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Electronic commerce involves trading in products and services via the Internet. Web-based businesses and other organizations hire e-commerce managers to oversee all e-business activities, ranging from website development and branding to Internet marketing and online sales. This career is suitable for professionals with a strong working knowledge of and experience with e-commerce and online marketing platforms.
Doing the Work
E-commerce managers work in a fast-paced and dynamic environment that requires strong decision-making skills, flexibility and adaptability. They must choose among different Internet marketing strategies and decide which is the best option. They must also implement new online business initiatives such as shifting from retailing to forex trading, and be able to differentiate between legitimate customers and fraudsters in real-time to prevent the business from incurring losses. Computer skills are crucial since e-commerce managers spend much of their time interacting with computers and computer networks. Being leaders, e-commerce managers need excellent leadership and supervising skills to lead, direct and motivate e-commerce teams into meeting performance and growth goals.
The main responsibility of an e-commerce manager is to increase a company's online business. This typically means increasing the number of online sales or business transactions the company makes. For example, an e-commerce manager working for an online fashion boutique works with website developers and designers to ensure the company's website is user friendly, well-maintained and constantly updated with the latest technology. He also develops strategies to increase traffic to the website, such as utilizing social media channels, search engine optimization and blogging. E-commerce managers also determine how to present products online, such as through product news and updates. In addition, they select suitable electronic purchasing systems and ways to distribute purchased products to buyers.
E-commerce managers also handle customer complaints. For example, when an online customer raises a complaint because she received damaged goods that didn’t meet her specifications, the e-commerce manager investigates the incident and settles the claim. These managers frequently monitor social media channels to identify what users are saying about their brands and respond to issues when necessary. E-commerce managers must also maintain positive working relationships with business partners, such as electronic payment processors and product distributors.
E-commerce managers often come from business and information technology backgrounds. Therefore, to get an e-commerce manager's job, it helps to earn a bachelor’s degree in fields such as marketing, computer science or business information systems. Although no licenses are required to secure this job, obtaining professional certifications can improve your prospects. For instance, earning the World Organization of Webmasters' WOW Certified E-Commerce Manager certification demonstrates your mastery of web business strategies. Combining such certifications with vast job experience and a graduate degree in e-commerce or technology can qualify you for management jobs in large web-based businesses.
Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.