5 Functions of eCommerce You Can (and Should) Outsource
You have exactly the same amount of hours in the day as every successful entrepreneur in the world, so why are you struggling to handle orders when they’re running worldwide eCommerce operations?
It’s all down to outsourcing the right eCommerce functions.
From third party fulfillment to freelance graphic design, there are certain functions of eCommerce you can outsource for greater efficiency and to enable growth.
What are they and are they right for your business? Let’s find out.
The Importance of Outsourcing eCommerce Tasks
Running an eCommerce business can be extremely high pressure, with many jobs to complete and tasks to master. And, in a typical start-up fashion, many eCommerce business owners assume responsibility for all these tasks, worrying about the cost, control, and readiness implications of outsourcing them too soon.
However, outsourcing certain functions of your eCommerce business can be hugely beneficial, especially at the beginning of your eCommerce journey.
Outsourcing time-consuming tasks allows you to focus your attention on business growth. The quicker you do this, the quicker you can outgrow your competition to become the market leader.
Outsourced services and freelancers perform certain eCommerce tasks quicker and more effectively because they have relevant expertise. For example, you could waste days, weeks, and months meeting Walmart TwoDay eligibility requirements – or, you could use a third-party fulfillment service to qualify automatically.
Third-party service providers and agencies have access to a wide range of resources and software to generate success. For example, an outsourced marketing company will have a variety of ad and SEO tools that are expensive to implement and time-consuming to master in-house.
Outsourcing eCommerce tasks costs money, but it can save money in the long run. Increased efficiencies, better ROI, and bulk buying power enable you to cut costs and increase conversions at the same time.
Finally, outsourcing gives you the capacity, money, knowledge, and skills to scale at speed, and manage the resulting sales. If Jeff Bezos was still fulfilling book orders from his garage, he wouldn’t be averaging $17 million of sales an hour today.
6 eCommerce Functions you Can/Should Outsource
There are many eCommerce functions you can and should outsource, but here are the five most effective:
1. eCommerce Website Development
An eCommerce website developer builds your Shopify or BigCommerce website for you, allowing you to grow sales to scale your brand, avoid marketplace fees, and sell across different channels.
You can build a Shopify or BigCommerce website yourself, using their drag and drop themes. However, outsourcing eCommerce website development gives you access to expertise on:
- Creating a professional-looking website to attract, engage, and convert shoppers.
- Implementing technical SEO tactics to increase search engine result placement.
- Adding conversion-boosting features such as fast shipping tags and countdown timers.
It’s also really easy to find talented and certified eCommerce website developers and agencies using Shopify Experts and the BigCommerce directory.
2. eCommerce Graphic Design
eCommerce graphic design involves designing visuals such as logos, banners, product images, and videos to use across your eCommerce website and marketing materials.
While you can easily create your own eCommerce graphics using free tools such as Canva, if you’re serious about business growth and sales, you should consider outsourcing graphic design to benefit from:
- Visual psychology – knowing how to combine elements, colors, fonts, and wording to drive certain shopper behaviors.
- Consistent branding – creating consistency across designs that fosters consumer recognition and makes it difficult for other sellers to copy your work.
- Professionalism – designing professional graphics that look great and create trust in your brand and products.
You can outsource graphic design by working with a specialized graphic design agency or finding experienced freelancers via People Per Hour, UpWork, or FreeUp.
3. eCommerce Content Marketing
eCommerce content marketing is the creation and distribution of content to stimulate interest in your products. It includes copywriting, search engine optimization, content outreach, and data/performance analysis.
Outsourcing content marketing for your eCommerce brand isn’t just a time-saving hack, it’s also crucial for:
- Creating professional content that is easy to read and perfectly pitched for your audience, while driving clicks, shares, and conversions.
- Optimizing your content with the right keywords to rank highly in search results of marketplaces, Google, and social media.
- Knowing the content outreach activities that generate the biggest return on investment, allowing you to concentrate efforts and marketing on the actions that drive conversions.
When looking for an outsourced content marketing agency or freelancer, look for a solid portfolio of results across different channels, including listings, blogs, webinars, online marketplaces, and ads.
4. eCommerce Fulfillment
Outsourced eCommerce fulfillment involves a third party handling the storage, picking, packing, and shipping of your orders.
Many eCommerce sellers start out handling fulfillment in-house. However, there’s a lot to gain from outsourcing this eCommerce function early on, including:
- Distributed warehouse networks: access to a network of warehouses for distributing stock across the country to reduce shipping costs, increase shipping speeds, and reach more customers.
- Fast shipping speeds: resources and expertise to offer 2-day and next-day delivery speeds across online marketplaces and eCommerce platforms.
- Fast shipping programs: automatic qualification for fast shipping programs such as 2-day delivery for Shopify, Walmart 2-day delivery, eBay Fast ‘N Free, and Wish 2-day.
- Economies of scale: transparent, all-inclusive pricing that benefits from time-tested efficiency, and can grow with your company.
The traditional method of outsourcing eCommerce fulfillment is using a 3PL. However, typical 3PLs have complex pricing structures wherein hidden fees are commonplace. Their shipping speeds are suited to large volume shipments, and often can’t achieve the 2-day speeds that consumers have come to expect. All of this becomes expensive and impractical for eCommerce, where fast speeds and low costs are crucial.
Instead, look for a fulfillment partner like Deliverr, who follows a new model wherein speed and efficiency is prioritized. Deliverr comes with transparent pricing, nationwide 2-day delivery, pre-approved access to multiple fast shipping programs to delight your customers, and a hassle-free onboarding experience.
You can use Deliverr’s direct integrations with multiple sales channels to achieve scalable fast shipping everywhere you sell.
Outsourced manufacturing is ideal for eCommerce start-ups who have a great idea but limited capacity to manufacture it in-house.
By outsourcing manufacturing to countries such as Mexico, China, or Taiwan, your business benefits from cheaper parts and labour, allowing you to manufacture at scale and speed while conserving profit margins.
When looking to outsource manufacturing, customer testimonials are crucial. Speak with existing customers about their experience of pricing, product quality, privacy, and problem-solving. It’s also good practice to conduct a test-batch of products before committing to large order volumes.
Outsourcing the key function of your eCommerce business isn’t just about saving time (although that helps). Third-party resources, expertise, and experience help your business to scale while avoiding common pitfalls, to quickly become the market leader in your niche and start generating serious profits.