We’ve talked a lot about headless up to this point, but we understand that it can be a tough decision to let another vendor manage your eCommerce platform while the customer experience and design are managed separately.
Some readers might ask, “Why should we outsource our eCommerce platform at all? We’re doing fine right now.”
Let’s put headless discussions aside for a moment and take a step back. If you’re still unsure about whether to outsource your eCommerce platform, there are some serious advantages you should know.
The primary benefit of outsourcing your eCommerce is experience.
Rather than trying to manage every aspect of your eCommerce platform alongside your core business functions, you get the skills and expertise of trusted service providers who have spent years in the industry. This single benefit opens up a wealth of other advantages worth noting.
Having a company with years of experience running your eCommerce solution means that you can take your hands off the wheel and focus your efforts where they’re needed more - marketing, merchandising, traffic acquisition, and so on.
As business owners know, running an eCommerce solution isn’t as simple as it seems. From managing your supply chain to ensuring that product inventory is accurate to dealing with customer service requests, your platform sees a lot of action. Most business owners just aren’t up to the task of dealing with these issues alongside their core business functions, even with IT teams in their corner.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the scope of your duties as it is, the answer isn’t to build out your assets further. It’s to look at new ways to manage your existing infrastructure and future-proof your business with a more flexible framework.
The option to build on top of a headless platform means that the most complicated and business-sensitive portion of your online operation is managed externally, leaving you free to focus on the customer experience.
It might seem counterintuitive that handing off your platform would translate into more control, but that’s exactly how it is.
We like to explain this concept to clients through the analogy of giving your car to a mechanic. While you might be loathe to let someone else drive your car, a mechanic who knows the ins and outs of the vehicle will be able to detect errant engine noises, mushy brake pedals, or underinflated tires—issues you may not have been aware of. By identifying and correcting these issues, you’re extending the lifecycle of your vehicle and taking control over your vehicle ownership.
The same applies to eCommerce. By teaming up with a trusted vendor who can manage your platform, you’re guaranteeing that everything will run the way it should across all eCommerce functions:
Shipping & Fulfillment
In short, you gain control by focusing on your eCommerce experience while letting your vendor control the platform.
Unlike many other businesses, eCommerce-oriented companies face significant risk from technical errors, coding mistakes, and exploits. Every second of downtime means money lost, and many businesses that are running eCommerce platforms aren’t equipped to detect these issues.
Managed service providers make platform security a priority in the interest of protecting their customers’ information. Often, this protection goes far beyond what individual companies typically have, especially for smaller companies just getting started with eCommerce.
Your company is growing—but is your platform growing at the same rate?
As your business expands, you’ll be entering more and more data on customer touchpoints, order history, purchasing trends, transportation details, and more. Your platform grows alongside your company, but the two don’t always scale at the same rate.
You might find that your systems are bogged down with extraneous data you aren’t using (your platform is growing faster than your company), or you don’t have the functionalities and features that your customers want (your company is growing faster than your platform). In either case, this mismatch presents challenges to business growth.
The right eCommerce platform vendor can help manage your platform and its constituent systems to ensure everything stays consistent. This ensures that your business is optimized to provide the right level of service today, but also that your company will be ready to handle any front-end or experience changes that will come as you scale.
Outsourcing helps a growing organization control costs by offering stable, reliable, and efficient services.
Technical problems eat up a lot of time and require you to have a dedicated support staff to put out fires. And while no company could live without these essential support services, the cost in time and administration can be burdensome. In addition to the cost, your team is likely going to attempt to solve for issues that are not specific to your company.
In other words, they’re solving for technical issues or dealing with problems that others have already solved.
This is where outsourcing pays dividends. By letting a partner handle your eCommerce platform management and hosting, you gain an important advantage in workforce management.
You don’t have to invest in building out extensive development teams, and you don’t need to worry about scaling your teams up or down based on workload demands. All staffing and coordination are handled by the eCommerce provider.
On top of that, outsourcing offers cost predictability across reporting periods. All costs (whether they’re ongoing services or one-off projects) are outlined by the vendor ahead of time and accounted for in billing. This type of consistency and visibility helps growing companies get a better hold on their IT costs and reduces variability in IT spend across the board.