Shopify has become the go-to platform for ecommerce selling. Able to handle high traffic volumes, it provides sellers with an optimal environment for growth.
But it’s not all smooth sailing—common Shopify challenges threaten to hinder ecommerce success.
Technical challenges, like product listing errors and poor ERP implementation, can wreak havoc on your ability to meet customer demands. Common Shopify challenges, like high cart abandonment rates and poor customer retention, are significant causes of flatlining growth.
Knowing how to avoid and resolve these challenges can set your business up for sustainable ecommerce growth. We will discuss ten common Shopify challenges in generating growth and give you some tips on overcoming them.
10 Challenges in Generating Ecommerce Growth on Shopify
- Lack of store traffic
- ERP integration and implementation
- Lack of flexible payment options
- Payment processors disrupting your cash flow
- High cart abandonment rate
- Lack of repeat customers
- Profit margin and pricing
- Shopify security issues
- Multi-channel store management
- Problems with listing products to the online store
Lack of store traffic
Stagnant traffic and low-quality traffic hurts your growth potential. One of your first significant considerations as a Shopify seller should be to drive consistent, high-quality traffic to your store.
But aiming to increase your store's online discoverability unthinkingly isn’t enough. You must reach the right audience through strategic, targeted marketing and advertising to achieve sustainable growth.
The solution. Digital marketing strategies are plentiful. To accelerate growth, use some—or all—of the most effective strategies below:
- Create social media ad campaigns on platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
- Utilize Google Search ads and Google Shopping ads.
- Write regular blogs, create a podcast, or make YouTube videos as part of your content marketing strategy.
- Apply SEO tactics to boost organic traffic by using long-tail keywords, link-building, and meta descriptions.
- Capitalize on the traffic-boosting power of influencer marketing by collaborating with bloggers and social media influencers.
ERP integration and implementation
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is software for managing core business processes.
Integrating your Shopify store with an ERP program enables you to integrate and automate everything from inventory management and accounting to order handling, billing, and shipping. With all your data points connected and communication flows streamlined, you can avoid growth-inhibiting issues like stockouts, incorrect shipping, and low productivity.
But there’s a catch.
ERP deployment is a complex, time-consuming task. With the technical expertise needed for successful deployment, Shopify sellers can avoid encountering obstacles that hinder progress.
The solution. With the right software provider and systematic approach, you can create an ERP implementation plan that mitigates common deployment challenges. A provider who offers support throughout the deployment process and beyond can help you utilize an ERP system to maximize business growth.
Want to learn more? Here’s a video that explores integrating Shopify with the Sage ERP solution.
Lack of flexible payment options
Failing to offer payment options beyond debit and credit cards can cause customers on the brink of conversion to leave your store.
9% of customers abandon their carts due to a lack of payment options. 60% of Gen Z and millennials say they are more likely to purchase from a business that offers flexible payment options, like Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL).
The solution. Include more payment options to meet the needs of your customers. Some popular options worth considering include PayPal, Google Pay, Shopify Payments, and Klarna.
Payment processors disrupting your cash flow
Having said the above, investing in too many payment processors can disrupt your cash flow.
From the initial setup fee to annual fees, per-transaction fees, or international fees, payment processors can quickly become expensive.
The solution. Use market research and CRM data to choose a payment provider that best meets your needs as well as the needs of your customers. Invest in an ERP system to monitor your daily cash activities in real-time and exercise more control over your cash flow.
High cart abandonment rate
It’s all well and good driving traffic to your Shopify store. But if customers abandon their carts before completing the checkout process, it will stifle your growth potential.
The solution. If you’re experiencing high cart abandonment rates, it’s time to scrutinize your checkout process. As you can see below, extra costs at checkout, such as shipping fees and tax, drive 48% of customers to ditch their cart before completing payment. Other reasons people abandon their cart include needing to create an account, slow delivery, a complicated checkout process, and website errors.
Image sourced from Baymard
Your task is to identify the reason for your high cart abandonment rates and focus on resolving these pain points. For example, you might:
- Reduce shipping costs or provide a discount to customers at checkout.
- Enable customers to check out as guests.
- Offer options for faster delivery.
- Continuously monitor your checkout process for errors.
- Increase your payment options.
Essentially, you want to make sure that your checkout process is as seamless and intuitive as possible. Targeting customers who’ve abandoned their cart with a checkout reminder email strategy is also a good idea for re-engaging customers and winning back sales.
Lack of repeat customers
Repeat customers are more profitable than one-time customers—and not just because they make repeat purchases. They’re also receptive to upselling strategies, have higher average order values, and will become valuable brand advocates if you win their loyalty.
Loyal customers essentially perform word-of-mouth marketing, which is a powerful growth-driving asset. 88% of your potential customers most trust recommendations from their friends and family more than any other type of marketing.
If you’re not putting as much effort into retaining customers as you are into acquiring new ones, you’ll struggle to grow your business.
The solution. Luckily, there are lots of customer retention strategies that work for all different types of ecommerce businesses.
Here are a few things that you can try:
- Personalize your customer experiences.
- Send regular emails to keep your customers in the know and your brand fresh in their minds.
- Offer incentivizing discounts and deals.
- Start a customer loyalty program.
Profit margin and pricing
A poor pricing strategy can leave you with low margins, hindering your ability to invest in growth strategies.
Generally speaking, a low profit margin is around 5%. A healthy profit margin is 10%, and a great profit margin is 20%. That said, if you choose a wider margin, you’ll need to balance this with the market standards. Calculate your profit margins per product and see if they’re hitting targets.
If they’re not, it might be time to take a deeper look at your pricing strategy.
The solution. Consider a cost-plus-pricing strategy. This simple pricing strategy determines the selling cost of your product by adding up the total cost of product production and applying your desired profit margin on top.
Shopify security issues
In a climate where even global enterprises can become crippled by a cyberattack, it’s more important than ever for Shopify sellers to keep their websites secure. According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach for small businesses is $2.98 million.
And yet, research shows that a third of SMBs use free security solutions—and a fifth use no endpoint security at all.
Image sourced from BullGuard
Failing to put the right security measures in place puts your website at risk of cyberattacks. This leads to growth-inhibiting repercussions like financial loss, a damaged reputation, and potentially even legal issues.
Additionally, websites prone to cyberattacks are penalized by Google. They get pushed further down Google’s SERP, seriously harming organic traffic potential.
The solution. Implement and enforce strict security measures on your Shopify store. Some steps that you can take include:
- Turn on two-factor authentication.
- Use a secure payment gateway.
- Implement Shopify security tools like bot protection.
- Integrate trust and security apps.
- Practice good password hygiene by using strong passwords and changing them regularly.
- Activate an SSL certificate.
- Perform regular backups.
Multi-channel store management
Your growth potential will skyrocket when you sell across multiple sales channels. Small brands can experience 159% higher revenue with 3 channels. But, this can prove inefficient from both a technical and productivity perspective.
Managing multiple sales channels in silos causes work duplication that reduces operational efficiency and increases the risk of delays, errors, and poor customer experiences. But without the technical know-how, integrating Shopify stores with sales channels can result in errors and bugs that lead to downtime and lost sales.
The solution. Through ERP software implementation, you can synergize sales channels to improve multichannel operations. Using integration and automation, ERPs reduce silos, streamline workflows, and increase inventory, sales, and customer data visibility. So, you can maximize productivity and make better inventory and selling decisions across every channel.
Problems with listing products to the online store
The task of listing products on your Shopify store isn’t always straightforward. Bugs and errors can slow down the process, limiting growth potential.
The solution. Before you begin listing products, research common bugs and the error messages that accompany them. For example, a stock syncing error message indicates that your third-party inventory software isn’t synced properly with your online store. To resolve this, you would need to contact the third-party’s customer support team.
Plan for long-term success
All ecommerce platforms come with their problems, and Shopify is no different. However, many of these common Shopify challenges, like flexible payment options and cart abandonment, are things that exist on other platforms, too. By applying these best practices and creating a robust ERP implementation plan that tackles these challenges head-on, you can set both yourself and your Shopify ecommerce store up for success.
All-in-all, Shopify is a brilliant platform that lets small businesses flourish. But to achieve sustainable growth, you need to be able to avoid and resolve all of the above challenges.