Hiring an Ecommerce Consultant
Hiring a qualified and experienced ecommerce consultant is one of the best things an online retailer can do to improve sales and efficiency. Hire the wrong one…it can be devastating.
Successfully selling online typically doesn’t just happen by putting some items for sale on a website. The days of setting up a website with a few products and counting your money are over. That said, with the proper toolset there’s still a lot of room for new online retailers, it’s just more competitve.
There are many systems that need to be in place in order for your store to thrive. Finding a consultant who is knowledgeable in all aspects of e-commerce such as site development, product management, and marketing is important to getting the most out of the relationship.
Things to consider:
Shared Goals & Pain Points
If you are experiencing a problem in a specific area of your business, make sure that your consultant is experienced with how to solve the issue. It’s a good thing to remember to stay as flexible as possible with the solution they provide. You’ve hired them for their knowledge, so it’s best to keep an open mind.
If you are looking to grow sales and market share your company, make sure that you and your consultant are on the same page as far as what the expected growth will be.
You may have a specific problem in your particular market niche. Maybe you own a kite shop or you sell golf apparel for example. Consultants often work in specific niches that they’ve had success with and know how to get results in a specific arena. You need to ensure the team you choose has the skills and experience to help you reach your goals.
Finding the right e-commerce consultant or agency with the right experience is key to getting great results. Finding a consultant who is knowledgeable in more than one area can help identify other issues that you may have not thought about.
A Consultant to Match Your Business Type
Interview the consultant and make sure that they have relevant experience for your type of business whether you sell B2B or B2C. If you are selling an unbranded product check to see if the consultant has branding experience. Selling an unbranded/private label product requires a different approach than selling items that are in demand and being advertised by the manufacturer.
Also, some consultants are more experienced in the B2B world and that’s their focus. They focus on account based marketing and distribution instead of selling to consumers, B2B and B2C can be completely different beasts.
Be prepared to be engaged in the project alongside your consultant. Learn everything that you can from them while you have them. Although some consultants become a long-term part of your team. If you are using them short-term, once they are gone, it will be on you to continue with the procedures that have been put in place.
Make sure that you provide your consultant with all of the information that they need. Give prompt feedback so timelines can be met and make the most of the engagement. Giving the proper support to your consultant is well worth the effort to make sure you get the results you want.
Consultants have the ability to make your business a lot of money, but when you’re a new or struggling business it can be tempting to try to skimp on consulting fees. Resist the urge to go for the cheapest consultant you can find. Do some general research and find out about who you’re hiring before making the decision to get some help. If you don’t…it will most likely end up badly and you won’t have the ability to pay for a second person to come clean up the mess the first one left behind. One of our favorite Judge Judy quotes is “the cheap comes out expensive”.