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How to Build an Ecommerce Team: a Best Practices Guide

How to build an Ecommerce team

When you need to get your eCommerce website developed, you are going to think about having your eCommerce team first. As far as the famous African proverb says, if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together. Building an eCommerce website is a long venture, so you need to go together with your team to make it done well. In this article, we are going to discuss how to build the team you would want to go with.

How to design your eCommerce team structure 

As a rule, when you are thinking about building a selling website, you will need to get a team to design it for you. In the situation of the limited resources, you will need to think about which professionals are more important for the success of your project. However, it is not that you need to save the costs by hiring fewer people or less professional people. Instead, you will need to focus on investing your resources wisely. That said, a team should be designed in a way to maximize automation and use of software and having the most valuable highly professional people on a team.

Ecommerce Customer Service

Be Cost-Effective

Being cost-effective is not about not spending money, but it is about spending money right. Every business needs to make decisions about how to allocate the funds, and choosing the right professionals might be the best solution to invest our money properly. However, to achieve this aim, there is a need to be consistent with the goals and make personnel decisions according to the needs of your business. 

Be Consistent with Your Goals

As soon as every business needs are very specific and individual, there is a need to make sure you have ones and you are going to keep up with them. With clearly defined goals, your business is going to grow better because there is a clear aim to achieve. Ideally, it is time to hire a professional when you cannot do the job anymore because you lack knowledge or skills, or time to achieve the goals on the job. For example, you need an eCommerce developer when you are building an online store and you don’t know how to develop a website. 

Remember: It’s not about the Size

When shaping your team, remember that there is no correlation between team size and business success. The majority of sellers on Amazon sell their products with a team of five eCommerce employees or less. Automation and the use of eCommerce platforms allow minimizing the number of employees that are necessary for success. 

Hire YOUR People

There is no big difference whether your team is geographically spread around the globe or works together in an office. It is much more important than your people care about your product and each other. Also, it is important that you trust people to get the job done and look for opportunities to improve the processes. Of course, there is always room for doubt but you can usually test your candidates before hiring them, just make sure to offer a paid test. 

Build Your Tribe

Onboard the newcomers effectively and make sure the values of the team and the newcomers coincide. Having a structured code of conduct and a clear and structured onboarding process helps to turn a newcomer into a member of your tribe very quickly. With a created onboarding program, it is easier to add new members to your team. Moreover, with geographically spread teams, you are not going to meet any of your professionals in person, so having a strong brand identity and a fixed conduct code might ensure the values of your business are supported and maintained by each professional.

Create the Workflow

When building your team, it is a must to think about the workflow. Regardless of the type of your products, you are going to need a clear workflow that the professionals are supposed to follow. Having established workflows helps to use the time of hired professionals effectively and to optimize the processes wherever your work. 

Key roles in eCommerce Team

It goes without saying, defining the roles in the eCommerce team is up to you but as a rule, the set of duties is connected to the title of the position and looks like the following:

Executive management

CEO/Founder plays a great role in shaping and developing the business because it is their venture. Most often, CEO/Founders try to keep up with numerous tasks and have a tremendous workflow regardless of their location.

Virtual assistant

When there are too many things on the plate of the CEO/Founder, it might be time to think about hiring a virtual assistant (VA). It is a professional who is supposed to plan the workdays of the boss so that all tasks are handled and all meetings are visited. VA might even keep the entire team on track while establishing the meeting routines, so everything depends on the job duties assigned to the VA. 

Director of eCommerce

The Director of eCommerce is necessary when the business goes digital but the CEO/Founder does not have time and/or skills & knowledge to develop the business online successfully. The Director of eCommerce is usually assigned the tasks of overseeing the entire company to the point that each department does its job, and monitoring the sales, budgeting, digital marketing, and website administration. Often, the Director of eCommerce participates in strategical decision-making.

Business Analyst

A Business Analyst (BA) is a professional required for the growth of a big business. A Business Analyst is responsible for making strategic decisions about entering foreign markets, developing new products, and expanding the business properly.

Digital Operations Manager

Ideally, a Digital Operations Manager oversees the way that the CMS functions and makes sure that the online operations are working smoothly. In other words, the main responsibility of the Digital Operations Manager is to make sure the website works smoothly from the point of view of the customer. Digital Operations Manager might also track the correct work of product listings and SKUs so that the customers can buy exactly the items they want, through correct working layout designs, and a smooth shopping experience.

IT Technician

Usually, the job of the IT technician is to ensure the working infrastructure of the website. IT technician is expected to link information and inventory with the merchandise, ensuring that the operations are working correctly. Also, IT technicians are usually responsible for data storage and security.

Web Developer

One of the most crucial professionals who determine the success of your online business is a web developer. A web developer is supposed to handle back-end and/or front-end operations of the website, develop the functionality of the website, according to the technical description assigned. A web developer is usually in charge of supporting the online store and timely updating of the platforms used to develop the website. 

Graphic Designer

Graphic Designer is a very important role that needs handling with a professional eye. A good designer is can develop a design that is convenient to use and memorable. Thus, you might get more customers by getting a graphic designer who is on the same page with the company values.

Copywriter

A copywriter is a person who can voice your products to the world. With a Copywriter, you are getting more of your product descriptions, social media posts, blog posts, and ads. Whatever words you want to convey to your customers and whatever promotional campaigns you are running, all of this requires the ability to wrap your messages up into words that are able to target your customers’ minds and bring them to you, and that’s what a Copywriter does. 

Logistics Manager

The main job duty of the logistics manager is to ensure that the orders are transported to the warehouses and then to the customer. The Logistics Manager is also responsible for customs clearance, international shipments, transport insurance, and quality control. In other words, it is a job of a Logistics Manager to materialize the products from the online world to the doors of your customers. 

Inventory Manager

The Inventory Manager directs the flow of the merchandise. It is the job of the Inventory Manager to make sure that warehouses and deliveries work as expected, and the goods are wrapped and delivered as expected. 

Digital Marketing Manager

The main responsibility of the digital marketing manager is to bring traffic to the website. The Digital Marketing Manager is usually responsible for content generation, SEO, social media promotions, email marketing, and other core tasks of digital promotion. The set of tasks for the Digital Marketing Manager often includes ut is not limited to developing and promoting loyalty programs, discounts, and rewards for returning customers.

Customer Service Representative

Customer Service Representative is a very necessary role when you have a developed business with a number of products that need to be handled. In any case, you might get complaints about your products and the way that your online store works, but when you have a big inventory, you are more likely to need to deal with numerous complaints. Moreover, handling your customers’ voice-outs effectively helps you to develop your word-of-mouth marketing and improve the image of the business. 

Finance and Accounting

Often, finance and accounting are outsourced to another party, but you can hire a professional to assist with budgeting and strategic decisions, and this is going to be a valuable investment.

Again, you do not have to hire all these people to ensure the working process is smooth but you might choose several roles that you need the most. For smaller businesses, it is okay to combine the duties of several positions for one person, just make sure that the compensation reflects the job duties, and the person is not overloaded with the tasks.

Hiring development team in-house vs outsourcing

When thinking about hiring the entire team on-site or in-house and outsourcing the tasks to the professional team, there is a need to carefully consider the pros and cons of the decision because there is no solution that fits all. 

Pros of having the development team in-house

  • Complete control
  • Quick response time
  • Easy & quick communication

Cons of having the development team in-house

  • Cost: it’s expensive!
  • Time used ineffectively
    (quick communication often equals too many distractions)
  • The issue of staff retaining that might be costly and/or effort-consuming

Pros of having the development team outsourced

  • High level of skills
  • High productivity
  • Scalability and flexibility
  • Optimized costs
  • Faster product delivery

Cons of having the development team outsourced

  • Remote communication that is not always quick
  • Potential security risks

More information about how to choose the right team for your project is discussed in our blog post about the differences between outsourcing and local team vs dedicated team. 

Summary

Of course, it is very important to have a properly built team that works according to the goals and needs of the business. However, selecting professionals and building cooperation is not a piece of cake and might be a long and difficult process. The shortcut to having a highly professional tribe is to hire the entire team. When you’re hiring the team, even remotely, the guys are already working together well, they can offer highly professional work and make sure business processes are covered in their entirety. Outsourcing this to the SOFTLOFT company might be the best business decision you can make in terms of team building and proper investment of time and money. Feel free to contact us!

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