In this world of IoT, e-commerce, and mobile gadgets, companies have more cause to move their business online. Asia, in particular, was projected to end 2016 with an e-commerce market growth of 31.5 percent at over 50 per cent global market share. With the internet creating a new economy — one that has changed the traditional way of doing business by its explosive growth and sheer size — businesses have seen the merits of moving their business online.
These numbers, however, do not guarantee success. As with any transition, there are potential pitfalls that could create more problems for companies moving their business online. There are a few things to consider to ensure not only that the transition goes smoothly, but that the foray into the online space is a success.
1. Not optimising for mobile
One of the biggest mistakes companies could make in moving their business online is not ensuring mobile optimisation of their website or online platform. With 46 per cent of global internet users accessing the internet through mobile devices, a figure that is forecast to increase to 60 per cent by the year 2020, companies who do not optimise for mobile cut their reach by almost half (more than half in 2020, if the forecast becomes accurate).
In emerging markets where people prioritise buying smartphones over computers, mobile optimisation becomes increasingly important — these are also the markets showing an increasing trend in online transactions. Businesses looking to move their assets online to capitalise on this trend should ensure they are easily accessible through mobile.
2. User experience is not intuitive
An attractive interface can only do so much. While a well-designed interface goes a long way to attract customers, user experience is what keeps them engaged. A website or app UX that is not intuitive — too complicated, too cluttered, or does not work based on the general order of things, for example — becomes tasking for customers. These usually become cause of complaints, and, if not corrected, become the reason for non-return of customers.
When transitioning online, businesses should take into account the mental order of their customers, which means that their online portal should be designed not only attract attention but also to ensure that the customers could easily and comfortably use and navigate it.
3. ‘Old school’ strategies are applied to online business
Transitioning to an online business is not something that can be done halfway. As a new medium for access and engagement is created, a larger and more diverse audience is reached — an audience that moves faster, has less time, and is being bombarded daily by various marketing strategies from different companies worldwide.
Businesses should never assume that previous strategies will still work: A brick-and-mortar store, for example, works very differently from an online store, and as such requires different approaches. Any company looking to move their business online should ensure that strategies are adjusted to fit the new platform and the wider audience.
4. Checkout/payment is complicated
Over 75 per cent of carts are abandoned in Asia alone, and out of that, over a third is caused by too complicated checkout processes. Customers, whether online or not, prefer checkout and payment processes that do not require too much action from their end.
Also read: Online payment 101 for startups
Companies should ensure that their payment processors do not break the user experience with purchase disturbances such as requiring account creation, requesting log in to a different website, and asking for too much unnecessary information. The less the customers have to do, the easier the checkout and payment experience is, the quicker purchases are made, and the likeliness of repeat purchase is high.
5. Not finding the right partners/experts to support you
Transitioning online requires a significant amount of resources from companies. System and process development will require considerable talent, acquisition of which may be difficult due to limited knowledge of the company making the transition. This is where partners and experts come in — to help plan and implement the transition to becoming an online business.
Companies should be selective, however, in choosing their partners since any partnerships they make play a huge role in their daily operations. The wrong partners can slow down or hinder them, potentially causing losses or missed opportunities, while the right partners can improve systems and contribute to achievement of goals.
In payment processes, a partnership with a reliable provider is imperative to ensure the security and efficiency of the flow of payments. Braintree creates a tailored, seamless, e-commerce experience with round-the-clock support via email, over the phone, or in person, ensuring companies are supported in handling one of the most important aspects of their business.
Disclosure: This article was produced by the e27 content marketing team, sponsored by Braintree.
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