In 2020 alone, e-commerce sales worldwide reached a total of nearly $4.3 trillion, making this one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. That doesn’t mean consumers are always happy with their online shopping experience, however.
From lack of product information on websites to slow page speeds, customers have spotted numerous holes in the e-commerce experience that providers should be filling. To help e-commerce companies create better customer experiences, 12 members of Young Entrepreneur Council shared the biggest pain points customers face and potential solutions companies can implement.
12 Big Pain Points Companies Need to Solve for Their E-Commerce Customers
- Difficulty reaching customer service.
- Inconsistent checkout flows.
- Poor service from AI bots.
- Lack of alignment between the online and offline experience.
- Slow page speeds.
- A lack of personalized recommendations.
- A poor landing page experience.
- Lack of communication throughout the tracking process.
- Server overload.
- Confusing site navigation.
- Poor mobile experience.
- Complicated checkout processes.
1. Difficulty Reaching Customer Service
One of the biggest pain points comes when a customer tries to reach customer service for questions or concerns. Most companies are not able to handle the volume of calls and messages they receive, which is frustrating to customers. As a business, you need to have a plan and let your customers know what that plan looks like. One example is to allow customers to send a message and let them know it will be answered within 24 hours. —Lisa Collum, Top Score Writing
2. Inconsistent Checkout Flows
Customers have more options than ever, but checkout flows and payment methods vary across different e-commerce sites. Customers have to enter their information again and again as they use different companies. Payment methods like Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal can solve this. Implemented right, customers can make a purchase without even touching the keyboard. —Cody Candee, Bounce
3. Poor Service From AI Bots
Although AI is a great tool, potential customers often regret buying because an annoying and poorly programmed bot ruined good customer service. To avoid this, you have to be honest and let your clients know they are not talking to a human. If the bot definitely cannot help, recognize its limitations and escalate the conversation to a human agent. —Kevin Ryan Tao, NeuEve
4. Lack of Alignment Between the Online and Offline Experience
Brands need to create tools that align a customer’s online and offline experiences. If you can make the e-commerce experience the same or better than the offline one, you’ll increase sales. For example, you can offer customers the ability to try on clothes, makeup and sunglasses using virtual and augmented reality. Marketers should start adopting many applications for VR and AR now to compete later. —Matthew Capala, Alphametic
5. Slow Page Speeds
Always prioritize page speed. The data and numbers on bounce rates due to slow pages are inarguable. Figure out what weighty data or inefficient code is slowing down your pages and then optimize. Don’t count on a customer’s patience. Instead, make things easy for them at all times. —Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts
6. A Lack of Personalized Recommendations
As CEO of a distributed e-commerce platform, I try to support direct-to-consumer brands but have noticed many brands don’t intelligently recommend upsells. This trend tells me these brands don’t have optimized data pipelines; their consumer profiles aren’t attached to insights that would allow them to stop flooding consumers with irrelevant items and instead enable valuable, enticing recommendations. —Cooper Harris, Klickly
7. A Poor Landing Page Experience
Way too many e-commerce stores just slap product dimensions, sometimes straight from the manufacturer, onto their website product page and call it a day. This has led otherwise great campaigns to fall flat. Generating traffic is important, but so are the landing and product description pages. Do what you can to make your copy mimic the customer’s solution. —Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
8. Lack of Communication Throughout the Tracking Process
Most of the time, customers email, track and check where their orders are. That’s when the pain starts — a customer is doing your job. You should give updates about the order’s whereabouts. It’s not the customer’s job to ask for updates. Their only role is to order, pay and receive the products. —Daisy Jing, Banish
9. Server Overload
One of the biggest pain points I see with e-commerce sites is that the platform isn’t designed to hold a lot of traffic at once, resulting in slow page loads and a slow checkout process. Any e-commerce site should ensure the website’s server can handle a lot of traffic and process multiple payments at once. —Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
10. Confusing Site Navigation
A huge problem customers experience with e-commerce is confusing or frustrating navigation. If users can’t easily find their way around your site, you can’t expect them to properly engage or become high-converting visitors. Improve the user experience so you can convince visitors to stay on your website. —Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
11. Poor Mobile Experience
Believe it or not, there are quite a few e-commerce websites that aren’t mobile-responsive. If you want people to shop on your website, you have to make sure they can browse your catalog and make purchases, regardless of whether they’re using a laptop, mobile phone or smart speaker. —John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
12. Complicated Checkout Processes
Customers have embraced e-commerce because it’s faster and more convenient than shopping in person. Many sites, however, make the process more complicated than it needs to be. Keep it as simple as possible. For one thing, don’t require customers to register to make a purchase. You want to give them the option, of course, to collect emails. But always give them the option to check out as a guest. —Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting