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5 Challenges for a Brick and Mortar Retailer to Begin Selling Online

Apr 13, 2022

If you're a brick and mortar retailer who is looking to start selling online, you're in for some challenges. It's not easy to make the transition from physical stores to an online presence.

In this article, we will discuss the top 5 challenges that you will face when starting to sell online. By knowing what these challenges are, you can be better prepared to overcome them and start seeing success in your e-commerce business!

Creating an Online Presence That Appeals to Customers

The first challenge is creating an online presence that appeals to customers. This can be a difficult task, as you need to make sure that your website is designed in a way that is appealing and easy to navigate.

You also need to ensure that your products are displayed in a way that is clear and concise. If customers cannot find what they are looking for on your website, they will likely leave and go to another site where they can find what they need.

Remember, in e-commerce, the customer journey is one of the most important considerations. You want to carefully craft the experience of the customer from the moment they land on your website, to product discovery, to checkout. Everything should be as seamless as possible and streamlined in a way that doesn’t cause any headaches. 

Online shoppers are used to these convenient experiences, and if your online presence doesn’t hold up to those expectations, you’re going to be left in the dust of your competitors.

By delivering consistent marketing messages across all your channels, you’ll be developing a stronger brand impact that better resonates with potential customers.

Developing a Marketing Strategy That Works

The second challenge is developing a marketing strategy that works. To do that, you’ll have to identify your target audience and create marketing materials that speak directly to them. 

There are many ways to market your website and products online, such as through social media, email marketing, and pay-per-click advertising. You will need to experiment with different marketing strategies to see what works best for your business.

This is also an area where omnichannel strategy comes into play. By delivering consistent marketing messages across all your channels, you’ll be developing a stronger brand impact that better resonates with potential customers. 

Shipping and Logistics

The third challenge is shipping and logistics. After your customers place their orders via your online storefront, you need to ensure that their purchases arrive safely and in a timely manner for the lowest cost you can manage. 

This is no easy feat. Remember, in The United States people are used to incredibly fast and low-cost shipping solutions like Amazon’s Prime 2-day service. 

If you’re shipping internationally, things become that much more complicated. 

What you’ll need to handle the shipping and logistics is a strong software suite as well as partnerships with shipping services like UPS and FedEx. Some platforms like Amazon will help you out in this department. 

Providing Excellent Customer Service

The fourth challenge is providing excellent customer service. E-commerce sites often provide customers with live chat services, as well as live phone-based customer support and troubleshooting.

Remember, it could just take a single bad experience to turn a customer away from your business forever.

Unfortunately, this requires the sort of staffing that simply might not be feasible for a lot of companies. If that’s the case, you’ll at least want a way to promptly address customer service emails. 

You’ll also have to establish customer-friendly return policies and refund services. 

Remember, it could just take a single bad experience to turn a customer away from your business forever, so you should have the customer service infrastructure in place to make sure that bad experience never happens. 

Staying Ahead of the Competition

The fifth challenge is staying ahead of the competition. 

E-commerce is booming these days, which means there are a lot of companies out there vying for similar shares of the market space. 

If your online business is bringing something special to the table, you’re going to need to prove it over and over again if you don’t want to lose business to your competitors. 

Don’t think of e-commerce as a static landscape. Think of it like an undulating ocean. Everything is constantly in motion, and the scenery is always changing. Customer expectations, desires, and demands are forever in flux, and it’s up to you to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s trending at the moment. 

And staying on top of what customers want right now isn’t enough. You need to have the foresight to see what customers are going to want tomorrow, and the day after that. You need to always be researching and analyzing the data to uncover the future of the e-commerce ebb and flow. 

If you’re not already optimizing your online presence to accommodate tomorrow’s big thing, then you’re behind the game. And you can be sure you have competitors who are putting in the research and leg work, even if you’re not. 

Avensia Helps Retailers Succeed Online

The good news is that you don’t have to worry about all of these things on your own. At Avensia, we help retailers just like you set up an online presence and navigate all of the challenges to find the best path to e-commerce success

Our seasoned modern commerce strategists will help you find the tools you need, the website designs that work, and the best way to optimize your omnichannel presence. 

If you’re interested in more than a consultant, but a partner that will work with you throughout your e-commerce journey, contact us today and let’s get started.