What Is an E-Commerce Manager Responsible for in 2021?

Michelle Skinner

Business development @ fabric. Previously merchandising and strategy @ Hanna Anderson, Ann Taylor, Eddie Bauer.

August 26, 2021

Today, the most effective e-commerce managers drive digital growth by using customer data and insights to enhance and improve the online shopping experience. Leveraging these insights allows an e-commerce manager to spot emerging trends and develop effective strategies for growing gross merchandise value (GMV).

Seventy-nine percent of consumers consider the experience provided by a company as important as the quality of products being sold. To best contribute to digital growth, e-commerce managers must prioritize creating and continually innovating on a streamlined, connected, and personalized customer experience.

 

Rising Expectations Are Impacting Job Descriptions of E-Commerce Managers

E-commerce sales continue to increase year-over-year, but that success comes with growing pains. The accelerating and “ongoing shift to the [e-commerce] channel” introduces a mix of new, more difficult, and evolving challenges for e-commerce managers and teams to overcome and solve.

The summation of these challenges boils down to one primary element: higher customer expectations. Customers expect a convenient and simple shopping experience supported by a high-performing website. They also demand the usual draws and incentives, such as free shipping, easy returns, stellar customer service, and consistency across different channels.

This means an e-commerce manager must remain focused on meeting customers’ needs and expectations at every stage of the customer journey. Additionally, the strategies and tools used by an e-commerce manager must be powerful and flexible enough to respond to changing expectations based on available data and insights.

Defining the e-commerce manager job description

E-commerce stores must remain flexible in defining the role of “what is an e-commerce manager.” To do so, an e-commerce manager job description must highlight the importance of adaptability and responsiveness to rapidly-changing customer expectations and needs.

An e-commerce manager job description must also outline the requirement for a versatile approach to driving growth through a combination of ongoing website development and maintenance, business and marketing strategy development, and security, each of which emphasize a focus on reacting to customer expectations.

What Do E-Commerce Managers Do to Drive Digital Growth?

Optimize the customer’s path to purchase

On average, 69.8% of online shopping carts are abandoned, most commonly due to:

  • Unexpected or excessive costs and fees (shipping, taxes, etc.)
  • Complicated checkout (required account creation, lack of guest checkout, too many pages)
  • Poor site performance (slow site speed, loading errors, crashes)
  • Inconvenient or restrictive payment methods
  • Lack of shipping options (lengthy shipping times, undesired carriers)
  • Security concerns

So what does an e-commerce manager do to remove these barriers from the customer’s path to purchase? By using the right technologies such as headless commerce, e-commerce managers may streamline shopping experiences to make it quick and convenient for customers to add items to their cart and proceed through an efficient checkout process.

Attention must also be given to the needs and preferences of customers. Ensuring that inventory is aligned with customer wants and at fair, expected price points — coupled with fast and affordable shipping — overcomes most (if not all) of the reasons a customer has to abandon their cart.

Never stop testing

One of the key advantages e-commerce stores have over brick-and-mortar stores is the ability to test and rapidly implement new ideas. After publishing an e-commerce manager job description, online businesses should search for curious candidates who are comfortable with experimentation, as innovative approaches allow e-commerce managers to quickly collect data and implement effective and proven solutions for growth.

According to McKinsey, 50% of companies whose revenue growth is in the top 10% are better than their competitors at testing new ideas, measuring results, and executing beneficial innovations. With the flexibility afforded by headless commerce, e-commerce managers possess the technologies to react and respond to changing trends and the evolving needs and expectations of customers.

Follow your customers’ shopping patterns

Eighty percent of frequent shoppers only buy from brands that personalize the shopping experience. What is an e-commerce manager’s responsibility in fostering a personalized experience? Responsibilities outlined in an e-commerce manager's job description may look shockingly similar to those of a data scientist. E-commerce managers must collect and analyze customer data by:

  • Identifying customers’ needs
  • Discovering effective marketing methods
  • Understanding what customers are looking for

Insight may be gleaned from the websites your customers visit, the information they post on social media, and the influencers they engage with and respond to. In addition, 90% of consumers are willing to share their behavioral data with you in exchange for an easier or more affordable shopping experience.

For a case study, look no further than Amazon. Amazon exemplifies both the methods and benefits of personalization with convenient one-click purchasing, relevant product recommendations, and suggestions of products frequently bought together. This is all accomplished through Amazon’s development and adoption of a headless commerce platform.

Key Takeaways

  • Brands must answer “what does an e-commerce manager do?” by outlining that the role and its responsibilities are flexible and fluid, with an overall goal of improving the customer experience at each step of the customer’s path to purchase.
  • Because 69.8% of shopping carts are abandoned before completion of a purchase, an e-commerce manager must focus on removing barriers — such as complicated checkouts, inconvenient payment methods, and poor website performance — from the customer’s path of purchase.
  • Though the ability to continually test new strategies, processes, and tools give e-commerce an advantage over brick-and-mortar, an e-commerce manager must leverage that benefit by following customers’ shopping patterns and rapidly integrating effective solutions to enhance personalization.
  • Modern commerce technology like fabric helps e-commerce managers deliver consistent, flexible, and personalized shopping experiences that contribute to digital growth.
Michelle Skinner author Business development @ fabric. Previously merchandising and strategy @ Hanna Anderson, Ann Taylor, Eddie Bauer.

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