As an e-commerce entrepreneur, you have a lot on your plate. Supply chain management, warehousing, shipping and returns, product catalogue, customer service and developing marketing strategies. And, as your online retail business keeps expanding, the scale and complexity of these tasks go on increasing making it tough to manage and fulfil responsibilities.
So, as a business owner how can you free up your valuable time and space to focus on core areas of business. The solution is simple: By outsourcing some of your tasks to third-party professionals.
Here are a few tasks that you can outsource to outsourcing companies to leverage your time.
Outsourcing customer service
Customer services statistics revealed that approximately 50% of customers are reluctant to do business with the company after just one bad experience. While the customer acquisition cost (CAC) is rising the overall customer lifetime value (CLTV) generated by such customers is drastically declining. By offering excellent customer service you can increase this CLTV value.
Offering outstanding customer service requires a deep understanding of three key metrics that measure customer satisfaction. These three metrics are:
- Net promoter score (NPS) – It is used to measure customer loyalty towards a particular brand or service
- Customer satisfaction score(CSAT) – It helps you to measure measures the satisfactory level of a customer after the purchase of a product or service
- Customer efforts score (CES) – It helps you to measure the level of effort customer experiences while using your product or service
Outsourcing customer service to a third-party vendor will help you to improve your NPS, CSAT and CES scores. With customer service experts handling all communication related to your product or services on various channels in a more professional way there will be a significant improvement in all customer service KPI and metrics.
E-commerce Website Design, Maintenance & Development
This is another important area of e-commerce that is best left to the experts unless you had a good hand at design and development. Your website is the digital face of your e-commerce business. It will help you to generate business, increase brand value, promote goodwill among customers and deliver compelling marketing messages.
By outsourcing web development or designing work to a third-party vendor you can gain access to many skilled professionals from diverse disciplines, including designers, copywriters, web developers’ strategists etc. They will help you in:
- Creating a professional-looking website to attract, engage and convert visitors into paying customers
- Implementing technical SEO tactics to increase the ranking of your website on all search engines
- Adding conversion-boosting features such as testimonials, reviews, site search box, dynamic filtering, live chats etc.
- Designing visuals such as logo, banners, product images and videos across your website
- Design professionally looking graphics that creates credibility in your brand and products
- Create great content and develop the right marketing strategy targeted at your audience
You may be able to do some aspects of basic marketing on your own, but other areas require special skill or knowledge and plenty of time to put these plans into action. You may be better off outsourcing these specialised areas, especially if your business is in the initial stage and you have a limited budget and in-house resources. Also bear in mind that these external experts will bring their experience and skills that will help you to get the most out of your marketing efforts.
Some of the areas of e-marketing that you could consider for outsourcing are as follows:
- Social media marketing: Businesses often choose to outsource this key area of marketing to external agencies or hire an expert to perform these specialised tasks on their behalf- especially if they don’t have anyone in-house who fully grasps and understands social media marketing trends or they don’t have enough time to commit to social media campaigns. Besides this, by outsourcing, you can gain expertise that is currently not available to you.
- SEO/SEM: This is again a complex marketing activity that requires specialised expertise and experience, as well as an understanding of digital marketing tools. By outsourcing SEO/SEM you gain the expertise of skilled professionals who have knowledge of optimizing your website by implementing various techniques and methodologies.
- Email Marketing: By outsourcing email marketing services you can be benefitted in many ways. Firstly, it will help you to gain the support of experienced marketing experts. Secondly, your marketing campaigns get a fresh perspective. Thirdly, you can easily scale up or down your marketing activities. Finally and most importantly, it is easier to calculate ROI on your investment in your marketing activities.
- Analytics and reporting: Google analytics or other analytical tools gives you essential insights about your online business and your customer. By outsourcing this critical element of marketing to experts you can gain from their insight on customer behaviour analytics, thereby improving the outcome of your marketing efforts.
- Market research: Most companies prefer to outsource their market research activities to outside third-party market researchers. These professionals have skills and knowledge base that can come only after spending years of time in a particular domain. These firms conduct market research on your behalf and submit the report in the most structured format.
There are many aspects involved in the order fulfillment pipeline, including receiving inventory, storing inventory, order picking and packing and shipping them to the customer’s address. By outsourcing this entire order fulfilment process to an industry expert you can ensure timely and safe transit of your products to and fro.
Some other benefits of outsourcing order fulfilment process are as follows:
- It saves your money on warehouse and transportation costs
- It frees up your time so that you can focus on other aspects of your business
- It creates a better customer experience by facilitating easy return, exchange and refunds
Besides this, by outsourcing the order fulfilment process you can extend your reach and go global. Many order fulfilment companies have an extensive network of warehouses to ship and deliver goods to any part of the globe. You can make use of their global platform to take your products to the remotest place in the world.
Defining SOP before outsourcing
Before outsourcing services like customer service, marketing, website design and development or order fulfilment process to a third-party agency it is important to define an SOP that has clear-cut directions on what is expected from them as an outsourcing partner.
For instance, SOP for customer service includes queries related to your product or services, clarity about dealing with customers on the phone, emails and live chats, instructions for handling customers complaints dealing with disgruntled customers and much more.
Similarly, there should be SOP for outsourcing website design, development and maintenance work, SOP for carrying out e-commerce marketing activities and SOP for fulfilling customer orders. By implementing SOPs in your ecommerce business you can streamline the workflow and remain focused on providing a consistent customer experience.
Choosing the right outsourcing agency
Before choosing an outsourcing agency it is important to perform due diligence. Your outsourcing due diligence checklist should include:
- Checking the proven track record of past accomplishments
- Asking for reference from your outsourcing agency
- Checking reviews and comments on social media
- Checking technical skills and capability of the agency
- Asking your outsourcing agency about data security measures
Why choose YRC
YRC is an e-commerce consulting company having 10+ years of experience in developing SOP for all aspects of businesses including SOPs for e-commerce outsourcing. YRC’s well-written and IT integrated SOP drastically reduces return rate, errors, as well as negative reviews about order fulfilment. Besides this, SOPs are designed in a way to make your organization more autonomous and reduce personal dependence.
Over the years YRC has helped 500+ brands globally in various sectors like e-commerce, fashion, furniture, jewellery, automobile, healthcare, fitness, hospitality, beauty to find their feet and grow their ecommerce & D2C business