7 eCommerce Tasks Every Store Owner Should Consider Outsourcing

by | May 8, 2019 | Accounting, eCommerce KPIs, Processes & Procedures, Scaling & Business Growth, Uncategorized

From creating new products to leading marketing initiatives, running an eCommerce business is a full-time job for online store owners. They often don’t have time to handle every aspect of the business, focusing instead on high-level business strategies that move the needle. While eCommerce trends come and go, every business has a list of daily eCommerce tasks that remain constant. These tasks are essential to the business and as they are essential to the function of a business. But what do eCommerce businesses do when they lack the bandwidth to complete essential tasks?  They rely heavily on outsourcing.

An eCommerce outsourcing specialist might be better trained to handle eCommerce-related tasks, allowing business owners to focus on other areas of the business. Whether it’s outsourcing a few tasks or fully committing to outsourced eCommerce services, there’s never been a better time to outsource certain tasks to contractors or freelancers.

Below are 7 of the most important eCommerce tasks you should consider outsourcing:

1. Product Sourcing

When you’re in the business of selling products, everything that goes into finding these products becomes a continuous cycle. Realistically, you can’t forever rely on one of your best-sellers to keep bringing in the money. You need to always be on the hunt for new ones regardless of whether your current products are selling or not. Product sourcing isn’t as simple as researching for products over the internet, however. 

Product sourcing isn’t as simple as researching for products over the internet, however. Aside from research skills, a good product sourcing specialist should also have excellent communication skills that would come in handy when speaking to factory managers from other countries. This individual should have good negotiation skills as well so you can get the best deals possible.

2. Product Listing Optimization

A well-optimized product listing is essential if you want to grab potential buyers’ attention. From the product title down to the images used, each of these elements has a unique way of converting potential leads into actual buyers. The trick is to have all these elements complement each other to form one convincing “pitch,” which is not the easiest thing to do without the necessary experience and skill set.

The good news is there are a lot of talented product listing optimization experts available in the freelance market who can help improve the way your product listings look. Always keep in mind that when it comes to selling online, presentation is everything. You yourself would most likely buy an item that has all the information you need over one that comes with low-quality images and poorly written descriptions, right?

3. Customer Service

Every business needs competent customer service because you won’t be available 24/7 to address urgent concerns. By having an extension of your voice answer inquiries on your behalf, customers are given the attention they expect.

What’s great about today’s freelance talent pool is that a lot of them have experience working in customer service at some point in their professional careers. Having someone with customer service experience can go a long way to making your life easy and the business profitable.

4. Order Fulfillment/Processing

For some people, processing orders is not a complicated task. What’s so difficult about getting customer information, checking the inventory for stocks, updating a database, and arranging product shipment? While the task can be considered clerical, it’s not going to be that easy when you have 30 orders to process for an entire day. 

If your product is “hot,” you may have to process even more. Doesn’t sound as easy anymore, does it? Yes, the task may not require a lot of thinking, and it’s repetitive at best, but you’ll need all the help you can get when volume spikes. It’s going to be impossible for you to take care of this when you have your hands full managing the business’s daily operations, which makes outsourcing this task more sensible.

5. Inventory Management

Imagine how embarrassing it would be to advertise a product in your store only to find out that you’re out of stock when a potential customer decides to place an order. Such a scenario can put your reputation in question and can hurt your business. Not only will you be accused of false advertising, but it will also make you look disorganized and unprofessional.

One way of keeping this from happening is to use a competent eCommerce platform able to track inventory as it comes in and goes out. Additionally, it’s also good to have a dedicated person managing your inventory so you can keep a close look at how much stock you have sitting in the warehouse. Having an inventory manager also helps you save money because they can help you order new supplies and determine how much you actually need so you don’t end up having too much excess inventory. Keeping a balanced number of items in stock requires focus, which is why outsourcing inventory management makes perfect sense.

6. Web Design/Development

Just like a brick-and-mortar store needs a nice storefront to make an impression, so too does your eCommerce store. Having a visually inviting and easy-to-navigate web presence is crucial. You have to remember that while people today may be highly visual, a lot of them also have a shortage of patience. More than the looks, your website should also be user-friendly. The text should be readable, the images shouldn’t be intrusive, and navigation should be easy. If it takes more than a minute for a customer to locate your shopping cart, you can’t expect people to have the patience to look for it, which can lead to fewer sales.

Web design and development require a specific skill that not everyone has been blessed with. By hiring a freelancer who has the skills and experience for both, you’ll be giving your business a big advantage because they have the ability to make your web presence stand out.

7. Social Media

People today are on social media almost all the time, and it would be a total waste if you didn’t take advantage of the millions of potential customers you can put your products in front of. To help increase your odds, outsourcing social media management to a freelance expert is an excellent decision. Having an experienced social media manager handle your social media tasks is a worthy investment with benefits that you will continue to reap in the long run.

Where do you begin?

Once you have decided that outsourcing is something you want to do, the first step is to take note of the seven tasks mentioned above and list down all the duties and responsibilities each task will entail. It’s important to be very specific at this point because this will be your basis for finding the right person for each task.

  • Which social media channels will the social media manager handle?
  • Will you allow the inventory manager to order new supplies without your consent?
  • How involved do you want to be with customer service?
  • Will the web designer/developer be in charge of presenting you with a design or do you already have one you would like them to replicate? 

It’s important to give yourself time to do a proper task assessment so you and the person you hire know what to expect.

How much are you willing to spend?

While hiring a freelancer is more affordable than hiring for a full-time position, it can still cost more than you expect, especially if you have hired multiple freelancers. Most freelancers generally work on a per-hour basis, but some work per project or on fixed pricing. Make sure to identify which option works best for you and your budget because this will also help narrow down your choices in terms of the freelance marketplace where you’ll make the hire and the freelancer you will hire.

Where do you find them?

With the gig economy at its peak, finding a freelancer to outsource tasks to has never been this easy. Dozens of websites offering massive talent pools are scattered all over the internet, each one offering a unique way of helping you hire and manage freelancers. Popular sites like Upwork, FreeUp, and Fiverr are just some of the websites you can visit so you can begin looking for the best people to help you.

Hiring individual freelancers is one option, but it can be time-consuming. Between reading resumes, messaging back and forth, and interviewing candidates, you’ll end up with fewer hours in the day to operate the business. Another concern is that you can’t be certain if a freelancer will work out, putting you back in the same spot a few weeks or months down the road. If you want to get the best help with the least amount of hassle, you could hire an eCommerce outsourcing service. They essentially allow business owners to outsource their outsourcing, hiring, and managing the right people for the job on your behalf.

Formally onboard them and set expectations

Once you have hired the freelancer of your choice, the next step is to formally onboard them. Begin by setting expectations as to the work hours, outputs, and reports you require.

  • Are they supposed to work in the same timezone as yours?
  • Which reports will they need to provide on a weekly/monthly basis?
  • Do they have to work on weekends?
  • Is there a certain number of hours they need to work each week?

This is also the time when you provide them access to all the tools you use both for work and for tracking purposes. It’s also the best time to discuss how you will communicate with one another.

Final Thoughts

Running an eCommerce business is no walk in the park, but it’s much easier with help from freelancers. By releasing some of the load off your shoulders, you’ll be able to concentrate on the more important, high-value tasks while leaving some equally important yet tactical ones in the hands of more qualified professionals.

With eCommerce accounting services from Fully Accountable, you can leave accounting to the professionals. Contact us at (877) 330-9401 or schedule a strategy call to learn more about our eCommerce solutions and outsourced accounting services.


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