The appeal of starting an ecommerce business is quite understandable. You have an opportunity to build a venture and achieve financial independence.
Now, having said that, the whole thing is not as easy as one might think. If anything, there are plenty of challenges that you need to overcome. And these challenges should not be that surprising. After all, if running an ecommerce business was easy, then you would have virtually everyone pursuing the idea.
Having said all that, there is no need to feel discouraged even if there are significant obstacles along the way. If you have the motivation to start an ecommerce business, you should be able to overcome the challenges eventually if the whole process is pretty low.
As for what challenges you can expect, the most common obstacles are listed below in this article.
Finding Your Niche
Let’s start with finding a niche. It is arguably the first thing that you need to decide before starting an ecommerce business.
Some people try to pursue their passions. For example, if you are an artist, you might want to start a print-on-demand business and sell custom merchandise. Selling canvas art is also an option.
Those who are interested in technology might decide to dropship smart home appliances or smartphone accessories.
The bottom line is that working with a niche that you are knowledgeable or passionate about gives you an edge in the sense that you will have some experience to back up your decision-making. Moreover, it also helps with the overall motivation.
As a counter argument, pursuing passions does not necessarily translate into a profitable idea. You might find that your idea has next to no demand, which would make it pretty much obsolete.
And what about competition? Are there other established brands operating in the same niche? If so, how realistic is it for you to keep up or overcome them?
Having Reliable Suppliers
The odds are that you will stick to the dropshipping business model. Manufacturing and warehousing the goods on your own would be quite expensive, particularly if you have little or no experience with ecommerce.
Dropshipping has its advantages, but it also comes with the challenge of finding a reliable supplier. Depending on your niche, you might struggle to find a supplier that can keep up with the demand and ensure the quality of the goods.
Even if you find one, it is possible that a supplier already has plenty of clients to work with, meaning that they might not look to take on new partners.
Investing in Advertisement
Do not expect that your business will bring in customers out of thin air. No, with ecommerce, you want to focus a lot on promoting the venture and attracting new customers while also retaining your current customers.
Marketing comes with experience (unless you have the money to hire someone who can do the work for you), which, for someone who is just starting, might be one of the biggest obstacles in the way to making money.
You might find yourself in a loop of testing different methods and not finding the right formula while also wasting the limited funds you have.
Presenting Products Properly
These days, consumers have tendencies to pay a lot of attention to how a product looks before they make a decision. Naturally, you cannot try the goods when you are shopping online, so it makes sense to thoroughly research the product before buying it.
If you have a reliable supplier who also provides high-quality images for different products, the challenge does not really exist. On the other hand, if you are on your own, you will need to come up with a solution.
Some people hire professional photographers. Others do not bother with that and simply look for pictures online or try to take photos themselves on their smartphones or tablets.
Regardless, if you want to improve the sales of your online store, you will want to ensure that the product images are of the highest possible quality you can have.
Encouraging Customer Feedback
It is hard to justify a decision to purchase something online if you cannot find enough prior feedback from other customers.
Online shops tend to emphasize shopper feedback. Some go as far as implementing a video review system and giving away prizes for great reviews.
In a way, reviews and customer feedback might not seem like a challenge, but it is one for the future for those starting from scratch. Social proof plays a prominent role, and you do not want to neglect it.
All in all, the challenges you face while working on building an ecommerce venture are part of the process. Even if you have to take it slow, work little by little, and you are bound to see positive progress.