Top tips for a successful e-commerce career
Technology is changing the world, affecting the way we store and prepare our food, right down to how we do our work
One huge technological contribution to the world of business is e-commerce. Globalization means retailers are no longer limited to their local geographical area: they are reaching more customers and creating more connections online. In this blog, we explore the new careers being created by the huge growth in e-commerce. We also examine the skills needed to excel in e-commerce careers, including the benefits of choosing a BBA in E-Commerce or an MBA in E-Commerce specialization.
Simply speaking, e-commerce is the buying or selling of commodities and products over digital platforms. You can also transfer data or funds with e-commerce. In e-commerce, the primary digital platform used is the Internet.
E-commerce transactions usually take the form of:
- Business-to-business (B2B)
- Business-to-consumer (B2C)
According to a recent Gartner survey of digital commerce businesses, 61% of respondents were engaged in both B2C and B2B digital commerce.
The B2C business model based on e-commerce is thriving, especially since the start of the COVID 19 pandemic. So, if you are wondering how to become a Shopee seller, or how to become a seller on Lazada, a grounding in e-commerce will stand you in good stead!
Why work in e-commerce?
If you are thinking about a career in e-commerce, the first thing is to decide whether it is the right industry for you. There are a variety of job opportunities in e-commerce, each requiring specific skills and offering particular paths for progression. In addition to the specifics of each role, some overarching features of the e-commerce sector make it an attractive one to join.
E-commerce is continuously growing
We all know it: e-commerce is changing the way we do business. More and more people turn to e-commerce because of its convenience to both the customer and the business. e-commerce sales equaled 4.2 trillion US dollars worldwide in 2020, 18% of the world’s total retail sales. In the US, online shopping and selling are well established, with Amazon being the leading online marketplace.
The rise in e-commerce sales parallels the continuing popularity of mobile smartphones. In 2021 alone, almost 70% of all e-commerce website visits worldwide are made through smartphones. This number will still rise due to the rapid adoption of mobile devices, especially in parts of the world that lack other digital infrastructure. However, no matter the device used, e-commerce sales are projected to grow further this year by 16.8%.
A job in e-commerce helps you grow
Compared to traditional selling, e-commerce accelerates your professional growth through constant testing and real-time feedback. The e-commerce industry is fast paced, meaning that the work you do needs to keep up.
The use of digital platforms naturally integrates with data analytics, giving you real-time feedback from customers. This allows you to evaluate your business tactics, change your approach if needs be, put new strategies into place, and monitor the effect on the customer experience.
This cycle of feedback, testing, evaluation, and analysis helps you learn more about your business and its customers in a short amount of time. In e-commerce, the business is not the only one that experiences growth: you grow as well.
An e-commerce job makes you think like a manager
Having a job in e-commerce means you are not simply tied down to your workload. You get to experience different aspects of the company such as:
- Product marketing
- Supply chain management
- Pricing and profit management
- Customer acquisition
- Customer support
Managers usually take responsibility for handling these aspects of the business. Learning how to manage these areas of e-commerce gives you fundamental management experience, and skills that are transferrable to other industries.
E-commerce puts you in the customers' shoes
Brand Experience and Customer Experience are two key highlights of a good retailer. Successful e-commerce companies look at their business through the customers’ eyes. They analyze customer shopping habits, as well as customer feedback to gain insight into how customers feel and think. This perspective helps you become a better marketer and, in turn, increases your company’s sales.
Careers in e-commerce
Like any other business, e-commerce offers a wide variety of jobs to boost your career. Here are some of the job roles you can apply for in e-commerce.
Entry-level jobs in e-commerce
Establishing a career in e-commerce means that you may have to start with an entry-level job and work your way up. Here are some entry-level jobs to start your e-commerce career.
SEO Content Writer
Successful e-commerce companies know how to maximize their resources. One way to market their business without spending extra money is through having SEO-optimized content on their website. Having content that is search engine optimized increases website traffic and exposure to the e-commerce brand.
- Job Description: An SEO content writer must create SEO-optimized material. This can be in the form of product descriptions or blog posts for the e-commerce website. You can write search engine optimized content from scratch, or update older content to boost website traffic.
- Job Requirements: To be an SEO content writer, you must possess verbal and written communication skills. You also must be knowledgeable in SEO, as well as familiar with content management tools, keyword management tools, and Google analytics.
Customer Service Representative
Customer satisfaction is crucial in e-commerce businesses. It is what makes or breaks them, so it is important that customers have someone they can turn to whenever they have inquiries, complaints, or problems.
- Job Description: The customer service representatives, or CSR, are in constant communication with customers and clients. They answer inquiries, respond to complaints, and solve problems that arise through regular communication via email or social media messages. CSRs also must follow up with customers on their orders and purchases. They make sure that clients are satisfied and that they had a great customer experience.
- Job Requirements: A great customer service representative must have excellent verbal or written communications skills. They must also be quick to respond and well organized.
A successful e-commerce brand relies on a high level of organization surrounding purchases and sales orders. As well as improving the customer’s experience, with reduced waiting times and fewer errors, an order clerk brings benefits to the business by making online selling more efficient.
- Job Description: An order clerk processes customer information such as name, address, and contact number. They are responsible for handling customer orders, communicating with customers concerning their shipment details, and performing order follow-ups.
- Job Requirements: Order clerks don’t need complicated credentials. Most e-commerce companies require them to have at least a high school diploma. On top of that, they must be highly organized, great communicators, and familiar with basic software such as MS Office and Excel.
Senior jobs in e-commerce
As the number of e-commerce businesses worldwide increases, the demand for experienced professionals and individuals also grows. You can boost your already established career with the help of e-commerce. Here are some jobs for the experienced salesperson.
Business analysts are crucial for every business and even more so for e-commerce businesses.
- Job Description: A business analyst gathers and tracks data on the business and analyzes it. This is used to form insights on how the business can increase its profit and sales. Important aspects of an e-commerce business analyst’s job include forecasting, financial modeling, and insight reporting.
- Job Requirements: A business analyst must look at numbers, analyze them, and report and advise on them. Therefore, it is important to have good knowledge about market trends and the market itself. A business analyst usually has a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Management, Business Studies, or even IT. Plus, they should be familiar with using applications such as Excel.
An e-commerce business won’t exist without its digital platform. This means web developers are crucial in building a successful e-commerce brand.
- Job Description: A web developer designs and creates the website for the e-commerce business. They also make sure that the e-commerce website is working and is bug-free. If ever the website is not running, a web developer is also in charge of troubleshooting.
These are only a few careers available in the e-commerce sector. While the roles have different responsibilities, they also make use of a diverse range of skills.
Skills needed for an e-commerce career
If you think a career in the e-commerce job market is for you, it is important to understand the skills e-commerce companies look for in a candidate.
A degree in business analytics can make you very valuable to an e-commerce business. The data collected forms the basis of decision-making in every aspect of the business. However, this huge amount of data needs processing before it can be used to inform decisions. This is where data analytics comes in.
Analyzing data can help investigate issues, solve problems, and identify new avenues for e-commerce businesses to explore. It can also help in forecasting sales as well as marketing and pricing decisions.
In an era where businesses heavily rely on data to make decisions, the ability to interpret and make insights from the available data is a valuable skill.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What’s the use of your well-crafted content if it’s not raking in website traffic? One key to increasing sales is through search engine optimization or SEO. SEO helps search engines find and catalog the content of your website and list your pages on their results list. This gives your company more exposure, more visits and, ultimately, more revenue.
The skill of SEO combines data analytics, copywriting, content marketing, and A/B testing to produce content that ranks and boosts engagement to your website. For e-commerce businesses, this organic form of advertising is essential for success.
Design and Creativity
Since e-commerce businesses operate without a physical store, they rely heavily on the appearance of their website and social media. It is important that e-commerce websites are visually appealing, but they should also be easy to navigate.
You can also showcase your creativity and design skills through advertisements, that should be striking and informative. You must highlight the important things about the business and use designs that will catch the eye of your potential customer.
Marketing and Advertising
Advertising and marketing strategies are essential ways to build a successful e-commerce business. The process of marketing your products and services requires planning and resources.
Companies working in e-commerce must think of ways to make advertisements stand out. They also need to market their products outside of the traditional newspaper and magazine ads. These innovations led to the rise of digital marketing, particularly social media marketing and email marketing.
In order to have a successful career in e-commerce, you must equip yourself with the most up-to-date marketing and advertising skills through a modern 360° marketing degree.
Progressing your e-commerce career
E-commerce is a highly complex and fast-moving industry. To progress in your career, you’ll need strong technical skills such as digital strategy, supply chain management and digital transformation. However, to reach more senior roles, you’ll also need to master soft skills like creativity, communication and customer-centric thinking.
Adding a modern skills-focused degree to your CV is an effective way to acquire these soft skills while also developing your technical understanding. You can even specialize in programs that hone vital E-commerce skills like project management and digital analytics. Nexford University offers a BBA in E-commerce and an MBA in E-commerce, which are both specially catered for your career.
Learn, upskill, and stay relevant to the e-commerce job market with Nexford University.
About the Author
Mark is a college graduate with Honours in Copywriting. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Nexford, creating engaging, thought-provoking, and action-oriented content.