Emerging Challenges For E-Commerce Startups
E-commerce or Electronic Commerce involves buying, dealing, selling, ordering, of goods and services through the internet. In simple words, it can be referred to as “doing business online”. E-commerce is a modern business methodology that addresses the needs of organisations, consumers, and merchants to cut costs while improving the quality of goods and services and increasing the speed of service delivery. Some of the unique features of e-commerce include its worldwide reach, interactivity, customisation, and universal standards. The evolution and rise of e-commerce have had a remarkable impact on the traditional way of doing business. It has brought the consumers and producers closer together along with increased profitability by cutting and eliminating many of the costs previously encountered. E-commerce draws on technologies such as electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, mobile commerce electronic data interchange (EDI), etc.
But despite the rising opportunities, every business is bound to face challenges and limitations. Following are the most common challenges that E-commerce bears:-
1. Lack of trust: Consumers are hesitant and reluctant to purchase goods through the internet due to obvious reasons. It’s convenient for the consumers to buy goods and services from a physical store rather than a paperless and faceless electronic world. The presence of risk factors in the business causes consumer resistance to feeling safe in means of privacy and accountability.
2. Lack of Information: Many people are deprived of the basic knowledge of the internet thus making them fear the use of something they don’t know. Lack of Information restricts a large number of people from using the internet and understanding online transactions. Some people find the system to be illegitimate. Some are also not comfortable sharing their personal/confidential information online.
3. Data Security: Security issues are much more of a threat than we realise. Fraudsters post spam and attack the web host server, infecting the websites with viruses. They get access to our personal details and confidential information including credit card details, property papers, etc. Thus, we should avoid opening unknown links and protect our gadgets with anti-viruses.
4. Product return and refund: A survey by UPS confirmed that 63% of the Americans check the return policy before buying a product online. This clearly indicates that the e-consumers are conscious of return and refund policies. When a product is returned, whether due to an unsatisfied customer or a damaged product, the company incurs huge losses due to shipment and delivery costs. Logistic and shipping costs have always been huge problem-causing factors for e-commerce sellers.
5.Payment Issues: If the consumers cannot find their favoured mode of payment, they are more likely to leave the cart. Presently, the most common payment options are Paytm, Paypal, UPI, etc. As an outcome, digital payments are speedily overtaking hard cash and cards as the chosen way of payment.
6.Staying up to date: The trendsetters are the big brands, they are the ones who bring innovations and creativity causing the smaller companies to play catch up, which most of the time is capital intensive or way above their reach. A new company looking to withstand the test of time in the e-commerce industry will have to do whatever it takes to stay up to date with the latest technological advancements and scopes. One of the ways to tackle this challenge is to team up with the right advanced partners so the work effort is reduced.
Thus, even with these endless challenges and limitations, many e-commerce startups have flourished within the last few years. No business ever survives without a risk factor. However, it requires outstanding strategies to survive in the e-commerce competition. Hence, with the right amount of hard-work, strategies, and research, all the challenges can be addressed.