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What it Takes to Run an E-commerce Business?

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Generally, people are not aware of what it takes to run an e-commerce business. The magnitude of hardships and pressures faced by the people in running and managing an e-commerce business goes unnoticed. If we pull off the curtain, we can actually get to see the human resources that work so hard to make our shopping possible in just a few clicks.

In the current fast-paced lives we lead, get enough time to complete all our chores. We have become so busy that even peaceful outings and we hardly shopping with friends and family have become an enigma, which gets deciphered after meticulous planning and scheduling. Thanks to e-commerce businesses, these little, yet essential, things have become easy for us to take care of.

E-commerce businesses have become the need of the hour, as they have simpli?ed the purchasing dilemma of customers. The concept of online shopping has brought about a revolution in the lives of people, especially those with busy schedules. Then there are the Internet savvy geeks who want to save time, money and energy and yet indulge in a shopping spree. In addition, online shopping also attracts people with lucrative offers and deals, which otherwise are not available at physical 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 pressures faced by the people involved in running and managing e-commerce businesses goes unnoticed by general customers who are content gazing at the list of products available on the website. If we pull off the curtain, we can actually see the human resources that go into making our shopping possible in just a few clicks. But before we get deeper into this topic, let us ? rst understand what an e-commerce business is.

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

In the past ?ve years, e-commerce businesses have grown rapidly and are expected to grow at an even higher rate in the coming future. Most of the big brands have opened their online stores and many small companies are also using the online platform to multiply their sales. With such a leap 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 the company’s brand promotion, pro?t 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 Faced By Backend Staff
Since e-commerce business runs through a dynamic website, the people involved in updating the website and its maintenance play a crucial role in its working. They are the ones who bear the pressure to continuously upload the images and information of the products or services on the respective websites. They also have to ensure that items that are out of stock or sold out are removed from the website. 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 complete and latest information on the new products so they can upload the same on the website. 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, and a brief description, it requires deep concentration for people uploading and maintaining the details at backend. They have to be alert in cross-checking as what is running on the site. They may get into trouble for one wrong update, which may become a blunder if the customer faces any issue due to this.

Issues Faced By Logistics Staff
The people in logistics have the tedious work of managing the supplies and 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 excess, in demand or out of stock.

Logistics people face tremendous pressure when the company has several thousands of products from different categories to offer to the customers. They 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 excess of product of same type or category with low sale volume.

They have to coordinate with the 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 the logistics team always on their toes.

Issues Faced By Customer Service Professionals
The people in customer service or support are involved in resolving customer queries over call. This is one of the toughest and most crucial aspects of any e-commerce business. Since customers do not get to touch and feel the products, they have many queries regarding the 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 attends around 175 calls a day in 8 hours of their working time. 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 skill most required in this kind of role. People who are in the delivery team have to face the customers directly.

They are the ones who face customers’ appreciation, dissatisfaction and anguish straight on the face and they are the ones always on the move for timely delivery. In spite of their personal issues and other organisational issues, these people have to deal with tremendous work pressure. Sometimes their work takes a heavy toll on their personal lives and relationships with their colleagues, and near and dear ones.

How Executive Coaching Can Help
Executive coaching plays a vital role in improving the productivity of the employees and making them more resourceful by overcoming day-to-day work pressures. Executive coaching at this level helps the e-commerce work force to empower themselves and work efficiently towards the organisational goals and targets. Coaching also helps 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.

During coaching the employees, they are helped to develop their skills, behaviours and confidence, which further enhances 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 a coach work with the person at their subconscious level and ask left-brain and right-brain questions. Left brain is the logical part and right is the creative solution driven part. Based on the answers they give to the questions, we infer the root-cause of the problem that the person is facing and help them replace their negative beliefs with positive ones. Coaching can also be executed taking stakeholders of a coachee along the process and also use feed-forward mechanism. Group coaching for sales targets, customer service enhancement, cross-functional team building and leadership development can help a number of employees together to achieve all their goals in the same session.

This is highly effective forindividuals as well as for achieving team goals. Since the coaching is customised as per the need and work profile of the person, it becomes a magic wagon which carries one to a completely new self. Post the coaching sessions, one can experience a noticeable change in their thoughts, actions and beliefs. Working in an e-commerce business of large scale will eventually become fun and employees will start loving their responsibilities.

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