E-commerce is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the retail sales industry. Sales at brick and mortar retailers have been gradually declining for a number of years, largely due to e-commerce, and the development of smart-phone-based payment technologies such as digital wallets has accelerated the growth of e-commerce. Marketing and selling products online is qualitatively different from traditional retail sales, and new techniques for analyzing e-commerce as well as metrics to measure success have been developed.
E-commerce business analysts come from a variety of academic backgrounds. Most have a bachelor's degree in computer science, communications, management or marketing, but a few also come from undergraduate backgrounds in finance or statistics. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 30 percent of management analysts had a master's degree in 2010.
The primary responsibility of an e-commerce business analyst is to undertake an analysis of the various factors that influence customer decision-making in e-commerce. These factors can be identified by studying patterns and trends relating to customer e-commerce activities. Once the key factors have been identified, e-commerce analysts set up reporting functions and dashboards to monitor important e-commerce data such as unique visitors, acquisition, cross-selling, customer-relations management and customer self-service.
Marketing and Merchandising
Many e-commerce analysts also have responsibilities relating to marketing and merchandising. Typical marketing-related duties include using demographic information to create customer profiles, analyzing the company's digital marketing plan, using web analytics as well as data mining, and other techniques to develop recommendations for improvements, and developing models to assist in the evaluation of potential future products.
Pay and Prospects
Management analysts earned a median salary of $78,600 in 2012, according to the BLS. Business and management analysts employed in Massachusetts earned the most, with an average salary of $103,820 in 2012; those based in Florida came out on the low end of the wage scale, only earning an average salary of $75,840. The BLS is also projecting a strong 22 percent job growth for management analysts from 2010 to 2020.