Six E-Commerce Challenges for Businesses to Overcome This Holiday Season
Christmas and New Year are just around the corner, which means e-commerce businesses need to be prepared for a surge in traffic and sales. However, along with the benefits of the holiday season come several unique challenges that can affect your business. With more people shopping online than ever before, it’s crucial that businesses are prepared to meet the increased demand. From increased competition to changes in consumer behaviour, e-commerce companies need to be prepared for anything.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss six of the most common e-commerce challenges faced by businesses during the holidays and offer tips on how to overcome them. Read on to learn more!
1. Increased demand can lead to stock shortages: One of the most common problems faced by e-commerce businesses during the holiday season is stock shortages. With more people shopping online, businesses need to make sure that they have enough stock to meet the increased demand. If a business doesn’t have enough stock, it can lose out on sales and damage its reputation. To avoid this problem, businesses need to plan and make sure that they have enough stock to meet the expected demand. By understanding e-commerce trends and customer buying patterns, businesses can ensure that they have the right products in stock at the right time.
With an efficient e-commerce inventory management system in place, businesses can use data analytics effectively to predict future demand and proactively order inventory to avoid stock outs. By being proactive and using data to make e-commerce inventory decisions, businesses can avoid the problems associated with stock shortages. Additionally, businesses should consider using backorders or pre-orders to ensure that customers can still purchase items even if they’re out of stock.
2. Shipping delays can lead to customer dissatisfaction: E-commerce has revolutionized the shopping experience for customers around the world. By allowing customers to purchase items online and have them shipped directly to their doorsteps, e-commerce has made it easier than ever to shop for anything from clothes to electronics. However, e-commerce has also created some challenges for businesses, particularly during the holiday season. With millions of packages being shipped, it’s not uncommon for there to be shipping delays creeping into the shipping process. This can obviously lead to customers becoming dissatisfied with your business.
To deliver your products on time to your consumers or the marketplace fulfilment centres and meet the SLAs, it is imperative to integrate seamlessly with your logistics providers. However, coordinating with multiple 3PL portals while assigning nodes and managing manifests and labels for millions of orders during holidays is laden with mission-critical complexities. The situation gets even more complicated with order cancellations and returns. Hence, it is crucial to adopt a comprehensive e-commerce logistics management platform to ensure integration with shipping carriers and automate the coordination that’s needed to successfully interface with each logistics service provider.
Moreover, it’s also important to set customer expectations early on and let them know that there may be delays because of the increased volume of shipments. If customers are aware of the potential for delays, they are more likely to be understanding and patient if a delay occurs. By setting realistic expectations, you can help avoid customer disappointment and ensure a positive shopping experience for all. Additionally, you should consider offering expedited shipping options for customers who need their items quickly.
3. Fraudulent orders can increase expenses: Unfortunately, fraudulent orders are also a common problem during the holiday season. As fraudsters target businesses with increased holiday spending, it’s important that businesses have systems in place to detect and prevent fraudulent orders. Your e-commerce business may want to consider adopting an AI-driven order anomaly detection system to protect your e-commerce order processing against any irregularity or unusual pattern and flag a possible SLA breach of your order shipment in real time.
For instance, while handling millions of orders, Ordazzle’s AI-powered Anomaly Detection function shares prediction for each order rapidly. The AI model continues to learn from the incoming new orders and can manage large number of order attributes such as Channel, Product, Order Quantity, Discount, Payment mode, and Delivery mode. It helps you to isolate the abnormal or deviant new orders to be later reviewed and released for execution or cancellation.
Additionally, you need to ensure adoption of payment-related risk mitigation measures such as implementing AVS checks and requiring CVV codes for all orders. By taking these precautions, businesses can protect themselves from fraudsters and avoid incurring additional expenses.
4. Website crashes can lead to lost sales: Another common issue during the holiday season is website crashes. With more traffic coming to your website, there is an increased risk of your website crashing due to the increased load on your server. This can lead to lost sales and damage your reputation. To avoid this problem, it’s important to make sure that your website handles large amounts of traffic and that you have a backup plan in place in case your website crashes. Additionally, you should monitor your website closely during peak times so that you can identify any potential issues and fix them quickly.
5. Employee absences can impact productivity: Finally, absences caused by holidays or vacations can affect productivity during the holiday season. To combat this challenge, it’s important to plan and make sure that you have adequate coverage for all employees who will be absent. Additionally, you should consider implementing automation to manage e-commerce business so that you can continue running your business efficiently with lesser human intervention.
6. Managing Returns: Finally, one of the most common challenges facing businesses during the holiday season is returns. With so many people buying gifts online, there’s always the risk that some of those gifts will need to be returned. This can be a challenge if you don’t have a good returns policy in place or if you don’t have enough staff available to process returns quickly. To avoid this, it’s important to have a clear and concise returns policy that is prominently displayed on your website or other marketing materials. You should also make sure you have enough staff available during the holidays to process returns quickly and efficiently.
With integrated e-commerce management platforms, you can introduce complete transparency and optimize the e-commerce returns management process. The system can help manage order returns or cancellations efficiently by helping you to plan reverse logistics, handle QC checks, and update return settlements. Whether it’s a return-to-origin (RTO) in case of delivery failure or a customer-initiated return (CIR), the platform enables you to do deep-dive analysis with detailed reports to help minimize the future rate of return.
In conclusion, by being prepared and taking steps such as increasing stock levels, offering expedited shipping options, and implementing fraud prevention measures, businesses can ensure that they’re ready for the holiday rush.
The holiday season is one of cheer, celebration, and shopping. But as e-commerce brands, being unprepared to meet the surge in demand during the holidays can spell trouble. No one wants to lose sales or customer trust. With Ordazzle, that’s no longer a thing to worry about. Get in touch with our experts today to find out how the platform can add value to your holiday sales activities.