Whether you’re a reseller, or you run your own brand, managing your growing eCommerce business requires a lot of knowledge and hard work. You have to learn to use the right eBay and Amazon research tools, how to market, handle customer service, and so much more.
In some cases, it’s best to carefully consider what your company’s core activities should be and which ones should be outsourced. In this article, you’ll find a list discussing many of the different parts of your business that need professional management, and our recommendation on how to carry them out while remaining a lean, low-risk business.
1. Product sourcing/supplier relations
You need to own and manage this part internally. Your suppliers define your business, and losing a crucial supplier is something that’s not always possible to recover from. Always make sure you keep adding more products to your product collection while making sure your level of deadstock is minimized.
2. Wisely choose the collection of products you want to carry
This will determine the character of your business, level of risk, turnaround time of equity, and other crucial factors. I recommend that you let an in-house C-level executive handle this task. Make sure decisions are made based on a predefined list of criteria such as demand level and expected margin per product as that’s the only way to keep your business well organized and predictable. Quantify everything.
3. Inventory management and fulfillment
Both the physical and the software side can be outsourced. Managing inventory to scale, while providing the best possible customer experience is something that can easily be outsourced and there are numerous companies that offer these services. Use them.
You should design the solution, and have someone else experienced in packaging and design and logistics actually do the pick, pack, and shipping.
5. Multichannel listing and inventory management
We always recommend that you use a third party eBay and Amazon seller tools to do this. There are many great tools in the market that offer affordable customizable solutions that help you get your items listed where your customers are without being too pushy. If you have an expert on your team that knows how to operate these tools you should let them do this in-house. As soon as you identify stagnation and your products are not getting listed in new channels on a quarterly basis, let someone else manage that for you, and define clear KPIs in terms of the number of items offered in a pre-defined number of channels. The world has been flat for many years now (in terms of marketplaces) – make sure you take advantage of this and expand internationally.
6. Build an eCommerce website
Use a service provider to help you set your own website based on one of the leading platforms such as Shopify or Magento. If you can, make sure your website integrates with your multi-channel listing solution that way you don’t need to hire a developer and you can manage the website in-house. Doing these tasks in-house is useful as it provides you with complete control over things like inventory management, creating new product categories, design changes, and whatever else you may need. Design – Unless you are a brand owner, you can outsource all design related tasks until it makes financial sense to hire someone in-house.
If you’re selling branded products with high demand and you have, or are, the best source in the market (in terms of competitive pricing), your product will sell itself. If that’s not the case – make sure someone is developing and executing the strategy and promoting your offerings on 3rd party marketplaces, as well as your website and comparison shopping engines. It takes a professional to scale up while maintaining reasonable unit economics.
If you have many competitors, you should stay on top of the product pricing on an ongoing basis. Integrate your eBay and Amazon seller tools, or dedicated repricing solution with your listing management solution so that you don’t lose sales because of ineffective pricing. For most products, the market price tends to decrease over time. Take the time to ensure your items are repriced automatically on an ongoing basis.
9. Customer service
This step can be cheap, but time-consuming. Define the KPIs and outsource this function. Don’t neglect to track your performance when it comes to customer service as a bad customer experience can damage your business and cause your eCommerce accounts to get suspended or terminated. There are many eBay and Amazon seller tools that are designed to help you better manage your customer service.
There are many tasks you have to consider when you run an eCommerce business. Doing them all on your own isn’t realistic. You have to learn how to leverage the value eBay and Amazon seller tools provide you.
When starting out, take the time to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Once you know what you excel at, focus on those things. Your weaknesses can and should be outsourced as you don’t want to leave any gaps in your business, especially when it comes to important areas like customer service, marketing, or whatever else you struggle with.
The Algopix Team