Almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, brick and mortar shops have been slowly but steadily edging towards a decline. Social distancing measures in Singapore have limited the amount of foot traffic in malls, resulting in slower sales and dwindling profits for retail spaces. More than ever, business owners are now rethinking their strategies and pivoting their operations towards online platforms.
Yet, all this is not without its own share of troubles. Online platforms and e-commerce present their own set of problems for businesses that aren’t particularly tech-savvy. Sure, the current generation of young entrepreneurs might take to e-commerce like fish to water, but business owners who have stuck by traditional physical spaces may struggle to make this change.
The Good and The Bad
Regardless of how businesses might have coped, the fact that e-commerce has become a staple of current-day consumer behaviour is not a matter of question. A combination of convenience and a need to stay home in a pandemic-laden era has led to online shopping becoming the de facto way disposable income is spent.
Despite benefiting from a surge in demand, e-commerce businesses grapple daily with inefficient logistics and front-end user interface issues. The following obstacles can trip up even the most experienced supply chain, throwing organisations off-kilter as they deal with heightened volumes.
1. Slow website
First impressions count - in a traditional retail space, this first impression would be formed when customers walk into the store. Minute details from the decor to packaging materials come together to form a narrative for each customer that spends precious time browsing wares. In contrast to this, the first impression a business makes on customers online would be their website. Front-end user interfaces and ease of navigation take on the roles that traditional store decor and setups would have.
Integral to all this is the speed at which your online platform loads. According to a study, 47% of customers expect a page to load within two seconds. Each additional second beyond this drops the conversation rate at 7% per second. In other words, an online platform that takes five seconds to load loses potentially one-third of its customers. To circumvent this, solutions such as a Content Delivery Network (CDN) might expedite loading. In addition, the design on your landing page should be optimised and de-cluttered. Aim for a simple yet informative approach that directs your customers to product-specific pages.
2. Delayed shipping
Another pitfall that e-commerce platforms fall into lies in the order fulfilment process. Selecting the right mail and courier service based on your logistical needs is a brilliant step in the right direction. On an operational level, order fulfilment can be expedited by making sure that goods are packed appropriately. Shipping manifests ought to be in order and fragile goods must be appropriately tagged in advance with their respective labels.
Forecast delivery windows early during peak seasons – such as Christmas, for example – and set a cut-off date for delivery to aid in managing customer expectations, improving overall satisfaction. Ultimately, it is inevitable that hiccups occur when outsourcing to a third party, but the crux is to do everything in your power to prevent that.
3. Falling behind in the online shopping experience
On the topic of landing pages, the online shopping experience is no longer about being satisfactory. To maximise value, online business owners must be perceptive about what their online presence and branding look like. Functional and satisfactory have become the new minimum standards as more and more businesses push for an online presence that attracts returning customers.
Going above and beyond can forge a positive relationship with your customers. From avoiding common packaging mistakes to personalising your product packaging, there are countless ways worth exploring to perform better - even in this new normal.
Stay Ahead in the E-commerce Landscape
As consumers become increasingly dependent on online shopping, e-commerce is slated to spike in a long-term and positive way. It is therefore imperative to deliver a quality experience from start to finish.
Begin with MillionParcel, your go-to supplier for all your packaging needs in Singapore. Browse through our online catalogue right now for padded envelopes, packing tape dispensers, fragile labels, carton boxes and more materials.