09 Feb 2023
10 biggest ecommerce product discovery challenges in 2023
Anjali Sharma
Anjali Sharma
Content Writer

The upswing of digitalization has made shopping easier for customers; however, as the ecommerce landscape continues to evolve rapidly, business owners in 2023 face new challenges that they must overcome to stay competitive.

We're going to navigate through the rough waters of 10 of the biggest challenges facing ecommerce businesses in 2023 and explore possible solutions. This article will dig into the nitty-gritty of personalizing searches and recommendations, the roadblocks we hit, and pinpoint which features caused them. And let's not forget about the elephant in the room: the overall loss of revenue due to inefficient personalization and automation.

Let's get to the bottom of it all.

1. Personalization

Problem: Shoppers expect retailers to ‘just know’ their requirements. They are willing to give you (retailers) some information. It might be a broken query or a perfect one. It does not require just a query, though. To personalize, stores need demographic data, device data, affinity, clickstream data, and more. Online stores are battling complications with collecting information about a shopper and turning it into a meaningful experience. What complications?

The lack of a deep learning-based personalized model affects user behavior and interaction on the website. When you have all the data, which metrics should you optimize for search or merchandising? Poor product discovery experiences will lead to low customer lifetime value and not-so-good shopping experiences with high exit rates.

Solution: Choosing a personalization tool means ensuring it's compatible with your current infrastructure, especially accommodating an omnichannel/cross-channel strategy. Having a deep learning personalization model personalizes the user experience for repeat shoppers and first-time shoppers on websites by promoting products based on past interactions and real-time preferences, user-related attributes, and seasonality.

Using rule-based methods, you can segment your customers efficiently, create a holistic view of their experience, and personalize it. This approach works well for smaller websites where predictive personalization may be unnecessary or excessive and access to large amounts of user data is restricted.

2. Autosuggest

Despite the widespread popularity of "Autocomplete Suggestions" or "Predictive Search" as a feature on ecommerce sites, a study has shown that only 19% of these sites have implemented the feature in a way that fully addresses the needs of their customers.

This can lead to a number of challenges, particularly for mobile users who may need help typing on smaller screens. Additionally, businesses may face issues such as shoppers' increased difficulty in discovering products, increased likelihood of typos in search queries, a lack of related product options, an inability to recommend top products, and a lack of keyword suggestions or trending top queries.

Solution: A solution to these challenges is implementing a tool like Netcore Unbxd Autosuggest. This powerful tool supports autocomplete for search queries and displays related products as the user types, making it easy for customers to find exactly what they're looking for.

Netcore Unbxd Autosuggest can be implemented as a standalone website feature or integrated into the existing search functionality.

Additionally, autocomplete and predictive search play an important role in driving your business retention and improving user experience and conversions. With these features, shoppers can select from a list of personalized suggestions and be taken to the results page without manually typing every character, making the search process faster and more efficient.

3. Dynamic pricing strategy

Dynamic pricing is a marketing tactic where product prices are constantly changed, often within minutes, in reaction to current supply and demand. One of the biggest businesses to use dynamic pricing is Amazon, which updates prices every ten minutes. But, monitoring tens of thousands of items and keeping tabs on current demand and availability trends is a difficult task outside the competence of most ecommerce companies.

Solution: A PIM system seamlessly integrates with your existing IT infrastructure, streamlining product information management by consolidating all data sources. It grants access to crucial information stored in your ERP, such as prices, enabling you to manage them efficiently within the PIM system. This lets you frequently publish price lists, including customized versions for specific customers or groups, complete with detailed accounting information, descriptions, and images.

4. Customer UI experience

Customer UI experience

A buried search bar spells trouble for your website. Frustrated shoppers lead to low engagement and lost conversions. Consider a shopper scrolling through a page of red shoes and then deciding to look at black ones instead. The user would have to enter it in the search bar, which is difficult to access now, and boom! Your potential customer is lost. It's the last thing you want, especially if it's only a quick fix, like adding your search bar to an easily accessible spot. Also, ensure that your search function is not blended into the rest of your design and isn't intuitive to interact with and find!

Solution: Place the search bar in a visible location, such as the center or right side of the page, for easy access. As a best practice, a search bar is placed in the center or right side of the page for ease of access. White space is essential, too. Ensure having enough white space around the search bar so as not to confuse the shoppers. The search bar should be moderately long to allow typing a search query without making an error. Label the search bar, using a word such as "search" or a similar label to make it clear to shoppers what its purpose is. With an always-present, sticky search bar, shoppers will not need to spend time searching for it, scrolling up and down the page. A sticky search bar present on all pages will only make discovering products easier and ensure an amazing shopping experience.

5. Marketplace integration

Keeping track of sales and orders across multiple platforms can be challenging for ecommerce businesses. This is because managing product information, branding, and messaging across several channels is not always easy. To succeed in ecommerce, you must put your customers' interests first. Managing multiple customer relationships across various channels is time-consuming and expensive. Moreover, finding connectors to help you publish product content based on marketplace requirements is challenging.

Solution: This is possible with a PIM platform as it provides a way to organize and communicate accurate product information and helps develop pertinent, channel-specific product assortments. This information, when readily available to marketplaces in a reasonable timeframe, benefits businesses by keeping them updated, accelerating customer checkout, and increasing brand value and channel partners' trust.

6. Omnichannel experience

Improving the customer experience and retaining customers is crucial, and an omnichannel approach can achieve this by anticipating customer expectations. However, retailers may need help with the transition from a multichannel to an omnichannel strategy, including decreased sales and suppressed conversions. A comprehensive understanding of the omnichannel approach is necessary to evaluate individual digital catalogs and make informed decisions.

Solution: Netcore Unbxd PIM, with its 75+ channel integrations, enables a seamless transition from multichannel to omnichannel ecommerce strategy, supporting your growth goals. It allows for bulk editing and efficient import and export of accurate product data across ecommerce platforms and digital touchpoints. The in-app DAM (Digital Asset Management) tool facilitates the modification, editing, and curation of high-quality product data, which is essential for delivering exceptional customer experiences.

7. Multi-language support

Multilanguage support

As a business, you strive to cater to a global audience but must be supported by the challenges of trading in multiple languages, currencies, and systems. Mistranslations of product names, for instance, can lead to customer dissatisfaction and complaints. Shoppers may also fail to understand and find it difficult to shop on your ecommerce site if the search does not provide results in local terminology.

Solution: Maximize global reach and customer satisfaction by adding multilingual support to your ecommerce platform. Translate product descriptions and buttons into multiple languages, and make language selection effortless with a prominent world map on your landing page or country-specific navigation buttons. The need is to implement a localization feature for the search function, ensuring results are presented in the locally used terminology. This will improve the accuracy and user experience of the search results.

8. Data Enrichment

Accurate, up-to-date, and synchronized data across all operating systems and digital touchpoints is crucial for corporate retailers. However, with a unified solution with real-time corrective features, data inaccuracies can be manually corrected, which can be time-consuming and prone to human error. Furthermore, as an online store owner, dealing with a shortage of stock or supply disruptions can permanently hurt your business's bottom line and trouble customers for failing to meet their expectations. Potential customers will quickly quit your online store for several reasons, including inconsistent product display, improper price display, inefficient return policy, and more.

Solution: PIM is the way out of such complications of data enrichment. It organizes all product information in a single, easily accessible location. PIM also speeds up the processes required to bring products to market and automatically improves the input data to provide regular and enriched entries. Additionally, this lessens the errors and reduces the need for manual labor. As a result, businesses can concentrate on enhancing their product content by removing the issues associated with product information management, such as inaccuracy, improper price display, duplicates, unstructured product content, out-of-stock conditions, and more.

9. Data Governance

Businesses frequently invest significant sums in digital storage solutions that may not suit their needs. Transforming this unstructured data into valuable insights can be costly and labor-intensive. Effective data governance involves managing the accessibility, authenticity, and protection of internal information across enterprise systems. It highlights the importance of secure, trustworthy data and establishing safeguards to prevent misuse.

Solution: Deploying PIM is an excellent start for efficient, all-around data governance because it is affordable and enables implementation independence. In addition, it doesn't require the same organizational mobilization and dependence on other teams inside the business as, say, adopting an ecommerce platform because it is frequently done independently in a single-phase project.

10. Customer support

With the rise of ecommerce, customer service may feel like navigating a maze between a personalized touch and utter chaos! According to HubSpot, 68% of customers are willing to pay extra for goods and services offered by a company with a reputation for providing excellent customer service. You will not be able to retain customers if you provide bad customer service on your ecommerce website.

Solution: Empower your teams and amplify their strengths with customized CX tools that simultaneously address business needs and customer goals. The right software streamlines workflows speeds up support processes and lets teams focus on more critical tasks that require human involvement. By providing proactive customer service and self-service options, you can build customer confidence in your brand. Seven out of ten consumers purchased from a competitor of their go-to brand between May 2021 and May 2022. Assist online shoppers in resolving technical issues they may have encountered during the customer journey and guide them through that customer journey.

Wrapping up

The secret to growing sales volume and revenue is improving the user and customer experience, most of which comes down to thinking like your customer. You don't even need to make an effort; all you have to do is glance at the site's statistics and the queries your consumers send directly to you. You can get a thorough understanding of their requirements, issues, and expectations with a bit of work. Just taking action on these realizations is the next stage!

Netcore Unbxd is a great fix to mitigate product discovery challenges rapidly. Unbxd is a product information management and discovery platform. Powered by AI and ML, Unbxd solves workflow challenges and is the one-stop destination for your business personalization, excellent site search, catalog browsing, recommendations, and more. Furthermore, Unbxd enables ecommerce marketers, managers, and business owners to centralize, optimize, distribute, and explore large amounts of product data, which can help your business grow and deliver superior shopping experiences from product teams to consumers.

If you want to explore Netcore Unbxd's Search, book a demo

And if you're interested in PIM, head here for a demo!