Why hire an eCommerce expert?
An average eCommerce business has multiple marketing channels and hundreds of moving parts. Depending on the stage the company is at, it may need an eCommerce manager or specialist to set up its eCommerce platform, optimize the listings, power up SEO, develop an eCommerce strategy and execute specific tactics.
There are a ton of different marketing channels an eCommerce brand could use to scale so an eCommerce specialist could do any of the following:
- Email marketing - running email marketing campaigns to convert leads into customers
- Content marketing - creating written and video content and working with influencers
- Social media marketing - running social campaigns, giveaways, and responding to customers online
- Online marketplaces - selling physical and digital products on sites like Amazon, eBay, Houzz, and Walmart.
- Paid ads - running Google Ads, Google Shopping campaigns, Facebook Ads, or Amazon Ads.
- CRO - working on improving the conversion rate of the site.
Brands don't just need a generalist, they need a marketer who specializes in eCommerce and has previously proven experience and ran similar campaigns in that specific niche.
What does an eCommerce marketer do?
There are a ton of different things an eCommerce specialist can do at your company. Let's drill down into exactly what each aspect of a typical eCommerce marketer's job is.
First and foremost, when you launch a brand you need to configure your online site. That means you need to plug in your eCommerce platform (whether that's Shopify or BigCommerce) and build your site. That may require some technical knowledge, knowing which tools and apps to use, and which best practices to follow.
Email flows & automation
Email marketing is by far the bread and butter of all eCommerce brands. It has the highest ROI of any channel for any online business and it's especially powerful in the eCommerce industry. An email marketer needs to know how to segment your audience, design the emails, and create the right email campaigns and flows for all your audiences (top to bottom of the funnel, pun intended).
Site & product listing optimization
Getting traffic to your site is only half the battle, you also need to have an optimized site, with all the various information on each listing, and a checkout flow that's easy to navigate. And that's in the intersection between product page optimization and eCommerce SEO where you need to include the right keywords to be visible on search engines as well as convert your customers.
The reason the eCommerce industry is so lucrative is that there are a variety of retail platforms a store could connect to and sell their merchandise on. If you're a small shoe shop you're not limited to your physical location and your online store. You can also sell on giants like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. You just need to have the right plugins and apps to connect your store to these commerce platforms and have the right fulfillment processes set up.
A lot of that knowledge is specific to the platform you're using. So for example, if your store is on Shopify you may need to hire a Shopify expert to help you with the integrations. You might also want additional hands on deck to monitor the shipping process and make sure that you're creating good customer experiences.
Content is involved in every part of the journey. Your e-Commerce specialist needs to be design-savvy and/or know how to guide external designers to create the best visual and video assets for your team.
Not everything is going to go smoothly. Your eCommerce specialist should embrace change and thrive on testing. They should A/B test your headlines, colors, menu items, ads, creatives, email campaigns, and page layouts regularly.
How to hire the right eCommerce expert in 9 steps
Alright, so you're ready to hire a kickass marketing specialist for your brand where do you find them? How do you go about it? And how do you make sure they're right for your business? Here's where we answer all these questions.
Prioritize your goals
Solve the biggest issues first. Look at the "problem areas" in your business. Are you spending most of your day developing products and don't have anyone doing your marketing? Then you would need a full-time (or at least part-time) digital marketing manager.
Already have a marketing team and just struggling with a specific channel (like TikTok Ads or social media marketing)? Then you would need to find an expert in that specific social network that can take your business to the next step.
In short, decide on some goals and expectations.
- Which channel are you trying to scale this year?
- What are your KPIs?
- Are you looking for a generalist or someone to grow a specific channel for your business?
- How advanced would they have to be?
- How much eCommerce experience do they need to have?
Get it all down on paper and create your job description.
Define your budget
Next - you want to make sure you have the right budget for the specific channel you're looking to grow. You don't want to hire a great expert and then not have the budget for the tools he needs or the advertising campaigns he wants to run.
So you have to identify how much money you have for:
- Marketing tools and plugins
- New marketplace expansion
- Ad budget
- Resources to expand the marketing team (and get your expert some help)
Find the right person or team
Now that you have a plan, and the right budget for it, how do you find the perfect eCommerce specialist to do the job? There are a few great ways to find the right person.
- Ask for referrals - ask your own network for some referrals. It's a great way to get quality talent with a recommendation from someone you trust.
- Post on online communities - post the job on online Facebook groups or Slack channels. You may get more candidates than you can handle but there are bound to be some diamonds among the chaff.
- Look on Upwork - you can always take your chances to spend a few good hours filtering through candidates on Upwork of Fiverr (if you need something basis).
- Find the right expert on Mayple - answer a few short questions about your business and let us match you with the perfect expert for your project.
Remember, you don't necessarily need someone with decades of experience. You just need the right expert that has a proven track record in your niche, has worked with similar types of businesses in the past, and can help your company grow.
When you interview your expert you need to ask them about their experience and get a sense of the kind of marketing strategy they would recommend for your brand and specific channel.
Questions to ask your eCommerce specialist include:
- How many years of experience do you have?
- Have you worked with similar brands in our niche?
- Which digital marketing channels do you have the most experience in?
- Which additional resources would you need?
- Have you worked with Shopify / BigCommerce?
- Which markets do you have the most experience in (the US market/the European market)
- What marketing strategy would you recommend for our business?
- Which channels are best to grab the attention of visitors and returning customers?
- What are the goals that you would be able to hit in the next 3-6-9 months?
- How often do you report on your activity and results? (weekly, biweekly, monthly)
- What other expert advice do you have for our team?
- Which effective strategies and tactics would you recommend we try?
Set the project scope
Once you pick your expert you should internally decide on the scope of the project - which channels and activities you would want them to handle, and what they should start with first. It's important to have that clarity before you have them start, to avoid confusion and improve their focus on what really matters to you as the business owner.
Start with a kickoff call
Get everyone in the same (Zoom) room and do a quick call. It's a great time to finalize the strategy, decide on the specific action items you would want your eCommerce specialist to take and introduce them to the rest of the team.
Set the right expectations
Setting the right expectations is key to a successful collaboration with your eCommerce freelancer. Make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to the project scope, timeline and budget. It's important to be realistic about what can be achieved in a certain amount of time and how much resources you have available for the project.
Also, make sure that you communicate your goals clearly and provide feedback regularly. This will help your expert to stay on track and deliver the best results for your business.
The worst thing you could have in a marketing project is radio silence. It's easy to get frustrated or have misunderstandings so make sure you have regular check-ins with your eCommerce expert. This will help you stay on top of the project and make sure that everything is going according to plan.
Review the results & provide feedback
Finally, it's important to review the results of your collaboration with your eCommerce expert. Make sure that you are getting the expected ROI from their work and that they are delivering on their promises. If something isn't working , don't be afraid to make changes and adjust the strategy.