5 Challenges of Starting and Running an Ecommerce Business

5 Challenges of Starting and Running an Ecommerce Business

Written by Sophie Robertson, In Marketing, Published On
December 2, 2022

The interest in starting an eCommerce business is quite common. More and more people are discovering the benefits of shopping on the Internet. Overall, eCommerce has been growing for a while, but the recent pandemic increased the growth even further.

Having access to different goods and services online makes lives easier. Add the fact that new businesses are popping up to accommodate the needs of consumers, and you have a model that scales and grows, attracting new aspiring entrepreneurs.

Unfortunately, starting an eCommerce venture is not that easy. There are certain challenges that you can expect to encounter. On the other hand, obstacles that stand in your way should not be the reason to give up without even trying.

5 Main Challenges In Starting an Ecommerce Business

ecommerce business

Virtually everyone who has to start from scratch encounters the same problems. And those who overcome the challenges end up succeeding. Knowing what to expect is the first step to dealing with these challenges.

  • Picking Your Niche

The first step is to thoroughly research the niche you want to work on. Ideally, it should be something you are passionate about and have a decent amount of knowledge about. That is because it is easier to work with something you are already familiar with, particularly when it comes to understanding the trends of the niche and how you can translate your knowledge into content used for advertising.

After getting a general idea of what your niche should be, consider how you can narrow down the competition. For instance, if you pick custom merchandise, do not focus just on unique designs. Selecting specific products that are not as popular as, let’s say, t-shirts would help with encountering less competition.

You could go for baseball jerseys, low-top sneakers, stickers, and other merchandise that is not as popular as t-shirts. And after combining a less saturated niche with your unique design approach, you should be in a decent spot as far as your niche goes.

Of course, that is only one example. The challenge of finding what works in your specific situation varies, and finding the right solution is a significant obstacle to overcome.

  • Managing Logistics

Logistics is another factor that plays a prominent role in the overall success of your eCommerce business.

Most newcomers tend to stick to the dropshipping method because it is not as risky as having to manufacture and store the goods yourself. At the same time, dropshipping comes with its own challenges. One notable example is finding the right supplier.

Since you depend on your supplier a lot, you will have to look for one that can ensure a steady supply of goods and quality.

Returns and refunds are a headache as well. It can be pretty demotivating to finally make a few sales and then have to refund the money to the customer.

Problems with deliveries happen as well. Damaged goods and delays are to be expected, but if you are using the dropshipping business model, it’s the supplier who usually has to solve these problems.

  • Coming Up With Marketing Budget

Aspiring entrepreneurs tend to have low budgets for their marketing campaigns. Starting an online business comes with certain costs, and most of the costs go to marketing campaigns.

These days, influencer marketing and long-term SEO investment are considered among the best methods to promote a business. However, if you lack the budget, you will not be able to strike a partnership with an A-tier influencer on social media.

Similarly, ranking higher on search engines will also become a significant problem if you cannot invest heavily in SEO.

Cutting corners is not really an option. If you are going to look for cheaper alternatives to promote your eCommerce venture, be careful about what methods you choose. Do thorough research, so you do not end up wasting the money you have.

  • Taking Care of Security

A small online business is less likely to become a target of a cyberattack because it is not causing any real threat to already established stores. Nevertheless, there is still the factor of random attacks that are a nuisance.

At the very least, a new online business should take the necessary steps to take care of the basics.

If and when your venture grows, you can expect to encounter more frequent cyber attacks. A more prominent presence on the Internet puts a bigger target on your back.

  • Working on Sustainability

Sustainability is the last challenge to mention. Once your business picks up, you will want to scale it and create a venture that is sustainable and can help you make money for years to come.

Itself, sustainability is a very broad term, and it can be affected by different factors. During the time you spend developing the business, you will need to make adjustments depending on the most recent trends. Adapting to the latest innovations and ensuring excellent customer experience while also offering great goods or services will be key aspects of achieving sustainability and long-term success.

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