Running a business is challenging, especially when you’re working in an e-commerce environment. There are plenty of factors to consider to ensure that you’re paid for your services, your customers can easily shop online, and you meet their expectations. Here are some of the biggest issues and risks that e-commerce businesses face and how to handle them.
A major issue for companies is getting paid for the goods and services
that they provide. Even after a sale is closed, entrepreneurs may encounter fraudulent return requests or chargebacks. Here are a few ways you can reduce this risk:
• Draft a clear refund policy. Before a customer makes a purchase, they need to understand your refund policy — even if you offer no returns. If they file a chargeback through their bank, you can rebut the claim by referring to your refund policy.
• Provide accurate product descriptions. Customers also need to know exactly what they’re purchasing. Write accurate product descriptions to lower the risk of returns and chargebacks.
• Detect fraudsters. If a purchase is made with a stolen credit card, you can count on the purchase being refunded to the credit card holder. This will leave you with no payment for the product or service you provided. The only way to combat this is to keep thieves from making purchases on your website. Use a secure payment portal, and verify credit card information (such as the three-digit security code and the billing and shipping address) before finalizing a sale.
Failing to Meet Customers Where They Are
Modern customers have the privilege of choice when it comes to shopping online. If they can’t find your business hours or your site doesn’t load on a mobile device, they’ll simply search for another solution rather than wrestle with poor web design or a clumsy interface. To address this, build a responsive website that’s easy for customers to use whether they’re on a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
You should also provide a variety of payment options. Many customers prefer to use a service such as PayPal or only buy online with a credit card. Though you should provide these options to facilitate purchases, you must also understand the risks that they present to you as a business owner. It’s important that you know the advantages of accepting credit cards online as well as how to safely avoid risks, such as fraud and chargebacks.
Failing to Satisfy Customer Expectations
Every customer immediately forms an opinion about your company the moment they interact with it — whether that’s through marketing material or a word-of-mouth recommendation. Are you living up to those expectations?
Consistency is key here. If you provide a help line or contact
information, reply to customers promptly. Also consider your brand reputation — that is, how well you deal with customers. Do your best to reply to all legitimate negative feedback or comments online. Even a simple acknowledgement of any issues will help other readers have positive expectations for your company.
Running an e-commerce business is challenging, but you can do it successfully with some due diligence. Follow these tips to ensure that your company stays viable for years to come.