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Watch out: These 5 hurdles will make your start in the e-commerce sector more difficult

The e-commerce sector has built many bridges and is a kick-starter for small companies in particular. But anyone who thinks it’s a sure-fire success is fooling themselves Here are five hidden e-commerce traps.

t3n, 27.10.2021 • reading time: 3 mins

Anyone who wants to sell anything today can no longer avoid e-commerce. Even smaller shops have a multi-channel approach and provide an online shop in order to reach larger target groups. Others even focus on online trade already from day one. But it’s unfortunately not so easy, because there are a lot of traps lying in wait on the path towards a successful online shop – that not only eat up your time, but can also considerably reduce your profit margins.

1. Only credit card payment or prepayment …

… is now not even the minimum with online shopping. The right selection of payment possibilities is a real turbocharger for your online shop. A high termination rate in your checkout process can be an indication that you might have to tighten things up in your payment models. So, you’ll have to throw yourself into the whole hustle and bustle of payments. But this is where the real trap is waiting: including all of the payment service providers can be complicated and expensive, because each provider will charge its own fees. This means you’ll have to work out which PSPs are worth it, and which will lead to too much bureaucracy.

2. Those constant bills …

… is also what the customers think. And it’s not only they who can lose track of the bills, but you, too. Who should I send a reminder to, and who is behind on an instalment? You always have to be capable of answering these questions. But it's not only the outstanding claims that are challenging; always needing to have receipts at hand can often be stressful. Things get even more complicated when some customers want to be billed digitally and others in paper form. This calls for a good system.

3. Finally abroad …

… is not only a holiday destination, but also represents a genuine milestone for some shops. Internationalization is right at the top of the list, especially for highly-motivated start-ups. But those who enter a foreign market unprepared will often see their profit margins shrinking. The higher shipment costs are not the only reason for this. Often it’s the tax in the recipient country that is a cause for concern for shop owners, because the VAT is paid in the recipient country. An additional VAT registration will be required for any country to which goods are going to be sold. Once you’ve fought your way through the tax confusion, you’ll then have to take into account the exchange rates for the various currencies. The leap into overseas markets thus necessitates careful consideration and well thought out processes.

4. Losing track of things …

… can also happen in accounting: With different invoices, tax rates and payment types you also get different margins. Because of this, success can tend to feel like failure. For the more customer buy or get out a subscription, the more invoices and payment streams have to be administered. Good finance management can bring about several advantages here: it provides great insight into the payment transactions, allowing you to identify popular and lucrative payment methods. This is especially helpful for marketing strategies – but without a system, finance management, from which you could otherwise glean highly important, ends up being a long drawn-out pain.

5. Always being available …

… is not only a service in the e-commerce sector, but an obligation. 89 percent of all customers that have had a bad experience with their provider are inclined to switch providers. In the online environment in particular, it’s to have a contact person when you have questions about your product: if a question about a product can’t be answered promptly, consumers not going to buy the product. Here, availability via the slow medium of e-mail is not enough. Ideally, a good online shop will also be reachable by phone and an online chat, but that swallows up resources. But this is not the only trap: In the worst-case scenario, someone will call from abroad speaking a foreign language, and you won’t understand a single word. Ideally, then, customer service should be transferred to an external provider. But this step also has to be carefully thought through.

One solution for all of the traps

With over 20-years’ experience, nexnet offers a solution for all of these traps with its integrated outsourcing service. It automates billing processes, and payment service providers can be integrated easily: in no time at all, you can offer PayPal, Klarna, etc., on your website.

nexnet also looks after your subsidiary ledger bookkeeping and your monthly closing statements – that is, it processes the chaos of all your receipts. If you want, nexnet can also take over your receivables- and credit management, allowing the whole billing process to become child’s play – even with pending internationalization of your business. Instead of spending money on lawyers and auditors, nexnet monitors, analyses, and evaluates statutory regulations and changes. This enables your customer service to be outsourced: here nexnet offers advice by phone and in writing, the latter also via online chat. So, it’s really worth building a some bridges for your online shop.

 

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