Ecommerce is one of the fastest growing segments in the market and brands are rushing to get online. For every ecommerce project to be successful, it is necessary to have the right team balance. Managing an ecommerce business needs a team with experience, strategy, and cross-functional skills. Along with the right ecommerce team, it is also essential to have other teams within the organization that are equally involved in the entire project process. It needs to be a collaborative effort if the business is going to achieve the envisioned goal and to do so the business needs to ensure that departments aren’t working in isolation.
In addition to setting up teams, onboarding team members should not be overlooked. Onboarding team members must be done in an effective manner as it can define the success of the overall team.
You can structure teams in a mixed format, including:
A successful team can use any format, but it needs to be clearly defined and flexible to minimize cost and maximize efficiency and productivity.
There are lots of tips and tricks out there that you can use to market your brand online. Some might be great, but some might not work for you. It is not only posting content on social media or sending out emails to customers. It’s the people who create all of this for the business, it’s the marketing team that helps bring traffic on the site, helps drive the ROI, produces campaigns and promotions, manages influences, builds online marketing strategies and so on and so forth.
The marketing team is an integral part of ecommerce, just like the other teams. They keep the SEO, SEM, loyalty programs, rewards, and other related tasks running. Coordination with the Marketing team helps drive conversion rate on the site.
If there is no communication or collaboration, there could be issues that crop up. For example, if the inventory level for a certain item is low in the warehouse and the Marketing team sends out a promotional email regarding that product, the business could face some angry customers and that would in turn negatively affect the brand name and customer loyalty. There is one shot when it comes to ecommerce and it needs to be perfect.
Some businesses take the IT team (technical team) involving the developers— frontend, backend, and testers—as part of the Ecommerce team, whereas some businesses keep them separate. Some businesses prefer to have the entire IT team in-house due to security concerns, cost, culture, environment, or product management.
Alternatively, some businesses prefer to outsource the IT (development) team to consultancy firms that have more expertise in that area and can help enable the in-house team more effectively. Also, some businesses prefer to have a mix of both.
Ideally, the development and Ecommerce teams remain separate, but work together in unity when it comes to setting goals, planning sprints, and deploying new features.
Customer Service is usually one of the most overlooked and undervalued teams in an organization. In the ecommerce industry, everything is based online and the Customer Service team is the only team who has direct day-to-day contact with customers. They can provide the Marketing, Product, and Ecommerce teams with important information that they can use to understand what is working and what changes need to be made in the next sprint cycle.
For example, an organization had the Customer Service team in the same room as the Ecommerce team for the first time. The Ecommerce and Marketing team were able to hear firsthand and understand what customers had to say, which was invaluable.
It is important to ensure that the Customer Service team is involved and consistently provides feedback to the Ecommerce team. Any feedback that might be impacting transactions or add to cart behavior can be quickly addressed in the roadmap.
Ideally, most organizations have a dedicated Ecommerce team that manages day-to-day ecommerce operations, decisions, strategy, goals, maintenance, and everything related to the success of the online platform.
A typical Ecommerce team includes:
In some businesses, these roles overlap with other team roles or they sit within the Ecommerce team (depending on size, revenue, and growth targets).
When a business plans to launch an ecommerce site, it is imperative to consider the working of the warehouse because even though ecommerce shopping experience takes place online, packaging and shipping products takes place in the physical world. When businesses focus on the site only, they neglect intricate parts of the end-to-end ecommerce experience.
For example, consider an organization that builds and tests a website, but they discover that their warehouse printer cannot keep up with order volume. The printer issue creates a delay in packing orders, which reduces the number of products that the team can ship. Not only does this issue waste time, but it also increases call volume to the Customer Service team and damages customer experience and loyalty.
C-level executives always want their organizations to perform at the optimum level and increase conversion rate to gain returns on investments. To do this successfully requires teams across the organization to be involved and work together. It is also crucial for C-level and other top-level executives to be more involved and understand the goal-setting process.
C-level and other top-level executive buy-in is critical to the success of a major ecommerce project. It requires direct engagement as well as proper communication across all teams.
Since ecommerce projects often start with the technology rather than the business, it’s rare that they originate at the C-level. That’s why it’s important to involve the C-level as soon as possible and keep them involved until the end. It helps set expectations across the organization and inform stakeholders.
When you start an ecommerce project, keep the C-level and business in mind. They’re primarily interested in the KPIs and ROI, but bringing them into the journey from the beginning helps them understand the goal and what the organization stands to gain.
For the success of any ecommerce project, it is downright essential that everyone from the top-down is equally involved and on the same page.
There are other teams that are either part of an existing team or are a stand-alone, including:
Content team—They need to be aligned with all the teams to create effective content. Content on the site requires regular updates. The Content team is responsible for setting up content on the product page, category pages, blog, and footer, which attracts site traffic and increases your conversion rate.
Data team—Ecommerce sites generate a lot of data that you can gather and analyze, including customer information, spending habits, popular products, and time the site has the most traffic. The Data team processes all this information to provide insight on how the site is functioning and where the site needs more improvement. The Data team can recommend what trends are upcoming and where the business needs to focus.
Finance and accounting team—Some businesses have a small Finance and Accounting team, which can be either internal or external. They focus on budgeting, forecasting, and managing the finance aspect of setting up and running an ecommerce site.