Are Ecommerce enablers a necessity, or a good-to-have?

February 3, 2021

Marketing

If sellers are just looking to earn some extra income from Ecommerce, it is not necessary to engage an enabler. Solopreuners, dropshippers and sellers operating from home should stay lean in their operations. Once a business begins scaling across multiple platforms, they start thinking about efficiency. In South East Asia, sellers need to master 2-6 platforms per country, each with their own mechanisms. Lazada, Shopee, Qoo10, Amazon, Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Tiki just to name a few. For each platform, sellers need to perform daily tasks like

- store and campaign management,
- content production and graphic design,
- chat management,
- marketing execution,
- order fulfilment,
- post-sale operations of returns and refunds,
- managing brand reputation and online reviews

From experience, sellers at this stage do one of the following:

A) Convert existing employees to “do ecommerce”
These employees are typically retail staff, designers/marketers or sales reps, but they are expected to create a new online sales channel. There is a mismatch of skill sets. Setting up an online store is easy. Creating a viable ecommerce business is not.

B) Hiring an inhouse ecommerce team
A few factors to consider when hiring an inhouse team:
Talent: Ecommerce talent in SEA is relatively scarce. You need to spend time to train and build a functional team that can run your operations seamlessly. There is also staff risk as the turnover for Ecommerce talents is high.
Cost: A professional ecommerce team with copywriting, design, marketing, operations and customer service staff would cost at least $10,000.
Time: To recruit and train up a reliable Ecommerce team, you will need at least 3-6 months. This takes time and concentration away from the business owner to build other aspects of his business.
Staying ahead of ecommerce trends: Platforms like Lazada and Shopee are constantly releasing new features and technology to compete with each other. Keeping abreast of these changes is crucial in maintaining strong sales performance.

C) Engage an ecommerce enabler
A professional ecommerce enabler is a one stop service provider for brands to sell their goods on Ecommerce marketplaces effectively.They have a full-fledged and trained ecommerce team that works for you at a fraction of the cost of a full-time staff. You can also tap on their wealth of experience selling online, and have all your marketplace questions answered on-demand. Lastly they offer tools and automation solutions to help you sell online efficiently.

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