With the exception of very new brands, most Metacake clients have reached a certain point of growth when they come to us. However, nearly all still contend with common ecommerce challenges that prevent them from unlocking their next level of potential.

At Metacake, our primary goal for every client is to facilitate growth in their business. So, what challenges keep ecommerce stores from being the best they can be?

Over the years, we’ve found that stores often hit a “ceiling” on growth due to some of the common challenges of running an ecommerce business. But by identifying the underlying issue and taking action, they’re empowered to free their business and unleash powerful, sustainable growth.

6 Common Challenges in Ecommerce

While there are a wide variety of challenges in ecommerce businesses, they all distill down into one of six categories:

1) Lack of Vision

Simply put, a lack of vision translates to a lack of growth. We often meet entrepreneurs who have had the vision to get their business or product to where it is today, but they’re not sure where to take it next. They’re unsure of what’s possible with their ecommerce store or how to define the future.

To clarify your vision, it’s fine to start with broad questions like, “Where are we going?” and “What should we shoot for with this brand?” But staying broad won’t break the ceiling. Work your way into the details, right down to targets and revenue numbers.

2) Lack of a Complete Strategy

Most brands operate according to some sort of strategy, but it doesn’t always carry through to every aspect of their business. In fact, it’s often limited to just a few tactics here and there. To overcome this common ecommerce challenge, you need a true, comprehensive strategy for your business.

What does that look like?

  • Move forward with specific goals in mind, such as achieving percentage growth, increasing revenue, launching products, etc.
  • Consider how your brand is represented and where it’s headed.
  • Think about the products you create and why you create them.
  • Assess competitors in your market and what you can do to stay at the forefront.
  • Give thought to your business’ long-term future, including the potential for exit or acquisition and where you’d like it to be when it’s no longer in your hands.

3) Lack of a Detailed Plan

Even if you have a strategy in place, you need a detailed plan so your team knows how to execute it.

Working out a detailed plan takes organization, skill, knowledge, effort, and vetting. If you lack these skills or don’t have the time to plan, all your team’s work just sets your business on a path to nowhere.

For your detailed plan, be sure to include marketing tactics, sales tactics, and internal planning. Consider how much your strategy will cost because budgeting, resourcing, and cash flow will make or break your success. What about sourcing, supply chain management, fulfillment, and customer service?

All these elements are critical for an ecommerce business, which is why thinking through them in detail unlocks your potential for growth!

4) Lack of a Diverse Team

No man is an island; you need a team with diverse skills to execute your detailed plan effectively. Often, that requires more than just a designer, developer, and digital marketer, though having these experts is a great place to start. Your plan is only as good as the quality of your execution.

5) Fear of Failure

As businesses grow, owners sometimes fear trying new things because of the potential for failure. But remember, you must continue innovating so you don’t become stagnant.

The marketing and growth landscape changes rapidly, requiring you to experiment and find effective strategies for your product. Staying on the cutting edge and pushing to the next level of innovation makes the difference between massive and minimal growth.

Embrace the risk of failure — in controlled scenarios. It’s key to winning, whether it’s in product development or marketing tactics. Many top brands set aside a budget specifically for R&D, creating a risk-free environment to try new things and ensuring sustainability even when innovation attempts fail.

6) Poor Organization

Every great business needs organization, from set processes and procedures to great culture, effective leadership, and a central mission. In the past, some brands could attain success without this, but today, robust organization is the foundation for competition.

As an entrepreneur, you might be tempted to discard organization the minute it seems to slow you down or hold you back. But this causes more problems than it solves. Good organization may mean slowing down, but it’s still the key to building all the elements of a successful business, such as:

  • Being profitable
  • Having consistent cash flow and stability
  • Attracting and retaining a talented, committed team
  • Producing great products
  • Ensuring customer satisfaction

Surround yourself with detail-oriented individuals who have the skills necessary to establish processes. Allow yourself the time to slow down and get organized — it’ll be better in the long run! By doing so, you’ll produce better, higher-quality products and scale your business sustainably for long-term growth.


The Risks of Neglecting Your Business

If any of these common challenges in ecommerce go unaddressed, you’re ultimately setting yourself up for limited growth and hampered success.

Take a hard look at your business. Could your vision use some clarification? Are your processes well-defined and effective? Do you know where you’re headed and how you’ll get there?

Remember, most ecommerce businesses run into these challenges. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but you must take action if you want your store to break through that growth ceiling.

Overcome Ecommerce Challenges: Metacake’s Approach

We don’t sell business consulting or services directly — we sell ecommerce growth strategy and marketing. But because business issues like these come up naturally in the process of setting and implementing strategy, we consider it part of our job to help. We’re experienced in pushing businesses toward the next level of growth, whether they’re global, local, or anywhere in between.

These challenges may seem overwhelming at first, but we promise it’s worth your time and effort to work through them one at a time. We know from experience that it separates your brand from the rest.

Now that you’ve identified common challenges to ecommerce growth, check out these articles for more insight: The 5 Golden Multipliers and Simple Ways to Grow Your Ecommerce Store.



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