There will come a point in the lifecycle of your ecommerce business when you need to decide whether you should keep your operations in-house or begin outsourcing (or both).
This is a decision that businesses today, particularly during the pandemic, should not take lightly. Making the wrong choice here can have major implications for the success of your brand.
While some companies prefer the autonomy that comes with having an ecommerce team in-house, others choose to leave the responsibility of managing their tasks to an external resource.
Making the right decision, in this case, is going to depend on your company, especially regarding its culture and what you anticipate for its growth. Although there is no definitive answer, the question can be answered by analysing the benefits that you can get from an in-house or outsourced approach.
Advantages of In-House Ecommerce Marketing
These are the primary advantages that come with choosing an in-house ecommerce marketing team.
You Have More Control
With a dedicated team of ecommerce marketers within your workforce, you have people who can focus exclusively on the ecommerce requirements of your company.
All things that have to be accounted for concerning the needs of your business can be prioritised. Through your personal guidance, you can even implement actionable changes directly to your business strategy.
An in-house ecommerce marketing team provides you with more control compared to an outsourced solution, allowing you to ensure that every requirement is meant accordingly.
Faster Response Time
Since you have a dedicated ecommerce marketing team on hand, this means you can have your company’s needs attended to immediately (although this isn’t always the case). This can be particularly beneficial when problems arise and require quick remedies and solutions.
With readily available staff, you have a safety net especially when you want to ensure that any minor problems are eliminated before they become big ones.
When you have your marketing in the same office or building, you can have face-to-face communication with them at any time.
It is no secret that ecommerce marketers are quite dynamic. Being able to deal with them in person allows you to onboard them with the company culture while also ensuring that certain requirements are met.
Advantages of Outsourced Ecommerce Marketing
Now that you have a better idea of what having in-house ecommerce marketing entails, here are some of the main reasons why going for an outsourced team instead may be more beneficial.
Access to Higher Skill Levels
If you decide to outsource your ecommerce marketing needs, you typically can access a wider range of specialists who are experienced in various specialties.
This means that you do not have to pay for someone who is still learning on the job or is handing crucial projects for the first time. An outsourced ecommerce marketing team is usually made up of professionals who have several years of experience under their belt.
As a business owner, you can have peace of mind knowing that your marketing projects are in safe hands and that you don’t have to micro-manage everyone.
If problems arise, outsourced experts can often handle these concerns immediately. This can be more cost-efficient and less time-consuming than having to hire specialists for your in-house team.
The recouped time allows you to focus on other aspects of your business. It also gives you the luxury of knowing that your ecommerce marketing solutions are handled by experienced professionals in the industry.
More Flexibility and Scalability
Another advantage offered by outsourcing your ecommerce marketing is that the approach provides the freedom of flexibility and scalability.
You can decide when you need to scale up or scale down your marketing needs based on the requirements of your projects.
Whenever you need more specialists to handle that one technical project that comes in, you can use your outsourced experts to tackle those jobs. No need to worry about searching, interviewing, and hiring a group while paying them a full team’s salary for just part-time work or a one off project.
Considerations When Deciding to Go Outsource vs In-House
Now that you know the primary advantages offered by both in-house and outsourced ecommerce marketing teams, you might be wondering which of the two is best for your business.
The answer to this question depends on several factors.
What Are Your Goals?
Your marketing strategy is dictated by the goals of your company. Are you looking to scale quickly in the coming months or are you working towards long-term growth? Perhaps you wish to double your profits within a specific timeline.
Based on your goals, you may need to bring in a bigger team to help you achieve them. If you answered yes to this, then perhaps hiring more specialists for an in-house department may be better. But if you can find an excellent ecommerce agency that is experienced and more affordable, you can go with that too. Many ecommerce businesses even go for a combination of the two, with one or more of the in-house team managing an outsourced agency.
Is Your Current Ecommerce Marketing Team Successful?
Ask yourself this question, “Why are you thinking about outsourcing?”
Is your current in-house team not providing the results you are looking for? Perhaps you may need to understand more about how ecommerce marketing works.
If you believe that your team is not giving you the results you need, then you might benefit from the support of an outsourced ecommerce marketing team.
Try to have your existing specialists focus on projects that they excel at and can deliver for the business. From there, you can fill in the gaps of what’s needed to drive results.
Are You Looking for Another Perspective?
Creative ecommerce marketers can come up with many great ideas for your business and even identify problems from various angles. This is one of the major benefits that outsourcing your ecommerce marketing needs may be best for you since they can help solve many of your problems.
Aside from that, these individuals can bring fresh ideas that you may never have thought of on your own.
How Much Will It Cost You?
Is an in-house team going to be more cost-effective compared to going for an outsourced team?
If you are able to keep your marketing costs down while getting good results, this can be great for your company.
Consider the costs of both options but also factor in recruitment costs, training time and costs etc. Some people think in-house is more cost effective than an agency but once you get the right skills needed in-house, that is often not the case. Some businesses opt for a smaller in-house team and then to outsource the rest (managed by that in-house team). You need to weigh up what is cost effective and affordable for your business.
As you can see, there are different advantages to in-house and outsourced ecommerce marketing teams. Each has its own inherent set of benefits and you should consider them according to the needs of your business.
The most important thing to consider here is which of the two types of teams (or a combination of the two) can bring in the results and the profits you are aiming for.