In ecommerce, you have a lot to manage. Selling your products online exposes you to a wider audience, sure. But it also brings all the inherent challenges of technology into the already demanding world of retail. At some point, you’re definitely going to need a few extra hands on deck.
But how do you go about hiring the best help?
Sure, you can look for a full or part time employee. In-house customer support staff are all but a must these days for any reasonable sized ecommerce operation. But how about order fulfilment? Marketing? What about website development or design? SEO? Product photography? PR? Payroll and accounting?
There’s a lot of work to be done if you want to grow your business. The catch-22 is how to hire all that talent without the budget. This is where outsourcing comes into play.
Ecommerce is a perfect industry for leveraging the power of freelancers, consultants and agencies. Especially when it comes to the online side of things.
With the power of cloud software that can be accessed from anywhere, and a seemingly infinite number of communication tools at our disposal, anyone can work with your business. That means ecommerce vendors have their pick of top, highly specialised talent from all around the world.
Consider this example. You want to implement an automated email welcome series to engage and nurture your new subscribers. You also need to schedule a few month’s worth of social media posts to grow your social following. You’re far too busy growing your business to work on these tasks yourself, so what are your options?
Your first thought might be that it’s time to hire a part time marketer. Someone close by that can come work from your office a few days a week and take care of a few of the odd marketing jobs you have. But this can be risky.
For a start, you’ll need to pay their salary. Secondly, you’ll need another desk, more equipment, and maybe even a bigger office. Finally, they’ll have to be a ‘jack of all trades’, which unfortunately means it’s also likely that they’ll be a master of none.
Sure, new employees definitely have advantages. But for bespoke, one-off tasks? Why not simply hire an expert at that particular task to work on it remotely? They’ll have their own space, tools and a honed set of skills. Even better, they work ‘on-demand’. Pay an email marketing specialist to finish off a welcome series, and then pay them no more.
On top of this, your contracts with outsourced talent are dependant on how your business (and budget) is going. If you find you need to decrease their hours, there’s not going to be any issue with cutting back in the next contract. And there almost certainly won’t be an issue if things pick up and you’d like to increase their workload either.
As well as money, you’re also saving yourself from the emotional factors involved in hiring another in-house member of staff.
Staffing decisions are tough. As well as qualifications and experience, you also need someone who will fit in with your office culture. However, relationships with outsourced talent is generally completely professional.
In an industry as fast moving and ever changing as ecommerce, outsourcing is a life saver. You get ready access to experts in which ever digital niche you need assistance with. You save time and money that can be better spent focusing on growing your business. And you have an enormous talent pool to select from.
Outsourcing in ecommerce? It just makes sense.
Author: Jackson Hills