With ecommerce growth, it’s very common to hear people saying, “Dropshipping is super easy, you start with $0 investment, place the order to the supplier only after receiving money from the customer. No risk of losing money.” Sounds too good to be true, right?
The grass always looks greener on the other side. Dropshipping may not require you to invest any money upfront, but it does come with a set of challenges, like managing returns.
In this article, we will discuss such roadblocks that hinder the growth of your ecommerce business and some actionable steps to overcome such challenges.
#1 Managing Returns
Returns can cost your business. There has been a rise in the millennial shopping trend whereby they purchase multiple items with the intention to keep only a single item and return the rest. Now that Amazon has popularized free returns, customers have started taking returns for granted. Such policies may add convenience for the buyers but can prove catastrophic for the sellers.
As an ecommerce business owner, you need to have a robust return management system to tackle such instances. Here are some strategies you can use:
- Blacklist customers that repeatedly misuse your return policy
- Include a variety of images (videos too if possible) to show the product from different angles. You can also add “zoom in” to the pictures to show the different textures and designs. This familiarizes the customers with the product so they can make an educated buying decision.
- Create an FAQ section answering the common objections raised by customers
- Analyze the data to understand the common reasons for returns and improvise on that information. For instance, if the majority of the customers are returning because of a poor fit, you can add more details (or simplify) to the size chart to minimize returns.
- You can also use the data to spot trends amongst customer returns. If there is a particular segment of customers who frequently return your products, you can reduce your marketing budget spent targeting them.
#2 Understanding What Customers Actually Want
The answer to “What to sell” sets the foundation for the success of your ecommerce business.
If you were in the business of selling cars, would you exert effort to convince 10-year-old kids to buy from you? Probably not. Their piggy bank may not hold enough cash to pay for a car and obviously, they are underage to drive the vehicle. But you would not break a sweat while selling toys to them.
Knowing what customers want makes it easier to sell to them. If you sell what your target audience doesn’t want, you will have to endure low sales and frequent returns. But how do you ascertain what your audience wants?
This is where market research comes to the rescue. You will understand what the customers actually want and not what you think they want.
#3 Stock Management
As trends keep changing, you should stay updated with buyers’ preferences. Leveraging your sales data can help with this. Based on your sales records, you can double down on the products selling well and prioritize them.
Using CRM and analytics tools can play an integral part in understanding customers demographics and behaviors. Focus on selling products in demand and ensure their availability when the order is placed.
The losses incurred by out-of-stock or overstocking are defined as “Ghost Economy.” It is believed that retailers lose $1.75 trillion every year due to the ghost economy. On top of losses, they also leave customers with a negative impression and reduce the overall customer lifetime value.
Using a robust inventory management system can help you keep stock levels in control, mitigating the risk of understocking and overstocking – while promoting ecommerce growth.
#4 Device Optimisation
Gone are the days when people solely browsed and shopped online using their computers. Today if your website is not optimized for mobile, you’ll lose plenty of sales opportunities.
Ensure that your website loads fast and is compatible with different mobile devices with various screen dimensions.
By optimizing your ecommerce store for mobile, you hit two birds with one stone – you give a convenient buying experience to your customers and get an SEO boost as Google penalizes websites that are not mobile-friendly.
If you are selling through Amazon using Amazon’s FBA, you don’t need to worry about mobile-friendliness as the platform is already mobile-friendly. If you are using a self-hosted website, contact your developer to make the website mobile-friendly.
Eventually, you can also ask your developers to create a dedicated app for your ecommerce business. This way, you can also send push notifications to your customers about promotional campaigns.
#5 Inadequate Customer Support
Thanks to globalization and digitalization, your customers have immense varieties to choose from. All this made it challenging to acquire new customers, and thus, getting repeat buys from your existing customers appears to be a viable long-term solution.
A happy customer would help you with repeat buys and acquiring new customers with positive word of mouth. To get all this, you need to delight your customers, not just through promotional offers but also through quality customer service.
It should not be a hassle to contact your customer service department over text and call. You should also invest in the training of your customer success executives as inefficient communication can further add to the customer’s frustration.
AI-powered chatbots are a modern-day solution to offer 24*7 support to customers, and you can preemptively add responses to the most frequently asked questions from your customers. Your chatbots can save time for your customer success team so that they can prioritize their activities.
“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up.”
– Michael Jordan
I hope the ecommerce business growth ideas shared in this article were insightful for your business. Orderhive can help you sail through some of the roadblocks mentioned above – managing returns and inventory management. Give it a try.
Simplifying complexity using words is my superpower. Being a Philomath, I love reading everything that I get my hands on and use writing to share my learnings. For me, writing is such a novel activity - it lets you experience the joy of being a student and teacher at the same time. Passionate about Marketing, Psychology, Philosophy, and binging TV shows.
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