If you started an eCommerce business this year, you’re not alone…but you might be lonely.
Most businesses begin and continue as sole proprietorships. This is great when it’s time to make the tea or share profits, but challenging when your to-do list is already full, orders are picking up and the holiday season is rapidly approaching.
If you’re not ready to employ your own customer service agents, warehouse staff or marketing experts, that doesn’t mean these people can’t help you. Certain eCommerce tasks are ripe for outsourcing – taking the pressure off of you but not off of your business growth.
What are these eCommerce tasks, and how do you outsource them? eCommerce fulfilment experts Huboo are here to explain.
Why outsource your eCommerce tasks?
eCommerce is a fast-paced, hectic and unforgiving industry. If you don’t stay ahead of your orders, the latest shipping speeds or upcoming technology, your customers will find someone who does.
Bootstrapping an online store is incredibly rewarding and cost-effective. However, there comes a point when doing it alone means you can’t keep up. Outsourcing your eCommerce business allows you to continue growing as a sole trader while reaping the benefits of a flexible and knowledgeable team – but that’s not all.
The benefits of outsourcing
Other benefits of outsourcing in eCommerce include:
- Expertise – you have access to specialist knowledge that expedites business growth, increases efficiencies and saves money in the long run.
- Time – you can outsource your most time-intensive tasks, giving you more time to focus on business growth. Plus, someone skilled in a task performs it much quicker than you (someone not so skilled) can.
- Cost – yes, you pay for an outsourced resource, but that investment returns through time savings, business growth and economies of scale. For example, an eCommerce fulfilment partner may reduce your packaging and shipping costs as well as handling your fulfilment.
- Fast growth – your outsourced team are skilled and paid based on their ability to grow your business quickly and effectively.
The blockers to outsourcing
Of course, there are considerations to outsourcing part of your eCommerce business, including:
- Cost – outsourcing is a business expense that you must trust you will earn back.
- Readiness – some owners are ready to share their business with freelancers and agencies.
- Control – outsourcing tasks involves relinquishing control, which can be hard.
However, no one says you must outsource everything, in full and at once. Plus, today you can outsource tasks to technology and software rather than a human being – allowing you to start as small as you like.
Five eCommerce tasks to outsource
So, what are the most common tasks that new eCommerce business owners outsource to freelancers, agencies, third parties and technology?
Outsourcing your repricing involves making someone else responsible for pricing your products high enough to make a profit, low enough to be competitive and attractive enough for customers and buy boxes.
A repricing expert uses tools and industry knowledge to monitor your product prices in the current market – making constant tweaks to maximise your conversions and profits. Alternatively, repricing software does this for you, according to the repricing criteria you set – involving a little more work on your behalf but still saving a lot of admin.
Outsourcing this task gives you a substantial amount of time back while increasing your competitiveness in your market.
An outsourced eCommerce fulfilment partner handles everything to do with fulfilment, including receiving, storing, tracking, picking, packing, and shipping everything for you.
The benefits of outsourcing fulfilment are vast. Not only does third party fulfilment you save time, money and space, but an eCommerce fulfilment service also powers you to offer fast shipping speeds, low shipping costs and reliable deliveries.
You can start big by using a multi-channel fulfilment service to handle everything. Or, you can test the waters by handing over the fulfilment of just one sales channel.
Marketing is a skilled discipline that, when done right, can widen your audience, attract more customers and generate more conversions. But it requires hard and consistent work.
By outsourcing your marketing activities to an agency or freelancer, you gain the benefit of expertise to boost your results while decreasing the time and money spent on advertising.
However, you don’t have to jump straight in with a marketing agency. You can use marketing software to automate your current marketing activities. For example, cart abandonment software automatically engages on-site visitors and reengages lost visitors, returning them to your website and through your checkout for you.
Technology is a blessing and a pain at once. It advances your business no end, but click on the wrong thing and you’re in for a long night trying to fix it.
Third-party IT support or freelancer developers ensure your eCommerce website and tools are secure, up-to-date and fully functioning. This is especially useful if IT isn’t your strong point.
It’s not just technical support you can benefit from either. The latest eCommerce technology and tools automate everyday tasks for you using workflows and rules to send marketing emails, abandoned cart SMS messages and visitor recovery push notifications.
5. Customer service
Customer service is demanding, especially during peak retail periods. Customers want access to immediate help and information, and that’s challenging to provide without working 24/7.
If your customer service queries are becoming too difficult to manage yourself, an outsourced support team reduces the pressure and may even be more skilled at resolving problems and satisfying customers than your busy self.
And, if you enjoy customer service, you can always outsource the night shift to an eCommerce chatbot.
Welcome to the eCommerce industry – it’s fun, fast and fabulous. But, it’s also demanding, time-consuming and hard work. We hope by sharing these five eCommerce tasks that are easily outsourced to freelancers, third-party partners or technology, you can grow your business successfully and happily.
Huboo is a comprehensive, software-driven fulfilment service – helping small and medium ecommerce businesses ship products across the UK and EU. Whether you’re new or old to ecommerce, you can outsource your fulfilment with the confidence that we will deliver safely, securely and quickly.
To find out more, visit our website.
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