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December 19, 2017

How and when to delegate to your ecommerce team

In an ever-evolving industry, full of pressures to keep up with the latest tech innovations and digital trends, every Head of Ecommerce needs to know how and when to delegate effectively.

Delegation is so important in senior roles and our ecommerce strategist, Stephen Elldred, has outlined the 6 key reasons to delegate to your ecommerce team and when to do it:

1. Improve your communication

Good communication is crucial, both within your team and across your third-party relationships. Delegate and align the relationships with the appropriate members of the team, who have both the skill set and aptitude to suit. Get the best value out of your agencies and third-parties by allowing their specialist skills and knowledge to create impact and ROI for your business.

2. Keep developing, improving and be inspired by others

There are many nuances and pitfalls in delegating to your team. An important thing to consider is setting your team challenges rather than tasks. Teams will complete tasks, but you ideally want them to find solutions to challenges, helping them to:

  • improve its collective intelligence
  • grow together
  • become more efficient.

This will breed confidence amongst your team, so they will be more eager to learn, develop and achieve. Increased efficiency will benefit your team (and you), as your time will be freed up to focus on high-level strategy and decision-making

3. Free up more time to focus on strategy

A malaise that affects numerous businesses, is strategy stagnating due department heads and management being spread to thinly and becoming blind to the issues within the organisation.

Delegating key responsibilities to your team (and third-parties) will enable you to take a more agile approach to strategy. Increased focus on your ecommerce strategy will help you to discover more opportunities for growth and innovation.

4. Embrace new networks and technology

Latest tech trends in ecommerce

The ecommerce world is still in its infancy, so allocating time to focus on the network around your business is vital. Efficiently using your team to free up more of your time will enable you to collaborate with tech partners and third-party solutions, which can enhance your offering and keep you on top of the latest technology and trends.

Be an innovator. Ecommerce is a data-driven and customer-led industry now, with consumer expectations increasing in line with the speed of digital change. There are lots of great technology providers which many retailers are not taking advantage of. Communicating with these providers should be a priority for a Head of Ecommerce.

5. Build the right team around you

Knowing what to delegate to who within your team relies on understanding your team’s strengths and weakness. At Space 48, we’re advocates of carrying out personality tests and team dynamic analysis. Myers Briggs is a well-known personality test, but we use a colour-based tool to establish different personality types in our teams, breaking them down into four key personality types/colours.

Check out Space 48’s DNA profiler tool.

These tests enable you to adapt and communicate more effectively with your team, and delegate appropriate challenges and responsibilities.

To quote the motivational speaker Jim Rohn, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” The result of any given situation will be the average of all outcomes.

Understanding your team dynamic and empowering individuals will breed better results. Knowing how they will influence you and each other is key for good delegation and building efficient teams. They will help you make more informed decisions.

6. Make more balanced and informed decisions

This is where “group flow decision making” comes in. The group flow decision making model covers the four key personality types/colours we mentioned earlier and activates your team’s collective intelligence. This method of evaluating your plans from each personality type’s perspective helps leaders to increase productivity by making more balanced decisions, based on these different perspectives.

We recommend taking brainstorming and project planning through this filter, to create better ideas, reveal more opportunities, highlight key risks and save money. Crucially, each member of your team will feel like they’re having a direct impact and making a difference to the business.

Wrap up

Delegation is just not a business buzzword or an excuse to reduce your workload, it’s a key part of being better leader. We hope you found these tips and insights useful.

We’ll leave you with this Support vs Challenge Matrix below, which is a handy formula when considering your delegation approach. You should look to lead your team members into the top right area, which is a healthy balance of giving them challenges and provide adequate support:

Support vs challenge leadership in ecommerce

If you’d like more advice about effective delegation, get in touch with our ecommerce consultants and see how we can help you improve your efficiency.

Want to hit the ground running in 2018? Grab our great Guide to Creating an Ecommerce Roadmap! Space 48 is a leading UK ecommerce consultancy, based in Manchester. We create award-winning omnichannel strategies for top retail brands. Download this handy guide and steer your brand onto the path to success in 2018!