what is a good e-commerce manager?
According to Wikipedia, e-commerce is:
“The activity of electronically buying or selling of products on online services or over the Internet.”
so what are the possibilities and who is the e-commerce manager?
Different companies have varying ideas about what an e-commerce manager is, does and what they manage. Does the industry determine where the focus will lie?
Some companies see e-commerce management as a marketing role, others assign it to IT. At the same time, others consider it part of web-design and development. And then there are those that have already moved beyond the role of an e-commerce manager. In these cases the CMO or CCO is ultimately responsible for the online business
Until recently, it was the IT professionals, engineers and programmers that were charged with the e-commerce website. So either in web design or development: madness! To be successful in e-commerce activities in today’s world, an organisation will have to entrust them to a professional e-commerce manager. And for an e-commerce initiative to thrive, the company will need a different type of manager.
An e-commerce manager is sales driven. They want to give substance to all kinds of marketing-related matters online as well as achieve and present them using a solid technical platform. Provided that this all leads to a web store that generates turnover and profit.
In order for e-commerce to succeed in its intended role within an organisation, an e-commerce manager cannot simply be a programmer, marketer or web developer, but someone who possesses knowledge and experience of all three. Someone who can do it all, or in any case understand it. He / she understands how best to facilitate professionals within these separate fields. A good e-commerce manager is familiar with the roles and responsibilities of the IT, web development and marketing departments. He / she is able to create the interfacing with those departments in order to shape and make visible the e-commerce side of the company.
Does this mean that an e-commerce manager must know the ins and outs of each of those roles? No. The keyword here is ‘understanding’. An e-commerce manager’s job is to identify and develop the necessary specifications for creating and managing the e-commerce website. They have a good understanding of each department’s responsibilities and what their part is within the larger whole. The job is management, not the administration: The e-commerce manager is the company’s e-commerce evangelist, like a diplomat paving the way for the organisation’s various activities by boosting and managing e-commerce.
good e-commerce managers have specific competences:
- They manage and safeguard the company’s vision for e-commerce.
- They identify commercial opportunities whilst never losing sight of the company’s balance sheet.
- They understand that everything in e-commerce revolves around the customer.
- Their strength lies in forming partnerships within the organisation.
- They are able to recognise new initiatives and novel online business opportunities.
- They are highly organised and able to prioritise tasks.
- They recognise that the success of the e-commerce initiative is determined by the degree to which customer needs are met as well as by staying ahead of the competition.
The most important question that companies must address is what position e-commerce occupies (or will occupy) in the organisation as well as what the scope of the position is and which responsibilities they will be assigned. This also determines the “gravity” of the position and the sort of people that are needed.
We’re not referring to rigid organisational charts. But E-commerce managers must be free to adjust the parameters for success. Because how else are they also able to influence service, returns, stock management, etc.? It is essential that they have the discretion to move directly between departments to facilitate the creation and management of e-commerce.
Areas of expertise that are the responsibility of an e-commerce manager include; e-commerce strategies, technology with associated capital requirements and online media tactics. A firm grasp of social and legal policy is crucial. E-commerce managers must be like sponges; learning from their colleagues as well as from the competition. They must be aware of the latest e-commerce solutions and technologies.
The e-commerce manager is in charge of online branding, staying on top of current events and the quality of the website, handling legal matters, marketing the website and creating the business plan. But mainly, they are tasked with defining the e-commerce vision and its associated policies. Having to redefine something doesn’t rattle them in the least, they use e-commerce to serve the organisational objectives and when these develop, they’re not afraid to consider the website from a new perspective. The perpetual art of delivering the right message, to the right target group.
the main requirements for this e-commerce manager can be supplemented with:
- The ability to manage an e-commerce team to maximise growth across all digital marketing channels, including PPC, SEO, affiliate programmes, e-mail marketing and social media whilst being responsible for site delivery and performance as well as customer acquisition.
- Receptive to quickly adopting new technologies and concepts.
- Pay attention to detail and posess excellent communication skills.
- Motivated and customer-focussed and able to consider things from a cross-functional perspective.
- Excellent knowledge of web usability and accessibility.
- Set up and manage online methods for acquisition and retention.
- Sticking to and further developing the e-commerce strategy within budget.
- Identifying new profitable opportunities and routes for consumers
- Planning, forecasting and the operational management of the web store.
- Selecting and curating of relationships and bureaus.
- Advocating for the increasing share of e-commerce within the brand.
In closing, e-commerce is management, not administration, web development or any other role in the company’s digital strategy.
A simple question: You’re in your office and your boss comes in wringing his hands and says, ‘I just read that our competition is making a lot of money through the Internet. We need to get online too! You have a master’s degree, so you are in charge of our e-commerce initiatives. What would you do?’ “
If you can answer that question, then you are the man / woman for the job: e-commerce manager!