How to Become an Ecommerce Manager: Top Tips
If you already have a strong knowledge of the ecommerce space as a Shopify store designer, and you’re keen to showcase your leadership skills, you might be well positioned for a job as an ecommerce manager. Design and development skills are highly prized in this area.
In fact, many Shopify developers and designers already spend some of their time working on the “management” side of maintaining an online store. As the ecommerce market continues to boom, demand for ecommerce managers capable of optimizing, running, and even creating online stores is increasing. This means there’s a great job opportunity available for those with the right ambition.
Ecommerce managers are responsible for overseeing virtually every part of a company’s online shopping strategy. They deal with things like creating plans to improve conversion rates, monitoring site security and performance, and even boosting website UX.
So, how do you become an ecommerce manager?
Step 1: Know What an Ecommerce Manager Does
The first step in becoming an ecommerce manager is getting a feel for what you can expect to do in the role. As mentioned above, many Shopify store designers, developers, and web experts will already have some of the talents required to thrive in this area. Ecommerce managers help to ensure online stores are user-friendly, and engaging, so you’ll need a degree of UX knowledge.
These professionals also formulate various strategies for online shops, marketplaces, and digital platforms. They analyze customer preferences and behaviors, and design shop optimization strategies to increase sales and conversions. These experts also work alongside other specialists in the ecommerce environment, such as content developers, and marketing teams.
The day-to-day role of an ecommerce manager can vary depending on the companies they choose to work for. However, you can expect to spend a significant portion of your time dealing with store design enhancements, analytics, and experiments, like A/B conversion tests. If you’re comfortable with tight deadlines, extensive research, and high levels of demand, this could be the role for you.
Step 2: Pursue a Degree
In the past, a specific degree wasn’t necessarily a must-have for ecommerce managers. However, as the ecommerce market grows more complex, and demand increases, today’s clients are generally looking for people with a high level of education. Since it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get a degree or certification specifically in ecommerce management, you’ll need to choose a related course.
You could take a degree in sales and marketing, particularly focusing on digital strategies like SEO and online advertising techniques. There’s also an option to pursue a degree in business management and development. However, you’re most likely to stand out among other candidates if you have a degree connected to web design and development.
Many businesses in search of an ecommerce manager will be looking for a professional with the technical skills required to make changes to ecommerce platforms, and improve user experience. You can even build on your degree with bonus online courses in things like UX design, Shopify web design, and data management. Keep in mind, most employers will only require you to have a bachelor’s degree. However, upgrading this to a master’s degree at a later stage could help you to apply for higher paying, more senior roles.
Step 3: Develop the Skills of an Ecommerce Manager
Most of the skills you’ll need as an ecommerce manager will be learned during your education. For instance, if you take a course in web design, you’ll learn all about how to add product sliders to stores, optimize checkout experiences, and improve website functionality. The most effective ecommerce managers are usually web design and development experts, with a strong knowledge of how to create and manage user-friendly sites for their audience.
Aside from technical web development skills, ecommerce managers should also develop their talents in analytics and data discovery. Most experts in this field will spend a lot of time adjusting the design of a website to suit the latest trends in the ecommerce market. This will mean running a number of tests, and gathering insights from reports. Other skills to look into include:
- Attention to detail and excellent time management
- Decision-making abilities (particularly on a tight deadline)
- Collaboration and team-building abilities
- Leadership and management skills
- Customer service or sales related skills
- Written and verbal communication skills
- Critical thinking and problem solving skills
You can also check in on the desired traits listed by other companies on job descriptions for ecommerce managers for tips on where to hone your capabilities.
Step 4: Start Developing Experience
Although your technical knowledge and education will go a long way towards earning you the ecommerce manager job you want, it’s also important to have the right levels of experience. As you complete your graduate program or bachelor’s degree, focus on developing your background in ecommerce. There are various companies which offer internships to ecommerce enthusiasts.
As an intern, you’re likely to spend a lot of time assisting with website updates, and developing marketing campaigns. You could also consider earning some money and experience at the same time by becoming a Shopify expert and building apps, websites, and themes for users. Shopify developers can work on a freelance basis, in their own time, and create their own pricing structures.
Selling your services as a Shopify expert is an excellent way to build a portfolio of sites you’ve helped to create to impress future employers. You can also consider taking on entry-level roles connected to ecommerce, sales, and marketing. Various online marketing and sales jobs should give you experience in working with data and understanding the ecommerce marketplace.
Step 5: Continue Your Education
After you get your bachelor degree, it’s important to remember that ecommerce managers generally need to commit to a strategy of life-long learning. The ecommerce marketplace is constantly evolving, and employers will always appreciate a specialist who can stay up-to-date with the trends.
With this in mind, it’s worth looking into online courses and classes you can take related to your ecommerce management goals. You could earn certifications in search engine optimization, or complete certain courses connected specifically to Shopify and other ecommerce store building tools. Earning certifications in different subject matters and areas will help you stand out to hiring managers.
What’s more, as you increase your skill set, you should also be able to increase the amount of money you ask for in your ecommerce manager job. A higher number of skills means you’re more likely to be in demand, because you’ll be able to deliver extra value to your employer.
Now It’s Time to Get the Job!
Once you’ve completed all the steps above, all that’s left is to apply for your ecommerce management jobs. There are a few ways you can dive into the marketplace. The first option is to simply look for listings online for companies in search of ecommerce managers. You can also list your services on job boards and connect with people in the Shopify marketplace to work with designers and developers on their ecommerce strategies.
Remember, you’ll also have the option to take the freelance route with your career. This means you’ll be able to advertise your services online with a website, and choose your own prices. However, you might find it’s challenging to find clients initially. Whatever route you choose, you’ll be well on your way to a career as an ecommerce manager.