E-Commerce Manager Jobs

What does an E-Commerce Manager do?

Internet shopping is huge business! If you’ve ever bought something online or sold something on a site like eBay, you’ve been involved in E-Commerce. It’s the fastest growing area of retail. The technical name for online buying and selling is E-Commerce (short for Electronic Commerce.)

E-Commerce Managers are in charge of their company or business’s online operations. They oversee all aspects of online activity including web development, branding, marketing and online sales and promotions. E-Commerce managers have to be highly computer-literate as well as very creative and have a good understanding of retail and what makes buyers tick. They also have to be very aware of current trends and the market for their product or service, both online and off, as well as keeping an eye on what competitors are doing.

As an E-Commerce Manager you’ll work closely with a number of different teams including Marketing, Sales and Design.

Industry: Retail

E commerce manager job trends

How much money can you make as an E-Commerce Manager?

£25,000 – £65,000 (UK average)

How much money you’ll make varies a lot depending on how much experience you have and the kind of company you’re working for. A fashion brand in the UK is currently advertising for an experienced E-Commerce Manager and offering £45,000. Another fashion company is offering around £30,000, while a global lifestyle brand is offering upwards of £50,000. Of course you have to work your way up to this, but there’s big money in online sales if you’re good at it.

Recent labour market information says you can earn on average between £25,000 and £65,000 a year as an E-Commerce Manager in the UK.

How to become an E-Commerce Manager

What skills and qualifications do you need?

There are a number of ways to get into E-Commerce as a career. Here are some you might like to explore:

  • Working your way up in a retail environment. This will probably involve starting as an assistant in retail buying or marketing, and then applying for promotions as they become available and as you gain experience. If you decide to go this route, you’ll also need to make sure you’re developing your IT skills as well.
  • A graduate training scheme if you already have a degree.
  • A Bachelors degree in Digital Marketing, which are increasingly common and now available at many of the major UK universities.
  • A degree in a related field such as Business Studies, Business Computing, Computer Science or Marketing.
  • A BTEC (Level 3 Diploma) in Digital Marketing, Business Marketing or a similar subject.
  • An apprenticeship in Digital Marketing.

School, college and training

You’ll need to be both highly skilled with computers and a creative, sales-oriented person to be an E-Commerce Manager.

You’ll need excellent spoken and written English skills and be good with numbers, so GCSE English and Maths are very important and A Levels are even better. You can take these as an adult, through a part time or evening course, if you didn’t get the qualifications while you were at school.

You could do A Levels in subjects such as Business Studies, IT, or Design Technology.

Another great option is to study a BTEC (Level 3 Diploma) in Digital Marketing or Business Marketing. BTECs are practical, vocational courses which equip you with the skills you need to go on to launch a successful career.

If you already have a degree, consider a graduate training scheme. This is a fixed-term employment placement for graduates where you train on the job while earning money. Many of the major UK employers in the retail sector run graduate training schemes in their Digital Marketing and E Commerce departments – do a Google search for your area.

Apprenticeships

You can enter the retail industry with an apprenticeship. This will give you structured training while you work and earn, and industry-recognised qualifications.

An apprenticeship is a scheme where you train while earning a starting salary. Apprenticeships usually last between a year and 18 months, and anyone aged 16 or over can apply. Sometimes you are guaranteed a job at the end, but even if you’re not, having done an apprenticeship makes you much more attractive to other employers.

What experience do you need for E-Commerce Manager jobs?

Work experience

Previous work in the retail industry (including customer service) will always help, as it will show you have a practical understanding of the retail business. If you can build up your digital and sales skills as well, that will help your CV stand out for early career roles leading to this management career path, such as digital marketing trainee or E-Commerce Assistant.

  • Look for part-time or seasonal work (you could do shift work, a few days a week, or seek summer jobs when UK tourism is at its height)
  • Seek work experience in a range of venues including retail stores or supermarket chains. These are places where you can gain an understanding of what sells well to different shoppers and why. It can also help you understand how products might change from season to season, or to match consumer trends.
  • If you’ve had any previous jobs that gave you experience with checking stock, understanding customer needs or working with spreadsheets, this will help your CV stand out on the jobseeking catwalk.

Volunteering

Volunteering is always great on a CV because it shows employers you have the passion to make use of your time out of choice, not because you are forced to do it.

What skills do you need for E-Commerce Manager jobs?

Useful skills to highlight to your employer when applying for an E-Commerce Manager job include::

  • Organisational skills – E-Commerce is a busy and fast-paced world where things can change very quickly, so being organised is absolutely essential.
  • IT Skills – You’ll build up excellent digital skills over time, probably including an understanding of web design, social media, e-commerce law, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO,) analytics and more.
  • Creativity – You’ll need to be creative and constantly coming up with new ideas to promote your products in a world where your customers are bombarded with many advertisements each day.
  • Communication skills – Being a strong communicator is vital in the customer-centred world of retail, and especially when you’re trying to persuade customers to buy your product online. You’ll be working with lots of different people, so you’ll need to have strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Negotiation skills – You’ll need to balance lots of different people’s ideas and the needs of various different departments.
  • Leadership skills – If you’re in a management role, you need to be very skilled at dealing with people and managing your team to get the best out of them.
  • Teamwork and being a team player – E-Commerce staff need to work with many other different individuals and teams. On any given day you might be working with senior management, designers, the buying team, and more.
  • Customer service skills – Retail is all about the customer. You’ll also need to put yourself in the shoes of your typical customer in order to work out what kinds of promotional tactics will appeal to them.
  • A genuine love of your product – You’ll do much better working in E-Commerce if you’re really passionate about what you’re trying to sell!
  • An understanding of budgeting and finance – You’ll have a budget to stick to and will have to decide how best to use it. You may also be responsible for bringing in certain sales numbers and will need a good head for numbers to work out how best to do this.
  • Flexibility – You’ll need to think on your feet and respond quickly to developments as they happen. Things move quickly on the internet, so being ready to react is essential.

Vocational qualifications and work experience will help you build these skills over time.

What do E-Commerce Managers do?

Being an E-Commerce manager is all about presenting your product or service to customers in the most appealing way online. In a typical day, some of the things you might do include…

  • Meeting with colleagues in Marketing, Buying or Senior Management to discuss upcoming promotions and new products.
  • Attending events such as trade fairs to get ideas.
  • Designing or updating pages on your company’s website.
  • Uploading new products for sale online.
  • Overseeing your company’s social media, including responding to customer comments, questions and feedback.
  • Keeping an eye on, and reacting to, what your competitors are doing.
  • Making and sticking to budgets, including searching for the most cost-effective way to boost online sales and making sure you’re hitting your online sales targets.
  • Writing or editing digital marketing copy.
  • Writing, editing and sending online promotions such as email newsletters.
  • Writing or editing content for your company’s blog or website, including optimising it for Search Engine Optimisation.
  • Keeping up to date with trends, market news and important developments.
  • Presenting your ideas to senior management.
  • Tracking and analysing sales figures to work out which online marketing campaigns are working well.
  • Developing your company’s online marketing strategy.
  • Planning future campaigns, especially around significant dates or holidays (Christmas shopping, Black Friday, Easter etc.)
  • Looking after your team including providing guidance, instruction, feedback and performance reviews.

Your first steps into E-Commerce Manager jobs... and career progression

E-Commerce Manager is quite a senior role and won’t be one you’ll start in straight away. When you start out, look for roles like the ones listed just below. As you gain experience, you can move into roles such as E-Commerce Specialist, E-Commerce Manager or even Head of E-Commerce.

You could also move into related areas of retail such as Buying, Product Management, Marketing, or senior leadership roles (such as becoming head of a department, division or area.) E-Commerce roles can be a great springboard for working in other areas of the IT industry, or even for setting up your own business as an E-Commerce Specialist or Consultant.

Junior E-Commerce management jobs are advertised under different job titles. When you’re looking on job boards, look for the following types of job:

  • Retail apprenticeship
  • Digital marketing apprenticeship
  • Digital marketing trainee
  • E-Commerce Assistant
  • Digital Marketing Officer.

All these types of job can be a good match for your skills.

Useful organisations and links for retail careers

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