Running an e-commerce business can be a bit like juggling. The more successful you become, the more things you have to juggle.
High-volume e-commerce sellers have to stay on top of all their operations in order to succeed. From dealing with suppliers and manufacturers to managing inventory, from advertising campaigns to customer service, being an e-commerce seller, can be full of challenges and surprises.
Many sellers have turned to outsource as a solution to streamlining their operations and maximizing their own contributions to the business.
Outsourcing guarantees that essential tasks will be completed while freeing up sellers to focus on areas where they can make the most significant impact.
Here are tasks that high-volume sellers outsource to improve their business and make their lives just that much easier.
1) Fulfillment and Inventory Management
When you first start out, it may be easy to do everything yourself, but as your sales increase and your business grows, it becomes almost impossible to perform every task related to order fulfilment and inventory management.
When it comes to selling on Amazon, you can use the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) service to make sure that orders get shipped quickly and arrive without any trouble. You will have to package and prepare your inventory before sending it to Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers and doing this can save you a great deal of time instead of trying to get each parcel ready as orders come in. This method will also help reduce stress and potential shipping errors. Even when not selling through Amazon, outsourcing fulfilment tasks can help ensure all orders are shipped completely and as promised. Having a person dedicated to this task will reduce mistakes and increase customer satisfaction.
The busier you become and/ or the more products you have in your line, the more complicated it can be to manage inventory. Human Resources can help track inventory levels across all products, making it easy to know not only what products are selling, but also when they need to be reordered from your supplier or manufacturer. Running out of stock can be a disaster for e-commerce sellers and should be avoided whenever possible. Today’s consumers expect to get what they want and when they want it. If you are not able to meet their needs, you can bet they will find another seller who can.
2) Content Writing
In an online space, content is everything. People are more likely to buy from you if they are familiar with your brand. One way to create this type of relationship is by producing quality content. Blogs are a great way to reach your customer base. You can provide them with interesting updates about your industry or offer educational tips and tricks that help solve common problems they may be facing. You could write blogs that simply entertain. The problem is, for content to be most impactful, it should be added to your site on a frequent basis. Many people find it difficult to carve out enough time in their week to write regular posts. Outsourcing your content writing will solve this problem. Content writers will be able to produce high-quality material that will improve your SEO and establish you as an industry leader, making your site a place consumers turn to when looking for news and information.
If blog content is currently not a part of your strategy (although it should be!), you can hire writers to help create and improve your product listings. The right listing can go a long way in improving sales numbers.
Email campaigns are among the most effective ways to market to your customers. If you find that writing newsletters or sales pitches is time-consuming and complicated, this task can also be outsourced.
Establishing a relationship with your audience is a crucial part of developing your brand and creating a sustainable business. Content allows you to do this.
3) Social Media Management
Social media can be an incredibly time-consuming marketing tool for most brands. It is believed that posting at least twice a day across social platforms will help you increase traffic and build trust in your brand.
Unfortunately, posting twice a day can be time-consuming. Posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Snapchat takes time. As with all other points of contact, you want to be sure you are sharing quality material that matches the brand’s messaging.
Hiring someone to manage your social media accounts will grow your audience while providing you with important insights into their interests and purchasing preferences. Remember, your social media channels are not just a place to post and share news and information but are also the perfect place to interact with customers in a more human way. Staying on top of your social media profiles is a significant way to stay ahead of the competition.
4) Ad Management
While platforms like Amazon, Facebook, and Google have made it “easy” to create ads, it does not mean that it is easy to create “good” ads. Most people running an e-commerce store are not trained in advertising or marketing. To make the most of your advertising opportunities and avoid wasting money and effort, it makes sense to outsource this task to someone who knows what they are doing. Someone trained in this department can produce ads that will reach as many people as possible and increase your conversion rates.
5) Customer Service
Interacting with customers in a timely and friendly manner is an essential part of any successful e-commerce business. Finding the time to respond to questions, comments, or concerns can be nearly impossible when you are swamped by all other demands of your operations. Again, customer service can be outsourced so things do not pile up and customers are always happy.
Whether you hire a virtual assistant or an in-house customer service rep, task this individual with monitoring and responding to product reviews, answering questions, and following up with customers after a purchase. All of these steps will help your brand build a good reputation. Dealing with customers in a way that shows real interest and concern for what they have to say will not only boost your brand but create a legion of loyal customers.
High-volume e-commerce sellers often have their hands full. Running all aspects of a business is no easy feat. This is why an increasing number of sellers outsource various aspects of their workload to become more efficient with their workflow. What and how much you outsource is a decision that depends on your needs and your budget.
While you may not want to spend money on tasks you can perform yourself, you need to ask yourself how well you are actually performing those tasks. Are you really keeping up with all the demands? By taking things off your plate and outsourcing them, you can actually grow your business to new heights. Improving your shipping and inventory control, the quality of your content, the effectiveness of your advertising, your use of social media, and your customer service responses, will lead to an increase in consumer satisfaction. The more satisfaction you can foster, the more sales you will get and the larger your margins will be.
This is a guest post by Andrew Maff, Director of Marketing and Operations for Seller’s Choice, a full-service digital marketing agency for e-commerce sellers. Seller’s Choice provides uniquely personalized marketing and managed services for digital marketplace sellers, e-commerce merchants, and brand builders worldwide. You can learn more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting here.
Feel free to contact Andrew on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with any questions.
If you need professional help with your Amazon store management, please do get in touch with us.
BIE is a Vancouver, British Columbia-based agency providing human resources to manage all things Amazon.