5 COMMON PROBLEMS ONLINE STORE OWNERS FACE DAILY Do you know what we love the most? Enlightening our readers about ‘less talked about topics. Everyone has been widely reporting about problems consumers face daily, like damaged products, online fraud, payment issues, etc. But let us try to understand E-commerce from the point of view of the seller/ store owners and the issues they face while ensuring a great user experience and customer satisfaction.

Trust by the consumers: 

Earning consumers’ trust is one of the essential aspects of running a business successfully. It means the customers trust your brand for your services and the undoubtable quality of your products. It may be as a feat to accomplish as that of counting the stars. It may take many years of operation for anyone owning a business to earn their customers’ trust. Well-established brands and stores still find it hard to make this kind of trust. Then imagine the state these online store owners would be in, given that most were established only a few months or years ago.

Also, since online fashion stores are virtual platforms where you can shop, the shoppers are deprived of certain essential aspects of shopping like touching and feeling, trying on, etc., making it difficult for customers to establish trust. We can’t entirely blame the customers regarding this matter. Still, various measures must be undertaken by the online store owners to make customers believe that their services and products are genuine and authentic. Send personalized and trustworthy notifications about your products and offers (take inspiration from Zomato and Swiggy, where they market their products via cheesy pick-up lines). Customer reviews can go a long way toward earning your customer’s trust. How nicely do people believe other people and there is world peace all around!

COD issues:

COD is beneficial for the customers but detrimental to the sellers. There are high chances that a customer may cancel their order after trying the product once between receiving the parcel and paying. Using the product once may lead to minor damages to the product. And when the customer returns, the effect of both the charges for the spoilage and the shipping charges becomes the store owners’ burden. This leads to excess spending and a decrease in the profit margin. Another issue with COD is that the delivery partner may leave the payment made by the customer unreported to the store owner. This may be done deliberately or unintentionally. Both ways it goes, the store owner is answerable to the customer, and sometimes they are forced to deliver the product even when they have not received the amount, leading to an apparent loss.

On-time delivery:

According to a survey by GreyOrange, 45 percent of customers who place an online order expect their product to be delivered within 2 days or less. The survey also showed that 57 percent of customers wouldn’t return to a retailer after 3 late deliveries. OTD or on-time delivery is one of the significant factors determining how a company/store performs and customer satisfaction. High OTD rates result in increased customer trust and customer retention. Late deliveries are a nightmare for both the customers and the sellers. This may happen due to several reasons. The bad weather conditions may leave the delivery partner in a pickle. The amount of traffic we witness these days adds fuel to the fire. During festive seasons when there are a lot of discounts and offers, customers pour in, leaving the delivery agencies overloaded with deliveries which may sometimes lead to late or missed deliveries. Sometimes the customers may be at fault, and they won’t be in a position to pick up their order at the estimated delivery date, which leads to late deliveries. Tackling all this and ensuring on-time delivery is how efficiently an online store operates.

 Returns\Exchanges – logistics cost:

Return/ exchange is an option aimed at helping customers, but many are misusing it. Customers see it as a trial and error option where they can order something, try it on, and return it if they do not like it or exchange it. This works fine until the process is done only once, but the same has detrimental effects on the seller when the customer keeps repeating the same. This leads to a pile of damaged and used products in the store. The shipping and logistics cost for all the order, exchange, and return deliveries fall as a burden on the shoulders of the store owners. The sellers are left helpless and have to bear all these costs to satisfy their customers and retain them. This narrows down the profit margin of the store owners, leaving them in a crisis. 

 No sleep

Most online stores are small-scale regarding operation and the number of people they employ. All the workload falls on the shoulders of this small number of people employed, who will have to tirelessly work day and night to come up with marketing strategies for their products, take and keep a record of their orders, and make sure it is delivered on time and manage all their finances, their profits and losses. This leaves them in a state of sleeplessness owing to the lack of time.

Online store owners are self-made, independent entrepreneurs thriving to establish themselves in this highly competitive business market. In addition to facing competition from well-established online and offline stores, they face numerous other issues like the ones mentioned above. Yet they are determined and poised to make a mark. Not all online store owners are fraudsters, and many genuine online stores are constantly trying to improve the quality of their services to satisfy every customer’s demand.

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