e-Commerce Manager

Digital transformation

What actually does the e-Commerce Manager/Director?

The e-Commerce Manager is a management team with often between 5 and 15 FTE. Managerial experience is therefore an important advantage. However, more important than the managerial experience is the experience in ecommerce environments. The discipline is so complex that it takes a long time for a manager without an ecommerce experience to be up to speed.

Where in the organization
The e-Commerce Director should be familiar with the tasks and responsibilities of IT, web development, finance, logistics and marketing departments. He has to create the interfacing with those departments in order to shape and make visible the E-Commerce side of the company. Some companies believe that ecommerce management is a marketing feature, seeing it as a web design and development feature, others an IT function. And the third group has already passed the role of E-Commerce Director. There lies the final responsible level of the online business at CMO or CCO.

e-Commerce Director is sales driven
And, of course, is to give online content to all sorts of marketing related matters and to realise and present them on a good technical platform. However, if a webshop doesn’t add anything to revenue and profit, it won’t be a celebration. These are often the most important business objectives.

Boost Digital Transformation
Growth in this time demands a clever approach requiring constant improvement, making decisions based on data and providing the ultimate customer journey, both online and offline in the store, for example) is a requirement.

Having worked at several companies over the last few years, I came across several reasons why some ecommerce platforms/or initiatives didn’t grow.

Well the e-Commerce Manager checklist:

1. No team or too little knowledge at home
You work with different partners to improve your webshop or have a small team that works very hard but does not have the necessary knowledge to make the next step. Team Building is something I always do,
• Whether it is a data manager for sales/stock/margin reporting and setting up a PIM with complete setup of measuring/weighing and photography street (PGZ)
• Or an Online Marketing & Customer Service team (Scotch & Soda)
• Or an international online lead team to run campaigns across Europe (Audionova)

2. There are no clear processes
You do not have a clear structure and/or process through which many things are just done. You know that a clear structure will help but due to daily work you do not arrive. Processes there I am glad of
• A logical flow is not just there and deploying it throughout the company is often a tough job

3. Technical infrastructure may not be
You use different software that does not/barely communicate with each other. You have grown so quickly that you had to return to quality and therefore you have a weak system, with a lot of lag and no current (unambiguous) customer/product/turnover and forecast data. Every company has these problems
• For Audionova We used a legacy POS system where no prospectus could be
• Within Euretco we need to install a second ERP system in addition to all new E-Commerce Solutions
• At Springer we were reasonably pragmatic and instead of to do an adaptation in the central SAP system in Germany, I chose to do with exactly the ecommerce accounting and book a monthly line in SAP manually “turnover webshop NL”

4. Insufficient resources
You know what you want but you don’t have enough manpower to run it. This will ensure that important work is not delivered or too late.

5. You collect data but you do not use it
From various programs (website, webshop/email Marketing, AdWords, A/B testing/Sales) You have data about your customers, products and behaviour. However, you do not use this in your decision-making and many decisions are still made based on gut feeling.

6. Missing strategy and plan
Due to the daily work you have no E-Commerce strategy and plan. Time goes by and you see no growth.

7. It’s not a one-man show
Digital transformation of the business model needs top-down support from C-level to make it flourish in the end. Ultimately, Digitalisation has an impact on all departments and activities.

To successfully convey e-commerce within the organization, the e-commerce Director should not be a programmer, a marketer, or a web developer, but someone familiar with each of these features. And understand how to facilitate the professionals within these individual disciplines.

Good e-commerce managers have specific features:
• Manage and monitor the business’s e-commerce vision.
• See commercial opportunities and have an eye for the company’s balance sheet.
• Understand that everything within E-Commerce revolves around the customer.
• Are adept at forming partnerships within the organization.
• Are able to recognise new initiatives and new online business opportunities.
• Are well organized and can prioritize tasks.

Acknowledge that the success of the E-Commerce initiative is to the extent that the needs of the customer are satisfied and to stay ahead of the steps of the competition.

Hard facts:
The e-Commerce Director must have all-round knowledge of all aspects of e-commerce.

  • Online Distribution and market strategy
  • Strategy for maximizing market share using e-commerce
  • Distributiemix in relation to competitors and resellers
  • Multi (Omni)-Channel sales approach
  • Financials from PSP, ERP systems and maintaining Stock and margins as well as turnover rate!

Leading e-commerce teams

  • Recruiting the right people
  • Training and coaching

Optimizing Traffic

  • Search engine Marketing (SEO)
  • Display Advertising & Affiliate Marketing
  • Social Media & Email Marketing

Optimization of websites/webshop/e-commerce platform

  • Interaction Design
  • Visual design
  • New features (create and launch)
  • Agile PM management
  • Webanalytics A/B and multivariate testing funnel optimization

However, it is important that the E-Commerce Director does not have to be a specialist on these aspects.

He or she must have sufficient knowledge to guide and assess the specialists in his team.
In addition, the E-Commerce Director must be aware of developments within e-Commerce to have a clear vision of how e-Commerce can best be deployed to improve operating profit and return.

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