Ecommerce Manager Careers: Job Description & Salary Information

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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.
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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.

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Georgetown University

  • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
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What is your highest level of education completed?

Kaplan University

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

Which subject are you interested in?

American University

  • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
  • Master of Science in Measurement and Evaluation

What is your highest level of education?

George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration: Business Analytics Specialization

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?

Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado State University Global

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

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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?