Online Business Challenges
Like any business, online commerce has its own obstacles. Though they may present themselves differently than a brick and mortar establishment, many of these challenges are rooted in the same fundamental issues of trust, communication, and convenience. Creating a profitable eCommerce business with a positive reputation depends on your ability to navigate these challenges and provide customers with the best online shopping experience available.
The first thing to realize as an online business owner is that the vast majority of visitors to your site will not trust what they see. Customers are unimpressed with stylish layouts and amazing graphics when it comes down actually spending money. Most people want to see legitimacy. This can be displayed in many ways. Start by including a physical address and phone number, along with several contact emails and company bios. These things can go a long way in establishing legitimacy, but don't stop there. Partnering up with other valued websites and becoming a member of organizations such as the Better Business Bureau are other proven ways to build trust. Beyond that, you must be good at answering the phones and responding quickly to customer inquiries. Some customers will even call just to see how quickly you respond, looking for comfort in the fact that your business is active and on top of things.
Product presentation is the second most important obstacle to overcome in online business. Unlike in a real world store, customers cannot touch and feel the product under consideration, and for this reason, the level of product showcasing must be very high. Provide several image views, elaborate descriptions, customer reviews, as well as links for other information. Most successful ecommerce sites provide at least five pictures of each product. Descriptions should be unique to your business and as clear as possible. If you or your team is not comfortable writing attractive product descriptions, hiring a writer is well worth the expense.
The last major issue in online business is security. The security of your website determines a customer's willingness to enter their personal payment information. Part of establishing trust in your security is in having an online merchant account. A credit card merchant account will allow you to accept card payments while keeping shoppers within your website. Moving from your site to a third party processor's site can be quite unsettling for potential buyers and can also cause a host of other problems. Once a merchant account is in place, making sure your site has adequate encryption will also reassure your customers in the level of informational security employed by your business.
The challenges of online sales are easily overcome with the investment of some time and thought. Without tackling these obstacles, the probability of sales will be very low. Of course, it doesn't stop there. There are an infinite number of improvements you should continue to make as your business grows and develops. These major obstacles are merely the roadblocks that have a tendency to shut businesses down before they even get started.
About the Author: Jennifer Loganathan is the President and CEO of Stradafee Limited. Stradafee is an electronic payments company as well as an eCommerce and Internet merchant account
provider. Merchant accounts make it possible for businesses to provide online credit card processing
For more information on credit card processing visit www.stradafee.com