E-commerce is arguably the most popular emerging trend in the tech industry. However, there are several challenges that it faces today that need to be addressed promptly. Some of these problems include:
- Sell seamlessly across channels/devices
- Low internet/smartphone penetration
- Use big data for big information
- Offer personalization and customization
- Put mobile design and marketing first
- Offer free, two-day shipping
Sell seamlessly across channels
To continue enjoying success, physical stores as well as online shops need to offer consumers a seamless shopping experience across channels. Provision of such an experience will require stores to make it possible for shoppers to share orders across marketplaces, applications and devices. For instance, the orders placed by a customer on a store’s site should reflect the orders placed via a marketplace such as eBay. On the other hand, items added to the cart in the online store should reflect on the phone’s app too.
Low internet or smartphone penetration
To some extent, e-commerce is only effective if there’s a certain percentage of shoppers online. However, internet connections in some parts of the world is poor and load times are long. For instance, a 2012 study conducted by ITU estimated that there the internet penetration in all Southeast Asian countries except Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore was below 40% of the population. The situation was even worse in Indonesia which showed internet penetration while other countries like Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos showed internet penetration of less than 10%.
Using big data for big information
While use of big data is very common as a marketing and business practice, the concept is understood differently by various business entities. For online retailers, big data simply means that they should focus on collecting big information and use it to make better marketing decisions. A good example is warm climate during particular months may inspire online retailers to sell bikinis and swimwear.
Offer customization and personalization
Online retailers are increasingly offering consumers customization and personalization and as such, it’s a good idea to push your firm to do the same. Email marketing offers the simplest way to start doing so as they aim to promote relevant products and promotions to customers by addressing them by their names. Taking on such a challenge requires marketers to collect information regarding customer preferences and tastes, and use it to organize relevant campaigns for individual interests.
Put mobile design and marketing first
About 31% of e-commerce related web traffic in the US according to a reported released by IBM was due to use of mobile devices while 17% of that traffic was due to use of smartphones and tablets. The reported also indicated that on average, consumers spent $106 per order, with smartphone users spending $126 per order. These statistics indicate that online retailers should put more attention on improving mobile commerce.
Yogesh Huja, Founder
Freedom Smart Labs Pvt Ltd
An Internet of Things Innovation Company