E-commerce is one of the most fast-paced industries. It’s always changing due to growing customer needs and wants, industry trends, and innovative developments from e-commerce companies worldwide.
If you want to thrive in such an industry, you have to keep up. The best way to do this? Prioritize team collaboration in your business.
Team collaboration can optimize your operational workflow to keep up with the ever-evolving e-commerce business landscape.
You can keep up with constant orders and take care of customers better when everyone works well together. In addition, projects and tasks, like packing and shipping and marketing your e-commerce website are executed faster and more efficiently, fueling business growth.
Let’s look at the impact team collaboration can have on an e-commerce business in more depth.
The Role of Team Collaboration in an E-commerce Operation
E-commerce industry sales are expected to reach over 32.3 billion USD as of 2024 in Australia alone. More and more e-commerce businesses will emerge to meet the demand for online shopping.
Not only will you need to differentiate yourself from the competitive landscape, but you’ll also need to continuously accommodate the ever-changing needs and desires of consumers to stay on top in e-commerce.
Strong teams that embrace cross-departmental collaboration are fundamental in providing an exceptional customer experience and staving off the competition. Team collaboration offers a couple of other benefits as well.
E-commerce businesses are fast-paced. From packing and shipping orders to managing inventory to marketing and sales working ferociously to keep customers coming in, there’s always something to do.
The fast-paced nature of e-commerce businesses makes it that much more important to be efficient. You can’t afford to fall behind. But unfortunately, that’s what happens when teams don’t work together. Everyone ends up trying to do their own thing rather than making a collective effort toward the same goals.
A lot more can get done on a quicker timeline when teams are collaborating within and across departments.
Bring the entire company closer together
Silos can be detrimental to an e-commerce business. They restrict communication and resource and information sharing across departments. And when departments don’t communicate and share, it shuts off connection and camaraderie between your employees.
Team collaboration gives employees space to grow strong individual relationships with one another. As a result, they’ll be more productive and improve the performance of their respective departments.
It also encourages them to connect with coworkers across departments, bringing the entire company closer together.
Provide the best customer experience
Customers will probably interact with every department in your business at some point. They might even encounter multiple departments in one interaction. Either way, you need to ensure every interaction is pleasant to ensure customers have the best experience with your business.
All of your departments need to be in the habit of working together to facilitate such an experience. Quality standards have to span across your entire organization to ensure customers have a positive experience, whether with marketing content, a customer service call, or a sales email.
Not only that, if a customer has to be passed from one department to another, it’s important there isn’t a lapse in communication in the transition. For example, let’s say a customer starts a conversation about a refund with your website’s chatbot.
If the chatbot determines the conversation needs to continue with a live representative, that rep should have access to all of the information exchanged in the chatbot communication so that the customer doesn’t have to repeat it.
Departments need to be communicative with and accessible to one another to create the best experience for customers.
Stay a step ahead of the competition
Every employee in your organization comes with different backgrounds, experiences, and skill sets. If you hire strategically, you’ll have a diverse team that offers creative ways to solve problems and incite growth in your company.
This innovation helps you to be a step ahead of competitors who’ve yet to tap into the power of diversity, let alone cross-departmental collaboration.
For example, let’s say you’re seeing a significant decrease in sales. It could be because your products aren’t functioning well. It could be because your marketing content about your new products isn’t resonating. It could also be because your sales team isn’t closing the deal.
Bring your product development, marketing, and sales teams together to discuss the potential causes mentioned above. They can then put together a strategy that involves all three departments to hopefully spark an uptick in sales faster than if they worked on individual strategies.
Must-Have Collaboration Tools for E-commerce Teams
Team collaboration can result in a lot of good for your e-commerce business. But you must be intentional about encouraging and improving team collaboration among your departments if you want to experience the benefits above.
The first step is implementing collaboration tools that will facilitate communication, creation, and cooperation.
For instance, project management tools will help you organize tasks and projects and track progress on them in real time. Messaging and video conferencing tools keep your teams connected no matter their location. A virtual workspace allows everyone to create together.
Let’s take a deeper look at further benefits of collaboration tools.
Project management software
The e-commerce task and project list seems never-ending:
- Packing and shipping orders
- Processing returns and exchanges
- Solidifying your sales channels
- Growing your online presence
- Ordering products and materials from suppliers
- Resolving customer concerns and complaints
- Creating marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness
- Uploading new product listings to your e-commerce site
The list of responsibilities goes on. Nonetheless, you must keep track of them all and ensure everyone on your team understands their role in each project or task.
That’s where quality project management software is incredibly helpful. You can establish project workflows and timelines and streamline processes for better productivity. You can also see everyone’s work and get reports that give you insight into how to work better together.
Video conferencing tool
A video conferencing tool is essential for team communication and collaboration. Many e-commerce businesses have remote teams with workers from across the globe.
If you have one of these teams, a video-conferencing tool is particularly essential because it’s the best way to mimic in-person communication and collaboration.
Everyone can’t be in the same room. But that doesn’t mean you can’t see each other and have face-to-face conversations and collaboration sessions that drive productivity.
Look for a video conferencing tool that’s easy to access and navigate. Make sure there aren’t restrictions on how often or how long you can conduct video chats, or how many people can attend them. You want your team to be able to connect whenever they need to.
Instant messaging software
Instant messaging software in addition to a video conferencing tool is a fantastic combination. Sometimes, a video chat isn’t necessary but you need to contact someone in a different department or on your team to get a quick answer to something.
With instant messaging capabilities, you can send anyone in your organization a message and get an answer in real time. You don’t have to walk to the department across the way or send an email only to get a response days later.
It’s great if instant messaging is built into your project management tool. However, there is also a host of instant messaging software to choose from that can easily integrate with the systems you already have.
Customer relationship management (CRM) system
If there’s one thing every department in your e-commerce business will work with, it’s your customers. Whether they’re engaging in a customer service call, creating content for them, shipping out an order, or processing a sale, all of your teams need access to customer information.
A CRM system houses all of your business’s interactions and communications with current and potential customers. It keeps everyone on the same page with how to best serve each customer when your teams work from the same source of customer information, facilitating positive experiences across the board.
Identify your business needs and consider how your team would use your CRM daily to narrow down your choices. Be sure to ask for a demo of the system that seems like the best fit for your company before making a final decision.
Virtual workspace software
You know that conference room where you gather your team and you all scribble on that whiteboard and work on a project together? That’s essentially what a virtual workspace replicates. It allows your teams to co-work together online.
Everyone can create directly on the virtual whiteboard or canvas in their respective colours and see changes in real time. You can share your screens, make notes, instant messages, and work together in the same way you would if you were all in the same room together.
Virtual workspace software comes in all shapes and sizes. So, try out a few free trials for virtual workspaces if they’re offered to get a feel for how your team can use them to enhance team collaboration.
Strategies for Facilitating Seamless Team Collaboration
It will take more than a handful of collaboration tools to get your marketing, sales, logistics, and customer support teams to work well together. You must embed team collaboration into the core of your e-commerce operation with additional strategies that facilitate seamless collaboration between departments, such as:
- Setting clear goals and expectations for achieving them for every project.
- Establishing open communication channels and showing your teams how to use them effectively.
- Hosting company-wide meetings and brainstorming sessions regularly to develop new ideas together.
- Having weekly or monthly team-building activities to build trust and genuine relationships across departments.
- Rewarding team members participating in cross-departmental collaboration.
Get feedback from your employees about how team collaboration is going. Make notes about their suggestions and ask your team to help craft a plan to implement them moving forward.
The chances of your e-commerce business evolving are slim when you don’t prioritize team collaboration. Morale and engagement go up, the customer experience gets better, efficiency improves, and you stay a step ahead of the competition when your teams and departments work well together.
Research the collaboration tools to decide which are best for your operation. And embed team collaboration into the core of your company with the strategies mentioned above.