You are the believer of ideas, and only a few people have guts to turn their dreams into reality.
Since you are planning a business, we know that you are a risk-taker. You are surely capable of thriving all the troubles and will rise in the market as a brand.
But, wouldn’t it be much better if you know about the hurdles that are sure to come while launching your ecommerce startup?
You can not avoid such challenges altogether, but you will be prepared with some profitable strategies to overcome these.
Keeping the same thought in our mind, we will be telling you about the risks involved in launching and managing an ecommerce store on your own.
- Maintaining cash flow: As soon as you start implementing your idea of creating a web store for your business, you have to start investing. After a few days, you will be having a lot of assets like your web store, inventory, employees, and your reputation as a business. Still, you need the cash flow to maintain the regular expenses of your business.As a startup business, you already have a small budget to maintain the backend, front end, and diverse business activities. In such a situation, your business can fall into the situation of crisis without any cash flow.The cash flow must not be dependent on your monthly sales, as there is no assurance of getting the fixed amount in the mentioned time. While creating your business plan, you must keep the concept of cash flow in mind and prepare a strategy to maintain it.
- Managing your inventory: When your ecommerce store is live in the market, and you are managing your ecommerce business solely on your own, inventory management is really important. If the products of a specified category won’t sell, you need to check their shelf life and keep them well packed. The fast-moving products must be ordered timely, so you won’t end up overselling the products.If you are selling your products via a single portal, the count of inventory will ve automatically updated. But, if you are selling across multiple channels, you have to keep an eye on your in-stock inventory. If you create your store with Builderfly, you will be able to automate cross-channel inventory by linking your store.
- Not getting any orders: The sales may or may not start as soon as you launch your business. The marketing geeks can also predict the traffic you will be getting at your store, but sales are hard to define. Due to this risk factor, you may start feeling the fear of missing out (FOMO).But, you need to stay strong and keep making your efforts. To eliminate this risk, the first thing is to update the SEO of your website. Now, you can start promoting your products with a dedicated marketing strategy. Create the goals in your sales funnel and keep analyzing the reports with certain variations in your strategy. With timely inspection, you will be able to get answers to your queries.
- Product mapping: To those of you unaware of product mapping, let me tell you that the concept of mapping involves copying your product details and images to sell them on one’s site. If you are already selling on existing ecommerce sites like Amazon, eBay, you would have surely come across the issues of mapping.Unless you are a registered brand, you can not raise an issue or file a complaint against any brand to use personal data of your listing on either of these channels. It’s challenging for you to maintain the uniqueness of your store and keep checking the chances of mapping and content plagiarism.Since you are a small business and recently launched, there are higher chances of other businesses playing with the content of your site. The marketing team can help you check the issue of plagiarism and report those sites. It can de-rank your website, that’s why you need to be cautious about it.
- Product returns: Returns are inevitable for any ecommerce business. If you do not allow the product returns, you may lose some of your valuable customers. 30% of customers are estimated to return products when purchased from an ecommerce store, as compared to 8.89% in the case of physical stores.The returns received can be the customer’s reject order or defective product. By the time you get the returned product delivered back at your store, the inventory will be at risk. It may get damaged during transition or given by the customer in the damaged form. Such damage may or may not be covered under the policies of the shipping service provider you like to partner with.
- When you are selling your products on your own via an ecommerce store, you will be liable for the return window you want to set and charges levied on all returns. Timely check with the returns mentioned in the returns slot, else you may lose some of your inventory. The product return and refund will be managed accordingly. You can set the policy pages for your store as per the refund and cancellation services you are enabling.
- Customer disputes: Initially, every business handles customer support and assistance on their own. A single unsatisfied customer can welcome a lot of long-term negative impact on the reputation of your brand.Customer support needs time and dedication. If you are unable to manage it along with your existing ecommerce management tasks, you better hire a dedicated resource to offer customer assistance. You can assign the task of live chat management to that resource.
- If you want to manage some of these tasks on your own, especially after a few days of launch, we recommend you to use online tools like a chatbot, email marketing, social media handles, the self-service section that can enable you to address issues remotely.
- Protection against online frauds: In the online business, the database of your store will be at risk, if you will not install security patches like SSL certification, the payment gateway compliant with PCI-DSS. The risks can be phishing, data errors, credit card frauds, and hacking.Your concern is not only set for your data, but also of the customers placing orders on your store using their credit/debit card details. The risk of losing such crucial data to hackers can be disastrous. That’s why you need to be extra cautious. You can add more security patches to your store, to make it safe against digital frauds.
- As a self-tied measure, keep all the software updated with the latest release. You must enable two-factor authentication for your registered customers to safeguard their data and request OTP authentication after CVV to prevent digital transaction frauds.
- IP infringement: Not all of the businesses are run by manufacturers. Thus, there is no surety of having unique products. If you are into a retail business, we recommend you to get the certification from the primary seller and display it on your store. In this way, you can keep your intellectual property (IP) safe. If you have a team that is updating your catalog, keep an eye on their activities, and check if they are using any copied data from any other business.If you are found to be indulged in such a case, a legal case can be filed against you as per the IP Infringement Act and Copyright Act 1957. You can file the patent of your brand name, logo, or products for your ecommerce store and sell via other sales channels without any worries.
- Taxation: While selling offline, you can save on taxes. But, when you are selling, it’s impossible. You need to register your business as per the companies act, if you want to create a company, and register for taxes. For selling your products online, via your ecommerce store, you will be liable to pay sales tax. However, if you are marketing your products via ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon, you will be paying sales tax, TCS, and commission fees charged.The percentage of tax that you have to pay will vary country wise, as well as state wise. You need to check with the local taxation rules. You may or may not be able to get the tax report generated against the invoice issued from your ecommerce store. You must hire a tax consultant, or Chartered Accountant to handle the taxation services of your ecommerce store. If your taxes are managed properly, you will be able to see the growth of business and use your returns and tax files to create a business plan for taking loans in the future.