5 Tricky Tasks an Online Retailer Should Outsource
Right now, online retail is quite a viable, thriving industry following the lockdowns of yesteryear. As a customer, there’s nothing more thrilling and satisfying than searching for products online and having them delivered right to your very doorstep. From the point of view of a business owner, online retail can be a very lucrative business to pursue if you play your cards right. Online retail may sound like an easy job to set up — just put things up in your online store and ship! But there’s more to it than that. Behind the scenes, there are plenty of other tasks involved that you might not imagine.
Since its conception in the 90’s to mid-2000’s, online ordering and deliveries have completely blossomed in 2020. Testament to this e-commerce growth is the progress of sites such as Amazon, which reported a 22% increase in 2021’s full year sales. Even sites like Etsy, which thrive on homegrown owner-handled e-commerce businesses, have contributed $14.3 billion to the U.S. economy in 2021. There’s no denying the power that e-commerce holds in the world’s digital landscape.
One downside? Studies show that 90% of new online businesses fail within the first few months of operation. If not done right, this could be catastrophic for your profit margin. So how do we avoid that? Most successful e-commerce shops today rely on a remote team to get their order pipeline moving smoothly like a steam engine.
If you’ve somehow burrowed yourself into a hole with your online business, or are researching ways to do it right as a new owner, this article might be of help. Here are 5 tasks you should definitely outsource for your online business:
1. Product Sourcing and Inventory Management
For buy-and-sell e-commerce businesses, and even those that manufacture items themselves, product sourcing is one of the first things to deal with. You surely won’t have an infinite supply of stock, so it’s important to have products and materials sourced from reliable partners at a steady rate. You definitely don’t want to list items as ‘out of stock’, as competitors might snatch up your would-be customers in the blink of an eye.
You’ll need to outsource someone (or a team) with a knack for research skills — they’ll be able to find the best-quality and best-value suppliers. In addition, someone with reliable communication skills will be able to seal the deal with them and get your stock quota filled.
2. Item/Product Listing
Item listing may seem like an easy enough job. Take note, however, that an effective listing entails giving out all relevant information about your product and how it could be beneficial to the customer. It involves some semblance of marketing, since you want to grab your buyers’ attention using the right beats. In the case of Amazon, more than 353 million items are sold everyday on the platform, which means endless competition in the marketplace. Therefore, Even if your item is of the best quality, you won’t cash in any sales if your customer can’t find your product appealing… if they can find it at all.
The product name, images, and even the “pitch” will convince your buyers to click that ‘checkout’ button. You don’t want anything that’s poorly written or jumbled with unflattering images of the product. Luckily, marketing and product listing experts have the know-how to get your product the attention it deserves.
3. Order Processing and Fulfillment
Processing orders is not a complicated task. This is generally clerical and involves jotting down customer information, checking inventory, and arranging packing and shipment. But when you’ve got a whole store online with tens to hundreds of orders everyday, you’ll definitely need extra pairs of hands.
4. Customer Service
No matter how tight or seamless your pipeline is, there is surely no perfect system. You may hit some snags at some point — missing stock, incorrect orders shipped, shipping delays… All of which can affect customer experience. In these cases, you’ll want someone with excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, to ease such customer concerns. After all, 80% of consumers in the U.S. use speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service as factors for a positive customer experience.
Studies also suggest hiring a customer service team offshore may cost you less than one hire in-house.
5. Website Design, Social Media, and Advertising
Establishing a presence across the internet with a well-tuned website, a prominent social media page, and eliciting customer engagement are some of the most important tasks you shouldn’t miss out on. These can all be filed under advertising and social media presence. However, many businesses, after taking care of all previous tasks, fail to empower themselves with a social media presence. More than one-third (or 37%) of small businesses in the U.S. do not have a website to drive traffic to their product.
Although one might depend on the selling platform itself to put your products out there to consumers, you shouldn’t take your chances with a single algorithm. It takes strong advertising and a social media page to funnel would-be customers toward your listing. This is where website experts, SEO specialists, and marketing professionals can come in. Working alongside them, you’ll be able to formulate a unique marketing plan that grabs the attention of consumers, which will shine a spotlight on your e-commerce business.
Outsourcing people can be where the success of your online retail company lies. Looking to hire a team at a fraction of the cost of hiring in-house for your e-commerce business? FGC+ can be the key to igniting your success. Contact us at www.fgcplus.com to get started.