E-commerce is big business and a growing area of the market, as organisations look to become multi channel retailers. Customers now spend £5billion shopping online in the UK. Only last year, John Lewis extended its delivery to include Europe and M&S launched an overseas website. As consumers increasingly seek to buy products online, a firm’s web presence is critical. Firms tend to have a dedicated online team. This does not just require technologists who will programme web sites. It also requires e-commerce commercial and analytical skills to ensure a high quality and seamless customer experience. It means driving the look, feel and performance of the website to enhance the customer experience. It involves leveraging all digital channels to market so includes mobile (m-commerce), instore screens, instore collection and tablets as well as exploring new channels and improving the existing ones. Social media such as Facebook, Youtube and Twitter are also becoming increasingly important.
The role requires liaison internally particularly with buying, trading and logistics. The work also involves constantly keeping up with trends, ensuring the firms products are photographed and displayed well, images are correct and correctly priced and accurate copy written. Links are created and the site is simple to navigate around and the search function is managed.
Here is the range of teams that are essential for any retailer to maintain their digital presence. They are a mix of technology and commercial roles.
- Ecommerce Marketing Manager: essentially a digital marketing role, these are the people behind the brand, responsible for the campaigns that bring customers to the sites, measuring their effectiveness and predicting future trends to capitilise on the sales opportunities via the web.
- SEO Manager: In simple terms, the SEO manager is responsible for making sure relevant traffic is driven to specific parts of the website, and pages on the site have the right information coded into them to make sure search engines like Google find them and rank them highly.
- Web Developer: the hub of any online offering, the web developer will be responsible for transforming ideas and concepts into fully functional websites, and maintaining their functionality and performance.
- E-Commerce Merchandiser: Exactly as you would with a store window, this role is all about making sure the right product is in the right place at the right time — just on the web.
- E-Commerce Data Analyst: The data analyst will analyse website metrics and draw together data on product performance, customer behaviours, industry trends and competitor performance to help improve the customer experience and the site’s business opportunities.
- E-Commerce Product Manager: The person who decides what new features and functionality of the site are developed, how they’re developed and when they’re delivered according to the best return or highest demand.
- User Experience Manager: These are the team who make sure users (customers) are at the centre of the design process for any part of the website. They cover off everything from usability research and testing, to conceptualising and prototyping ideas before they’re handed to the web teams.
- Web Content Manager: The person responsible for making sure the content on the website is relevant and engaging to the audience, and speaks to them in a tone of voice that’s suitable for the demographic. They’ll be responsible for editorial campaigns that bring traffic to the site and convert it into sales.
- Social media manager: Experts in social media will be able to target customers and draw them into the brand by developing an online rapport with them that doesn’t hide behind a veil of stuffy corporate-speak. It’s a valuable position and people are only just starting to train for.