Common eCommerce CTO Challenges & What to Do
Namely, that the market is becoming more saturated, competition to stay ahead is now fierce, and consumer behaviors and trends continue to change at lightning speed. That’s before we mention the external pressures associated with societal, political, and economic forces. eCommerce CTOs face several hurdles. In this blog, we look at some of the most common challenges in the eCommerce industry and highlight the ways to combat them.
7 Key Challenges Faced by eCommerce CTOs
Digital transformation is taking place at an unprecedented pace, and while it’s offering us more opportunities, it doesn’t come without its challenges. The answer, however, is to keep up to date with the common obstacles in the eCommerce industry and have a plan in place to reduce the impact. Here, we reveal some of the biggest eCommerce CTO challenges as well as what you can do if you come across them.
Agile transformation describes the process of a company putting in place specific processes that ensure they can be reactive and nimble to events. The idea is that by making simple changes, the entire organization can thrive through a flexible and collaborative approach and be better prepared for fast-changing environments. One study even found that 98% of companies have become more successful because of this approach.
It’s essential for helping businesses in every industry to scale. But especially in the eCommerce sphere where changing trends and preferences require businesses to stay alert and responsive. If your eCommerce business can quickly roll out new features and products and post fresh and engaging content, it’ll not only be able to survive and thrive in a saturated market but be providing a better customer experience as well. That’s not to say that it’s easy. Many CTOs in the industry find it hard to keep pace with maturing customer needs and industry transformations.
Today, consumers can browse through eCommerce stores via their laptop, tablet, and smartphone. In addition to this, customers want to be able to reach out to your business easily, if they need to do so. This includes via your website, phone, social media, email, and physical store. 73% of consumers actually prefer shopping through various channels and Google says that omnichannel shoppers have a higher lifetime value.
It goes without saying that you need to strive to provide a high-quality experience, whatever the touchpoint. Not just that but for your brand reputation and awareness to be intact, you need to ensure that every experience with your brand is unified. Again, this is easier said than done but by putting in place company-wide strategies, rolling out customer service training, and ensuring that your eCommerce site works well, you’ll be heading in the right direction.
We get it. Just as you get to grips with one piece of equipment, another is being rolled out. Implementing and embracing new technologies isn’t easy but it’s crucial if you want your eCommerce business to stand out. After all, as Gartner explained, consumers want an effortless experience, which is typically where the latest technology and upgrades come in. If you can’t offer this, your target audience will likely look elsewhere.
It’s not just the simple task of upgrading everything though. As a CTO, you need to be aware of the current state of your eCommerce store, what works well and what doesn’t. You also need to keep a close eye on new and improved technologies, how they work and how much they cost. Instead of accepting every upgrade in your eCommerce store, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of each one. For example, if you do choose to upgrade a certain feature, and it comes with months of downtime for your store visitors, and offers little results or benefits for them, it could do more harm than good.
Running an eCommerce store requires marketing, supplies, equipment, and an expert team. All of these come with their own costs, which is another common obstacle that CTOs face. Unfortunately, cutting these costs isn’t an easy task. For your store to rival the competition, your products and services need to be the best. Your dedicated team needs to be trained up on relevant skills, and latest figures show that employers spend around £42 billion in training and development every year.
That’s before we mention the cost of infrastructure upgrades and the funding challenges associated with planning digital transformation programs. Digital modernisation requires huge changes to reinvent processes and create new value. This might be essential if you want to thrive and survive, but it doesn’t come cheap.
Another eCommerce industry challenge is regarding the online safety of consumers. One study even found that eCommerce is the most vulnerable industry globally. This is because not only are online sales growing in value and frequency, but for transactions to go through, an eCommerce store requires important data and information from a consumer. What’s more, this personal data is often held by eCommerce stores resulting in several security concerns. There’s also a risk that your own business data could be targeted.
For this reason, it’s never been more important for eCommerce business owners and CTOs to put processes in place that prioritize the safety of all data. With malicious attacks becoming more intelligent, CTOs need to consider smart approaches that are one step ahead.
Change Management Internally
A global study showed that 40% of people are worried about their job being taken over by AI. This can present a few CTO challenges with internal teams being unwilling to adopt new, and essential, technologies. What’s more, 3 in 20 employers are currently facing a digital skills gap meaning that the ability of internal teams to adopt new technologies is also in question.
To combat this, CTOs need to build and hire a dedicated team with expert skills or have a willingness to learn them. It’s also important to ensure that your team is aware of the benefits of such technologies while reiterating that adoption won’t replace their roles but instead enhance them.
In the same way that consumer trends are always on the move, so are digital transformation trends. This means that CTOs must always keep up to date with current and upcoming digital opportunities, identifying which could be beneficial for their eCommerce store – even if one roll out has only just concluded.
CTOs must take an analytical approach, consistently evaluating the eCommerce store and recognizing potential improvements before they become essential for business success. In today’s fast-moving digital world, it’s no longer acceptable for brands and CTOs to stay satisfied for too long.
Invest in a Dedicated Tech Partner to Overcome eCommerce CTO Challenges
As an eCommerce CTO, you have a crucial role to play in the success of the online business. As mentioned above, you need to be aware of the common eCommerce challenges you could face as well as ways to combat them. If you’re struggling to navigate this, or just need some expert advice, using Vsourz as your tech partner will help.
As your tech partner, we can help you to manage and level up your digital transformation with a dedicated team. Get in touch to find out more about how you can hire a dedicated remote team to ensure your eCommerce business survives and thrives, now and beyond.