To adapt to the rising costs of goods, many households are shifting to cheaper alternatives. Though it’s an understandable effect of inflation, this consumer behavior affects the sales and profits of many brands. With the right ecommerce outsourcing solutions, however, businesses can cope with customers’ slowing spending habits.
From December to January 2023, consumer prices rose 0.6%. In 2022 alone, Moody’s Analytics found that inflation has caused Americans to use up $445 more than they did in 2021 even while purchasing the same items.
Let’s take a look at some key findings from JungleScout’s Q3 2022 Consumer Trends Report on the impact of inflation on consumer spending:
- 75% of American shoppers believe the country is in an economic recession — or at least is heading there. Similarly, many Americans have tightened their belts, making changes to their lifestyle to avoid unnecessary expenses.
- Many consumers buy cheaper substitutes, cut down on purchases, leave out goods that aren’t essential, and opt for pre-loved or used items.
- 73% of customers who experience tough times financially have knocked down or steadied their general expenditures.
- 76% are keeping themselves from impulse buying.
From those numbers, we can conclude that today’s buyers value affordability more than anything. However, with limited purchasing power, consumers and ecommerce retailers would both be struggling to stay afloat amid rising inflation.
But the good news is…
“Despite concerns about inflation, consumers are still investing in the retail economy and are turning to ecommerce for the best deals.”
The CMO of Jungle Scout, Mike Scheschuk, assures the ecommerce industry by stating, “What’s changing is the products consumers buy and the factors that influence their purchase decisions.”
He added, “Brands need to reassess their strategy as social media and affordability reshape the retail landscape.”
In short, businesses should take the initiative to relieve the impact of inflation. There are many ways for companies to ensure operational efficiency—such as adopting a competitive pricing strategy, maintaining a solid social media presence, and planning for future inflations.
If you’re an ecommerce business owner, it is crucial to take those actionable steps now! And indeed, ecommerce outsourcing could be what you need to safeguard your business and thrive despite whatever problems you encounter along the way.
6 Ecommerce Outsourcing Solutions To Help Your Business Remain Competitive Amid Inflation
- Back-Office Support
Undoubtedly, the online shopping industry is evolving at an astounding rate. Ecommerce businesses now account for one-fourth of the total retail market. On top of that, the rise of digital sales is rapidly blurring the line between online and offline retail.
Running an online business can be challenging, often requiring you to take on a series of administrative tasks swiftly and efficiently. That’s why, as a business owner, outsourcing back-office functions is critical in securing a healthy cash flow. And without an outsourced team, it would be difficult for businesses to stay afloat, especially amid inflation.
For instance, an outsourced accounting team can help you handle professional financial reports and review transactional statements included in your cash flow system. Outsourced accountants can proficiently prepare financial documents in ways you can understand.
Back-office roles that ecommerce businesses can outsource:
2. Customer Service
Earlier, we mentioned that current consumer trends hint at the erosion of brand loyalty. However, with excellent customer service, shoppers will experience greater satisfaction in their online experience, encouraging loyalty and customer retention.
No matter what, customer experience is still paramount. Yes, your consumers may be tightening their belts, but that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice customer satisfaction. Knowing that the market prioritizes affordability, you could offer sweet and attractive deals. And by doing that, you may attract new customers.
The essence of good customer service in online business
Since most consumers today want to make every penny count, ecommerce vendors should foresee a high volume of inquiries from customers seeking the best deals. In 2023, 81% of retail shoppers researched their desired products online before purchasing them—from discounts and product quality to the shipping duration. That’s why your company should always provide excellent customer service and respond almost immediately to their concerns.
Once your potential consumers have a negative experience with you, there’s a high chance that you’d lose them forever. But with customer service outsourcing, you can ensure that your shoppers receive the support they deserve, helping improve brand satisfaction and loyalty.
Offshore outsourcing for customer service is a cost-efficient way to navigate and educate your buyers about your products. You don’t need to invest in physical and tech infrastructure such as offices, automation, and omnichannel systems—because your team will be working remotely. Overhead costs will also be less expensive. Thus, you won’t need to break the bank for excellent customer support amid this challenging business climate.
3. Inventory Management
Effective inventory management is the mainstay of every ecommerce business—and this outsourcing service has become more crucial than ever. It supports both the back-end and front-end operations of your ecommerce store.
For example, inventory agents act as the middlemen between suppliers and customers, making sure that customer orders are accurately logged and ready for delivery. With the right inventory manager, you won’t need to worry about losing customers because of incorrect information.
Functions of inventory management in business processes
Inventory management specialists would proficiently track the availability of your stock from your business without any omission. This will guide customers in knowing the status of their preferred products — whether they’re ready to be delivered or if there will be delays in their purchase.
Any inefficiencies or bottlenecks in the inventory management process should be eliminated to prevent negative buying experiences and encourage higher customer satisfaction rates. Remember: Good customer experiences lead to even better profit margins.
With the rise of shoppers online, it would be wise for businesses to grow their operations to keep up with demand. Thankfully, an outsourcing company can offer scalable inventory management and staffing solutions, helping to systematize, streamline, and oversee the back end and front end of your ecommerce operations.
4. Digital Marketing
With digital marketing, you’re creating online content to build brand awareness and visibility. Examples of digital marketing services include SEO management, online ad creation, writing blogs, and video content production.
Because of economic uncertainties, changes in consumer preferences are inevitable. Consequently, customers prefer purchasing from social media over other digital transaction channels. And out of all online platforms, TikTok is perceived to be the favorite pick among potential customers. But the advertising strategies on Amazon and other social media channels remain competitive.
How social media serves as a gateway to ecommerce shopping:
- 82% of shoppers would purchase products after seeing them on social media.
- 40% of customers would search for items to buy online while scrolling through social media.
- 56% of online shoppers are likely to return to a site promoting the product.
- The number of consumers likely to buy from social media platforms has increased—with video being the favorite content ad.
Because social media plays a significant role in ecommerce, cutting down on your digital marketing investments can be an unwise move. Instead, you should consider strengthening your organic marketing initiatives by outsourcing content writing services to a reliable provider.
In this case, a team of digital marketing experts could develop suitable solutions to increase your brand exposure and help you gain a competitive advantage — at a rate significantly lower than hiring in-house staff members.
Like it or not, ecommerce trends are ever-changing. And today, consumers have become more meticulous when choosing between different online shops. Studies from Adobe show that 38% of online buyers will cast aside websites they deem unattractive.
Why won’t customers return?
With inflation threatening brand loyalty, your customers won’t come back if they had even a single bad experience or interaction with your brand. And uninviting web store designs can be one of the reasons your potential buyers decide to click away for good.
- PWC finds that 32% of users won’t return to a brand after one negative experience.
- Amazon Web Services UX stats indicate that 88% of online purchasers would leave a website due to a bad user experience.
Good user experience is an essential factor to consider to secure returning customers. By outsourcing web developers, brands can gain a user-friendly and visually appealing web page that gives their buyers an enjoyable shopping experience.
5. Content Writing
“By optimizing their online presence, brands can engage with customers, better understand their needs, and secure loyalty in these uncertain economic times.” – Mike Scheschuk, CMO of Jungle Scout.
In short, online businesses should captivate consumers with compelling product descriptions and blogs that educate them about their products and services. Writers should also be mindful of their audience’s pain points, sharing content that provides value to their target readers while using the right keywords to help make them easier for them to find.
For instance, if you’re selling clothes for women, you could use keywords such as “professional fashion for women” or “outfits for single women” to reach your desired audience. Then, provide detailed and accurate descriptions of your products (for example, how the materials are breathable and comfortable) so that you deliver the relevant information and insights your customers are looking for.
With a reliable outsourcing partner, you can work with many talented content writers. Their core business function is to craft content that appeals to your buyer. So, hire these experts to engage effectively with your market.
How should you choose the right ecommerce outsourcing service provider?
Ecommerce outsourcing to a Philippine call center is the ideal solution for entrepreneurial growth—especially during economic uncertainty. By partnering with a trusted BPO provider with onshore, offshore, and nearshore excellence, your company’s business needs would be met.
The Philippines has an offshoring center in one of the most urbanized cities in the country, Pampanga. Colombia is also beginning to attract investments to adapt to the increasing nearshoring demands.
Both of these headquarters share a goal: serving expertise to companies at a competitive rate. With that said, always choose a provider that offers scalable and flexible approaches to cater to your unique business operations.