Running an e-commerce business could be very rewarding; sales in the sector are predicted to reach a staggering $ 434.2 billion in 2017. However, the sector is marred with irregularities, which if not dealt with concisely could affect the industry in the long term.
The ever increasing use of high-tech devices such as smart phones and tablets put an extra pressure on e-commerce businesses to quickly adapt to new trends, or to risk being outrun by more tech-savvy effective competitors. In November 2014, according to IBM, mobile devices accounted for 31 per cent of U.S. e-commerce related web traffic during the Thanksgiving period. As a result, conducting an effective mobile strategy remains the elusive goal of many companies, an apparent must have for the coming years.
Arguably, it is understandable that such an issue should prevail on the agenda of the big players out there. However questions as to the suitability of implementing such measures for smaller businesses remain, given the fact that most of them are still occupied with trying to manage their growing product portfolio, severely affected by continuous diversification in a bid to counter economic slowdown.
It is reported that an alarming $4 trillion-worth of goods have been left in online shopping carts in 2014, stressing a major setback facing e-commerce businesses. Reasons vary, however it appears that lack of trust and uncovering extortionate shipping costs have the obnoxious tendency to dishearten consumers from purchasing goods. Free shipping alternatives, easy tracking options, hassle-free return policies to name but a few constitute the high threshold set by e-commerce giants. These measures are a win for consumers but they leave small players lagging behind.
It is crucial for smaller e-commerce players to find new and original ways to keep up in this growing market. An efficient branding strategy coupled with a tailor made customer service is essential to ensure effective differentiation from larger, low-cost retailers.