Novice eCommerce companies and online store owners, regardless of their scale and sales volume, are often faced with “business growth issues.”
A business manager should know what tasks need to be solved first and what employees to hire in order to ensure a stable business operation and its constant development. Moreover, it’s essential to understand when it’s time to expand, i.e. look for new employees.
How Do You Know It’s Time to Hire Staff?
Here are some ideas to help you decide if you need to hire employees for your business.
Your team should provide solutions for tasks necessary for your business to function effectively. Every business segment has a number of mandatory tasks that ensure it operates and develops smoothly, legally, and can successfully compete in the marketplace. Do you have enough staff to do this?
Keep in mind the need for your staff to take time off throughout the year as well. Do you have enough staff to operate when others are on vacation?
Monitor supply and demand. One of the main rules in eCommerce is to adhere to the principle of supply and demand regulation. If demand for your product increases, it means you can increase supply and, consequently, your sales.
Hire employees as soon as you realize that demand has exceeded supply (or will exceed it soon). If demand for your product/service has increased, and you can’t handle it with your existing forces, it’s time to hire “fresh blood.” You can, of course, do this in advance if you’re 100% sure that demand for your product/service will exceed your supply soon.
Monitor your staff effectiveness. Even before you hire new employees, you should have clear criteria for evaluating their performance. For example, this could be a sales plan for a sales manager. By evaluating the employee’s business performance and results, you will be able to understand whether your hiring decision was right. You may also want to use software for employee monitoring, not only to increase productivity but also for security purposes to prevent data leakage to outside companies.
Don’t be afraid of downsizing. If for some reason demand for your product has dropped or fallen short of your expectations, and sales revenues have started to decline, you might want to consider downsizing. This will help keep your company afloat and increase business profitability.
Main Tasks and Employees That Make Your eCommerce Company Successful
Every business is unique, so before you hire employees or outsource tasks, you should understand business processes that keep your business running.
Once you have a clear chain of operations, from attracting customers to handling returns, you’ll immediately know what experts and how many of them you need.
A director of eCommerce is mainly responsible for organizing and planning the business as a whole, ensuring planned results and quality control of all company departments.
Responsibilities: organization of business processes, creating strategic eCommerce plans, implementing eCommerce technologies and tactics, as well as the development of the online store. This person is responsible for planning the work of all employees or departments, monitoring their results and performance, and, of course, for the final financial result.
In most cases, a director should have a higher education, preferably in management or economics. Ideally, this person should be experienced in managing a business or an online store, know marketing basics, how to increase sales, superior brand development, and shopping experience for customers, etc.
Such experts have skills in financial planning and setting tasks for subordinates, know how to manage the overall user experience, including site navigation, content development, checkout funnel, and promotional campaigns. Additionally, a director of eCommerce should have up-to-date knowledge about the specifics of the sales market and the main competitors.
Remember that the higher the level of requirements for an expert, the higher the salary.
Keeping financial records is a very responsible activity. An accountant can work in the office or outsource if the paperwork volume is not too large.
First of all, the accountant must help decide on the taxation system to reduce taxation fees and other costs. This person must also keep timely records of all accounting documents, expenses and income, and report to the tax office on time. The accountant’s duties may also include invoice registration, payrolls, transactions, etc.
An accountant working with online stores must be thoroughly familiar with the peculiarities of accounting, staff management, and taxation. It’s necessary to constantly monitor changes in the legislation, so that the store works absolutely legally, and does not fall under penalties. In addition, an accountant must have good computer/software skills and be able to use special accounting apps.
In the beginning, the store owner can handle the project management. Later, when the business starts to expand, and there is a need to constantly look for new suppliers, this work can be entrusted to the project manager. This person keeps processes running smoothly and monitors all the moving parts in the eCommerce workgroup. This position is critical to ensure that product information is shared accurately and quickly with retail partners.
Finding someone with excellent organizational, time, and communication skills is vital, especially as the importance of timely product page updates will only grow.
A project manager should have the following skills:
- Experience in developing high-load web projects, as well as Android and iOS projects;
- Successfully implemented eСommerce project in terms of development;
- Practical understanding of design patterns;
- Experience in integrations with third-party systems;
- Experience in creating target architecture;
- Ability to work in a fast-paced and quickly changing environment;
- Ability to make custom UI components and having practical multitasking skills;
- Understanding of testing process and project management tools
- Experience in managing small development teams;
- Experience in managing key shareholders;
- Result-oriented work, systematic approach, analytical mindset;
- Excellent communication and team-building skills.
On any eCommerce website, text, images, and videos play an extremely important role in terms of the following business aspects:
The more useful information on your website, the more customers you can attract to your online store. Useful, informative content inspires the trust and loyalty of website visitors and, accordingly, increases the likelihood that a potential buyer will place an order with you.
The content manager deals with the content of the site and everything related to it, either alone or jointly with a copywriter, digital marketer, and SEO specialist.
The content manager must build a high-performing marketing funnel with appropriate target content that reaches out to the target market, deliver useful information and help in improving offline-online interaction with tools like chatbots, interactive geofences, QR code generators, social media content and many more.
Responsibilities: a content manager must constantly work on:
- Maintaining and improving a product catalog of the site
- Managing product cards
- Creating and publishing news and making user-attracting blog posts
If the store has freelancers (photographers, copywriters), the content manager must constantly monitor their work and form technical tasks. In smaller stores, a content manager may also work on developing promotions, increasing sales, and other marketing offers.
Requirements: first of all, a content manager must be grammatically correct, as he or she is responsible for everything users read on the company website. Also, the manager must be responsible and executive. Interacting with other specialists, the manager should be able to organize the work of other people and find common ground with them.
In some cases, a content manager is required to know the basics of digital marketing and SEO, in case he is going to take part in the promotion of products/services and the store itself.
HTML knowledge, experience in image-processing apps and CMS (Content Management Systems – like Shopify or WordPress) is a must.
If your company’s website has low traffic and not enough leads/customers, a digital marketer should be able to fix this. Such an expert has all the necessary skills and knowledge on how to drive users to a website and enhance brand awareness.
A digital marketer is more like a manager who supervises several specialists in a team – an SEO specialist, a targeting specialist, a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) specialist (Internet advertising), a designer, and a copywriter.
However, you can often find a multi-purpose warrior who knows how to achieve the company’s objectives and handle an expansive range of tasks independently.
Some of the digital marketer’s main skills:
- Knows how to set up contextual advertising
- Has email marketing skills and ambitious goals
- Knows how to effectively use CMS and various analytics tools
- Has impressive analytical and creative skills
- Knows how to efficiently organize a workflow
- Knows how to implement and manage marketing campaigns
- Has exceptional copywriting and story-telling skills
- Familiar with product management and graphic design
- Has experience working for an eCommerce company
This is a leadership position with ride-reaching responsibilities including social media, blogs, guest posts, influencer marketing, and online advertisements.
Usually, these are in-house employees, but freelancers can also do the job remotely.
A sales manager is the most important person who directly affects a company’s profit and the success of the business as a whole. The main task is to find customers, attract them and eventually convince them to buy. A sales manager is the main representative of the company, its face on the market.
A professional salesperson must know the basics of marketing, advertising and understand human psychology.
Sales managers know beyond words how to transform an offer into a sale and communicate productively with people. They know how to create a reliable connection between the business and consumers.
A competent salesperson helps customers meet their specific needs with the company’s products or services. Of course, this type of expert act on behalf of their company, however, they should do everything possible to make a consumer satisfied and turn them into regular customers.
The main qualities of a sales manager are as follows:
- Communicative – a sales manager will have to communicate a lot and often
- Good speech skills – knows how to make a positive impression about the company
- Positive thinking – to work with people, you must love them
- Resourcefulness and the silver tongue – an expert sales manager will always have the right answer to any client’s question
Necessary sales manager skills:
- Knowledge of sales technology
- Experience in using conversational and correspondence scripts. More experienced salespeople have, as a rule, developed their own style and techniques of communicating with customers
- Knows how to work off objections
- Knows how to offer customers additional goods, supplies, accessories, etc.
- Knows website’s product range and all the features of company’s products/services
- Always ready to sell, make/receive calls, answer/write emails to customers, etc.
- Knows how to communicate with “cold” and “hot” customers by phone or via live-chat, provide a price list, help in choosing the company’s products/service
- A sales manager will also accompany clients to the moment of purchase and provide subsequent communication to build customer loyalty and a positive brand image
It’s best to hire a salesman with experience or, at least, with personal charm, which compensates for the lack of professional knowledge. After all, every guideline can be learned.
Depending on the size of the business and sales volumes, the collection and analysis of data on competitors is the responsibility of an eCommerce business analyst, a business manager, a category manager, or a sales manager.
The specialist must regularly analyze offers and prices of suppliers and competitors, monitor the market, and present data in a convenient way for project shareholders and executives. Such an expert also knows how to analyze product page performance, track brand compliance across retailer channels and improve sales rank.
The analyst also takes part in the formation and adjustment of prices for goods/services offered on the website. At the same time, the employee must provide regular solutions to optimize work with suppliers, assortment matrix, and improve approaches to the formation of prices.
A competent specialist must have several years of experience in this field and know how to effectively use automation- and process-optimization tools. He/she must also have experience in analyzing large volumes of data, understand metrics, and know how to build informative reports. The expert must be an advanced user of Google Sheets, Excel, and other similar programs for conducting analytics and tracking brand objective key results, key performance indicators (KPIs), and business position on the market.
It’s extremely important that your company’s website is always fast and trouble-free. Technical support for a resource can be provided by both an in-house specialist (system administrator, IT manager) and an outside team. As a rule, online stores are created on specialized CMS or platforms, and their developers provide support for the sites and advise customers. Nevertheless, many large online stores have one or more of their own specialists in technical support.
The main responsibility of the employee is to quickly resolve technical problems in the work of the site, as well as ensuring the safe storage of data. He/she should be able to promptly fix system failures, as well as to provide security from hackers or competitors.
The eCommerce market and requirements for online venues, from potential buyers and search engines, do not stand still. If your website fully met the requirements of the market at its launch, it doesn’t matter that a year later, you will not need to attract IT experts to change the existing functionality or develop and implement more advanced functions.
An IT manager is able to make certain changes to the code, necessary to create new or change existing functions/features, in accordance with new requirements and regulations.
Such an expert is able to ensure a smooth operation of the site, has in-depth knowledge of programming languages, technologies, and CMS used for website creation.
Remember that when it comes to eCommerce, there’s no all-in-one, universal “must-have” team. Just like in many other cases, the employees you need to hire depend solely on your business needs and struggles.
One company will be able to increase their profits because of an effective digital marketing expert that can create a perfect strategy. While another eCommerce firm might go underpaying their fees. You need to analyze your company’s strengths and weak spots, as well as identify areas to improve and prioritize before you decide on certain people to hire.
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