Overcoming e-commerce challenges - Business Works
BW brief

Overcoming e-commerce challenges

by Bradley Derringer, blogger for TechBreach Whether youíre running a small business that sells products or your firm provides a service that can be had for a price, an e-commerce system and website are essential to maximizing profits. However, this isnít the easiest system to work with and many find themselves in over their heads as issues arise. While your e-commerce system can help you reach a larger audience, you canít simply throw a site together, add your products and services and expect the money to flow in.

While there are plenty of well-documented issues with e-commerce, it is the unrecognized ones that tend to stifle businesses more often than not. At first, they may appear to be minor, but if left unattended, can grow to impact much of your daily operations. If you find yourself having issues with your e-commerce system, let us examine some potentially major issues and discuss how they can be overcome.

Payments

Ultimately, you created your businessí e-commerce website in order to make it as easy as possible for your customers to get the goods they need, while making it easy for you to receive payment. New customers will take the time to peruse your site and judge its reliability, the quality of your goods and, if they like what they see, will consider making a purchase. However, if your shopping cart and checkout processes are convoluted, you may end up losing a sale.

So, what do you do when you notice an unexplainable dip in sales? Better yet, how do you proceed when your customers angrily write to you saying that they canít pay for their orders online? There are three things to focus on when you notice your merchant services arenít performing as they should.

First, you want to provide clear and concise instructions to your customers. Some companies choose to place this information on the front page of their website, but that wonít necessarily help. Instead, provide your customers with this information when they click to proceed to checkout. Whether you want to provide bullet points for your customers or a personalized video, make it as simple as possible for people to spend their hard earned cash on your products and services. Next, have more than one payment gateway in place to accept credit cards. It may seem like overkill, but what happens if your one and only merchant service provider has a glitch that prevents you from making a single sale? Again, your goal is to make it as easy as possible to get paid, so always have a Plan B just in case.

Lastly, you need to re-evaluate your current confirmation email layout. Itís important to provide your paying customers with confirmation of their order, but a simple 'Thanks for your purchase' e-mail simply wonít do. Whatever your company sells, you need to provide the customer with sufficient information and details on their order. Provide them with a detailed invoice of what they purchased, a confirmation of payment received and any shipping information you can offer. Not only will this let the customer know their order was received, but they will also think highly of you and your company, knowing youíre taking the time to provide them with all they need.

Security

Like any other website that allows you to pay with a credit or debit card comes the concern about a breach of security. Weíre all familiar with the horror stories of people having their identities stolen, where the culprits run up bills in the thousands of dollars on a victimís credit card and, unfortunately, this prevents some customers from trusting online payment options. How do you reassure your customers that their personal information is truly safe?

first impressions matter - a neat, easy-to-read, mobile-compatible site

Above all else, you need to provide your customers with a very clear and concise Terms & Conditions that covers sensitive matters such as privacy, returns, warranties and price changes. Nobody will be happy with your company if theyíre surprised by something and can deter them from making future purchases. Then, take a look at your website and do an honest assessment. While it might be 'cool' to have a really fancy, high-end website, it doesnít necessarily equate to greater sales. Your focus should be in presenting all your company has to offer in a professional manner. Remember, first impressions matter; youíre trying to get a customer to not only visit your site, but also make a purchase. So long as your website is neat, easy-to-read, and mobile-compatible, youíll be ahead of the game.



Bradley Derringer is a blogger for TechBreach, giving you the latest on all things tech



Tweet article
BW on TwitterBW RSS feed