tools and technology needed to deliver memorable shopping experiences that keep your customers happy and loyal. By thinking and acting proactively, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve and find yourself on the favorable side of conversion rate optimization, no matter what comes your way.
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