When you have an ecommerce company, you're greatly dependent on technology to run your business. That dependence is a reason why ecommerce and outsourcing function together like cogs in a wheel wherein one cog cannot turn without another cog continuously nudging it in the right direction. Here are 4 reasons why ecommerce companies function better when they integrate outsourcing into their business strategy.
#1 eCommerce businesses tend to grow at a rate that's faster than companies can grow their workforce and their available resources.
Cumulative data presented by Statista show that e-commerce sales will continue to grow and probably reach more than 600 billion US dollars in 2021. eCommerce companies will have to scale up quickly to satisfy the rising demand for better service and faster transactions from customers.
This is where ecommerce support outsourcing comes into play.
While it may feel like an in-house team is safer and less of a hassle, it's not actually practical or even ecommerce-friendly. The ability to scale up or down depending on whether it's peak season or not seems absent in an in-house setup.
In comparison, outsourcing companies can hire seasonal agents to increase the number of agents who can answer calls, chats and emails from buyers and vendors alike. Their work schedules often intersect to ensure that a support team is always available to assist customers even after business hours. And, ecommerce companies have the option to hire these seasonal agents as permanent staff who will work remotely for them or to release them back to the outsourcing provider so they can be assigned to work with another client.
#2 eCommerce transactions happen mostly online, although parts of the process take place offline.
For an online business, their website is their major source of income. To manage the website and all the administrative tasks that come with it, a growing company will need a tech support team in addition to a lineup of customer support agents.
Members of this ecommerce team will include an experienced online marketer who can handle paid search and social media ads management, a web developer with mad design skills, and a couple of writers who can produce creative and unique product descriptions as well as business emails and other types of content.
Aside from outsourcing the customer service and tech support tasks, many ecommerce companies also choose to outsource their distribution and fulfillment services to 3PL providers. And, these 3PL companies, in turn, will need help from an outsourced team to reduce the workload that their own staff are handling.
#3 The most lucrative ecommerce markets are outside of the United States.
China leads the pack of online shoppers around the world with annual online sales of $672 billion. Meanwhile, Germany, Japan and United Kingdom are fast approaching the $100 billion mark in sales. Knowing this, ecommerce companies recognize the need to hire support agents who are in the same region, who have a similar cultural background, and who use the same language as their consumer base.
#4 While most transactions happen on desktop, more and more customers are using their smartphones to shop online.
Nielsen Shoppers Essentials identified Millennials as the most likely group to use ecommerce for small orders, such as beauty and personal care products. This demographic group also likes to use the "click and collect" option where they order online and pick up their items in-store.
And, who better to accommodate the shopping needs of this demographic group than millennials themselves? Most call center agents are part of the millennial workforce -- well-educated, tech-savvy youth who were born in the years between 1980 and 2000. They understand the affinity of the younger generation with the digital world.
And so, they understand the intricacies of using their smartphones, for instance, to scan an item's barcode or QR code to add it to their shopping cart. Issues that may arise with this payment option are easily resolved for this new generation. With Boomers who are not as familiar with the method as millennials, support agents will have to patiently guide them through the steps of using an ecommerce app.
Customer-centric ecommerce transactions aren't the only processes that outsourcing companies manage for their clients. Aside from B2C transactions, ecommerce businesses also transact with other companies or simply provide a virtual marketplace like eBay where individual sellers and buyers can transact with each other.
Whatever type of ecommerce business a company has, outsourcing will always provide the best option for adding more help desk agents to their roster. It provides flexibility and scalability that are not possible with an in-house team or permanent staff. Plus, ecommerce transactions are now global in nature, and support services should follow the same.