eCommerce will have an interesting yet challenging journey in the post-pandemic age. While there is no question that online sales have surged like never before, manufacturers and online retailers should put in a lot of effort to provide the best possible shopping experience. The shift from face-to-face to remote interactions has disrupted both challenges and opportunities for eCommerce businesses.
In the US alone, consumers spent $871.03 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2021, and market leaders are expecting to have 300 million online shoppers in 2023.
The figures and counts, on the peripheral level, seem like a window to opportunities. However, eCommerce store owners across the globe need to be prepared to tackle changing market dynamics and fierce competition to survive in the marketplaces flooded by giants like Amazon and Walmart.
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Here are the top 8 eCommerce Challenges you must Overcome to Catch this Breakneck Pace:
1. Retaining Customers & Understanding Changing Consumer Habits
Providing continuous and consistent experience to your customer is critical to surviving in the market. Today, your customers have numerous options. New brands and products are emerging every day. If you fail in catering real-time quality services, they will start looking for your competitors.
Though online sales have amplified within the last year, there were 900 million more digital buyers in 2021 than there were in 2020, people are still skeptical towards eCommerce. Meeting buyers’ expectations, understanding their changing requirements, and providing a consistent experience across the omnichannel are imperative to win trust and loyalty.
How well you communicate with your customers defines your market success. Your customers are not physically seeing your products. So, creating and mimicking in-store experience is imperative to leap ahead. Sending high-quality digital assets and product information to all your sales channels is the primary and most crucial step to influence customers.
As the number of buyers and sales channels increases, it might be difficult for you to facilitate real-time, personalized, and consistent communication across the channels. When scaling up, automation becomes the key to speeding up your time to market and reducing inaccuracies.
Providing a fast, well-organized, and rich customer experience amidst the ever-changing eCommerce landscape is a challenge, but no more a herculean task if you have the right technology to centralize and automate your data flow.
Tip: Sending your product information to multiple sales channels faster than your competition helps you increase customer satisfaction & loyalty. Get A Product Information Management Solution and centralize your workflow.
2. Building Omnichannel eCommerce & Channelizing Accurate Information Across the Marketplaces
Consumers have become more demanding in terms of choosing the right purchase channels. The Harvard Business review states around 73% of customers use multiple channels throughout their shopping journey. In today’s retail eCommerce environment, providing an omnichannel eCommerce experience adds value to customers’ journeys. However, it is a strenuous task to harmonize and optimize omnichannel strategy at the same time.
Accurate product information and digital asset flow are crucial to providing your customers with a seamless experience across the channel. What if your customers find conflicting information on your sales channels? You will lose customers, and the bounce rate will increase. Consistent product information is the key to hook customers and influence their purchase decisions.
Tip: Integrate A robust PIM Solution to streamline consistent product information flow across your sales channels. Automated product data flow reduces inaccuracy, data duplication and adds value to users’ shopping journeys.
3. Building Content-Rich Catalogs that Attract & Influence
Creating a real-time ready-to-publish product catalog can be troublesome if you are still working on a fragmented system. Especially if you have multiple stores, retrieving information from various sources, redistributing product information and digital assets manually across all the marketplaces will reduce your speed to market.
Product specification management, updating product listing & pricing, maintaining a standard format are all required to make your product catalog user-focused. As your business grows, repurposing ERP datasheets for updating your catalog can be time-consuming. Vendors and suppliers need a centralized data management system to eliminate incomplete and differing product data across omnichannel.
Tip: Say Goodbye to the outdated product catalog management process. Create product catalog in bulk for multiple sales channels with zero hassles using a product information management solution.
4. Automating Redundant Task & Improving Productivity
When the pandemic hit the world, there was a sudden rise in consumer demand. However, amidst the rising orders, many businesses faced a sudden shutdown. Lack of automation technology, expertise on omnichannel eCommerce, overdependence on human labor and manual operations were some of the reasons.
Productivity-killing manual tasks are always a hindrance while scaling up. Studies claim over 40% of workers surveyed spend at least a quarter of their workweek on doing manual, repetitive tasks, with data collection, and data entry occupying the most time.
Today, consumer behavior and shopping preferences are highly scattered upon Omnichannel. The drive towards omnichannel eCommerce has brought enormous scope for store owners to drive customers towards their business. But, when it comes to engaging them with accurate, consistent, and updated information, outdated manual processes bring challenges.
Nearly 70% of eCommerce business owners and workers believe automation is the biggest opportunity to bring integration in eCommerce and scale up globally. Automation can help you eliminate human errors and laborious data entry by automatically collecting, uploading, or synchronizing data into a system of record.
Bosch Hydraulic Connections Ltd, one of the leading hydraulic hose and fitting distributors with locations in Edmonton, Acheson & Calgary, wanted to streamline data transactions in order to eliminate data redundancy and missing data gaps.
By Implementing DCKAP PIM, our robust Product Information Management solution, the team saved hours of effort spent in redundant processes, focusing on other key areas of business. All this while maintaining their commitment to quality and timely action for the customers.
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Tip: Centralized integration platforms are vital to augment automation and bridge gaps in the data flow. ERP integration tools, Product Information Management solutions, and Headless eCommerce solutions are trending in 2022. Integrate the right technology stack that suits your business to leap ahead.
5. Enhancing Global Scalability & International Logistics
The post-pandemic age puts forth unlimited opportunities for eCommerce to step up. In 2021, retail e-commerce sales amounted to approximately 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide. Moreover, consumer buying habits are diverging across the globe. They are ready to order products beyond the borders.
Though this seems to be a good opportunity for online retailers. There are some potential barriers that need to be overcome to reap maximum benefit from international eCommerce:
- Translating product catalog to users’ native tongue
- Streamlining payment systems & currencies
- Diversifying warehouse operations
- Providing consistent customer support for clients in different time zones.
Translation and localization are crucial for every brand aiming to sell across the globe. However, mere translation won’t help your brand communicate your message. Upkeeping the cultural standards through translation is a huge task you need to concentrate on when planning to enter global markets.
Tip: Go to market by accelerating your store performance with the right technology measures that help you manage product information requirements, including different metrics and cultural standards for different locales. Integrate a PIM tool with your ERP platform to make your eCommerce journey hassle-free.
6. Providing Convenience at Fingertips through Subscription Services
With fewer trips to physical stores, more customers are turning to eCommerce subscription services for the ease of receiving products they use regularly.
15% of online buyers have signed up for one or more subscription services (McKinsey & Company).
Subscription eCommerce gives consumers the flexibility they deserve and provides merchants with the business sustainability they are looking for. There are several reasons behind the popularity of subscription businesses.
Getting a new client is more difficult than keeping an existing one.
- The subscription model adds lifetime value to the customer’s journey over time.
- A subscription business model, unlike the pay-once approach, eliminates the unpredictability of inventory replenishment. You can predict precisely which goods, in what amount, and how often they need to be restocked.
Your subscription services must evolve over time with customers’ requirements to eliminate churn rates. Also, the technology that you are using should be able to help you personalize product offerings that exactly reflect their preferences and provide something new to the customer.
However, personalizing your subscription services for every customer is a laborious task. Leveraging contextual data based on customers’ journeys cannot be achieved if your business still works on outdated technology.
Tip: Personalized experiences lead to greater customer loyalty and retention. Mastering data through centralized PIM software helps you provide a customized product offering to each and every customer.
7. Adhering to Sustainable eCommerce
One of the major problems addressed in the twenty-first century was transforming global practices into sustainable ones. Achieving equilibrium between the environment, society, and the economy has become one of the top supply chain priorities. Keeping an eye on sustainability has become more critical in order to satisfy your customers.
Small & big businesses alike are responding to the push for more green initiatives by implementing strategies to make their operations more sustainable. Today’s customers demand accurate and transparent information from manufacturers and retailers before they complete a purchase. Reducing waste is one of the key challenges businesses are facing in the eCommerce landscape.
Consumers today have more choices than ever before, and they are willing to pay extra to support environmentally responsible businesses. Many modern manufacturers relate long-term organizational viability to sustainability. Integrating technologies ERPwith agile demand forecasting capabilities will help you augment sustainability.
Tip: Using integrated ERP is one technique to improve corporate efficiencies while simultaneously implementing sustainable practices. ERP systems, such as Infor CloudSuite Industrial or Epicor ERP, enable your company to streamline its supply chain, increase efficiency, remove silos, and implement sustainable practices.
Relevant Reading: ERP INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS: BOOST BUSINESS AGILITY & VISIBILITY
8. Integrating IoT in Retail & Empowering Data Flow
With the continued advancement of IoT solutions, data integration is one of the critical challenges faced by IoT solution providers. With each IoT system having thousands of sensors, it is of utmost importance for primary decision-makers to use these new opportunities to enhance performances and strategize long-term business opportunities.
However, eCommerce enterprises continue to grapple with the enormous amounts of data streaming in from disparate sensors and devices. A simple need for cleaning the data sets by eliminating repetitive data is proving to be challenging. It’s high time to look beyond the old legacy system and unify operations.
Further Reading: IOT – AN OVERVIEW
Tip: Superior consumer experiences across multiple channels are built on data. The extent of the tailored features and experiences given by e-retail distinguishes it from brick and mortar businesses. Increasing your capacity to gather and retain a huge quantity of data by implementing the right technology stack is crucial to provide seamless experience at every stage of the customer’s journey.
Choose the Best Technology Stack That Delivers Value
Omnichannel eCommerce is the next normal. Every store owner must keep an eye on the technological trends that are guiding the industry. Investing in the right technology is crucial to future-proof your businesses and keep a competitive advantage, rather than settling for simpler and leaner supply chain processes.
Start enriching your product information with a PIM solution. Centralize and redistribute your product data across sales channels through an automated PIM tool. Use it for free and give your customers lifetime value.