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What it takes to run an e-commerce business?

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HR issues in E Commerce business (mainly logistics, backend and customer care) and how with the help of proper coaching this issue can be resolved.

In the life moving so fast, we hardly get enough time to complete all our chores. We have become so busy that even peaceful outings and shopping with friends and family have become enigma which gets deciphered after lots of planning and scheduling. Thanks to e-commerce businesses which have made things so easy for us.

E-commerce businesses have become the need of the hour by simplifying the purchasing dilemmas of the customers. The concept of online shopping have brought a revolution in the lives of people especially the ones with busy schedules then the ones who are internet savvy and wants to save time, money and energy at the same time gets indulged in shopping extravaganza. In addition, online shopping also attracts people with lucrative offers and deals which otherwise are not available at stores.

People who enjoy shopping online however, are not aware of what it takes to run an e-commerce business. The magnitude of hardships and pressure faced by the people involved in running and managing e-commerce business go unnoticed by the people like me and you who just enjoy gazing the list of products available on the website.

If we pull off the curtain we can actually see the human resources that work so hard to make our shopping possible in just few clicks. But before we get deeper into this topic lets first understand what an e-commerce business is.

What is E-commerce?

Any business or commercial activity where transfer of information about products /services, sale/purchase and transaction is done using internet as the medium can be termed as e-commerce business. Today e-commerce business involves wide range of products. Right from clothing to electronic gadgets and home utilities almost everything is available on internet.

In the past five years, e commerce business has grown rapidly and is expected to grow at even higher rate in coming future. Most of the big brands have opened their online stores and many small companies are also using the online platform to increase their sale. With such a growth that e-commerce business is taking one can expect that the difference between traditional and electronic commerce will gradually disappear.
The increasing growth of e-commerce means that people who are behind the online platform must work in an impeccable manner for company’s brand promotion, profit and most importantly customer satisfaction.  When managing the backend work, there are various issues faced by the people who are involved in logistics, support and customer service.

Issues of People at Backend

Since e-commerce business runs through a dynamic website, the people involved in updating the website and its maintenance plays very important role.  They are the ones who have the pressure to continuously upload the images and information of the products/services. And remove the ones which are out of stock or sold out etc. Since every product has a unique number or item code, the same should be displayed correctly so, the customer is delivered the right product.

People working for the e-commerce website need to have update on new products coming in. The offers and discounts available should be correctly displayed.  And most importantly they also need to check that the website is user-friendly and runs smoothly.  Since each product has codes, numbers, description, it requires deep concentration for people uploading & maintaining the details at backend. They have to be very alert in cross-checking as what is running on the site.  They may get in trouble for one wrong update which may become a blunder if the customer faces any issue due to this.
Issues of People in Logistics

The people in logistics have tedious work of managing the supplies and its deliveries. They are the ones who have to check and maintain the stock of products.  They have to maintain the reports of the products which are in access stock, in demand or are out of stock.
Logistics people face tremendous pressure when the company has several thousands of different category products to offer to the customers.  These logistics people have great responsibility of maintaining the stock in accurate quantity. So that, they do not fall sort of any product nor are they left with access of product of same type/category with low sale volume.

They have to coordinate with warehouse keeper and manufacturer for ordering and maintaining the stock. The products which are to be dispatched are also taken care by the logistics team. In-time deliveries of the products keep people in logistics always on toe.
Issues of People in Customer Service

The people in customer service or support solve the customer queries over call. This is one of the toughest and most crucial aspects of e-commerce business. Since customers do not get to touch and feel the products, they have many queries regarding product, its order, delivery, cancellation, payment, refund and exchange.

The people in touch with customers have to be smart, resourceful and polite. Dealing with customers is not an easy task and handling their complaints requires the customer executive to be very patient. Their phone lines are constantly ringing and each representative attend around 175 calls per day in 8 hrs of their working. Clients may abuse over call and even threaten the staff. Keeping that same energy and politeness till the last call of the day as their first call is the most needed requirement of the role for delighted customer service in this business. People who are in delivery team have to face the customers directly. They are the ones who face customers’ appreciation, dissatisfaction and anguish straight on face and always on the move for timely delivery.

In spite the personal issues and other organizational issues, these people have to deal with tremendous work pressure. Sometimes their work takes toll on their personal lives and relationships with their colleagues, near and dear ones.

How Executive Coaching can help?

This is yet another area where executive coaching plays a vital role in improving the productivity of the employees and making them more resourceful by overcoming the pressures. Executive Coaching at this level will provide the e-commerce manpower to empower themselves and work efficiently towards the organizational goals and targets. Coaching will help to identify the cause of stuck state, failures, stressors and challenges that the staff is facing at different levels and enable them to overcome them.

While coaching the employees we help them develop the skills, behaviour and confidence which will enhance their thinking and analytical power to solve all their professional challenges. Hence, we can say that executive coaching is basically a development process. We as coach works with the person at their subconscious level and ask left brain and right brain questions. Left brain is the logical part and right is creative solution driven part. The answers of the questions help us to infer the root-cause of the problem that the person is facing and help them replace their negative beliefs with the positive ones. Coaching can also be executed taking stakeholders of a coachee along the process and also use feedforward mechanism. Group coaching for sales targets, customer service enhancement, cross functional team building and leadership development can help many no. of employees together achieve all their goals in same session. This is highly effective for individual as well as team goal achievement.

Since the coaching is customised as per the need and work profile of the person, so, it becomes a magic wagon which carries one to completely new self. And one can experience a noticeable change in his thoughts, action and beliefs. Working in an e-commerce business of large scale will become a fun and employees will start loving their responsibilities.

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