E-commerce Customer Pain Points That Diminish Sales (and How to Fix Them)

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E-commerce has revolutionized how businesses operate by providing customers with the convenience of shopping from the comfort of their homes. In many ways, the e-commerce landscape has succeeded in providing a seamless experience to all of its customers. 

The global e-commerce market growth rate is predicted at 8.9% in 2023, generating global e-commerce sales to $5.9 trillion! Reaching this milestone is only possible when you have profitably established your business. 

However, despite its exponential success, e-commerce still has its fair share of customer pain points that can affect sales. These points can range from poor website service to security concerns. And there are many other areas where e-commerce needs to catch up. 

To fix these e-commerce pain points, businesses can take several steps, such as simplifying the checkout process, offering various payment options, etc. This article will examine some customer pain points in e-commerce that most businesses face. 

What are E-commerce Customer Pain Points?

E-commerce pain points are the obstacles or concerns that customers may face while shopping online. It sabotages the customer journey, and you might lose customers if it happens regularly. 

Here are some common and biggest e-commerce pain points entrepreneurs and customers face. 

  1. Poor website design: Customers prefer a website that is easy to navigate, visually appealing, and provides a seamless shopping experience. A poorly designed website can be frustrating and challenging for customers to find the products they seek.
  2. Complicated checkout process: A lengthy or complicated process keeps the customers waiting longer, leading to cart abandonment and lost sales.
  3. Limited payment options: It means giving customers only limited payment gateways to complete their transactions, which usually don’t include an e-wallet or QR scan option. They expect to be able to pay using their preferred payment method, and a limited range of payment options can be a major turn-off.
  4. Shipping and delivery issues: One of the biggest e-commerce pain points, late deliveries, damaged products, or inaccurate tracking information can frustrate customers and negatively impact their shopping experience.
  5. Poor customer service: Customers expect prompt and helpful customer service and a lack of support or unresponsive customer service can lead to frustration and a negative shopping experience.
  6. Security concerns: Customers are increasingly concerned about securing their personal and financial information when shopping. A lack of trust in an e-commerce business’s security measures can be a significant pain point.

How to Spot E-commerce Pain Points Your Customers Might Have?

One of the best ways to spot pain points in the e-commerce industry is by thinking from their perspective. Before providing them with any of your services, test some of your products yourself and see if there are any loopholes to fix. You can also use surveys and polls to understand their minds and decipher the barriers. 

Ways by which we can identify customer pain points in e-commerce are:

  • Engage with the audience to understand from their viewpoint.
  • Ask your company’s sales team, which will help you discover underlying spots that are even unknown to the customers.
  • Analyze customer feedback to see where people are feeling hindrances.

Overview of Common E-commerce Customer Pain Points

1. Potential customer issues

Slow checkout process

It is typically caused by a website not optimized for usability or a slow server connection. Customers may become infuriated by waiting for the checkout process to complete, leading to lost sales. Even a one-second delay can give you 11% fewer page views, a 7% drop in conversions, and 16% less customer satisfaction. 

The solution

One of the common solutions to this e-commerce pain point is to eliminate the slow checkout process by removing unnecessary small steps in between. These are– requiring customers to open an account before making a purchase, multiple verifications, complicated steps, and so on. You should also offer several payment options, such as credit cards, PayPal, etc.

Difficult payment process

Customers may need help entering their payment information or understanding the payment process on a website. This can lead to low clarity and a lack of trust in the website, making customers choose to avoid purchasing from the site.

The solution

Although the first-time payment option could be difficult for customers, it should only be the case sometimes. You can give the option to save their preferred payment method. This way, they don’t have to log in with the complete information every time they purchase. Moreover, it should also be comprehensible and available in multiple languages. 

Complicated shipping fees

Customers may find understanding the shipping fees associated with their purchase challenging or may find the fees too expensive. Many times businesses snuck in the shipping cost within the main purchase. This can lead to customers abandoning their purchase or opting for a cheaper option from a competitor.

The solution

A complicated shipping fee solution can be achieved by using a comprehensive system that includes a range of shipping options and fees tailored to the size and weight of your items. Remember to keep it low and bear some costs on your own.  

2. Product description and social proof

Unclear/Inaccurate descriptions and images

Unclear and inaccurate descriptions deter potential buyers. Some descriptions are too lengthy and highly complicated, which makes them difficult to understand.

The solution

Product descriptions should always be detailed and accurate, while product images should be high resolution and accurately depict the product.  

Lack of reviews or ratings

This could be one of the biggest e-commerce pain points– when most online shoppers forget to add reviews at the end, making customers ambiguous about considering buying your product. 

The solution

One way to address the lack of reviews or ratings is to encourage customers to provide feedback on products or services after purchase. Give them pop-up alerts while they are leaving your site. You can also incentivize customer feedback with discounts or rewards for leaving reviews or ratings. 

Limited brand awareness

This happens when a business or product has not yet gained widespread recognition and popularity in the marketplace as it should. This can be due to a lack of marketing efforts, limited resources, or understanding of the target market. It might turn into lower sales and profits, decreased customer loyalty and satisfaction, and a lack of customer engagement. 

The solution

Companies can increase their brand awareness by investing more in marketing, creating better customer experiences, and understanding their target audience. This amplifies the brand’s visibility and recognition, resulting in more customers, higher sales and profits, and improved customer loyalty and satisfaction.

3. Cart abandonment and churn rate

High cart abandonment rates 

Cart abandonment usually occurs when the website has unexpected shipping costs, new account creation, payment security issues, and too many steps. It can also occur when they are not convinced of the product or service’s value. 

The solution

One way to address high cart abandonment rates is to reduce the complexity of the checkout process. Furthermore, ensure that the checkout page is secure and that customers are informed of the security measures to protect their personal information. Whatever cost you’re adding to the invoice, make your customers aware of it so they don’t abandon the cart after seeing the final payment receipt or invoice. 

Low retention or churn rates      

     

Retention or churn rates measure the percentage of customers loyal to a company over time. Low retention rates indicate customers are unsatisfied with their experiences and are likely to switch to a competitor.       

Poor conversion rate

Your conversion rate measures how many visitors visit the website and complete an action. A low conversion rate suggests that something prevents customers from taking the desired action. Improper CTA, poor copy, flow blockers, unnecessary pop-ups, and ads are some of the biggest reasons for poor conversion rates.     

The solution

Initially, you must discover the cause of the poor conversion rate, such as a lack of awareness of the product, ineffective messaging, or a poorly designed website. You should have the website metrics in prior, which include monthly or daily visits, CTR, and user engagement. Once the issue and the cause are identified, develop a strategy to address the issue.   

Low-quality user experience (UX) design

UX design creates an online experience that is spontaneous, appealing, and easy to use. It should generate a smooth and memorable online shopping experience. The research found that it takes 0.05 seconds for the audience to form an initial impression of your website. Poor UX design can lead to a bad customer experience, resulting in low conversion and cart abandonment rates.

The solution

One of the best strategies to implement is focusing on visual merchandising. The website should be designed intuitively, straightforwardly, and appealing to the eyes. This includes consistent navigation, layout, and styling across the entire website. The design should also optimize all devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.  

4. Financial Pain Points

High cost for the purchaser

If the cost of a product is too high, it can be difficult for the consumer to justify the purchase, no matter how valuable the item may be. It also doesn’t resonate with the purchases as much as medium or low-price products would.

THE SOLUTION

Try cutting down the additional costs as much as possible without sacrificing the quality of the product. It is always best to keep the range between low to medium for start-ups. This helps in customer acquisition and forms a robust foundation for your business. 

Low-profit margin for the seller  

To please the customers, store owners often forget to calculate the accurate and justified margin and tend to make less money. It also makes the entire competitive structure difficult to manage, as competitors may be unable to lower their prices to stay competitive. Low-profit margins are a sign of non-profitable business, and the entire team may need to rethink their pricing strategy or find new ways to increase their profit margins. 

5. Process pain points

                

Lengthy return procedure

Nearly 92% of shoppers think of buying again from the store, which offers an easy return policy. Companies offering lengthy return procedures have their loyal customers switch to different websites. 

The solution  

It is justified for start-ups to have a lengthy return procedure because of inexperience. But as for established businesses, you should make the return journey smooth. 58% of customers expect a hassle-free return policy, which makes it imperative for e-commerce to fix this.  

6. Online reviews and happy customers

Negative reviews impact prospective customers

Negative reviews can significantly impact prospective customers. Seeing negative reviews can be enough to deter potential customers from even considering buying any product of your brand. 

Positive reviews improve trust & satisfaction levels

Positive reviews, on the other hand, can also significantly impact prospective customers. Positive reviews can improve the reputation of a business and show customers that they can trust in the quality of the product or service. Seeing positive reviews can build trust and satisfaction levels with customers. 

Conclusion

In a nutshell, every business has at least one pain point to address, if not all. Having some obstacles in your business is not much of a problem. However, you should always focus on removing those hurdles and making the customer journey smooth. By addressing these e-commerce pain points, businesses can improve the customer experience, increase customer loyalty, and boost sales.

 FAQs

What are e-commerce customer pain points?

Customer pain points are obstacles or hurdles faced by customers while shopping online. These are– lack of information, poor image description, complex payment, limited payment options, and many more.

How to spot e-commerce pain points your customers might have?

Spotting e-commerce pain points can be done through following methods: 

  • Analyzing customer feedback
  • Conducting customer surveys
  • Analyzing website analytics
  • Tracking customer support inquiries

Why understanding customer pain points is vital to your business?

Understanding a customer’s pain points is essential because it allows a business to identify and address the issues impacting their customers. By understanding a customer’s pain points, a business can develop strategies to improve the customer experience and increase customer satisfaction.

How to address customer pain points?

1. Identify customer pain points: Take the time to understand and identify customer pain points. 

2. Develop solutions: Once you have identified customer pain points, develop solutions to address them by developing new products or services, revamping existing processes, or providing better customer service. 

3. Monitor progress: Monitor customer feedback and satisfaction to ensure your developed solutions are making a difference. 

4. Implement feedback: Use customer feedback to refine and improve your solutions. 

5. Measure results: Monitor customer feedback and satisfaction to track progress and measure the success of your solutions.

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