Engagement with data entry service providers is always a profitable deal for ecommerce companies. By outsourcing the activity, companies avail quality services, improve time utilization, get the products branded, and effectively reach target customers.
Today, millions of products are sold over the internet, and for a product to be visible, the product information has to be search-engine optimized. So, ecommerce companies want product information to be well-presented so that customers can quickly grasp it. The content has to be attractive and appealing to draw the attention of more and more people. As a result, for eCommerce companies, product data entry is no more an ordinary operational task; rather, it has become an important component of their branding strategy.
Given the dynamic needs, ecommerce companies consider fast execution, low cost, high quality, and security as a key characteristics of successful data entry operations. To meet the requirements and ensure smooth operations, outsourcing stands out as the best option. As we move ahead, we will see how outsourcing product data entry proves useful to ecommerce companies.
What is a product data entry service?
Over ecommerce websites, thousands of products are displayed, and what enables potential buyers to arrive at the right choice for purchase is product information. Multiple elements which together form product information include a product image, product description, product specification, offers and sales information, pricing details, manufacturer details, vendor details, availability details, and all other requisite details. Product data entry services are services that enable accurate capturing of all such important product details, thereby increasing product visibility and giving customers correct and complete product information.
Why ecommerce stores need to outsource product data entry
Product data entry is a specialized service that involves several considerations. The product information just need not be accurate, but descriptions should be attractive and engaging. The product titles and names have to be catchy. As a result, a good product description, along with giving complete information of the product must also help in branding.
Ecommerce companies need to accurately record information of millions of products in quick succession. Doing this in-house means developing capabilities by recruiting staff and training them; altogether, this is a time-consuming and cost-intensive process.
What if the task can be executed in much less time and at reasonable rates? Yes, this is possible by availing services from vendors which specialize in the operations. Product data entry service providers employ highly trained and experienced data entry professionals who do the job in a fraction of time and streamline the entire data entry process.
Top 7 benefits of outsourcing ecommerce product data entry
Following are the proven benefits that can be derived by outsourcing the operations. Let’s have a look at each of them.
1. Cuts costs
59% of companies find that outsourcing effectively helps in cost and time optimization.
If organizations decide to perform data entry operations themselves, then they need to initiate the long chain of building the in-house function. They need to search for talent, build the infrastructure, and come up with operational excellence frameworks.
Overall, this is a very costly process that no company desires, as optimizing cost to the extent possible is always the main focus of decision-makers. On the other hand, outsourcing gives an opportunity to avail the same services at low charges, that too from skilled professionals who deliver the output within time.
2. Enables focus on core business
57% of companies feel that outsourcing is essential as it helps them focus on core business objectives.
While data entry is an important operational activity, high-level strategic goals are always the focus of top-level executives. However, as product data entry plays a vital role in product branding, the operational significance of the process cannot be ignored.
Outsourcing helps ecommerce companies to avail two-way benefits. Firstly, it enables internal stakeholders to concentrate more on their core strategies which can be tracked and monitored efficiently. Secondly, the data entry operations, too, are very well incorporated in the strategy framework, as outsourcing ensures the efficiency of the process.
3. Solves capacity issues
47% of companies consider that outsourcing best enables them to handle capacity issues.
As ecommerce companies continue to grow, they also begin to face increasing challenges in capacity planning. Right from physical resources, manpower planning, technology adoption, and operational planning, capacity considerations are an important part of the overall eCommerce value chain.
Having an internal data entry function means increasing overhead for capacity planners. Outsourcing helps the planners by keeping them away from the problem and helps them focus on other important capacity planning tasks which are more strongly associated with ROI considerations.
4. Enhances service quality
31% of companies have experienced that outsourcing has significantly helped them in improving the service quality.
What if the operations function is bent on having its own data entry team, and brings in requisite talent, trains them and start engaging them, only to experience high inefficiencies? Well, the possibility cannot be ignored.
With outsourcing, service providers are bound by the commitment to guarantee high accuracy and provide quality services. Service providers are also liable for compensation, and the engagement norms make them to ensure that services are top-notch.
5. Critical to business needs
28% of companies consider outsourcing as a way of availing services from talented professionals.
As eCommerce domain is expanding, companies operating in the space have been competing to bring in the best talent which can enable the companies to move up the ladder.
Third-party data entry operators are specially trained professionals who execute the tasks diligently, and so outsourcing data entry services directly engage companies with skilled staff, which aligns with their talent engagement and management planning.
6. Manages business environments
17% of companies have outsourcing as a part of their business strategy for ensuring the right business environments.
Ecommerce is a competitive space, and new players continue to emerge fast. To make effective utilization of every available resource, having employee-friendly work ecosystems ensure that business environments are efficient.
Product data entry is a hectic process that with time can become monotonous for operators. Third-party data entry professionals are trained to handle humdrum in the activity lest their efficiency goes down with time, and this helps in keeping the business environment intact.
7. Access to intellectual capital
17% of companies accelerate their operational performance through engagement with the right partners.
Improving operational performance is a critical goal, and it can be achieved if stakeholders working on the given tasks are well-efficient. Every employee, by efficiently executing the assigned task, creates intangible assets for companies.
Over the period of time, third-party data entry operators enable the company to learn crucial aspects pertaining to process quality, level of expertise needed, and cost planning. All this knowledge is implicitly transferred which helps the company in the long run.
How to choose the best product data entry partner
The selection of data entry service providers should be based on key criteria each of which is essential for the successful performance of the intended operation. Following are the key parameters based on which the selection of the data entry partner should be made. Let’s see them.
Level of Customization
Not each product requires the same type of service, and so, companies prior to getting engaged with a service partner must get a complete idea of various types of solutions offered by the service provider.
Each ecommerce company has its own consideration as regards product data entry, which is determined by the type of products it sells, its core competency, and its view of comprehensive solutions. The company must examine if service provider offers required options so that the service is flexible and dynamic to accommodate changes.
Accuracy and quality
In ecommerce product data entry, errors cannot be tolerated because of the sheer volume of entries that have to be made correctly in a very short span of time. While speed is desired, accuracy cannot be sacrificed.
The service partner must give testimony of their high accuracy levels in services. Accuracy and quality parameters, in fact, work in tandem, and accuracy acts as an input to produce quality data.
Industry knowledge and expertise
There’s a difference between an expert delivering a service and a non-expert working on the same task. Ecommerce companies cannot afford to lose time, and so to accomplish the tasks of data entry, they need people who have worked in similar situations.
Experienced professionals bring in industry knowledge and are expert in working in pressure situations and high-paced environments, which is a feature of ecommerce companies.
Level of data security
Security of data is the most important attribute, and when the data is left at the service provider’s trust, it is presumed that the company has verified the service provider’s security mechanisms.
If an ecommerce company is thinking of outsourcing its data entry operations, then it means it is giving access to some crucial data to external stakeholders. The engagement becomes successful when there are robust security frameworks that prevent leakage of data and regulate accessibility.
Service cost is, in fact, what decides if engagement will happen or not. Companies always try to find vendors which can provide quality service at a low price.
Prior to arriving at the final decision, eCommerce companies will first look for all such service providers which deliver quality services. Ultimately, they will go with the one which is ready to engage at the price lower than those quoted by others. However, quality parameters shouldn’t be hampered by pricing decisions.
While availing services from third parties, the speed of operations matters a lot. Here, turnaround time (TAT) is a KPI that helps companies to track the performance of operators.
Ecommerce companies can decide how much time a record should get captured by defining metrics like records per minute, records per day, etc. TAT is an indicator of the skills of operators, and the well-trained staff always tries to keep it as low as possible.
Mechanisms to track and monitor
Service providers should have strong mechanisms to track and monitor the performance of their service operations as well as of their workers. And when workers are executing tasks for client companies then companies must also be allowed to measure the performance.
Ecommerce operations are characterized by high work intensity, and measuring performance is essential to ensure that each entity is working with its maximum capability. Service providers should track the productivity of their operators by regularly monitoring KPIs and verify if the indicators are within the desired ranges.
Flexibility and scalability
Dynamic nature of business operations prompts the need for services that should be scalable and offer flexibility. Companies prefer only those service providers which offer high flexibility levels.
Ecommerce companies keep adding new portfolios. As new products keep coming in, the data entry operators should be accommodative enough to deal with sudden changes in service requirements.
Arrangement for emergency
At times, there may be a sudden surge in the sale of products and services, and the current staff strength may not be in a position to cope with the increased pressure.
To effectively handle emergency situations, service providers must commit to providing reinforcement so that business operations are not hampered, and service levels remain intact.
One of the crucial parameters that distinguish eCommerce product data entry from other forms of data entry is available time to execute the task. Stringent conditions force the need to have capabilities that can deliver expected results in stipulated time.
Ecommerce companies may definitely derive benefits by outsourcing their product data entry operations to external service providers. However, to forge a successful engagement, companies must have a checklist of success parameters. Moreover, multiple what-if analyses must be driven so as understand what option works best for them.