Building an Ecommerce Team: A Best Practice Guide in 2022

Guides & Advice
14mid read July 22, 2022
Guides & Advice
Building an Ecommerce Team: A Best Practice Guide in 2022
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In the early days at your company, you most probably wore more than one hat in an ecommerce team structure. You manage your inventory, communicate with your customers, write down some kind of marketing strategy and product descriptions — all alone.

Until, at some point, you realize that tasks start slipping out of your hands; instead of being a jack of all trades you become a master of none.

In the past 13+ years of operating in the market, at Elogic we’ve seen small businesses scale to enterprises, so we know how challenging building an ecommerce team can be. That’s why we’ve decided to prepare this guide for you to show which positions you may need to fill first. 

From highly technical to ecommerce marketing roles, this article will help you allocate top talents to accomplish your ecommerce growth goals.

Let’s dive right in!

Main Roles in Ecommerce Team Structure

Depending on how big your online store is, which products or services you sell, and what your business priorities are, your e-commerce team structure will vary. Still, there are a few universal roles in ecommerce that might lift the burden off your shoulders when it comes to managing a store.

Ideally, the small ecommerce team structure might look like this:

Ecommerce organizational structure

In total, such an e-commerce company organization structure may account for up to ten people, and it’s no big deal if you skip certain roles at the beginning of your business journey. The employees will add up as your company grows.

Let’s walk through the ecommerce team roles and responsibilities you definitely can’t do without.

Web Engineer / IT Specialist

In ecommerce, your website is the face of your business. Unless you fancy coding yourself, it would be better to delegate this job to a web engineer. 

An IT specialist helps your team members make the right use of digital infrastructure to build a coherent ecommerce website architecture. If you plan to build a custom website, you might need more than one programmer (one to code the front-end user interface and another to program the back-end website logic) and a full-stack IT specialist who combines both roles.

Read more: How Much Ecommerce Website Costs: Set the Right Budget for Your Project 

If you decide to go for SaaS solutions, like Shopify or BigCommerce, you can start building a website on your own but will still need an IT specialist in the long run to ensure the security of your data, a well-structured catalog of products or services, and third-party services integration.

You may hire a web engineer in-house, outsource it to a dedicated ecommerce team, or source a tech talent directly from the ecommerce development company (aka outstaffing).

We’ll discuss the differences between these three options further in the article, but you should know that in case of any difficulties finding the right IT specialist, you can always turn to Elogic Commerce

We provide our clients with both individual developers, a dedicated ecomm support team, and development project managers to handle your website development with ease.

Outsource ecommerce development to Elogic

See your website improving without extra buzz

Ecommerce web developers for hire

HR Manager

As paradoxical as it might seem, you’d need to hire a person to delegate the recruiting process to them. An HR will keep track of your staffing needs, your employees’ performances, and payroll. They will report back to you so that you can make an informed decision about your potential team members as well as further positions to fill.

HRs also conduct onboarding for new employees, which saves a huge amount of time for you, and take advantage of HR management software to optimize employment processes.

Marketing Manager

Solid marketing is the backbone of your ecommerce growth.

Top priority tasks of marketing managers

A marketing manager will spread the word about your products. They collect customers’ data, analyze it, and devise effective strategies to boost conversions and drive traffic to your website. They will also draw on your competitive analysis and articulate ways to distinguish your brand from others.

Graphic Designer

Your website should be not only visually appealing but also devoid of distractions. A graphic designer will take care of all the nitty-witty visual details: logos, button positioning, charts & data visualization in blog posts, etc. 

Just like content managers, they will showcase your brand identity recognizable throughout all your sales channels. And their work can also be outsourced to third-party contractors on Fiverr, Upwork, or even development agencies for ecommerce website design services.

Content Writer

Content writers often stay behind the scenes producing engaging texts for marketing campaigns, luring product descriptions, and website content that will convert your users into qualified marketing leads (=customers). 

About 83% of consumers rate product content extremely important when deciding to buy, so hiring a content writer is indeed a future-proof investment. If he/she knows the principles of SEO, you’re in luck as your website content will be optimized for search engines and rank higher on Google.

If you run a small online business, a marketing manager + UI/UX designer + content writer will all work in tandem and form your ecommerce marketing team structure. Other roles, like social media manager (SMM), PR specialist, merchandising, etc. can be added based on your needs and business growth.

Ecommerce marketing team structure for small businesses
Ecommerce marketing team structure for small businesses.

Logistics Manager

The logistics manager is responsible for the safe, high-quality, and timely delivery of bulk orders from suppliers (either to your warehouses or directly to consumers). This employee is also involved in the design of international transportation, transport insurance, and quality control.

Inventory Manager

The main responsibilities of an inventory manager are to keep track of goods and, in particular, to ensure that the number of goods displayed on the website matches the number that is stored in the warehouse.

Customer Support Specialists

Online retailers often hire people to communicate with customers through chat, phone calls, and chatbots. Customer service is also responsible for handling returns and customer complaints.

Read also: How to Maintain an Ecommerce Website

Accounting and Finance Specialist

The financial side is often outsourced to third-party specialists, although sometimes large marketplaces have their own staff to assist the ecommerce director with budgeting, market speculation, and income statements.

Read more: How to start an online beauty supply store

Designing an Efficient Ecommerce Team Structure 

To determine the best ecommerce team structure for your business, you have to carefully consider your current priorities. 

Over the past 13 years of working with ecommerce brands, we’ve gathered a few tips on how to fill in the most pressing positions in ecommerce — here’s what we’ve discovered. 

Start With Ecommerce Business Strategy 

When building an ecommerce team, remember that each new role comes with a certain stage of your business development. Figure out your business needs, goals, and values; set the budget; and define the key projects you need to undertake to arrive where you want to be. 

The ecommerce strategy will define the key roles you need to fill in first. For instance, if your goal is to increase sales, you’ll have to invest in marketing first. If you wish to boost your conversion rates, you’ll need to hire a dedicated development team to customize your website in line with your buyer’s journey.

Not sure what to start with?

Elogic has helped dozens of clients with their ecommerce strategy — use our expertise!

Develop my ecommerce strategy

Stay Cost-Effective

Cost-effectiveness isn’t about saving on your employee’s salaries. It’s about spending your budget wisely.

The recruitment process should go hand-in-hand with your business processes; otherwise, you’ll just pour money down the drain. Imagine if you hire a copywriter but have neither an ecommerce structure for your marketing department nor a content marketing strategy in place. your new employee will either have no tasks or, even worse, produce content completely out of line with your business goals.

Establish Clear Expectations From Your Ecommerce Team

Before you start looking for new staff for your online store, decide what your ideal employee looks like. There is a rule of thumb: only hire people who are better than you. Never compromise. Mediocre workers, like bad politicians, have a toxic effect on the entire team, and will take longer to learn or onboard.

Determine the type of environment you wish to create in your company and see how your candidates’ aspirations align with it. Only 10% of applicants will be great employees, so do more interviews and consider more applicants.

Make Hiring a Collaborative Effort to Assess Candidates Objectively

Have a group of unbiased people make the real hiring decision.

Involve future subordinates and colleagues of the candidate in interviews. A professional recruiter must be present at the interview. Make sure the interviewers make adequate notes. Return to your notes from time to time and compare them with the success of the new employee to hone your assessment skills.

A good practice is also to ask behavioral and situational questions. The former relate a candidate’s past achievements, while the latter present a hypothetical situation related to the position. Both will allow you to evaluate the candidate’s skills and see if they’re the right fit for your company’s culture.

For instance, here are top Magento interview questions to screen a web developer for your project.
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20 Magento 2 Interview Questions to Hire Top Talent in 2022

Hire Your People

Distinguish between in-house employees and third-party contractors. While it’s true you can cut costs by outsourcing minor tasks to freelancers, they’re rarely committed to your business growth. They’re a good option only when you need short-term help with specific tasks or seek expert assistance on an issue like accounting or IT.

Most commonly outsourced tasks in ecommerce team structure

In-House vs Outsourcing Hiring: Can You Build a Successful Team Remotely? 

Today, regardless of the industry, you can work with specialists from anywhere in the world. You can easily gather a remote ecomm team of high-class professionals while reducing costs and avoiding the difficulties associated with organizing work in the office. 

Here are the pros and cons of in-house hiring vs outsourcing and the ways in which you might benefit from each.

In-House Employees

An in-house team includes all employees completing tasks and conducting activities exclusively within your company. They live your culture, contribute to the development of your business strategy, and have an in-depth understanding of your business.

Pros of in-house hiringCons of in-house hiring

Employee retention rates are higher. Employees are interested in personal growth as well. So if you invest in their training and motivation, they’ll stay more loyal to your company. 

The real cost of an in-house employee is typically 1.4 times more than their salary. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), it’s because you’ll need to consider payroll taxes, insurance, sick leaves, and other expenses.

In-house employees show x2 engagement & dedication. Your in-house team is as committed to your ecommerce project as you are. Because they’re aware of your business context, they will suggest ideas to improve it and might even proactively fix issues.

In-house hiring is time-consuming. Highly skilled specialists are a rare find on the job market. Many of them already have a job, and you’d be expected to offer something better to lure them in (e.g. salary, interesting project, etc.).

In-house teams are more productive because they know each other. There are no communication delays, so you can take a marketing/business/logistics plan from idea to implementation in a very short amount of time.

Burnout is a common issue, and 70% of professionals expect their employers to alleviate it. If you’re the Jack of all trades, it doesn’t mean your employees will be. Overtime or extra responsibilities might result in poor productivity, and it’s your job to take care of your ecom team.

You have more control over project implementation. Because your in-house team is more closely knit to your company’s mission and values, you can interface with your teammates directly.

Hire ecommerce staff in-house if you plan to scale fast and wish to keep control of the essential business processes. Such businesses are in the process of establishing their business culture and seek professionals to join their teams for long-term cooperation.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing implies delegating the ecommerce tasks to third-party contractors and/or freelancers. For ecommerce businesses, it’s quite common to outsource website development and customer service tasks.

Pros of outsourcingCons of outsourcing

You can enjoy agility & flexibility. Because you save time on employee sourcing and onboarding, you can make decisions faster and complete particular tasks more efficiently.

Quality might be lagging if you partner with a freelancer. Because they are not aware of your business context, the quality of their work might not exactly meet your expectations. You’ll need to spend extra time briefing a freelancer as well.

Outsourcing agencies have higher expertise in the field. If you’re stuck with a certain problem, ecommerce experts can fill your knowledge gap and devise a non-standard way out by providing ecommerce consulting services at a fairly reasonable rate. 

You may have less control over the task execution. You won’t be the only client of a hired freelancer, so you can’t expect your issues to be fixed at the drop of a hat. 

The cost is lower. Outsourcing agencies usually charge a fixed rate per hour that doesn’t include taxes, insurance, and other employee-associated costs. 

Communication issues arise. You might experience communication delays, be it for the time difference or poor internet connection.

Outsource ecommerce team if you have fluctuating revenues and require assistance on mundane tasks that are not related to the core business processes. 

Bottom Line: Consider a Hybrid Approach to Building a Stellar Ecommerce Team

It might take a lot of time and energy before you find the right person for your ecommerce team. But you might take a shortcut and delegate a part of your ecommerce responsibilities to the agency.

That’s right, combining in-house and outsourcing is the most popular approach to building the best business structure for online retail, and we have an offer for you.

Elogic is an end-to-end ecommerce development agency with 10+ years of experience and dozens of successfully implemented projects. We understand the importance of a high-performance ecommerce website where every second of uptime and every customer counts. 

Hire ecommerce staff at Elogic and fill in both technical (developers, ecommerce architects) and non-technical (graphic designers, QA, testers, etc.) positions. Rest assured of the transparency of communication and fast & secure project delivery — as if we were by your side!

Enhance your ecommerce team structure with Elogic experts

Delegate website development tasks to a dedicated tech team

Hire Magento ecommerce teams

FAQs

How to manage an ecommerce business?

After preparing your ecommerce business strategy, you should build your online business team and assign them responsibilities in line with your current needs and business goals. Your ecommerce staff should include at least a manager, ecommerce developers, marketing specialists, financial & legal experts, and inventory & logistics operators.

What makes a good ecommerce manager?

The role of an ecommerce project manager is extremely important. Usually, in companies, this specialist is responsible for

  • monitoring and optimizing online sales.
  • defining, implementing, and synchronizing trading strategies in collaboration with other departments responsible for tasks such as online marketing and content management.
  • defining the budget for different sales channels.
  • managing the members of the ecommerce team.
  • reporting to top management, CEOs, owners, etc.
  • activating accounts and profiles.
  • collecting online customer feedback.
  • managing communications.

Most importantly, an ecommerce manager should be able to determine clear KPIs for your business success and translate the company’s actions into tangible results.

How do you retain the best talents? 

Decent employees may be a dime a dozen, but stellar employees are worth their weight in gold. Once you find a team that meets and exceeds your expectations, make an effort to

  • offer them growth prospects;
  • stay flexible in your engagement model – great ecommerce team members can work even remotely;
  • promote a healthy and honest work environment.

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