Staff Internally the Tasks Closest to Your Competence; Consider Outsourcing the Rest.
While pursuing e-commerce job descriptions on LinkedIn recently and looking at the long list of responsibilities, it seems that many companies are trying to bite off more than they can chew. The reason? For many companies, e-commerce is only a small part of the total operation, so employers try to cram all the tech, marketing automation, inbound marketing and content-related tasks into one or two FTEs. The “responsibilities include” section of these job descriptions (for one job) sounds like they need a small army of e-commerce experts.
Here’s one “E-commerce Job Posting on LinkedIn”:
E-commerce Website Marketing Manager / Major B2C Retailer
Job Responsibilities include:
Create and execute multi-channel marketing strategy through to results with:
- Paid Search
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Online Display Advertising
- Effective site and product merchandising
- Product and price promotions
Create and execute a content strategy with the objectives of:
- Increasing traffic 20% per year
- Increasing online sales 20% per year
- Increasing overall net margin of online sales 20% per year
- Increasing new customers per year by 20%
- Increasing total website engagement by 20% per year
Manage and enhance the e-commerce platform by:
- Improving overall customer experience
- Improving mobile and tablet experience
- Improving tracking and analytics
- Creating tighter integration with our retail store experience
- Creating tighter operational balance between phone reps and website
- Improving overall website performance: increasing speed and reducing errors while improving sense of security
The overall problem with this job description is that it is asking for the skills of 5-6 people that are truly experts in their respective aspects of e-commerce management. Does this mean the budget for hiring should be increased and that the company should hire 4-6 FTEs so that it can handle all of these responsibilities? No. An option is to hire the expertise needed that is closest to the company’s overall core competence and outsource the rest.
This job description breaks down into three broad areas of expertise: Multi Channel Marketing, Content Strategy, User Experience/Creative, Technology (light), and General Management. Since this company already has strong core expertise in the areas of multichannel marketing and content publishing, it makes sense to consider streamlining the job description to handle those areas. The technology management? It turns out the company only has one e-commerce site and one e-commerce platform. Yet the same responsibilities that exist for ten sites still exist for a single site. This area of responsibilities should be outsourced and could be outsourced for a fraction of an FTE with these necessary skills. E-commerce platform technology management also happens to be one of those responsibilities where coverage 24/7/365 is needed. What if the site goes down while the internal staff member is on vacation? What if there is fraud to investigate? What if there is a security patch that needs to be applied? This set of responsibilities calls for an outsourced service, not a part of an internal FTE.
The Bottom Line
Consider hiring FTEs for aspects of your operation that are close to your core competence. Outsource the rest of it to a reliable, trusted service partner or multiple resources that have the depth and breadth of experience that you need, and can be “on-demand” to help without burdening a single resource with all the different areas of expertise. Accorin provides on-going e-commerce support services. Let’s discuss how we can work together – we have the e-commerce expertise.