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What Would Ecommerce Managers Do With Unlimited Budget?

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What would Ecommerce Managers do with unlimited budget? That’s one of the questions we asked a select group of Managers in the retail sector at our Networking Breakfast. The answer may surprise you…

The budget question was much avoided and groaned over, but in the end there was no escaping it. We had expected perhaps a complete re-platform, whizzy analytics packages or a sleek and sophisticated TV campaign. Maybe even just having enough of a buffer to be able to provide free shipping and returns.

However, the answer was, resolutely: we’d hire. Seriously, we’re not just saying that. Here’s why:

Develop talent
One manager from an SME didn’t just want to hire, she wanted to hire people who specifically wanted to work in ecommerce. Many of the managers present had been given a break to get into ecom, and would like to give forward and provide opportunities for up and coming talents. Managers want to teach, develop and work with people who are committed to their brand.

It was noted that from the inside of larger businesses, ecom can seem a bit clinical, like reviewing receipts at the checkout. This manager loved the storytelling aspect of ecommerce (‘why is this person not buying something they’ve clicked on?’) and wanted to inspire people to get that emotional connection with ecom and their business.

People are drivers
It isn’t just the small companies that want to hire. Larger companies recognise that great people are needed to drive things forward. In businesses that are stuck in the past managers want to hire to get more people on their side! People, not tech or strategy, are seen as key to digital success.

Agency over-reliance
By far the biggest reason to hire is to stop relying on agencies so much, predominantly because it is costly and there is a lack of commitment to the brand. Those who outsource all their design and development complained that agencies cost a lot and don’t really understand or care about the work they’re doing. One manager admitted that she uses work she isn’t pleased with because it is just too expensive to get it refined. Certainly the smaller brands around the table felt they aren’t very important to their agencies, and get no ‘out of the box’ thinking from them.

The managers felt that they would certainly have more control over their budgets if more activity were in house, although they did agree that certain things, like tricky web development, should be outsourced to experts. One common complaint was waiting ages for things to be implemented and getting excuses from their agency partners. As well as teaching and developing staff, the managers like to be able to track their projects, which is harder with agencies. At least in house they can support and help their team make things happen.

This conversation was, obviously, very good news for us as recruiters! But it also shows where priorities in ecommerce lie. Managers want more control over everyday budgets and projects, and also want to look to the future, inspiring younger talent to drive the future of ecommerce. Which is very good news for everyone.


If you would like to know more about our networking events, or to join one, get in touch here.

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