How to Build an Outsourced Ecommerce Team
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By 2040, 95% of retail purchases are expected to be made online. People will spend more and more time shopping on the Internet, and that gives you more reason to streamline your eCommerce business operations.
Managing your eCommerce business doesn’t have to be exhausting– you don’t need to take on all responsibilities alone, delegate tons of tasks to your limited number of employees, or spend money and time on initiatives that don’t meet your expectations.
Outsourcing an eCommerce team is a smart move – even giant conglomerates do this to achieve faster and better results, all while reaping valuable benefits:
- Bring down costs
- Improve relationships with customers
- Better quality of products and/or services
- Gain access to new technologies, industry trends, and talent
- More time to focus on core business competencies
You and your in-house team don’t have to do all the work– there’s a wide array of talent available and very much capable of streamlining your business processes.
Hiring an outsourced eCommerce team requires preparation. There are things you need to consider first, and steps you need to take before diving into the hiring process.
1. Plan your project and project requirements
Before finding your outsourced team, plan the details of your project.
- What your project is. Do you want to start/redesign your eCommerce website, or improve your product descriptions? Do you want to start a blog, or manage customers better? Determine what you want to do.
- What specific results do you want to achieve. Your goals can dictate the angle of your project. For instance, blogs for brand awareness differ from blogs for conversion – think sales funnel. Do you want to increase your sales, or increase audience engagement? What metric are you going to measure? How much do you want to improve? Do you have a deadline? Set SMART goals.
2. Identify key roles to fill
Determine what tasks you would like to outsource. Make a list and identify what roles are time-consuming and are better done by outside eCommerce specialists.
Here are the most common outsourced eCommerce roles:
Ecommerce Web developers/IT specialists
- Code frontend and backend alterations
- Develops both the user-facing design and the essential functionality
- Experts with eCommerce sites, alterations, user experience, eCommerce trends, payment systems, etc.
- Experienced with responsive design and mobile integration
Your website is the face of your business. Outsourced web developers help your team maximize digital innovations and build a robust website architecture.
Ecommerce Marketing Manager
- Responsible for bringing traffic to the website
- Oversees metrics and strategies like SEO, SEM, copywriting, social media, digital advertising, etc.
- Launches campaigns to increase brand awareness and engagement
- Coordinates with a web developer to ensure marketing initiatives are seamlessly integrated into the site
Your products will be promoted by an eCommerce marketing manager. They gather client data, examine it, and develop methods that work to increase conversions and increase traffic to your website, and in turn, product sales.
Customer Support Specialists
- Handles customers’ queries via email, social media, etc.
- Answer phone calls and deploy chatbots
- Improves customer satisfaction and shopping experience
- Collect feedback from customers
Customer support specialists help you build rapport with customers and enhance their shopping experience, which are all vital in maintaining the growth of your business.
- Takes care of visual details (logos, product images, color scheme, etc.)
- Attracts customer’s attention through well-thought-out imagery
- Identifies and steers visual distractions out of the way
Graphic designers make your website appealing. In a survey of 2,684 persons, 46.1% said they judge a website’s credibility based on its design look. A website with a vivid presentation of what they offer often captivates a consumer’s interest.
- Produces engaging and relevant blog content in your brand voice
- Writes enticing product descriptions
- Makes your content understandable
- Writes for different stages of the buyer’s journey
- Works with your marketing team for ad copy
Content writers scale your marketing efforts and product descriptions into relevant, actionable content, increasing brand awareness and converting readers into customers.
Ecommerce Logistics Manager
- Liable for the timely, secure, and high-quality delivery of bulk purchases from suppliers
- Handles transport insurance, international transportation, and quality control
Though customer transactions happen online, the delivery of products happens in the physical world. Logistics managers ensure fast and accurate transactions with your suppliers and ship orders to customers promptly.
Inventory Manager and Inventory Associates
- Manages inventory team and keeps track of goods
- Makes sure the number of items displayed on the website matches the number of items in the storage
- Responsible for packing products, moving them to the logistics team, and organizing inventory
Having your inventory team makes it easy for you to manage and monitor the flow of merchandise in your business. You don’t have to do the work yourself. Online, this task involves product and website updates and/or in the backroom for your digital records.
Accounting and Finance Specialists
- Assists you with budgeting and market speculation
- Helps manage your income and expenses
Accounting and finance operations are integral in growing your business. Having an expert by your side lets you maximize the best financial practices.
3. Decide how much talent you need
Determine how many people you need for each role. Take into consideration the roles that you need help with the most and the outsourcing cost. Calculate the number of contractors and outsourced workers you’ll need to streamline your eCommerce processes.
4. Create a project timeline
Every project needs a timeline. It’s important to set deadlines to avoid wasting your time and resources. A few things that will affect the overall timeline of your project are:
- Project scope
- Project size
- Set of features required
- The team’s skills and capabilities
- Quality control and evaluation
Timelines help you track the progress of your project and the success of your outsourcing venture. You do want flexibility, but you can also include unexpected factors in your timelines. Your specialist/s can also give you their turnaround time after reviewing your project brief.
Plan your estimated budget. The cost of developments will vary depending on discussions with your outsourced team so make sure to allot a reasonable budget without cutting corners or overspending. The best teams are also forthright about budgets.
Organize your project management plan
Prepare a project management plan to streamline your communication. Leverage project management tools and supervise your project with convenient, unified platforms:
- Messaging platforms (Slack)
- Workflow management (Asana, Trello)
- File sharing and collaboration (DropBox, Google Docs)
- Source code management (GitHub, GitLab)
Now you start looking for an outsourcing company or contractors to build your outsourced eCommerce team. Keep these tips in mind to execute a seamless and productive hiring process.
1. Find reliable contractors
Outsourcing seems risky for starters and scouring the Internet for hours just to find your perfect team can feel exhausting.
When you choose an outsourcing company, half the hiring work is done for you. We guide you right from the onboarding all the way through to project completion.
USource provides digital services and introduces you to skilled specialists. Hire a digital professional or an agile team and supercharge your business with team members who specialize in specific areas of eCommerce and digital in general.
- Create/open your account.
- Go to My Jobs page.
- Open the posting you wish to hire on.
- Locate the freelancer or agency you’d like to hire.
- Choose the Hire Freelancer or Hire Agency button.
- Send an offer.
There are other contractors– lots of them– on the Internet. Stay open, build networks, and evaluate their credibility and reliability.
2. Be descriptive with your job description
Create a clear job description for each role you are hiring. Be precise and specific with the tasks, and clearly identify who you are looking for. Job descriptions are a way to attract candidates and being descriptive helps them get a clear picture of what the job entails.
Include other requirements such as specific skill set, knowledge, eCommerce experience, etc. You can also put task requirements or tools to be used.
3. Stay attentive and proactive
Know your dealbreakers. Instead of wasting time wading through applications, give them a trial task to see their competence and communication skills. With the best team, communication is smooth and effortless.
4. Communicate your goals clearly
Remember the project requirements you planned earlier? Make sure you effectively convey those to your candidates. That way, they get to visualize themselves and gauge how they’ll deliver the task.
Establish clear expectations. Determine the work culture you want to cultivate at your business and assess how well it fits with each candidate’s aspirations.
Working with your newly found eCommerce team can be both exciting and worrying. Make sure you take account of the important things to consider when working with outsourced teams.
1. Maintain consistent and open communication
Always communicate with your outsourced eCommerce team. Constant and effective communication lessens misunderstandings. It helps both of you to stay informed of the progress and changes in the project.
You can maintain communication through quick regular meetings, project updates, or communicating through project management channels.
2. Track and measure KPIs
Key performance indicators indicate the success of your outsourcing relationship. Get back to your project’s SMART goals and assess if your outsourced team achieves your target.
Some general KPIs you can measure are:
- Quality of work – Does your outsourcing team deliver good-quality work? Do they meet your expectations? Does their work add value to your business?
- Timeliness of service – Do they meet deadlines? Are they efficient?
- Project budget – Do they follow the project’s budget?
3. Provide and ask for feedback
Your outsourced team needs to know your thoughts and comments to reflect on and evaluate their work. Don’t be afraid to give feedback to help optimize your business processes and improve your business’ growth.
In return, ask for their feedback too. Do you communicate well? In what areas can you help them deliver their tasks?
They are skilled specialists with insightful ideas and relevant experiences– you’ll gain niche expertise while working with them, and they can help hone your skills in outsourcing itself.
Ecommerce can both be easy and complicated. You and your in-house team will function better with a helping hand.
Even with these tips, it might take a lot of time and effort before you find your perfect freelancers, let alone build a team. That’s why you should leverage ‘one-stop shop’ agencies that connect you to different types of skilled specialists quickly.
With an outsourced eCommerce team, your store operations are streamlined and improved, keeping your customers happy, your brand reputation up and sales rolling in.