Are you in the midst of building or scaling your eCommerce operations? Are you unsure about how many people you’ll need to properly assemble a successful eCommerce team? Do you know all the moving parts and key responsibilities of an eCommerce ops team? If you’ve been asking yourself these questions, or have just thought about them casually, then this post is for you.
Before examining what an eCommerce team does, and why it is important to have dedicated resources focused on it’s success, it’s important to identify which business units have a vested interest in the role of an eCommerce team.
eCommerce typically falls under the realm of 2 major business units: Marketing and IT. This is because both departments’ primary focus is required for the eCommerce team to be successful. Each and every successful eCommerce Marketing Strategy in today’s day and age has had an online component and is all about driving users to a website to complete an “action” (example – purchase a product or complete a survey). This process requires 2 major activities to take place:
1) The Marketing team develops content appealing enough to entice a potential customer to visit the online presence
2) The IT team implements the content in a way to ensure the site meets industry standards and best practices
The unique scenario here is that neither the Marketing nor IT department are solely responsible for the success of the Marketing Strategy / Campaign or Implementation of the content. They each rely on each other to get the job done.
What traditionally happens when there isn’t a clearly defined owner, a member of one of the teams is tasked with the responsibility of getting the job done. This presents an immediate risk – that being, whomever is tasked with ensuring the job is completed will most likely not come with the domain knowledge required to effectively implement a solution that satisfies both departments… after all, each department has it’s own primary objectives.
A Dedicated eCommerce Team
With a dedicated eCommerce team, goals are equally balanced between the two business units. This ensures the primary goal of each eCommerce initiative is given the highest priority.
At a very high level, the role of the eCommerce Manager/team responsibility is to bridge the gap between the different business units as it applies to all things eCommerce related. At a lower more compartmentalized level, this is a multi-faceted task ranging a variety of topics:
– SEO / SEM
– PPC / Google Ad-word Campaigns
– Email Campaigns
– Customer Targeting & Re-targeting
– Site Performance – ensuring the site is reliable (limited downtime)
– Strategic Direction
– Customer Trends / Forecasting
– Site Analytics – Implementation of metrics to measure success of campaigns and overall health of the site
Given the above list its easy to see why a dedicated eCommerce team (or single resource at a minimum) should be reserved to ensure these elements are actively revised/researched and implemented on all relevant campaigns and initiatives.
In medium to large companies (100+) it is quite common to have these eCommerce subject areas managed by individual team members, however in smaller organizations it often falls under one person’s realm of responsibility.
Regardless of the size of your organization, having a dedicated eCommerce team is vital to the success of your organization’s initiatives. The alternative will traditionally leave you in limbo and lack a focused direction, which ultimately, will cause you to ineffectively compete in the online space.