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Since the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for e-commerce has been more vital than ever. To meet these demands, e-commerce outsourcing is a solution to mitigate financial risks while coping with demand.
Outsourcing is a cost-efficient solution for rapid e-commerce business growth. You can outsource various tasks and services to optimize your online business. When you outsource, you can have more time to focus on the core of your business, and for inexpensive costs at that!
What Is E-Commerce Outsourcing?
For startups in the e-commerce industry, handling everything on your own may be feasible at first. However, as your business expands, the workload will also expand. Soon enough, you will be stuck keeping the company afloat instead of growing it.
Outsourcing lends you a hand to propel your business further. When you outsource, you hire an external service provider to cover a specific business function.
eCommerce outsourcing specifically deals with outsourcing solutions for e-commerce businesses. eCommerce outsourcing service providers offer various services for online retailers and any company. Keep reading to find out specific tasks that eCommerce aficionados can outsource!
What Are the E-Commerce Functions That You Can Outsource?
You can outsource plenty of tasks in your e-commerce business. Most services offered by BPO companies are also applicable to e-commerce businesses. At the same time, BPO services specialize in e-commerce or are exclusively provided to businesses like yours.
Below are some examples of services you can outsource that are not exclusive to e-commerce:
- Web design and development: digital marketing is essential; you can outsource web designers and developers to create a website for your business. They can ensure that your website is optimized for excellent user experience.
- Content creation: another crucial aspect of digital marketing. Content creation fills your website with content relevant to your target audience.
- SEO/SEM: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are also necessary for digital marketing. Consumers explicitly looking for your product would easily find your brand online.
- Social media management/moderation: social media moderation and administration allow your brand to gain traction and build a robust community on social media platforms.
- Product photography: you can outsource photography and photo editing to professionals. So, your products will be virtually displayed in a way that is more likely to convert your audience.
- Customer support: service providers offer this in different forms, such as email, phone, and live chat support. You may also outsource multilingual customer support services to make the most out of outsourcing e-commerce customer support.
- Data entry: though necessary, data entry can be a time-consuming task. Outsourcing this task is beneficial to small businesses.
- Lead generation: like data entry, lead generation is also time-consuming. Your in-house staff can do this, but outsourcing lead generation services is often more efficient. Outsourced lead generation provides high-quality leads quickly and significantly boosts your sales force.
- Inventory and fulfillment: you can hire service providers to cover all tasks related to inventory and fulfillment. These functions include but are not limited to inventory management, drop shipping handling, order reception, warehouse management, and payment verification.
- Accounting: hiring a qualified professional for your accounting needs can be expensive. So when you need accounting services, outsourcing is a cost-efficient alternative to in-house hiring.
Meanwhile, here are some specialized outsourcing services for e-commerce:
- Loyalty programs: loyalty programs strengthen your customer base, but online implementation can get a bit tricky. However, outsourcing this function makes it easier to have an effective loyalty program.
- Invoice and balance inquiries: outsourcing this task ensures that all invoice and balance inquiries are answered and professionally handled.
- Order tracking and fulfillment: this streamlines the order fulfillment process. Your customers can track their orders efficiently. Meanwhile, you will have sufficient documentation and assurance that each order has been fulfilled successfully.
- Customer care support: some companies offer customer care services specializing in e-commerce. When you outsource this service, you will have customer service experts to represent your brand effectively.
- Inbound sales support: as an e-commerce business, you need to pay attention to your inbound sales. Strengthen your inbound strategy by outsourcing inbound sales support.
- Billing support: even if your billing process is automated, you should support your customers. Outsourcing your billing support will smoothen the process and improve customer satisfaction.
- Replacements: for online retailers, product replacements are often a pain to deal with. Entrust this function to a reliable partner so that you can ease your workload.
- Account management: you can hire an external company to manage your business accounts online.
- Refund assistant: like replacements, refunds are difficult to handle. The staff from your service provider can ensure that refunds are efficiently processed and that customers remain satisfied.
- Virtual assistants: you can outsource virtual assistants that specialize in specific e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon and eBay virtual assistants. VAs can cover various tasks, such as product uploads and page optimization.
Pros Of E-Commerce Outsourcing
eCommerce outsourcing has its advantages and disadvantages. However, the pros tend to outweigh the cons.
- Focus on core operations: while every business function is vital, handling all of them is cumbersome. When you outsource, you will do fewer non-core activities and have more time and resources to focus on your core operations.
- Affordable workforce expansion: You do not need to spend on recruitment and onboarding and will also not pay mandatory employee premiums. Outsourcing allows you to expand your workforce without paying for additional equipment and workspace.
- Staff expertise: outsourcing companies specialize in the services they provide. They train their staff to represent clients in their respective fields. In Magellan Solutions, for example, employees are thoroughly trained to be influential brand representatives and customer service experts.
- Access to the best technology: given their specialties, outsourcing service providers will also use the most efficient tools and equipment. You will no longer need to invest in additional technology and keep up with trends.
- Reduce business risks: outsourcing offers protection against several risks. Your outsourced staff is well-trained in handling your customers and business professionals. So, the risk of a poorly handled customer interaction is reduced.
- Disaster preparedness: you are more likely to maximize this advantage through offshore outsourcing. If a disaster strikes your area, the operations you outsourced to an offshore partner will continue.
- Long-term profitability: e-commerce outsourcing supports your growth in the long run. It helps to optimize your processes, so you can consistently expand profitably.
Cons Of E-Commerce Outsourcing
- Lose some control: when you outsource an aspect of your business, you will lose control over how that function is monitored and performed. However, this will not be a big issue if you trust the service provider.
- Data security risks: as an e-commerce business, your business information is susceptible. Outsourcing requires you to share this data with your service provider. So, choosing a partner that can guarantee data security would be best.
- Things will likely get lost in translation: your remote outsourced workforce may misunderstand your messages, and it is harder to clean things up without face-to-face interaction.
- Overlooking your local community: the moral dilemma that comes with outsourcing is that you are not providing local opportunities. However, since your business mainly operates online, this will not be much of an issue.
These are only some of the pros and cons of e-commerce outsourcing. It is worth noting that the effects of outsourcing on your business would depend on your decisions and strategy. For example, most of the above cons are avoidable if you choose the right service provider.
How Should You Choose the Right E-Commerce Outsourcing Service Provider?
There are plenty of BPO companies that cater to e-commerce businesses. However, not all of them can fulfill your business needs. Before looking to outsource, you should have a firm grasp of which parts of your business need to be outsourced and how you want the job done.
When choosing an e-commerce outsourcing service provider, here are some factors you need to consider:
- Length of experience: Like hiring an employee, experience size also matters in the outsourcing industry. They would have a better knowledge of how to navigate through the challenges of e-commerce services.
- Quality of staff: you are staffing your business through your service provider. So, you must ensure the outsourcing company has well-trained staff who can represent your business effectively.
- Quality control and monitoring: learn how a service provider ensures the quality of their output and services. Outsourcing means giving up some control over this aspect, so you should choose a partner that does it well.
- Safety guarantee: much of your data will go through your service provider, and some may be sensitive. Choosing a partner with solid measures to protect your information would be best.
- Value for money: aside from being within your budget, your chosen service provider should also provide high-quality services. Find an outsourcing company that offers flexible rates without compromising their service quality.
How Much Does ECommerce Outsourcing Cost?
Considering the wide variety of e-commerce tasks, you can outsource and that e-commerce is a relatively young industry, there are no standards yet for pricing. Service providers usually tailor their services according to your needs and preferences.
In general, some of the factors that affect the price:
- Type of service(s)
- Number of staff needed
- Level of staff expertise
- Length of the outsourcing contract
- Laws and regulations in your area
Offshore outsourcing is an ideal option for competitive prices. Countries with bustling BPO industries, like China, India, and the Philippines, are the go-to areas if you are looking for cost-effective deals.
Contrary to popular belief, outsourcing to these countries is not only about low labor costs. Countries with prosperous BPO industries are hubs for highly specialized talents. So, when you outsource offshore, you hire highly skilled but inexpensive labor.
The E-Commerce Outsourcing Industry In The Philippines
Are you looking to outsource your e-commerce business? It would be best if you considered outsourcing offshore to maximize the benefits of outsourcing. Asia has some of the best countries for outsourcing. Among these countries, the Philippines may be your best bet.
The Philippine BPO industry, in general, is also trusted by businesses worldwide, including major industry players. The Philippines has a bustling outsourcing hub, which continues to grow with the global e-commerce industry. As the top call center country in the world, you can outsource almost every e-commerce service to the Philippines.
Aside from the array of services, outsourcing to the Philippines has many benefits. Some of its benefits include:
- Industry knowledge: BPO companies in the Philippines are knowledgeable in e-commerce. They know, follow, and anticipate the latest e-commerce trends.
- Cost-saving: outsourcing to the Philippines does not cost much, especially considering the Philippine BPO services’ quality.
- Bottom-line growth: Outsourcing to the Philippines helps in raising your bottom-line growth. Specifically, outsourcing digital marketing services to the Philippines significantly improves business growth.
- Avoid legal risks: IT and Internet laws worldwide may be new, but Filipino BPO workers and companies have a firm grasp of these. They are educated in and up-to-date with international cyber laws. So, Philippine BPO companies can help avoid legal challenges when working for e-commerce businesses.
Trust Magellan for Your eCommerce Outsourcing Needs
Magellan Solutions is a Philippine BPO company that caters to e-commerce businesses of all sizes. We have over 15 years of experience in the BPO industry and pass everything we have learned to our staff.
As a company, we aspire to offer high-quality support to businesses. As such, we keep our prices competitive and flexible. So, even startups and small businesses can afford our services. We maintain ISO and HIPAA certifications to guarantee our services’ quality and safety.
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