Ready to start your business online? In principle the idea is very simple: your business is ready to face the world of online retail and your consumers are ready and waiting to purchase your products online. You might even have a website already, that showcases some or all of your products or services.

While the idea is exciting and you’re most likely ready for the jump, moving your business from brick and mortar to online, or a mix of both, can come with its fair share of challenges. 

But, despite the challenges, gearing up to move your business online is one of the most exciting chapters in your business journey, and there are always solutions to the challenges you might face.

In light of this, we look at the top four challenges of starting a business online, and their solutions.


Building an easy-to-find website


While the idea is the same, finding a product in a store is quite different to finding a product online. Your website needs to attract potential clients or customers in an online sea of competitors, because just having a website doesn’t automatically mean you will get browsers purchasing from you immediately.

Solution: Choose a domain name that appropriately reflects your business, but also helps searchers find your product or service. Through keyword research you can identify how consumers are searching for your type of business, and incorporate your primary keyword into your domain name, but also meta data and landing pages to get your business online with Google.


There are a number of tools available for keyword research, including:

  • Google Analytics Keyword Planner
  • SEMRush
  • Ubersuggest
  • Answer The Public


Offering a simple, secure payment process


You might think setting up one single payment solution is enough to get you started, but in today’s world of contactless payments consumers expect to see a number of solutions to choose from to suit their different needs. Think about it from a consumer’s perspective, how do you like to purchase goods online? If you don’t see a payment process familiar to you, would you complete your checkout process?

Solution: Create a business website that offers multiple payment options via secure processes. If you’re new to the website building field, fear not. You can easily find a website builder in South Africa that includes the addition of tried and trusted payment processes during your website creation process. 


Quick delivery


A key component of online shopping is quick and convenient delivery, and customers expect it. While getting started will always come with its bumps and hurdles, an efficient delivery service should be accomplished sooner rather than later.

Solution: Find a trusted  shipping partner that is able to pick up and deliver for you, within your budget. There are a number local shipping companies in South Africa including:

  • The Courier Guy
  • GlobeFlight
  • Fastway
  • Dawn Wing
  • PostNet
  • Courier It


Robust data privacy and security


With the PoPI Act coming into effect soon, it’s now more important than ever that your business offers a secure online experience to customers. If your business requires customers to enter personal and banking-related information, it is vital that this information is both stored and used in a safe way.

Solution: If you are unsure of how to get your new website off to a secure start, below are three most important ways to get your website security up and running.

  • Choose a web hosting provider that offers secure data transfer and backup
  • Make use of an SSL certificate for data encryption, search engine trust and payment security


No first time e-commerce website will be without its challenges, but with these tips in mind you’re already off to a smoother start.