Ecommerce Manager Careers: Job Description & Salary Information

About this article
What are the pros and cons of a career as an ecommerce manager? Get real job descriptions, career prospects and salary info to see if becoming an ecommerce manager seems like the right choice for you.
View available schools

Pros and Cons of Becoming an Ecommerce Manager

Ecommerce managers oversee a company's electronic commerce (ecommerce) department. Read on for some pros and cons of becoming an ecommerce manager to see if it seems like a good career fit for you.

Pros of an Ecommerce Manager Career
Some positions pay well (2015 statistics reported that the top ten percentile made nearly $100,000)*
Wide range of product or service fields to work in (all types of online retailers selling clothing, supplies, electronics, books, etc.) **
Evolving field likely to offer job growth as sales continue to move online**
Job allows for risk-taking, new initiatives and revolutionary conceptualization**

Cons of an Ecommerce Manager Career
Job may be stressful - involves a high level of responsibility in a relatively new and evolving industry**
May work long or irregular hours**
Must stay up to date on evolving technology and software**
Trend of outsourcing tech positions to other countries may impact job growth**

Sources: *PayScale.com, **Michigan Jobs & Career Portal.

Essential Career Information

Job Duties and Description

Ecommerce managers oversee the supplies, systems and distribution related to electronically generated sales. Such sales may be from business to consumer or from business to business. Ecommerce managers analyze sales data, predict success figures, monitor supply inventory and communicate with suppliers or distributors. They may also supervise other sales or information technology (IT) staff.

On a technological level, ecommerce managers handle or supervise processes involved with database creation and maintenance, data processing and website usability. They determine how to present product information online and choose what purchasing systems, electronic reporting services, distribution methods and security methods to use. Depending on the scope of their particular position, they may also oversee or contribute to designing and updating the product website or writing descriptions of products or services.

Salary Information

There is considerable variance in the salaries of ecommerce managers. Salary is dependent on the job location and the specific job scope of a position. PayScale.com reported in 2015 that most ecommerce managers earned approximately $31,000 to $99,000 annually. The most recent data available from the Michigan Jobs & Career Portal (MJCP) revealed in 2009 that the average salary of an ebusiness manager, which may have a broader job scope than an ecommerce manager, was about $92,000. MJCP also reported that an ecommerce marketing manager, which may have a narrower job description than an ecommerce manger, made an average of about $84,000 annually. The MJCP also stated that fringe benefits, including retirement and insurance plans, are common for ecommerce managers, and some managers receive bonuses and cash incentives.

What Are the Requirements?

Education

Ecommerce management positions usually require a bachelor's degree (though educational requirements may be reduced if you have significant experience). Some schools offer specific programs in ecommerce, while others offer ecommerce concentrations within business or computer science programs.

Important Skills

Being an ecommerce manager requires capacities in overarching areas of business, management and technology. As a manger, you'll supervise staff and interact with suppliers and dealers, so communication skills are imperative. Since you'll be working in sales, you'll also need knowledge of business principles such as marketing strategy, financial analysis and supply chain oversight. Flexibility and adaptability - especially in trying new initiatives and taking risks - are essential in the fast-changing field of electronic business.

In addition, you'll need an understanding of the technological components of online commerce. An understanding of database creation and management, search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, data mining, network configurations and security issues is essential. Some positions require more technological expertise than others. According to the MJCP, around half of ecommerce management jobs encompass being in charge of a company's entire website.

What Employers Are Looking For

While it's not unusual for employers to require a bachelor's degree for ecommerce management positions, some jobs call for only an associate degree plus experience, while others prefer a master's degree (especially an MBA). Following are a few actual job posts from April 2012 to give you an idea of what employers are seeking:

  • A home improvement company in Illinois was seeking a candidate for a new position tasked with overseeing all electronic commerce projects and online sales strategies. The hire would select external website vendors, create a skeletal plan for the company's website and utilize SEO data. An MBA was preferred.
  • A New York apparel company looked for a manager with a fashion background to be in charge of the company's website and oversee all online commerce endeavors. Qualifications included experience in ecommerce, solid customer service skills and expertise in software programs such as Microsoft Word and Photoshop.
  • A Wisconsin-based sports equipment company advertised for a candidate with strong initiative and communication skills to help guide business planning and execute ecommerce initiatives. The hire would supervise other ecommerce staff and attend outside training events (such as conferences) to stay up-to-date on industry knowledge. A bachelor's degree was required.
  • A beauty products firm in Los Angeles sought a candidate with the technological skills to oversee an extensive Web presence and online business model. The job involved preforming direct customer service and overseeing other staff. A bachelor's degree was preferred.

How to Beat the Competition

Continuing Education

Although most employers require at least a 2-year degree, having a bachelor's or master's degree can give you an edge in the candidate pool. Degrees specifically in ecommerce or computer information systems can demonstrate your expertise in the field, but if you go for a degree in another field, consider taking courses in subjects such as ecommerce, business finance, marketing, mathematics and computer technology. Some employers seek candidates with advanced degrees, such as an MBA. MBA programs exist with concentrations in ecommerce and ebusiness, and some schools offer internship programs, which can help you incorporate work experience into your resume.

Specialized Skills

Online security is a significant consideration in electronic commerce, so developing specialized experience or knowledge in Web security for ecommerce systems may be helpful in increasing your competitiveness. Since ecommerce is a relatively new and evolving field, staying abreast of technological and business advances in the industry can give you an edge as well. Expertise in technical areas, such as website usability, data mining and search engine optimization, can also help you stand out. Some colleges offer certificate programs in ecommerce that cover these and other skill areas.

Get Certified

According to the MJCP, professional certifications will give you a competitive edge when seeking a job as an ecommerce manager. Ecommerce certifications in consulting, project management and marketing are available from the Institute of Certified E-Commerce Consultants. To earn these certifications you must have a degree from an accredited postsecondary school and meet experience Professional certifications in information technology, such as those offered by Cisco and Microsoft.

Other Careers to Consider

If being an ecommerce manager doesn't seem like the right fit for you, there are other jobs you might consider. If you're more interested in the management aspects than the technological components of being an ecommerce manager, you might want to consider working as a management analyst. Management analysts assess a company's productivity and suggest methods or revisions to improve it. They frequently travel to client sites and tend to work under deadlines. The occupation usually requires a bachelor's degree and was expected to see a 22% job growth between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

If you like the idea of working with websites but you aren't oriented toward sales, you might want to look into becoming a Web developer. In this job, you would be in charge of creating and maintaining a company's website, incorporating the organization's vision or overall strategy into the site's design and functionality. According to the BLS, the middle half of Web developers earned between approximately $58,000 and $102,000 annually in 2011.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA: Project Management
      • Master: Management/Project Mgmt
      • M.S. in Management
      • Master : Business Admin
      • MBA: Health Care Management
      • MSM in Leadership
    Bachelor's
      • BSBA in Management
      • BBA: Project Management
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
    Associate's
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • AASBA -Entrepreneurship
      • AASBA in Small Business Management
      • AASBA in Food/Hotel Management
      • Associate: Business Admin. - Office Mgmt
    Certificate
      • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Project Management
      • MS - Management
      • MS - Organizational Leadership
      • Master of International Management
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Project Management
      • BS - Business Management
      • BS - Organizational Leadership
    Certificate
      • Undergraduate Certificate - Project Management
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA - Management
      • Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership - Organizational Development
    Master's
      • M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Project Management
      • MBA and MS in Leadership (Dual Degree)
      • MBA: Leadership
      • MBA
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MA in Public Management
      • Master of Science in Government Analytics
      • Master of Science in Research Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Regent University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Individualized Studies
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Leadership Coaching
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Servant Leadership
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Strategic Foresight
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Strategic Leadership
    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration - General Management
      • Master of Business Administration - Innovation Management
      • M.A. in Business & Design Management
      • Master of Arts in Law - Business
      • Master of Arts in Law - Non-Profit Management
      • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership - Not-for-Profit Management
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Applied Science in Management and Leadership
      • Bachelor of Science in Business - General Management
      • B.S. in Management
      • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies
      • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Business
      • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Self-Designed
  • Campus and Online Programs
    6. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.S. - Entertainment Business
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Music Business
      • B.S. - Sports Marketing and Media
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • PhD in Business Admin - Organizational Leadership
      • PhD in Business Admin - Management
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Organizational Leadership
      • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
      • PhD-TIM - IT Project Management
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Management
    Master's
      • Master of Business Admin - General Business
      • MS - Organizational Leadership: Project Management
      • MBA - Strategic Management
      • MSTIM - IT Project Management
      • MBA - Management
      • MBA - Project Management
    Certificate
      • Education Specialist - Organizational Leadership
  • Campus and Online Programs
    8. Louisiana State University Shreveport

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration - Project Management Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration - Project Management Specialization
      • Master of Science in Nonprofit Administration
      • Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization
      • Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise Specialization
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Georgetown University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
      • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA
      • MBA Dual Concentration: HR & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: BS Mgmt. & HR
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Business Mgmt & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Project/Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Project Management and Public Safety Leadership
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Business Management
      • Associate of Science - Business Studies

Featured Schools

Purdue University Global

  • MBA: Project Management
  • BSBA in Management
  • Associate: Business Admin.
  • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Colorado State University Global

  • Master of Project Management
  • BS - Project Management
  • Undergraduate Certificate - Project Management

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Project Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

What is your highest level of education?

Johns Hopkins University

  • MA in Public Management
  • Master of Science in Government Analytics
  • Master of Science in Research Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Regent University

  • Doctor of Strategic Leadership
  • Master of Business Administration - General Management
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Management and Leadership

What is your highest level of education completed?

Full Sail University

  • M.S. - Entertainment Business
  • B.S. - Music Business
  • B.S. - Sports Marketing and Media

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • PhD in Business Admin - Organizational Leadership
  • Master of Business Admin - General Business
  • Education Specialist - Organizational Leadership

What is your highest level of education?

Louisiana State University Shreveport

  • Master of Business Administration - Project Management Concentration
  • Master of Business Administration - Project Management Specialization
  • Master of Science in Nonprofit Administration

What is your highest level of education completed?