Sometimes we need to lean on someone with more experience than us. And that can mean you need to hire an ecommerce expert.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, or a hobbyist, you might be a little unsure about whether you need to hire an ecommerce expert for your online store. Or maybe you’re intimidated with the idea of being someone’s client.
This article will talk you through what ecommerce experts are, including which types of experts are available, whether they’re right for your business, how to hire an ecommerce expert, and how to best communicate with them.
Ecommerce experts are people and companies who get an online store ready to start, continue, or expand customer base or selling. Their expertise can include:
- Choosing products
- Marketing online
- Buyer personas
- Suitable ordering and delivery issues
In short, ecommerce experts help you get customers and sell to them successfully.
There are different types of ecommerce experts you can hire for maximum online impact:
Copywriters know the audience, write persuasive and sparkling copy, and tell a good story to reach online customers both local and international. It’s very intensive work and difficult for inexperienced people to nail, so it’s good to familiarize yourself with what it involves.
Graphic designers make everything look appealing to existing and potential customers including the website, ads, and the product or services. Firms like DBC offer branding advice too.
Logistics experts find the best suppliers, locate where to store your inventory, and know the best methods to get your goods and services delivered no matter the destination or time of year.
Sales professionals will help you figure out the best things to sell, how to sell them to your audience, negotiate with your suppliers, and even initiate brand collaborations.
Advice from the Experts
TOP TIP: Tempted to sell to foreign markets? This article on ecommerce localization will give you the benefits of expanding your business horizons.
Unless you’re experienced in fields like end-to-end supply chain management, logistics, sales, and marketing you’ll probably need at least a few ecommerce experts. Here are three common situations that might require an ecommerce expert:
Stalling in growth – So you’ve hit a wall and can’t figure it out. Maybe you had years of success with a particular product and suddenly, you can’t sell a single one. Maybe you’ve lost your audience. An expert will tell you whether you’ve got competition selling cheaper, or your audience was poached, or you need a new marketing strategy, etc.
Reaching the end of skills you can teach yourself – We only have so much time in the day, and these ecommerce skill sets can take years to learn! That doesn’t mean you can’t crash-course in something to skate by. But in the long term, you will need people who have years of experience in what to do (and what not to do).
Facing a specific problem – Maybe you have everything else under control but there’s just one thing driving you crazy. Maybe no one engages with your social media. Perhaps no one wants to attend your webinar. Or you expanded your market to another country but no one’s buying. Hire the right expert and you’ll find out why the problem exists and what to do about it.
Advice from the Experts
TOP TIP: If hiring an ecommerce expert doesn’t seem cost-effective, add up the worth of all the hours you can’t work on other things because you’re cramming YouTube tutorials and books, the money you’ve lost because of ecommerce mistakes, and missed opportunities. It’s most likely worth the money to hire someone!
There’s a process that will help you hire the best ecommerce expert for your online business. It involves four steps:
Make sure you know what your business is and what you want to do with it! There’s a big difference between a brand new online business, one that’s undergoing a big shift, and one that needs a rescue because of changing times and markets.
What happens if you don’t know what you want out of your business when you hire someone?
You’ll waste time – You might panic, ask for the wrong things, then spend additional time fixing the mistake. You know what it’s like to waste time in a bad relationship – don’t do the same with your business. Time’s the one resource you can never get back.
You’ll waste money – When you have an online business, decisions should be investments in the future of you and your business. Not knowing what you want for your business makes investment virtually impossible.
You’ll get frustrated – Frustration arises easily when money’s involved. It usually comes from indecision, because we don’t know what to do or how to do what needs to be done.
Once your business is ready for an ecommerce expert, you can figure out what you would like the expert to do. What’s the ideal outcome of the ecommerce expert’s work for you? Knowing the result you want and what type of project will lead to these results will help you give a clear brief to the expert.
Advice from the Experts
TOP TIP: Before you put your brief together, think about times in your life (work, friendships, relationships) where people weren’t clear to you what they wanted. Where did the miscommunication happen? What could they have done to give you a clear message?
When putting the brief together, be clear about how much you want to spend, what and when you expect them to deliver, how many versions you’ll expect them to write or test, and what level of detail you’ll expect. Hubspot has brief templates if you aren’t sure about what to include.
Talk with your ecommerce expert about expectations and how you both define specific words. What do you both mean by words like “editing,” “success,” “results,” and many of the other words in the brief? Often miscommunication comes because even if we’re using the same words we give them slightly different meanings.
Chemistry works in this field as much as it does in dating and love. So where do you look for an ecommerce expert that’s great for you and your goals? Due diligence in checking references and portfolios is a must. Of course you need to know where to find them in the first place. Some possibilities are:
LinkedIn: When you find someone, have a look at their profile and see what kind of businesses and projects they’ve done, and what types of results they’ve delivered. Check their references, and see how many projects they’re working on simultaneously.
PeoplePerHour: This is a great platform if you only need a little bit of time from someone. You can get a per-hour quote or a per-project quote. The platform also provides Top Certification for the vetted experts.
UpWork: UpWork provides top-ranked ecommerce experts to give you a jumping-off point. It also provides different rankings (like number of jobs, price, and client rating) as well as search terms that describe what they specialize in.
Whichever platform you use, ask potential experts questions so you know you’re both on the same page:
- Can you send me some examples of your past work?
- If money and time wasn’t an issue what would you do for this campaign?
- Are you a 9-5 worker or do you need flexi-working?
- How often do you expect to be paid – weekly, monthly, etc?
- Do you like to be left alone, or do you want me to check-in at intervals? How do you like to communicate?
- Do you like a traditional approach or something disruptive?
- Do you require any specific schedules or type of communication?
It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good place to start.
Advice from the Experts
TOP TIP: We would never suggest asking an expert to work for free or “exposure”. But if you’re cash strapped and have a really useful product or service, you might be able to find an expert willing to trade their time because they want your product. A good way to find them is to look in an expert’s social media, or scour message boards where an expert might talk about having a problem your business solves.
You and your ecommerce expert will need excellent communication that covers both your needs. These are the needs of the project as well as personal needs.
There are a lot of tools to keep up with your ecommerce expert. Here are a couple of the best that can aid communication:
Trello – This is a very popular platform because it’s a visual way to move tasks through a workflow. You get cards which are individual assignments, and you move them throughout the stages of completion. And if there are multiple cards/tasks, you can see where they all are at the same time.
Miro – We’re a little biased, because we love sticky notes, and Miro is a visual collaboration tool that has virtual sticky notes! Miro is great for free-flowing brainstorming. If you love putting ideas on paper or using flow-charts, you’ll probably love Miro.
Slack – Slack gives you instant messaging between all the members on a project or team. It’s extremely popular with designers. You can switch your channels between public, private, and group, and everything is archived. Slack is also great because it’ll partially refund you if you don’t use the platform for a certain amount of days.
Advice from the Experts
TOP TIP: You might be tempted to continually check in and ask for updates. This will cost you money and results. All creatives need uninterrupted time to do deep work. Give them space and you’ll get better results.
Ecommerce experts have a lot to offer an online business. They bring a wealth of experience and insight that can improve a business’ outlook and success.
Once you understand what your business needs and hire the right ecommerce expert, you’ll be amazed at how much they can accomplish. Just be certain to keep your expectations aligned, and your communications clear, and you’ll be on your way.