Learn Ecommerce Operations
Building your team to help deliver exceptional customer service and grow your team from starters to A Players by developing their talent.
How to build efficient eCommerce teams
Do you build Co-located or remote teams?
If your answer is "yes" to this question, you need to read this book. It will teach you how to set up your eCommerce team with efficiency, affordability, and productivity in mind. You don’t have to settle for less! Hitting these three trifectas will supercharge your life. You’ll experience an enormous amount of success. Neither does anyone else who has tried it. That’s why this is the best selling pre-workout product on Amazon.com.
It is not only possible, it is imperative for the success of your eCommerce business. If you don’t use the right people, and do it right, you won’t succeed. You need to use a mix of co-located and remote team members, as well as use third party service providers, to minimize costs, increase profitability and accelerate your growth. It’s not only possible; it’s necessary if your company wants to continue to grow and prosper. After all, how can you expect to gain the loyalty and dedication of your employees when you are always putting them down?
In this post, I’m going to give you nine tips on how to efficiently structure your e-commerce team for maximum profitability while minimizing your losses. In this chapter, we'll examine some crucial components of a successful eCommerce operation, and explain what you can and should outsource, and what roles you should keep in-house.
This guide is part of the build an ecommerce brand track.
Designing an efficient ecom team structure that saves money
It's not about short-changing your team or using inferior products. It's about spending smarter. It's about managing all your assets as efficiently as possible and investing in the people that matter.
Being cost effective isn’t about cutting things out or not spending money. It’s about being strategic and using data to make intelligent decisions on which things are most important to focus on and which ones can be outsourced or automated. If you're starting from scratch and have no existing customers, the first thing you should concentrate on is customer acquisition. Once you've got customers, the next step is to retain them. And finally, once you've got them hooked (and preferably told their friends and family about your amazing product), you move on to product. There are many different roles within the marketing function of a great direct response business.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of team building, let’s talk about how to make the best decision possible, given your particular situation. eCommerce businesses are different from each other, but they all have a few things in common, and those are the elements I believe must be taken into account when making this decision.
1. Clearly define your business needs
The most important structure your sales team should have is one that grows and changes organically, based on the needs of your business. A "Role Re-Engineering" should be a core component of any major business re-structuring. If it's not done properly, the results can be disastrous for the shareholders. This is so true. You must define the job tasks you expect your employees to perform. You do this so you have a common understanding of what is expected, and to avoid surprises and disappointments later. Next, you need to determine if you’re going to hire a part-time employee or use a freelancer.
Size doesn’t matter. It’s the quality of your people and the quality of your contribution that really makes the difference. Running an eCommerce business on your own can be very rewarding. If you choose the right product, it can also be extremely profitable. However, for most people, it makes sense to hire someone who is at least an "equivalent" employee to do the work for you. Smart use of software is important, and part of it is being smart about what you invest in. Amazon has over 1,000 different kinds of items for sale. Some of them are extremely high priced. Others are dirt cheap. It doesn’t matter; all products listed on Amazon must comply with their guidelines. These guidelines include things like: Product title can contain no more than 35 characters. If the title contains more characters, the rest of the copy will be truncated.
2. Hire the right people
You can't be efficient if you don’t know there is a problem. You need to identify and understand the process or system you are trying to improve. You can’t expect to be more efficient until you know what you are inefficient about.
Don’t be shy; tell the truth! People will always respond to honesty. Tell the truth about what you want, what you are capable of doing, and what you expect from them. Don’t sign up for anything without running it by your attorney first. Some very expensive mistakes have been made because of this. You don’t want to be in a business relationship or personal relationship with someone unless you can see if there is a spark between you. This is an inexpensive way for you to find out if there is a “spark” in your potential business relationship.
3. Design an efficient onboarding process
Creating a structured onboarding program will save you time and money. What an incredible phrase - "structured onboarding program." Time and money! Why didn't I think of that? When you are teaching someone else the ropes, it is extremely important to “streamline” the teaching process. This will speed up the learning process and help that new person become an efficient and effective team member.
Create your "basic training" program for your employees. Your onboarding process will never be perfect but with each iteration you can improve the process, make it more efficient and thus more profitable. It’s important to be as clear and detailed as possible about every step of the process. Especially when it comes to training your remote employees.
You should make it a point to meet every employee personally at least once. It will make an impression that is hard to get across via e-mail or phone conversations. You must develop a strong corporate identity. This will give your employees something to believe in and will create a sense of pride that will translate into higher levels of performance.
If some of your employees are not located near you, it is important to make sure there are no gaps in the communication between team members. This will make it easier for everyone to work together as a team. Hubspot uses a “Conference Room” in their offices in Boston, Massachusetts. Each member of the team has a headset and a speakerphone. This enables the entire team to work together without ever having to meet in person.
4. Design a workflow that employees use
Your team needs to use a clear workflow even if the size of the team, the type of products you are selling, or where you are selling them, varies greatly. If your eCommerce business is not highly profitable, you should first focus on optimizing your processes. This will make your life easier and more efficient, and will allow you to spend more time on growing your business.
It's very important to have a common workflow no matter if the team members are remote or co-located. That way communication is easy, questions are answered promptly and team members feel like they are a part of the same organization. If you don't, you'll disrupt the flow of information and slow down the process of making decisions. This will result in a significant amount of work being done by hand instead of through the automated systems.
4 Essential tips to structure an eCommerce team
Who will help you with fulfillment, how to set up a great Amazon listing, how to find a great manufacturer, what types of analytics you need to pay attention to, and so much more. Roles are best suited to being co-located or remote depending on what works best for the team, the company, and the individuals within the team. Okay, here are ten ways to get a jump start on your holiday shopping: 1. Shop the ads in your favorite publication.
Define roles of executive management
In many cases, the founder/CEO doesn't need to be physically present to oversee operations. This allows them to work remotely and reduces their travel time which increases their overall job satisfaction. Many of the important decisions that a company needs to make are conceptual, so they don’t need to be made by someone who is physically on the premises.
A virtual assistant, also known as a “virtual” or “assistant” VA, is an employee of your company who works remotely from the other side of the world. A virtual assistant (VA) can do many things for a business. From handling customer service issues to creating or managing social media campaigns and everything in between. VAs are often the first people a business brings on board when they start thinking about growing their business. Before you hire a Virtual Assistant (VA), it’s important to define exactly what tasks they should be handling and what should still be done by you as the CEO.
Efficient product management
That’s why it’s so important for your eCommerce business to have a good, well-stocked inventory. There are three different ways your company can handle the product discovery, manufacturing and acquisition process. Depending on your business model, the type of products you are selling, and where you are selling them, your process may vary.
You can get an A+ on this test... if... you answer every single question correctly. Do that and you'll be able to provide true 24/7 customer service. Do NOT do that if you want to make any money with this business. It'll kill you. It'll grind your bones to dust. And, even though it’s unlikely, it’s always good to have an “insurance policy” in case something unexpected happens.
This is NOT a hard choice. If your business does the vast majority of its procurements online, then this is a "must have" book. You'll discover what is the most profitable and least expensive list to sell in the entire world. Locating the fulfillment center in the same geographic region as the retail store has many advantages. Not only does it make the procurement of inventory much faster and more efficient. It also makes the relationship with your customers stronger and more personal.
Handling order fulfillment and distribution
If you are using a fulfillment service like ShipWorks or Amazon's FBA, then your fulfillment needs are minimal. You'll simply need to make sure your product photos, information, pricing and any other details needed for fulfilling your orders are correct. Using a 3PL provider is an excellent way to save time and money without sacrificing quality. It also eliminates the hassle of having to manage your own warehouse.
Working with a 3PL can also help you to fulfill quickly and reliably. This will give you a big advantage over your competitors who are still struggling to find the right product to sell to the right customer.
Customer acquisition and retention
Every member of your organization is responsible for the success of your business. If you have team members who don’t contribute to the success of your organization, you should consider letting them go. After a remote team has been approved, it should only take a couple of days to get them up and running. After that, they can handle any role that needs to be done from anywhere in the world. Because the Amazon FBA system lets you sell through your own website, you can also expand your business into other time zones and even another continent. This allows you to offer 24 hour customer service without the need to have people working anti-social hours.
Amazon makes it easy for one person to run a business, even if that person has no idea about coding or ecommerce. You could have an experienced sales-marketing manager oversee a team of remote professionals and contract them on an as-needed basis for campaigns. And much, much more!... Listen: We could write 100,000 words about this list alone. But, we won't. Not now, at least. Instead of paying to keep staff on hand, this lets you pay only for what you need. And instead of being tied to one expert at a time, you can tap any expert who has the knowledge you need at the time you need it.
Setting your eCommerce teams up for success
A clear, effective team structure is essential to the success of any eCommerce business. A well-defined, yet flexible team structure is the goal of every eCommerce entrepreneur. This book is all about fulfilling Amazon orders as quickly and effortlessly as possible. It's 100% specific to Amazon fulfillment and is the first book of its kind.
It doesn’t matter how well you plan or how well you execute your plans if you don’t have the right people on your team. And, providing effective onboarding is an important first step in getting the most out of your team. It doesn’t matter where your team is located or if they are co-located or not. If they have the right framework, you can all enjoy heightened productivity while spending less money.
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