The idea of starting your own ecommerce venture sounds quite appealing. There is money to be made, and you could potentially end up financially independent. However, even if it does sound quite great, there are no guarantees that you will succeed.
Quite a few people had given up before their projects really took off, and finding motivation to start again can be impossible in some cases. Of course, this does not mean that you should simply give up the dream of working in the ecommerce industry.
You can still pursue such a career. It is only that it comes with certain challenges. Challenges that almost everyone is bound to encounter. Knowing what those challenges are will help you prepare for the future.
Challenge #1 – Hidden Costs
Some costs will not be noticeable to you before you actually start the business. There are clear instances, such as paying for the website. But what about when it comes to selling the product?
If you decide to be in charge of everything, do not be surprised to be overwhelmed. Inventory, production, shipping, and every other process can cost a reliable merchandise partner.
On the other hand, there are business models that are not as expensive. In fact, you may find that there are no hidden fees at all since you will be working as a middleman.
What are the hidden costs of print on demand? None, especially if you get yourself a reliable partner that will ensure as few potential problems as possible.
Newcomers should stick to the Check out Dropshipwebhosting business model because it involves fewer risks. One mistake is all it takes never to want to try ecommerce again.
Challenge #2 – Right Products
Finding a product that is not oversaturated and evergreen will be difficult. After all, if it was easy, more people would do it and make money from the idea.
Take all the time you need to research the market. It is better to be safe than sorry. Also, remember that if you do not succeed at first, it will still be a good learning experience, and your efforts are not wasted. Starting again will be easier because you had mistakes to learn from.
Challenge #3 – Lack of Customers
Attracting customers will not be easy, but the same thing can be said about most businesses. Ecommerce is about leveraging all the available marketing channels.
Search engine optimization, social media, forums, email marketing, blogging, influencers, digital product promotion, and everything else you can come up with will play a big role in determining how successful your store is.
Challenge #4 – Customer Retention
Customer retention is another headache. You can rely on a constant influx of new customers, but that would require you to invest a lot in marketing and constantly spread your influence on multiple fronts at the same time.
You should look to focus more on creating reasons to boost customer loyalty. A reward system, such as exclusive discounts. Or a point program in which people collect points from purchases or other interactions with the store. These points can later be exchanged for various perks, such as free shipping.
Challenge #5 – Profitable Long-Term Growth
There will be periods of stagnation. Knowing how to deal with them is also necessary, even more so if you have goals to scale the business and receive profits for years to come.
Once you hit a wall, focusing on brand awareness should take priority. Look to cooperate with influencers and other brands and try to improve your image instead of sales number for the time being. Get more people to start talking about you, and you should see an influx of new customers eventually.
Challenge #6 – Right Technology
Trends in technology dictate how brands operate. The likes of virtual reality and artificial intelligence are making news on a daily basis. Especially the latter, because chatbots are likely to replace real humans in customer support.
Keep closer tabs on technology because missing out on something could lead to you falling behind the competition with little to no chance of coming back.
Challenge #7 – Reliable Partners
In case you decide to find a partner, do not rush and pick someone who is reliable. Trust is not something you can build over a single night, but do not get in a position where you regret your decision.
Challenge #8 – Loyal Employees
Once you start expanding, hiring new people is the next natural step. Similar to finding a partner, you should take as much time as possible and stick to candidates that impress you during the interview.
Challenge #9 – Marketing Channels
Marketing channels vary, and it depends a lot on the business itself. Some products will excel on social media, such as Pinterest, whereas others might sell better if you promote them on Google Ads. Ultimately, it comes down to testing and trying different variations.