E-commerce is a boon to sellers. E-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart provide great services to both consumers and sellers. Many small-time sellers have hit it big by selling on these e-commerce sites. Sellers don’t have to sell their products from their physical store alone anymore. No matter in which part of the country they are, they can sell their products to people across the country. There is no limit for this. However, there are a few challenges faced by sellers that are quite difficult to crack. If you are embarking on an online selling journey, you should be wary of some challenges you might face from time to time.
- Dispatching Removal Orders without Tracking ID
Removal orders are those which can’t be sold anymore. When a product is declined or returned by the buyer, it often comes opened and damaged. Such products becomes unsalable. These products remain at the warehouse of the marketplace and continue to occupy space. You are expected to pay the storage fees, thereby generating loss. So it is important that you collect these products back from the marketplace immediately to avoid losses. Some marketplaces don’t send you the tracking IDs for removal orders. Thus it becomes a tad difficult to track these products.
Solution: The only way to beat this is by making sure you keep a lookout for such products and request a return of the removal orders from the marketplace immediately. It’s quite a grind and many e-marketplaces don’t have a streamlined procedure for this and as a result you may suffer losses. It’s better you keep a check on these (despite the fact that it’s hard) and get these products back as soon as possible.
2. Dearth of Verification Measures
When a customer signs up on an ecommerce site, the site is not sure of the authenticity of the information provided by the customer. His/her identity becomes questionable. This is not so much a problem when the customer orders for a product by paying through debit/credit card or net banking. But it becomes quite a problem during cash-on-delivery purchase. One can’t be sure whether if the customer is genuine. This has resulted in a huge loss for many sellers.
Solution: A simple method to overcome this problem is by sending out a text or email or calling the customer to confirm and validate the purchase and his/her identity. When a COD purchase is done, an automated call can be placed to the customer to validate his/her delivery address. Also, this looks very professional and doesn’t send a wrong message to the customers that they are being suspected.
3. Returns and Refunds
When customers return the products, it causes a huge loss on shipment and reputation of the sellers and e commerce sites. Logistics suffer a loss when they deliver the products for free.
Solution: The only way to minimize this is by interacting with the logistics partners and vendors and managing the returns properly. Make sure you pack your products well and sell only authentic products. There have been instances when customers accepted the wrong product (usually wrong colour t-shirt or products with minor issues) because of impressive packaging.
4. Lack of Proper Order Management
Order management system along with customer support system, order tracking system, and dispatch system are the tools that streamline the customer experience. If even one of these tools fails to function properly, it could ruin the shopping experience of the customer.
Solution: Streamline your integration processes well and interact with your customers regarding their orders.
5. Customer Service Going Wrong
E-commerce industry is a big world in itself and customers may choose a different shopping portal in a blink of an eye. Needless to say, customer service goes a long way. Being a seller, you may receive a lot of complaints and concerns by the customers. When some of them go unnoticed, it can can easily tick customers off. This further reduces the quality of your business, even though you sell authentic products.
Solution: Make sure ‘customer satisfaction’ is your primary goal. Make use of proper ticketing solutions and address all issues of your customers. Assign different tickets to different issues and address them individually. A phone call is much better than an email. But either way, no matter the medium of communication, make sure to address your customers’ concerns at all costs.
E-commerce industry is advancing at a rapid pace and a lot of e-commerce businesses enter the industry daily, so much so that the survival rate is less than 10% after the first year. The challenges are brutal and you will be tested a lot. Make sure you are prepared for all of this.