Career Spotlight: E-commerce Manager

At this point in history, the “e” standing in for the word “electronic” in “e-commerce” seems charmingly antiquated. While people still make the statistical majority of their purchases from a physical retail location, buying goods and services on the internet has become part of the fabric of our daily lives.

The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce reports that e-commerce sales accounted for 14 percent of total sales in the first quarter of 2022. This may sound like a smaller percentage than you might expect, but keep in mind that in 2015, the percentage was only 7 percent and the share of online spending is expected to only continue to increase year over year.

What Is an E-Commerce Manager?

With customers, orders, products, and money moving at the speed of the internet, someone needs to make sure the entire online buying experience runs smoothly. An e-commerce manager oversees all online sales activities for a business and helps maintain the company’s digital brand.

From marketing and customer acquisition to managing payment platforms and order processes, an e-commerce manager’s goal is all about optimizing a potential customer’s experience to increase sales and create return visitors.

What Does an E-Commerce Manager Do?

As an e-commerce manager, your job, at its most basic, is to drive customers to the website and convince them to make a purchase. Distilled within that simple goal are several important responsibilities that are part of every e-commerce manager’s job description.

  • Develop Sales Strategies and Goals
  • Is your company’s goal to target new customers or to grow a larger base of repeat customers? Is the strategy to market new products or sell services and add-ons? Knowing what sales milestones your company is working toward will help guide strategies to reaching them.

  • Champion the Product
  • You can’t sell something successfully if you don’t know what you’re selling. E-commerce managers must be able to articulate the value of a product or service clearly and quickly. More than that, the brand personality of a product needs to come across throughout the entire online customer experience.

  • Know Your Customer
  • E-commerce managers should be acutely in tune with the demographics of their targeted customer. Knowing who they are, how they spend their time online, what they need, and what they like helps deliver targeted marketing and messaging that speaks directly to what they want.

  • Manage the Technology
  • Online retailers use a variety of systems, services, and software to keep business booming. As an e-commerce manager, you oversee online payment and checkout platforms, customer management systems, website management, and other commerce-related solutions. In addition to the technology that runs the purchasing process, you’ll also govern services that handle social media, email marketing, search engine optimization, and advertising to make sure that everything works together seamlessly to drive sales and maintain the integrity of the brand.

    What Skills Do You Need for E-Commerce?

    Any company selling a product or service online relies on the driving force of its e-commerce managers. And because there is so much more that goes into attracting and keeping a customer than just crunching numbers, e-commerce managers also have to possess a variety of hard and soft skills:

  • Attention to detail
  • Decision making
  • Time management
  • Grasp of basic business principles
  • Technological fluency
  • Data analytics and strategy
  • Collaboration and team building
  • Customer service
  • Verbal and written communication
  • Problem solving and critical thinking
  • Is an E-commerce Manager Job Right for You?

    To become an e-commerce manager, you need a bachelor’s degree in business, information technology, or marketing, but you should have a good base of knowledge and experience in all three of these areas to be successful.

    A career as an e-commerce manager could be a fit for a person with an entrepreneurial mindset who thrives on setting and achieving specific goals. Sales is essentially a numbers game, and a good e-commerce manager will have a keen mind for timelines, budgets, and the all-important revenue data. Deadlines and tight timelines should motivate and not intimidate you.

    There is plenty of room for career growth as an e-commerce manager, and the job can be a great opportunity for the right person. reports that the average base salary is around $58,442, but factoring in bonuses, experience, area of the country, and size of the company, that figure could more than double.

    E-commerce in the Cannabis Industry

    Up until recently, it was illegal to sell cannabis anywhere let alone online, but as legalized recreational use spreads, so have cannabis retailers. In U.S. states with legal use, you can now buy cannabis products online, but strict regulations about where cannabis can be grown, purchased, and transported means that selling outlets have been geographically limited. However, it’s expected that regulations will begin to allow for the interstate sale of cannabis, which will drive demand for e-commerce managers familiar with the space.

    A cannabis e-commerce manager will need all the experience and skills of a traditional e-commerce manager combined with expert knowledge of the national, state, and local regulations governing cannabis. Excelsior’s Graduate Certificate in Cannabis Control will help you keep pace with the opportunities, challenges, and complexities of the cannabis industry and confidently communicate with policymakers, industry leaders, and other stakeholders across the many professions this unique industry touches.

    If you’re interested in starting your career as an e-commerce manager or want to explore more promising careers in business or cannabis, contact an Excelsior admissions counselor to start a conversation about how to reach your goals.