It has become increasingly apparent that ecommerce has become the new mainstream commerce in recent years, with online retail driving consumerism and digitalisation within the market. With this, like most industries, it comes with unique challenges for businesses to tackle in this ever evolving market.

New research by cranberry panda has found that staff retention and recruitment are just two of the biggest challenges that ecommerce teams are facing in 2018. 48% of participants found that maintaining their team was one of their biggest issues, closely followed by 42% stating that hiring the right people was also proving to be a difficult task.

Maintaining your team

Ensuring the satisfaction of employees is essential no matter what industry you’re in, and in making sure your team is happy, the likelihood of staff staying at a company is vastly improved. There are a number of ways that bosses can focus on the satisfaction of their teams, including valuing and respecting colleagues, offering company benefits and encouraging the progression of individuals.

One of the main factors to improve employee satisfaction is by offering company benefits. Research has found that 89% of ecommerce employees believe benefits improve company culture, with contributory pension being the most valued offering. Employers should therefore look to implement such benefits that make their team feel valued, such as offering a gym subsidy or life insurance, or even introducing a beer fridge for the office. Offering colleagues that little bit extra shows how valued the team is and that employee satisfaction is always at the forefront of the business.

To go a step further in ensuring the happiness of employees, business should also prioritise making their team feel valued and respected. This can often go overlooked, resulting in individuals not feeling like part of the team. Employers should look to ensure that they are listening to their staff and making their voice heard. This can be in the form of regular catch ups and voicing when colleagues have done a good job in order to recognise contributions to the team. Small acts such as these can make employees aware that their bosses are making a point to ensure they feel respected.

Progression to higher roles is also vital in maintaining ecommerce teams. When individuals are overlooked for a promotion or stay in the same role for too long, they can often begin to look elsewhere and businesses can risk losing a member of their team. Bosses can work with their employees to set strategic goals towards making the right steps to the next role and providing a long term vision on how they can progress. In doing so, this can motivate employees as it sets a clear path toward the next step up in their career.

Hiring the right people

The second pain point for the ecommerce industry is recruitment, more specifically, hiring the perfect fit for a team. There are several steps that businesses can take to not only ease this process, but ensure that they find the correct candidate. It’s important to not just settle for someone who will be an ‘ok fit’ for the team and businesses should be thorough and selective until they find the perfect candidate.

Planning the recruitment process is essential. An important part of defining the vacancy is to lay out the interview process from the start- how many stages will there be? And what does each stage mean? This is an essential part of hiring and creates a seamless process which will engage the right candidates. Once this is determined candidates know exactly what is expected of them, and they can ensure to provide all they need to excel within the process.

If businesses are apprehensive about the process, external help such as a recruiter can aid the entire process and provide advice to ensure that businesses find their perfect fit. Recruitment agencies communicate frequently with the potential new employee, so get to know them and make sure that they know everything about the role. They want to represent their candidates well and guide them through the entire process to make sure they are the best than can be through the entire process.

Research also found that increasing online revenue was the main goal within the ecommerce industry that businesses wanted to achieve in 2018. With a number of well known retailers, such as House of Fraser and Toys R Us, going into decline, it is vital for businesses of all sizes to tackle their main challenges head on in order to remain competitive and thrive. By focusing on the challenges that are currently some of the biggest pain points within the ecommerce industry, businesses can turn their attention towards their main goals for the next 12 months and optimise their other processes.

Jonathan Hall

Jonathan Hall


Jonathan Hall, CEO of cranberry panda.