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Why Having a Remote Team is a Good Investment for Your E-commerce Business

Updated: 3 days ago

Managing an International Remote Team in E-Commerce: Massive Advantages and Serious Pitfalls

After building a successful e-commerce business from the ground up, your company is growing, and you need help managing the increasing workload. You know you need to grow your team, but expanding is challenging. As a business owner, you must carefully consider the cost, expertise, culture match, training, and more. Thankfully, you can find the best talents for your growing team right across borders. International remote teams are the secret weapon of many leading e-commerce companies. They provide access to skilled, motivated self-starters who can support your business goals. 

As entrepreneurs who went from doing it all to building a high-performing remote team, Gregg Carey and Lara Guevara learned the keys to making it work. After hiring A-players from the Philippine virtual talent pool and providing them with coaching support, Gregg and Lara saw their e-commerce apparel brand grow 3x in size in two years. Not all who hire offshore are able to take their business to new heights. So how did they make it work?

Read on to discover key insights from the webinar that featured Gregg and Lara, The Massive Advantages and the Serious Pitfalls of Managing an E-commerce Remote Team. You can take your business to the next level with the right strategies.

Embracing the Shift: Mindset Changes for Modern Leaders

Getting on board with new ways of working and leading teams in the digital age demands a shift in mindset for business leaders. It's about cultivating a growth mindset, focusing on continuous learning and improvement, and stepping away from the traditional command-and-control leadership styles that once dominated. Let's be honest, adapting to this change isn't always easy. It's a complex process that challenges the status quo. Still, it's essential for staying relevant and successful in today's fast-paced, technology-driven world. 

This involves mindset and process shifting:

From Doing to Delegating

Your time is valuable. Rather than getting bogged down with tasks, focus on delegating to your virtual team–there are experts in supply chain, operations, marketing, and more who can do the job well. Identify responsibilities that can be handed off, provide clear instructions, and empower your team to take ownership. This frees you up to focus on high-level strategy and growth.

From Cost Savings to Talent Access

While the cost benefits of offshoring are attractive, the real value lies in accessing top talent that would otherwise be unavailable. Your international team has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can drive innovation. Tap into it!

From Managing Tasks to Managing People

Leading a remote international team requires a shift from micro-managing tasks to macro-managing people. Get to know your team members, understand their strengths, and find ways to motivate and engage them. Provide constructive feedback, set clear expectations, and give them opportunities to grow into leadership roles.

The Massive Advantages of E-Commerce Remote Team Management

Managing an e-commerce remote team comes with many benefits. Remote teams allow companies to scale quickly and efficiently by accessing a global talent pool. With remote workers, companies can realize:

Talent Leverage and Cost Savings

A remote team, especially an international one, allows you to access top talent at a lower cost. As Gregg said, you can hire a $15/hour manager with the equivalent of $30/hour in the US. That’s huge savings, not just in salary but also in overhead costs like office space and equipment. You can scale and grow much faster with this talent leverage and cost savings.

24/7 Productivity

24/7 Productivity

How much work is done when you’re asleep? Having remote teams around the world allows for enhanced productivity and round-the-clock operations. Your business never sleeps so that you can get more done each day.

Focus on Strategy, Not Tasks

Going remote and international helps you make the mindset shift from doing to delegating, as Gregg pointed out. You can focus on big-picture strategy instead of daily tasks. Free up your time and mental space by handing off routine work to your virtual teams. With the best talent in place, you’ll have confidence in their abilities and can think more strategically about growth.

Overcoming Challenges

Of course, e-commerce remote team management isn’t without its difficulties. Communication, accountability, and relationship building can be harder across borders and time zones. However, remote and international work challenges can be overcome with the right tools and management practices. The massive advantages make it well worth the effort.

Addressing the Challenges of Managing International Remote Teams

Addressing the Challenges of Managing International Remote Teams

Building an international e-commerce remote team offers massive advantages, but it also brings serious challenges that require careful management. 

Here are some of the top challenges and how to overcome them:

Communication barriers

Communication can easily break down with team members who speak different languages and come from diverse cultures. Make an effort to connect with your remote workers regularly via video chat. Learn about their backgrounds and work styles. Provide clear instructions and open channels for questions. Tools like Slack or Zoom can help bridge language gaps and strengthen relationships within your team.

Time zone difficulties

Collaborating across time zones requires flexibility and planning. Set core hours when the whole team is available and offer flexible schedules. Use time zone conversion tools to find ideal meeting times. Record important meetings or training sessions so remote workers can review them during working hours.

Building trust

Establishing trust is harder when you can’t work together in person. Be transparent in your communication and decision-making. Share company goals and key metrics with your team. Provide opportunities for remote workers to collaborate and connect. Offer praise and recognition, especially for those going above and beyond. Make an effort to visit your remote teams in person when possible.

Balancing control and autonomy

Giving remote workers more independence and flexibility is key to their success and job satisfaction. However, you also need to maintain appropriate oversight and control. Set clear expectations and guidelines around work hours, productivity, and professionalism. Use project management tools to keep tabs on tasks and deadlines. Conduct regular check-ins to provide feedback and support. The more you empower and trust your team, the more autonomy you can offer while still achieving your business goals.

Actionable Tips for Managing Your E-Commerce Remote Team

Actionable Tips for Managing Your E-Commerce Remote Team

Managing an international e-commerce remote team requires adaptability and strong communication. Gregg and Lara shared invaluable insights from their experience building a successful remote team.

1. Invest in Recruiting Top Talent

As Gregg advised,  “Go from cost savings to talent access.” This means hiring the best virtual professionals is key. Look for candidates with relevant experience, technical skills, and soft skills like communication, adaptability, and time management. While cost savings are attractive, don’t sacrifice quality.

2. Provide Effective Onboarding

Onboard new hires thoroughly to set them up for success. Explain your company culture, values, and business model. Clarify roles, responsibilities, and key performance indicators. Ensure new team members understand your communication preferences and have opportunities to ask questions.

3. Adapt to Cultural and Communication Differences

Recognize that remote teams from different cultures may have different communication styles and working methods. Be willing to adapt. For example, some cultures are less aggressive, so criticism should be delivered constructively. Time zones also impact communication, so find times that work for key discussions and be available as needed. Video calling is ideal for important conversations.

4. Lead and Mentor People, Manage Tasks

Don’t just assign tasks—lead and mentor your team. “Go from managing tasks to managing people,” Gregg said. Get to know your team members, understand their strengths and development goals, and look for opportunities to motivate and empower them. Meet regularly via video to build rapport, provide feedback, and ensure everyone is on the same page regarding priorities and deadlines.

To leverage the massive advantages of an international e-commerce remote team, adopt an open and adaptable mindset. Invest in top talent, provide excellent onboarding, adapt to cultural differences, and focus on managing people. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to building a highly productive global team.

Manage your remote teams effectively with More Staffing!

So there you have it, folks; managing an international e-commerce remote team has immense advantages if done right, but it also comes with serious pitfalls if not handled properly. By shifting your mindset to delegate instead of do, access talent instead of save costs, and manage people instead of tasks, you will be well on your way to leveraging global talent for your online business. Just remember that communication and empathy are key when working cross-culturally. If you focus on understanding your team members as people first, the productivity benefits of 24/7 operations will follow.

Want to learn more about optimizing your e-commerce remote team? Reach out to our experts at More Staffing today and unlock the full potential of your remote teams. Contact us for a personalized consultation and take the first step towards global success.

Managing an International Remote Team in E-commerce: The Massive Advantages and The Serious Pitfalls

Note: this article is based on a webinar by More Staffing entitled "Managing an International Remote Team in E-commerce: The Massive Advantages and The Serious Pitfalls" last April 25, 2024. You can access the recording here.

About the Experts

Gregg Carey and Lara Guevara are entrepreneurs with experience in managing remote teams. Prior to co-founding More Staffing, Gregg and Lara worked for an executive education company in Mountain View, California. They also worked for an e-commerce apparel company. They share remote team recruiting, onboarding, communication, and productivity expertise. Their insights are based on years of experience managing remote teams for e-commerce businesses worldwide. 

To learn more about Gregg and Lara's expertise, you can follow them on:


Gregg - @greggcarey



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