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Solving the most common pain points of ecommerce

Versha Kamwal
July 12, 2021
7
mins read

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The ever-changing needs and expectations of the customers compel online businesses to be ever-evolving. As customers around the world want ecommerce to be the ultimate answer for a 'seamless shopping experience', it is absolutely necessary for ecommerce brands to provide a positive, speedy, and streamlined experience.

Customers come to seek such incredible experiences from your ecommerce brand and the last thing you would want for them is to encounter challenges in the process, even minor ones. For that, you need to know what pain points you're most likely to face as an ecommerce brand and how to solve them quickly. Else, it could lead to cart abandonment and losing loyal customers.

In this blog, you’ll have an in-depth view of the most common challenges of ecommerce that often become red flag situations for ecommerce brands and what strategies can be used to solve them at the earliest.

What are the most common pain points of ecommerce and how to solve them?

Basic UI/UX of online store

Designing the right online store can be considered as one of the top business pain points. Every potential buyer is constantly judging your website's overall look and functionality, and the margin for error is minimum. It takes about 0.05 seconds for online shoppers to form an initial opinion about your website. These few milliseconds determine if they want to stay or leave. You can offer the utmost convenience to your customers by making sure that your online store is appealing, reflects your business culture, and fully featured. The right user interface design of your online store will help online shoppers to shop on your website with ease and without any confusion.

The solution:

  • Ensure a fully-featured online store to enable smooth navigation and seamless shopping experience
  • Give logical search filters to help customers narrow down their search queries and find what they're looking for
  • Provide a guest login option for checkout as insisting customers to sign up before making a purchase on your online store can be discouraging
  • Build a secure, reliable, and quick checkout process without any hindrances or distractions
  • Give multiple payment options like debit card, credit card, UPI, digital wallets, and more to give your customers the convenience of using their preferred payment method

Zara offers logical search filters
Zara offers logical search filters

Guest option at checkout
Guest option at checkout

Crate & Barrel's fast checkout process
Crate & Barrel's fast checkout process

Ritu Kumar offers multiple payment options
Ritu Kumar offers multiple payment options

Hidden and expensive shipping costs

Online shoppers don't like unexpected costs when it comes to shipping—whether it's hidden or expensive. If the customer reaches the checkout page and realises that there's a shipping fee or a high shipping fee, it can ruin their shopping experience and result in cart abandonment.

You need to ensure that you display your shipping costs before a customer reaches the checkout page so that they are well-informed at the initial steps of their purchase about what they will be paying for their order.

Moreover you need to offer free shipping of any kind to your customers. Usually, customers expect free shipping or free shipping over a minimum order. For that, you need to determine a strategy to cover the shipping costs as well as reduce the shipping costs:

The solution:

  • Be clear about any hidden costs with regards to shipping before the customer proceeds to checkout
  • Offer free shipping on every order or over a minimum order
  • Determine a strategy to cover the cost of shipping
  • Reduce shipping costs by distributing your inventory across the country to reduce transit times and shipping costs

Only displays free shipping on its home page
Only displays free shipping on its home page

Insufficient product information

Low-quality and insufficient product information is irritating to customers. This can result in customers leaving your product page because of confusion or having no information about what they are going to buy.

You need to ensure that your product page has everything that can help you attract online shoppers and drive purchases. Moreover, your product information can create trust and build credibility.

If your customers are on your product page, you must have the content on why and how your product will benefit them.

  • Firstly, your customers must know what exactly they are buying, you need to provide them with high-resolution images of your products from all profiles.
  • Secondly, your customer should know the key features and benefits of your products, you should create informative descriptions to explain your product.
  • If you sell apparel or footwear, you cannot let your customers get confused about whether your products would fit them. You need to provide a size chart to prevent any confusion during their shopping experience.
  • Most importantly, you can include a customer review section on the product listing so that your customers can have a look at the testimonials as social proof.

The solution:

  • Display multiple high-quality product images from all the angles
  • Curate brief and informative product descriptions
  • Provide easy-to-read size charts
  • Give a customer review section

Nicobar's comprehensive product information and images
Nicobar's comprehensive product information and images

Frequent 'out of stock'

Product stock-outs are a significant concern area for ecommerce sellers as well as prospective buyers. You should ensure that you never run out of stock by ensuring timely inventory replenishment. Such frequent scenarios can tamper your brand reputation and make customers look towards your competitors.

With proper inventory management, you can ensure that you never run out of merchandise and have minimum inventory ready to be shipped so you don't have to lose out on potential sales. For that, you need to maintain optimum inventory levels and restock your inventory in the warehouse.

Moreover, during festive seasons or flash sales, it is important to predict order volume or surge in advance and maintain the required inventory levels.

There are four methods of inventory replenishment; you can use either one of them to ensure uninterrupted order fulfilment:

  • Reorder point method: You can keep a minimum amount of inventory in stock at all times, and when inventory levels deplete, you restock your inventory
  • Periodic method: You can restock your inventory at specific intervals
  • Top-off method:  You can restock your inventory frequently in smaller batches
  • On-demand method: You can restock your inventory when you need to fulfil orders

The solution:

  • Analyse your sales data and forecast demand.
  • Maintain optimum inventory levels.
  • Establish re-order points for ordering inventory when inventory levels are diminishing.
  • Ensure timely inventory supply.

Poor customer support

If a customer is having an issue with your brand, it doesn't mean you have to lose a customer. You can use such situations to establish that you will provide your assistance to your customers if they face any difficulty. Customers feel delighted when a brand ensures that things are made right when there are issues with their product or service.

You can provide real-time assistance to your customers and ensure they are well informed on their buying journey to prevent any confusion.

The solution:

  • Provide dedicated customer service
  • Leverage chatbots for live support
  • Set right expectations with estimated order delivery
  • keep customers updated by notifying them with order updates via texts and e-mails

Charles & Keith has chatbots to assist shoppers
Charles & Keith has chatbots to assist shoppers

Shipping notification
Shipping notification

Imperfect order accuracy

When it comes to online orders, customers have little or no tolerance for errors. For instance, a customer ordered a white T-shirt and got a red T-shirt instead. This ruins the entire shopping experience, tarnishes your brand image, causes return, and you may lose your customer.

By ensuring order accuracy, you can build customer trust, achieve higher customer retention.

  • As humans are more prone to errors, you can prevent manual errors by automating traditional warehouse operations with barcode scanners, conveyor belts, intelligent robots, and more. This can help you make order processing more efficient.
  • To reduce errors in the picking process, you can eliminate any possible confusion for the picker by using barcode readers, making descriptive picking lists, and using warehouse slotting (storing inventory by type, size, weight, location).
  • To ensure wrong items or damaged products are not shipped to the customer, you can perform quality checks during order processing and place correct shipping labels on the orders.
  • To motivate your staff and reduce errors, you can offer incentives to your workforce for accuracy.

Conveyor belt being used in a fulfilment centre
Conveyor belt being used in a fulfilment centre

The solution:

  • Incorporate smart automation in the order fulfilment process
  • Optimise the picking process with barcodes and descriptive picking lists
  • Ensure appropriate and secure packaging to protect orders in transit
  • Perform quality checks at the time of order processing
  • Incentivise employees to improve accuracy rates
  • Place the correct shipping labels
  • Outsource your order fulfilment to a tech-enabled 3PL provider like Eshopbox for incredible oder accuracy

Costly returns

Customers not only expect free returns but also a seamless returns process else, you will lose your customers. For that, you need to create an ideal returns policy that has:

  • Pre-defined time frame for returns, such as 30 days
  • Defined the expected condition of returned products, such as tags
  • Required documents for returns, such as invoice
  • Specified methods of reimbursements, such as source account or wallet
  • Specified additional fees, if any

Moreover, you need to optimise the entire returns process to create a hassle-free experience for your customers. So that your customers don't have to stress about anything.

  • A quick and easy process for initiating a return
  • Aligning return shipping of the product
  • Conducting quality checks
  • Processing the refund

The solution:

  • Frame an ideal returns policy
  • Provide hassle-free returns to customers

Dorothy Perkins provides an easy returns process
Dorothy Perkins provides an easy returns process

Bottom line

In this competitive ecommerce landscape, ecommerce brands must create brand differentiation while providing a great customer experience. You need to avoid common ecommerce mistakes that can make online shoppers abandon their carts. For that, you need to optimise your website, prevent hidden costs, give sufficient information, provide support, and more. This way, you can successfully alleviate all pain points, offer a wholesome customer experience, retain more customers, and enjoy repeat purchases.

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