27 Aug

What to do When E-Commerce Goes Awry

Many companies and business owners think that setting up an online business will be a breeze. But it takes a lot of effort and even when you have it set up and running smoothly, you have to keep a near-constant eye on it. Failing to regularly monitor your business is just asking for disaster.

Something is bound to go wrong, regardless of how careful you are. Some of the most common errors that may lead to an e-commerce website’s downfall are the following:

  • Incorrect estimation on shipping costs
  • Third-party errors beyond your control: This may include problems involving an external product shipping partner, which may not handle your products properly during transmission and delivery.
  • Technical automation errors within the website framework
  • Website downtime or total deletion of the site without having a backup (gasp!)

In order to prevent these headache-inducing issues from dampening your spirits and destroying your reputation as an online business, here are some tips on what to do when e-commerce goes awry:

  1. Relax. Reacting emotionally to any problem will most likely not help solve it. When you discover the problem, pause for a few moments to calm your emotions. Afterwards, you should be calm enough to analyze the problem by finding the root cause and addressing it through logic and reason.
  2. Find the root cause of the problem. There’s a real reason behind the 404 error on your e-commerce website, and it can only be solved if you find the root cause. If you identify the root of the issue correctly, you can prevent any similar errors in the future.
  3. Draft a plan of solution. Once you find the primary reason behind the issue, find a solution. It’s really easier said than done, but if you’re familiar with running your business, you’ll be able to iron out the kinks. Make sure that this plan will solve the problem and not just delay the problem-solving process.
  4. Act on the problem immediately. Most problems don’t get solved on their own. Once you have pinpointed the cause of the problem and discovered the solution, act on it as soon as possible.
  5. Take responsibility for your actions. If you are contributory to the problem, be humble enough to take responsibility. This gives you a sense of ownership not only to the company, but also to any problems that may arise.

How you handle adversity in business may be the biggest indicator of whether or not you’ll succeed. Those who are able to quickly react to problems and solve them using common sense are more likely to stay in business for the long run.

[Photo courtesy of f1uffster (Jeanie) on Flickr]
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