There are many aspects to running a successful e-commerce venture. You’ve got to get the right product, create product pages with relevant information for each product, handle inventory, manage shipping, design digital marketing campaigns and more. It isn’t physically possible to do everything by one’s self and do it well.
As an e-commerce entrepreneur, there will come a time when you too will have to choose between focusing on your product range and website services, and routine tasks like putting up social media posts, responding to comments, product inventory management etc. Outsourcing the latter has many advantages.
What Does Outsourcing Work Mean for an E-com Business Owner?
Simply put, outsourcing a task means getting someone else to perform complete a task instead of doing it one’s self. When you outsource a task, you give up control over how it is done. Thus, it is important to be able to differentiate between what tasks should and should not be outsourced and to find the right person to outsource work to.
What Can You Outsource?
As an e-commerce company, there are some things that should be outsourced and others that should always be handled in-house. Before you start outsourcing tasks, define your company’s core competency and your advantage over the competition. To decide whether to outsource or not outsource a task, every e-commerce or any entrepreneur must ask himself, “Does this task affect my company’s core competency?” A task can be outsourced only if the answer is ‘No’.
The routine tasks an e-com company can outsource
Some of the tasks that can be outsourced by an e-commerce company include:
• Product photography
• Complete Product Data Management
• Product description or any such copywriting
• Market surveys
• Website design
• Store Development
• Data input and data entry and data verification
• Website management
• Digital marketing and social media management
• Customer service
• Inventory management
• Accounting and bookkeeping
Outsourcing may seem scary at first but its benefits will soon outweigh your fears. Here are 5 key advantages of outsourcing tasks.
Many aspects of running an e-commerce venture are time specific. Say you’re launching a new product range. You need to create new product description pages, photograph your products, manage the inventory, organize shipping etc. Each of these tasks takes time. How do you get them done faster – outsource them.
When you outsource a task, you do not need to spend any more time on it. Hence, you can work on something else and be ready for your launch on time.
Focus on Developing your Strengths
When more than 30% of your time is spent writing product descriptions, handling product inventory, etc., instead of focusing on your core specialty, it can get quite frustrating. The largest chunk of your time in a day should be spent on developing your product. Otherwise, the competition will soon overtake you and even though you have a great product, it won’t be as profitable as it should.
Outsourcing repetitive tasks, social media, website management etc. frees up your time and allows you to refocus your energy and prioritize tasks.
Get Expert Help
As an e-commerce brand, you serve people across geographical boundaries. So, why should you limit yourself to working with people who are in the same town as you? When you choose to outsource certain tasks instead of hiring someone to do them in-house, it doesn’t matter where the other person is working from. So, you don’t have to make do with the most skilled person in your city – you can actually get the expert help you want.
Pay Only for What You Need
When you hire a full-time employee, his or her salary isn’t your only cost. You have also got to think of employee benefits – medical leave, paid leave, etc. Also, your brand may be online but you do need office space, furniture etc. for your employees.
On the other hand, when you outsource tasks, you’re only paying for the work done. Whether the project has a fixed timeline – like website design or product photography- or is an ongoing project – like social media, content creation, data uploads etc.; you only pay the amount you agreed to for the task. In many cases, even if you outsource multiple tasks to different people, the costs would still be less than that of hiring a full-time employee.
Get Work Done Seamlessly
Employees going on leave or quitting the company can slow work down. Imagine if the person handling your product uploads got unwell just before a launch. This can also make you take time away from your work and focus on finding a new person to do the task and training him or her.
When work is outsourced, these interruptions do not matter. If anyone from the team handling your project goes on leave or quits, it is not your headache to find a replacement. At your end, the work will continue seamlessly.
How to Outsource Work?
The first choice an e-commerce company needs to make is between working with freelancers and agencies. Working with a freelancer may seem cheaper but in the long run, agencies are usually more reliable and consistent with the work output.
When you outsource a task, you give up control over it. Thus, it is essential for you to trust the person who will be handling your project. They should be as good as you at the job if not better. A work portfolio and client reviews can say a lot about the quality of work a firm is capable of and their reliability.
Document everything. If the commercials were discussed on a phone conversation, it must be followed up with an email summarizing the details. This makes sure everyone is on the same page and protects you and your company.
Outsourcing work to the right team can be a big boost to your e-commerce company’s progress. You get all the work done with minimal overhead expenditure. Instead of spending time on routine repetitive tasks, you can now focus on improving your website and selling more products.
So, are you ready to outsource?