Did you know that in two years people will make 75% of retail purchases through the Internet? E-commerce is included in the list of the most promising industries, so the profession of an e-commerce manager becomes more demanding.
Last year, e-commerce activity in the world amounted to $ 3.5 trillion. More and more people use the Internet not only as a source of information but also as a means of making purchases. Electronic stores are gradually becoming a real threat to traditional retail outlets in a wide variety of product niches: from household appliances and electronics to food.
E-commerce is not just an additional source of sales or modern technologies, it is a key competence of a retail company and every year the share of sales via the Internet is growing. In fact, this is not just about adding new technologies, but about a qualitative change in the whole structure of trade, when, on the way from an idea to an acquisition, a buyer freely moves between channels and instantly collects a lot of information about different offers. One of the main tasks of the retailer is to ensure the same service and the quality of the services provided in all channels and that is why every retail operator planning to develop successfully in the future also needs a qualified e-commerce manager.
The person who controls all aspects of online trading (procurement, logistics, website development, customer service) is an e-commerce manager. Vocational education will help to understand the features of the work (the best schools are located in the UK and the USA). In addition, you can take special courses at which students are presented with all the main points of e-commerce.
The first dilemma – and who will be involved in this project? There are 2 ways: to entrust the project to an internal specialist (often it is a marketer or manager of the retail department) or to hire an expert with experience in the market. Each approach has its pros and cons: an external expert will be expensive, it’s often “a pig in a poke” and it will take time to adapt and study business processes, but after passing the trial period this employee will be able to immediately engage in meaningful work and launch faster coveted online store. The internal candidate, on the one hand, already knows the company’s structure well, is loyal and loyal, efficient and motivated, but on the other hand, he has no experience and he will make all the mistakes in the company’s project and she will pay for these mistakes.
But there is a third, compromise way: to take a capable internal candidate and send him to training courses, where he will be able to get basic knowledge and introduction to the profession so that during the implementation of the project not to make expensive (for the employer) mistakes and not make wrong decisions.
The director of e-commerce, being essentially the director of a business unit, must understand and control all business processes of online trading: procurement, warehouse, and transport logistics, development and technical support of the site and applications, online marketing and customer service, photo production, and content-management – all this should be in the control field of the e-commerce leader, because retail, it is also online retail, and consists of hundreds of little things.
Therefore, wherever you embed an e-commerce project – in the sales department, in the marketing department or directly subordinate the CEO, make sure that all commercial and service departments of the company provide support and assistance to the EC manager – only in this case, he can achieve maximum synergy between the existing and necessary resources for the implementation of the project.
And the charm and complexity of the profession of “e-commerce manager” is that person will be the head of a separate business within an existing company. This employee must understand how his site is organized and how convenient it is for users, and how to control (and often carry out) internet marketing, how to control the warehouse and transport logistics, which goods and how much to buy, how to plan a budget and keep financial records and much more.
A potential ECM manager should be a good communicator because each of these processes is subordinate to his department and far from everywhere, department employees are enthusiastic about new tasks. To agree, not being a direct manager, to build a process and, summing up activity, to achieve a significant result – that is a very difficult task. Therefore, there are already frequent cases where CEO specialists from large companies move to smaller online stores, but already at the level of general/commercial/ executive director. This is not surprising, because such an employee often knows the entire business cycle, while specialists are usually competent within their narrow profile.
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