The eCommerce industry is massive. The global eCommerce growth rate is predicted at 10.4% for 2023, bringing global eCommerce sales worldwide to US$6.3 trillion. This is a 0.7 percentage point increase from 2022’s growth rate. The diversity of markets, products and services and new customer bases means there is a lot to learn. No single person can know everything about eCommerce. It is important that your business be prepared to hire a consultant to help develop your business growth at some point.
However, knowing when to hire a consultant can be difficult. There are some clear signs you need professional and expert advice. We have detailed the indicators your eCommerce is ready to hire a consultant.
Your eCommerce Site is Low Quality
If your website is not visually appealing, performs poorly, is out of date, has any errors such as poor grammar and spelling mistakes, or issues with loading, traffic will immediately question the validity of your site, become suspicious of your brand and often navigate away from the site.
The entire experience of your site needs to be appealing. Studies show it takes customers 0.05 seconds to form an impression about a website. That means your load speed must be fast and the home page needs to make an instant connection with audiences.
There are many elements that must be considered, and depending on your customer persona, each element needs to be created differently. A retail eCommerce site selling clothing will look different to a digital technology site selling services. A retail site often needs more server power and storage space to ensure images load fast, and at optimal quality. A brand that provides services tends to have more static images and fewer changes to pages, so while speeds need to be fast, storage is less of an issue.
There are many professionals who can develop a site, however, consulting with a professional designer and developer will often provide better results for brands starting online without any prior knowledge of the eCommerce industry. The site UX needs to be focused on your brand and follow your expectations for how traffic would interact with your site and move through the sales funnel. A consultant will take you from the opening of the home page to the close of a sale and follow-up emails. They will automate essential functions you require, such as reporting, tracking and targeting, storage and backup and many other functions. Automation will improve the front and backend functionality of your site making it easier for you to grow your business.
Managing Reviews is Time-Consuming
Reviews are an important element of your eCommerce website. These customer statements are the word-of-mouth marketing that online businesses need to grow your business organically. When you are starting a new business, these reviews are important, not just for feedback, but also for spreading the word about your product or service. Whether these reviews are positive or negative, being responsive to concerns or compliments shows potential customers your business cares about its reputation and the happiness of its customers.
In the early stages of your development, this task might be easily managed by a few people in your customer service team or marketing team. However, as your business grows, it can become a full-time task managing feedback on social media platforms and the site. At this time, a consultant can give you clear advice about how to manage replies, posting and even deletion of comments.
Customer management is always necessary, but at times, you might need the help of a consultant to guide your brand through a potential disaster. It might to public attention that your product is made in a factory that doesn’t conform to standards expected of your customers, or someone associated with your business faces public ridicule. It is at these times that an investment in a PR or media manager that works closely with your marketing and customer service teams can save your brand.
Conversion Rates are Falling
Sometimes a product or service hits the market at the exact moment it is needed. Your eCommerce might quickly find an engaged and motivated customer base. Your site, product and engagement could be tracking better than expected and your business might be accelerating, until, it all seems to stop.
Uncovering the cause of this sudden pullback in sales can be difficult. Perhaps you are the CEO, CFO and head marketer of your business. Perhaps you have a small team and this is a new venture for everyone. Striking gold in your first few months or years can be exciting. Learning why the vein has dried up can require a more specialist approach.
If you want to experiment with new marketing, expand to a new region, update your brand vision and find your growth space, you might need the help of an expert to understand your analytics and translate the information into action.
An experienced eCommerce consulting agency knows how to set the right KPIs and performance metrics, configure your backend to automate important customer metrics and read your business plan with attention to details you might miss. A business analytics expert can help you find your path back to growth.
Your Customer Persona has Changed
Without an accurate, data-driven customer persona, you can’t tailor your customers’ online experience to increase conversions. If your business has recently moved online or has been operational for many years, your customer persona might need a reassessment.
The increasing demand for personalised content online can be challenging for brands that have been established prior to launching an online marketplace. Learning who your ideal customer is online might be slightly different from the customer you once had coming into a physical store. Establishing who this person is is essential to the development and growth of your business. It requires a precise analysis of your product, sales, customer journey and various other aspects of your marketing and engagement process.
An expert in marketing will understand the psychology of creating a customer profile for your business and creating the journey your business needs to go on to meet the expectations of that ideal customer.
Your Back Office Systems Aren’t Integrated
Your back-office systems need to be integrated. There are processes and systems that keep your business running without a streamlined system that communicates with different areas. These systems ensure your operations are optimised and efficient. Without a back office system that is integrated and effective, your business could be losing money and opportunities.
Your eCommerce ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and accounting software should work together seamlessly. However, integrating systems is not always a simple process. Legacy software can sometimes be difficult to integrate with new systems. Sometimes it’s more cost-effective to upgrade your entire system rather than persist with software that isn’t effective for the business. This type of assessment and upgrade needs an expert to make the best assessment for your business. An IT expert can take stock of your existing system and goals, and find the solutions that will fit your needs and your budget.
The growth of any business relies on the team behind the brand. Getting the right expert guidance for your eCommerce needs at the right time can make the difference between a successful year and a failing business. While an expert cannot make the changes needed to improve your opportunities, they can give you their wisened advice on your options.
All major brands use experts at different stages. It is important to acknowledge that you do not have all the answers, and sometimes an outside perspective can give you a solution you’d never considered. Keeping your business transparent, accountable and open to change helps to ensure your continued growth and success.
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