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Scary eCommerce Problems and Their Solutions

Every retailer has experienced webstore problems that would give any ecommerce professional jeepers creepers. Low traffic, conversion rates, a graveyard of abandoned carts, these are the tell-tale signs that your webstore is haunted. But don’t fret! Every scary aspect of your webstore has a solution that can turn it from a creaky haunted house into a well-oiled revenue boosting machine.

Ghoulishly Low ROI

One common problem that will haunt a retailer’s dreams is low ROI. Sometimes your website just doesn’t attract shoppers like a bowl full of candy on Halloween night. Approximately 95% of websites have less than 30 visitors a day, and getting less than 1,000 unique visitors per week can qualify your site as “low traffic”. If no one is visiting your store, you’re not going to have any shoppers to convert into buyers; driving traffic is the first step.

Another problem online retailers face is low conversion rates. Conversions are the fuel that boosts your revenue and sales as a retailer, and it can be difficult turning window shoppers into customers. Average conversion rates range between 2 and 5%. These rates are not inherently bad, but the top 10% of retailers have an average conversion rate of 11.45%, so you know there’s great potential to improve.

Don’t be caught in the mediocre – average sector. Boost your traffic and conversion rates by optimizing your website for search engines. Include a couple of relevant keywords and backlinks to your website, and you can watch your store climb to the top of search results. Once you’ve optimized for web search, you can start working on your layout. A/B test your layouts to see which ones have more clicks, and find a set up that works for you.


Inventory That Won’t Leave

No one is going to visit your website if your inventory is weak. Don’t be like the house that gives out toothpaste on Halloween, optimize your product assortment with popular items. Inventory makes up 45-90% of all business costs, so treat it sacredly. Make sure your product assortment is wide and full, for 77% of shoppers will go elsewhere if they can’t find a product they want on a website.

That doesn’t mean you should just have as much inventory as you can possibly hold. The typical cost of carrying inventory is 10% of the total inventory value, so don’t overstuff yourself like you would with candy on Halloween (we all know how that works out). Instead, be smart about it. Perform a gap analysis for you and your competitors, and figure out what you’re missing. Don’t forget the data. Data can tell you what sells well and what you should liquidate. It can be your friend, but unfortunately it can also be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

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The Attack of Big Bad Data

Big bad data is the next common spook online retailers have to face. Sometimes data can be poorly gathered and analyzed by retailers, providing them with a whole suite of problems to scare their pants off. Bad data can cost 10-25% of a company’s revenue! It’s not always just the data, though. Most companies only analyze 12% of the data they mine, and if it were utilized to its full potential, operating margins could increase by 60%.

How can retailers take on this problem? Well for one, don’t use a middleman. Gather data directly from each transaction to get it in its most pure form. You never know if second-hand data has been cursed or not. But what’s data without analytics? Make decisions based on robust analytics. Make sure you have enough, and take your time analyzing it — it will pay off in the long run.

A Market Full of Slashers

It’s a big scary world out there, with plenty of price competition. Many competitors will slash their prices to undercut yours, making it difficult to stay both competitive and profitable. It’s hard, but important to keep up to date on competitor pricing. Approximately 84% of consumers list price as the largest influence on purchase decisions, and with big box retailers such as Best Buy and Walmart implementing price changes over 50,000 times a month, it’s a daunting task to keep up.

How can you keep up? Two words: dynamic pricing. A dynamic pricing strategy can help you keep up because manual price changes are impossible when you have competitors like Amazon that change their prices every 10 minutes. It’s a worthy investment; retailers that have adopted dynamic pricing software have seen a 22% increase in sales revenue on average. You’re not a distressed teenager in a slasher horror movie, you can make smart decisions and succeed unscathed.

Technology Frankenstein Himself Wouldn’t Use

Many retailers have outdated technology that won’t allow them to keep up with the big boys. It can be difficult to keep up, so what technologies should you adopt? Well one is live chat. When contacting a company, 30% of shoppers expect live chat to be an option, and 73% of live chat users were satisfied with the experience they had. Another way to make sure you’re not left in the dust is using analytics tools, such as repricing or inventory management software. Repricing software can increase margins by 10%, and one retailer, Golfio, saw an 87.5% improvement in order fulfillment time after adopting inventory management software.

So there you have it.

The world of ecommerce can scare even the most seasoned retail veteran, but there are plenty of ways you can thrive. What can be viewed as frightening at first glance is really just a plethora of opportunities for you to succeed. Don’t let scary ecommerce issues hold your profits back; get the most out of the resources available to you and show them who’s boss.

Contributing Writer: Brian Smyth


Min-Jee Hwang

Min-Jee is the former Director of Marketing at Wiser. She has extensive experience working with SaaS companies and holds a BA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from NYU Stern.

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