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Starting an ecommerce business could be your ticket to financial independence. However, the idea is not that simple. If it was, more people would become successful entrepreneurs and enjoy luxurious life. 

No, the road to establishing a successful online store takes a lot, and more people fail than make it. 

If you are set on creating a profitable ecommerce business, you should familiarize yourself with some of the most prominent challenges that will get in your way. Knowing what to expect will help set realistic expectations and overcome some of these difficulties by preparing in advance.

Growing Customer Expectations

Ecommerce has been around for a while, so it should not be surprising to see growing customer expectations. These days, a simple online store with basic functions might not cut it. A business needs a proper website with various functions.

For example, roughly half of online shoppers are using smartphones or tablets, and they expect to have a native app or at least a properly optimized site for mobile devices.

Customer reviews are also important. Most people will likely not spend money if they cannot find feedback from prior customers. 

Thankfully, there are tools to create a review management system for Shopify stores. Businesses can also import reviews from AliExpress, Amazon, and eBay, which is quite useful if you are using the dropshipping model.

At the same time, if an ecommerce store is responsible for manufacturing the goods, it will need to work hard to persuade customers to leave reviews because it cannot rely on other platforms.

As the ecommerce industry moves forward, so will customers and their expectations. It is necessary not to fall behind. Otherwise, even your most loyal customers might look for alternatives.


Speaking of looking for alternatives, the competition is quite fierce. Finding a market that is not too saturated is difficult because good ideas get filled really quickly. And when you have limited funds, the odds of standing out from other ecommerce stores are low.

Thinking outside the box, focusing on great customer service, looking for unconventional marketing channels are just a few examples of how dealing with competition can be circumvented a bit, but it is still not that simple to overtake those who had a head start and more funds to invest in their marketing campaign.


The cybersecurity issue should not be the biggest concern of ecommerce stores that are in their early stages, but there is still a chance of becoming a target of a cyber attack. And the odds increase the more successful a store is because it is not just random but also organized attacks from your competition.

Ensuring the data privacy and security of an online store is not necessarily enough. The fact that a website was down due to cybersecurity issues is sometimes enough to discourage shoppers from spending their money there because they are afraid of getting their personal data exposed.

Reliance on Suppliers

Those who run the dropshipping business face the challenge of relying on a supplier. Not having to deal with shipping, manufacturing, warehousing, and other logistical matters are great, but dropshipping comes with some downsides.

Unfortunately, it is not that easy to find a supplier that you can trust completely. The success of your business depends directly on how good a supplier is carrying out their tasks. Small issues, such as delays or wrong orders, can snowball and put your business in jeopardy.

That is why when you read information about starting an ecommerce, you will notice an emphasis on finding the right supplier. 

Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment rates are another example of how a metric describes whether an ecommerce store is successful or not. If the rates are too high, it is an indication that you are doing something wrong, and pinpointing the cause is not that simple.

Certain shoppers abandon their cart because they decide to pay later and forget about it. Others proceed to the end and discover that their preferred payment method is not available. 

A good strategy to reduce cart abandonment rates should be present regardless of how small or large your ecommerce store is.

Refunds and Returns

Refunds and returns are inevitable because you cannot expect that every customer will be happy with their purchase. Some do not bother reading instructions and other information and rush to buy anyway. Some realize that the specifications do not fit them.

Regardless, getting returns and receiving a refund request can be pretty demotivating, especially when a business is still new and has not established itself.

Trend Adoption

Given how large the ecommerce industry has become, it is natural that innovations and other trends come and go. Failing to adapt to some of these trends is bound to backfire because many shoppers will choose an online store that is more flexible.

From chatbots and virtual reality shopping to voice search and advanced customization, there are many ecommerce trends that have value. The problem is that not every store has the necessary resources to implement these things.

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