E-commerce has firmly established itself as the next great horizon for retail. However, anything still developing can pose problems for pioneers, whether they're early adopters or arriving after the first settlements have sprung up. We know a lot of things about how e-commerce works, how consumers react to it and how it's changing the future of retail and supply chains forever, but there are also many things that we don't know. These blind spots can create problems, which, if left unchecked, can metastasize. Any one of these issues could end up slowing growth and crippling a company's bottom line.
Here are four e-commerce pitfalls to avoid:
1. Not making the site consumer-friendly: It's kind of amazing how, after so many years of companies being online, how many still have e-commerce sites that, in essence, tell the user to get lost. Sites that are slow to load, confusing to navigate or seem to present conflicting information will drive potential customers away. Website pages only have about two seconds to load before consumers start leaving in droves, which goes double for shopping carts and checkout screens. Customers are justifiably worried about the security of their financial information and peeved if surcharges show up late in the buying process, so it's important that sites make the shopping experience as seamless and transparent as possible.
2. Putting security on the back burner: Despite a rash of high-profile data breaches - the average data breach now costs a company $3.5 million - many organizations fail to uphold basic security measures, let alone implement ones that provide extra layers of insulation from threats. It's imperative to practice end-to-end security, from safeguarding physical servers to using encryption techniques and educating users. Only when every facet of the system acts in harmony are variables eliminated. Many organizations cannot accomplish this on their own, and if you're one of them, it's not a bad thing - it's just vital to partner with a security or managed services provider that can offer the tools you need.
3. Ignoring mobile: As CIO.com pointed out, 57 percent of customers will not vouch for a site that has an unfriendly mobile iteration. Mobile shopping is one of the top activities people perform with smartphones and tablets, and website design and performance needs to reflect that. Many consumers won't give a poorly designed website a second chance. Additionally, strategies in sales and marketing should reflect the diversity of devices customers use and offer rewards, promotions and other tools that enhance the cross-channel shopping experience.
4. Lackluster integration with omni-channel objectives: Success in the omni-channel means developing a smart platform that incorporates the various physical and digital facets of the supply chain, from customer-facing stores and representatives to back end order management, inventory and transportation needs. Companies may need to undergo a reorientation in order to better allocate resources, define risks and optimize processes, as well as take a new approach to developing relationships with new business partners. As with security, this may be a tall (and expensive) order for many businesses, but by partnering with a managed services provider that specifically supports flexible omni-channel commerce development, this process can be conducted as cost-efficiently as possible.
If you liked this article, check out others about omnichannel and order management from Lightwell:
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- Top ways to improve customer satisfaction through your order management system
- Getting over common hurdles in omni-channel commerce
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