Brands globally are ramping up their e-commerce businesses. It’s being taken seriously by the top management across sectors. When brands look at establishing an e-commerce roadmap to exploit the potential to maximize online revenues – they know that they’ve got to build out an e-commerce department. And then starts the question – do we build that team in-house, or do we outsource it? What are the consequences of that decision?
At Tenovia, we believe that getting the right team in a fast-growing space like e-commerce is tricky – and the cost of the wrong hires can set a brand back by 6 – 12 months. And that’s why at the core of our belief – we’ve built a model where we work as the outsourced ecommerce department for a fast-growing brand.
The idea of this blog post is to help you consider some factors when selecting an e-commerce consulting firm:
Tips to remember while selecting an e-commerce consultancy firm
- Look at the firm’s services
Look at the team’s services – will they work for you as a team extension? Can their services be bundled up and also be deployed in parts.
- Look at the firm’s portfolio.
Look at the track record of the consulting firm/agency. One good way is to see the brands they’ve worked with. Go through the case studies. Ask them to talk you through their most successful projects.
Look for how their expertise can help your brand increase e-commerce revenues.
Moreover, looking at their existing portfolio gives you a better idea of their work and their ability to understand various products and market demographics. A portfolio will tell you about the clients and size of companies they would have worked for. This will help you understand how well the firm can gel with your business.
- Look at the firm’s expertise areas.
Do they have the expertise in your industry? Or do they have the expertise in the functions where you need the most help? Remember – e-commerce is a large space – and it has its niches of expertise in multiple functions such as merchandising, supply chain, warehousing, logistics, cataloguing, customer service, marketing, analytics, and others.
- Look at the firm’s competencies in the three areas.
Your ideal e-commerce partner would be good in Technology + e-commerce business strategies and execution + digital transformation.
Gauge the capabilities of these competencies as well.
- Team size of the e-commerce agency
Will the e-commerce agency be able to provide enough resources to breathe life into your e-commerce business? You want to know the team size that would be working on your account. If possible – ask for profiles of the team members who would be working on your account.
- Do metrics and KPIs drive them?
As you’re trying to set up your brand’s eCommerce business – make sure that the e-commerce consulting firm that you hire is driven by metrics and clear KPIs so that they can help you create an organization in which you can hold multiple members (whether in the house / outsourced) accountable. This needs metrics and KPIs to be defined and tracked.
- Know the strengths and weaknesses of your e-commerce agency
All agencies / consulting firms have their strengths and weaknesses. Best way to find out your agency’s strengths and weaknesses? Ask them.
The bigger the dream – the more important the team. So make sure you know you’re well enough.
- What’s their roadmap for you?
E-commerce offers exciting opportunities for your business. A consultant’s strong understanding of the marketplace and its policies help formulate your business plan for e-commerce. They offer tried and tested solutions and abundant resources to create a roadmap suited to where you are in your ecommerce journey. A strategic roadmap will provide you with the liberty to track your goals, quantitatively and qualitatively for both short term and long term basis.