E-Commerce has revolutionized the way products and even services are sold and bought. E-Commerce is a budding sector with a lot of achievements and growth in a short span of time. Even though it's growing, there are many challenges which are coming its way. E-Commerce companies are trying to surpass these challenges and revolutionize the retail sector completely. The challenges faced by E-Commerce sector are:
Personalized experience – It is better to know the search trends and the buying pattern of the online customers. This is helpful in customizing the search and experience of the user and to suggest options which are likely to be purchased by the customers. There are thousands of products on-line; hence customer should have more visibility to those items which suit their interest. Hence, user based personalization of web page or app interface is mandatory for better and quick sales results.
Maintaining Quality of the product – Unlike imperishable goods such as footwear, merchandise, electronics etc., the perishable goods sector has to ensure quality all the while till the delivery of the product. A major challenge for the E-commerce based food industry is the key to maintain quality all through the manufacturing process and develop packaging that can keep the quality of the product intact while delivering. Also, one needs to hire trustworthy vendors for providing quality goods to the customers.
Returns and Exchange - One major bottleneck is the returns and exchange initiated by customers. Returns or exchange can be seen even for customized products which ultimately get stuck in the inventory due to their customized nature. Also, delivery and return costs have to be borne by the vendor/ company without any sale being done, hence the logistics cost increases due to such cases. Further, if returns and exchange delivery, and refunds are not tracked properly, it might result in loss of customers and also the loss of reputation.
Delivery and Logistics – Shipping fragile goods and electronics is a challenge if the delivery location is remote and infrastructure is not well maintained. Moreover timely delivery is a challenge, especially when a request is made for express delivery. Delays in delivery sometimes lead to order cancellations and loss of customers. If it is a frequent issue then the company’s reputation is at stake too.
After sales support – There is always the need of personal support for delivery and after sale support queries. This is where customers feel a need to fall back on a physical system rather than something abstract such as E-Commerce. What E-Commerce Company can do best is to provide as much information about the product as is necessary and possible. Also, FAQs should be there on the site with answers, so that customers can find solutions to all their queries. On-call support and e-mail communication support should be efficient to handle customer grievances.
Privacy and security breach – A major concern also is the privacy concern. There seems to be no proper remediation process in case a person’s privacy is violated or the personal details are fraudulently used. Also, there is a sheer absence of Cyber Law and protection against Cybercrime while using E-Commerce sites to purchase goods. It's time that companies should start talking about such issues and start to gauge the probability of occurrence of such crimes or frauds in online space.E-Commerce sector has seen a major shift in the strategies and processes, but there is still scope. The sector needs to overcome the challenges faced in terms of customers’ preferences and experience, logistics and delivery systems, market infrastructure, regulatory policies by government, payment modes and options etc., to ensure increasing profits and higher growth percentage.