eCommerce Challenges in 2020

ecommerce challenges digital transformation

Top eCommerce Challenges

Not a year goes by without new trends and new technologies being developed. However, new developments also mean new challenges.

Digital changes offer great growth opportunities for ecommerce companies and online retailers who are able to address these issues directly. On the other hand, these opportunities can also pose challenges for companies if companies are not prepared to take new technologies and concepts seriously and carefully.

Ecommerce companies that want to outperform their competition have to keep up to date with the latest technology and at the same time observe how the industry grows and changes. For this reason, I have compiled this article with the most important ecommerce challenges that I believe that ecommerce companies have to overcome in order to be as successful as possible in 2020.

The Borderless Dimension of eCommerce

eCommerce, which wants to enable a limitless shopping experience, requires better product information management. A large percentage of online shoppers are already shopping across borders and buying from companies based outside their home country.

The challenge here is not only to optimize logistics, but international buyers also expect product content that is up to date and contextualized for them. Fundamentally, this is a good thing for businesses to expand their network, translating to good sales and higher customer visibility.

This means, for example, that it is up to the e-commerce companies to provide, manage and organize product information in multiple languages (including local dialects and colloquial), different currencies, units of measure and other factors, depending on which markets they go to want to sell.

The Increasing Complexity of Search Engines

Search engines are getting smarter. Gone are the days when SEO only meant entering a few keywords in the right places in the hope that Google would list them accordingly in its index.

Google’s algorithms are much more complex today than they were years ago. They also prioritize user experience, which means that the top-ranked pages are the ones that perform best, not the ones that are keyword-optimized or have lots of backlinks. Not to forget the fact of mobile-first indexing, which means that you can almost forget the ranking if your website is not optimized for mobile phones.

These changes have been taking place for several years, but the search will continue to develop and become more complex in 2020. This also includes a significant increase in voice search, which requires a completely different approach to optimization. This year, more than half of all searches will be done by voice. So if you don’t think about voice search optimization in 2020, you’ll fall by the wayside

eCommerce Challenges and Social Shopping

Ecommerce retailers have long used social media to advertise and promote their products. However, social shopping has evolved in recent years so customers can shop directly on their favourite social media websites and apps.

This has shortened the buying process and improved the overall customer experience, so companies should definitely focus on social shopping instead of ignoring it. The companies that will innovate with buyable ads and posts on as many social media platforms as possible are the ones that will benefit the most.

Social shopping will provide more and more new complex technologies in the coming years and develop further. Companies should take this development seriously and look at the potential.

social shopping ecommerce challenges

The Digital Payments Challenge

In addition to Bitcoin and the ever-growing cryptocurrencies, the world is increasingly moving away from cash and cards, especially when shopping online, and includes digital wallets such as Google Pay, PayPal, Apple Pay, UPI and Paytm. If a buyer does not see their preferred digital payment method at checkout, they are very likely to cancel.

The challenge for businesses is the sheer number of existing digital payment platforms and keeping up with the new platforms that are constantly being added. Flexibility and the ability to accept a variety of digital payment options are key to remain successful and competitive

The Constant Increase of Mobile Shopping

Also in 2020 more than 65% of all e-commerce sales are expected to be made with mobile devices as buyers move away from desktop computers and prefer more and more tablets, smartphones, smartwatches and other mobile devices.

mobile ecommerce sales ecommerce challenges

Mobile shopping continues to increase. The eCommerce companies that are always one step ahead of this trend have high quality websites that are optimized for mobile devices and have the right consumer friendly apps developed.

Augmented Reality (AR) – A New Shopping Experience 

A few of the largest ecommerce organizations, such as LEGO or IKEA, are already using interactive options that augmented reality can help customers view, visualize and maybe even configure their purchases even before they buy.

AR (Augmented Reality) is an investment that is still unimaginable or even utopian for many small businesses. As AR could become an ever greater customer experience, companies need to consider potential AR experiences or at least consider the potential of them and not ignore them.

The global market for AR is growing rapidly and is expected to reach approximately $ 150 billion by 2025.

Trust and Privacy Features

The eCommerce industry is still on its course in capturing the trust of the consumers and placing them eventually in their transactions. Some even prefer the traditional way of shopping as they are afraid that their data and information might be easily breached online. Others, on the other hand, base their decisions on some presence of security badges.

Security badges are those provided by prominent third-party service providers such as Norton (malware, virus-free products), Google, Truste, and others.

Infiltrating the D2C Field of Retailers

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) is a business scheme in which the business sells its products to the end customers directly without the intervention of third-party bodies like mediators or wholesalers. In the realm of e-commerce, companies not only relied on catalogs, subscriptions, and mail orders to make their products attractive but also have managed to sail along with traditional retailers.

D2C is a strategy that gets to consumers quickly and collects higher amounts of profits through by-passing retail stores in the middle. Consumer feedback and responses can be collated easier as well by direct interaction with them.

The Optimization of IoT

ecommerce challenges iot internet of things

With the rise of IoT trading comes the API economy, which enables retailers to instantly and seamlessly transfer product information to new channels.

Smart devices are becoming increasingly common in homes, and IoT trading is expected to grow this year, providing companies with countless new touch points – from cars to devices to smart fridges, speakers, and more – where they can shop or where to shop Can even trigger orders independently.

Forget desktop shopping and mobile shopping – there will be a new touch point in future and retailers will have to be ready to accept it.

Headless Commerce

Headless eCommerce emerges as one of the new systems that are taken leverage for businesses to stay afloat in the competition Retailers have incorporated the back end and front end aspects in the development of a website. Back end pertains to the part where all the content and information are housed while the front end is associated where the customers see the totality.

The Power of Visualization

Extended descriptive captions are one of the factors that can dissuade a consumer from exploring business products further. Rather than reading product descriptions, shoppers often prefer watching videos.

These contain featuring the different elements of the product, at the same time, explaining each one of them. Statistics show that 60% of the consumers have the affinity to watch videos instead of reading since it allows them to visualize better.

Thorsten Burger

Thorsten Burger

I am a senior leader within the digital strategy, digital marketing, ecommerce and digital transformation industry living in Switzerland with more than 20 years of experience working around the world in various industries and locations. I am specialised in engaging industry leaders and organisations shaping their digital vision and strategy, pushing innovation and executing large digital transformation and change programs for a creative and digital transition to support their next success story.

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