Some e-commerce merchants have their own complete in-house teams. Some outsource everything. Others use a hybrid model. Many are successful and happy running all of the moving parts of an e-commerce operation by using a combination of resources, freelancers, and employees. But there are some signals that your operation may be sending you that might warrant looking at a change. This year at Accorin we have taken over Maintenance and Support for 6 e-commerce merchants – more than ever before.

Here are some of the common signals which caused these merchants to make a change:

1. A Key Team Member Employee Left

The merchant didn’t want to wait ~6 months to find and train the right replacement: interview, negotiate salary and benefits package, get them up to speed with technology and processes, etc. They decided it can be far more efficient to partner with and outsource the “job” that particular person was doing to us.

2. A Vendor Struggled with Service & Responsiveness

Surprisingly there are a number of agencies / system integrators that are very skilled and qualified to help merchants manage and support the complexity of an e-commerce operation, but they don’t have a culture of service and responsiveness. At least half of the merchants we “took over” support for this year mentioned poor service and responsiveness as a reason for making a switch.

3. Ability to Coordinate with Other Skill Sets and Vendors

E-commerce operations require careful collaboration with a number of other employees, vendors, 3rd party apps, service firms, platforms and more. It’s vitally important for a member of the team or a vendor to

  1. Identify and understand the role they play, and then
  2. Coordinate with others while being the master of that role

Having a thorough understanding of the other key members of the team and functionally supporting the collaboration is key to success. If your current team struggles with this, it might be time to consider making a change.

4. Backlog of Enhancements is Growing

If your backlog of e-commerce feature enhancements is growing and you are not making progress towards the goals you set for the year – it’s time to consider bringing in a fresh team. There’s still time to get those extensions or enhancements you need in place in time for Holiday Season 2020!

5. Your Team Doesn’t Measure How They are Doing

If there aren’t clear measurements in place for the following, then you might want to consider making a change.

  1. Team satisfaction,
  2. Progress against goals,
  3. Metrics-based e-commerce success of the operation

There’s another important area where the merchant needs to measure – budget. If the operation is always over budget and the current team or vendor is not measuring and suggesting why things are happening that way then it could be time to make a change.

The Bottom Line

The e-commerce operation is complex and it takes a combination of skills and resources to keep it running smoothly. These signals, and others – including your gut feeling – may indicate that it’s time for a change. If you would like a complimentary evaluation of your e-commerce operation feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]

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