As an online version of traditional retail, ecommerce follows almost the same processes, but not the same number of employees. Ecommerce can be a one-man show, and it can run like a shop with an army of staff, from the cashiers to the stock clerk. That one man, however, should be the owner and manager. If it follows a different business structure, it still requires that one person to act as an ecommerce manager.
What does an e-commerce manager do when there is no else or there is only a few people to manage? In the virtual marketplace, business roles can take on a totally different form. Because e-commerce is a business transaction between computer systems, a manager will be responsible for a wide range of back-end roles.
Ecommerce begins with a website where transactions take place. Whether it’s built on Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, Zencart or Opencart, it’ll require communication between you and the vendors, or between you and the clients. There are lots of factors that make an impressive e-commerce website, but only a few may be applicable to your type of products and services. It is then your responsibility as a manager to collaborate with designers, website developers and content providers to create the most appropriate and cost-effective web system.
You must ensure that the website has all the functions visitors’ and clients’ need to select, order and pay for products and/or services. It is your job to develop a flowchart that web designers will use as a guide for design implementation.
Business strategy development
Together with the product and marketing managers, ecommerce managers develop an online strategy that takes into consideration online offers and sales, product pricing and online policies. This duty also involves monitoring costs, developing project budgets, and generating status reports to track sales.
Marketing strategy and execution
It is your job to identify your target market, so you can develop the best marketing campaign that will attract more customers and increase website traffic and online sales. Part of this process is to generate leads and convert them into paying clients. This is where customer intelligence comes into play, which will help you better understand consumer behaviour and their spending power. It is also through customer intelligence that you can create a more personalised approach to email marketing and other promotional tools.
An e-commerce manager is also responsible for protecting consumers against cybersecurity risks, such as virus, malware and data breach. Because security is critical to the success of an ecommerce business, you must work with security specialists to ensure stored customer data is protected against identity thieves and cyber criminals. You must also ensure that payment providers offer your clients a secure payment system when using credit or debit cards.
Since ecommerce is dependent on website performance, part of an ecommerce manager’s role is to regularly monitor the site content and system. This means making sure the entire website is working properly, that all functionality, especially around the shopping cart is working properly, and that the pages load quickly. Page errors and broken links are lost business. Maintenance is all about keeping things running smoothly to ensure the website is up and running at all times so you can keep selling.