E-commerce is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the world. It’s no wonder then that so many people are interested in starting a career in eCommerce. But what are the best ways to make your way into this exciting and ever-changing field? This blog post will walk you through all the best strategies for getting an eCommerce career off the ground – from what kind of education you need, to sources of funding, to the types of roles available in this exciting subject.
1. What Is E-commerce?
E-commerce, in its simplest definition, is the buying and selling of goods over digital or electronic platforms. The majority of transactions are done electronically without physical contact between the buyer and seller. Do note that this definition applies to both online commerce (more popularly known as e-commerce) and electronic funds transfer made by conventional means such as ATM, POS, and e-banking.
Since the early days of the internet, people have been engaging in online transactions for a variety of reasons. In fact, if we were to talk about its beginnings back then, it was all about exchanging goods as there were no e-commerce platforms as such! However, with the advent of eCommerce platforms such as Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay, people started transacting online for both goods and services. Now, let’s take a closer look at what an eCommerce career entails.
2. The Education Required for E-commerce Career Paths
In the past, it was considered enough just to have a high school diploma to find a job, although that doesn’t seem to be the case today. Now, one needs at least a bachelor’s degree to even get an entry-level job in the e-commerce industry.
There are many career paths you can take in e-commerce, starting from an undergraduate degree to master’s programs and even Ph.D. programs.
You can choose from taking up a course in statistics, data analysis, accounting, business administration to being a webmaster or information security specialist. It totally depends on your interests and of course the kind of work you want to do.
The best subjects to take while studying for an eCommerce career path are management, marketing, sales, finance, law, and statistics. You can also go for online courses offered by reputed universities which are short-term (1-3 months) but highly informative.
The core subjects to take while studying in school or college include mathematics, accounting, business administration, economics, etc. These will help you build the foundation required to work in eCommerce.
3. What Are the Job Options Available for an E-commerce Career Path?
Ecommerce is a vast sector, and the opportunities it has to offer are endless. You can choose from being a webmaster or designer to an analyst, data scientist, product manager, Finance professional, and even a lawyer.
Successful e-commerce professionals across all career paths have one thing in common – they love what they do!
Let’s have a look at some of the options available in eCommerce.
The next time you hear about a Facebook data scandal, remember the person who analyzed the data! Working as a Data Analyst is perfect for someone who loves statistics and is up to date with trends in big data. You need to know your way around tools such as Python, Rstudio, and MS Excel.
Keeping track of the products you’re selling and making sure they are competitive is what a Product Manager does. They work closely with designers, marketers, and analysts to ensure smooth operations for their assigned product lines.
If you have prior experience working in retail or manufacturing, then moving into Finance would be a great career move for you! There are many roles in the finance department, like accountants, product managers, and even legal representatives.
If studying law is your passion, then this career path should interest you! It’s basically about understanding laws pertaining to commerce transactions and working out agreements between buyer and seller.
The best route to take while entering into an eCommerce career path depends on your interests, previous experience, and the kind of salary you’re looking for.
4. How Do I start a Career in E-Commerce?
If you want to make a career in e-commerce, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the concepts covered in this industry. This will give you an added advantage while applying for jobs or even during interviews.
The first thing would be to build your perfect resume depending on the job profile of your choices. For example, if you are looking to work for an e-commerce giant like the Alibaba Group, then you should highlight your skills in areas like designing websites or branding.
While studying for your degree, internships are not just important but are a must to have under your belt. This is because they give you hands-on experience in the actual work environment, help you meet industry experts, and even get you paid work positions.
5. What Does an E-Commerce Specialist Do?
An eCommerce Specialist is a professional in the field of e-commerce and has knowledge in both online and offline retail. They know how to set up a global distribution system, analyze data, make websites, design them, etc. This means they must have technical knowledge combined with business sense.
As an eCommerce Specialist, your primary role is to help the business start or maintain online channels. You are responsible for creating products lists, designing websites, and selecting the right kind of hardware required.
Your key responsibilities would be:
- Designing websites for e-commerce products and companies so the website can be used as a marketing tool to attract customers.
- Creating an inventory list of all products that are sold on an online store while keeping track of prices, colors, shipping information, etc.
- Analyzing data related to products and sales and providing recommendations to make the business better and increase sales.
- Ensuring client satisfaction at all times, even if they have complaints about any aspect of their experience on your company’s site or app
- Making changes needed when they are not satisfied in order to satisfy them again in the future.
6. Salary for an E-Commerce Specialist
The average salary for an eCommerce specialist is about $67,561 per year as of May 2018. This means that the pay scale varies depending on your experience and where you work. If you’re still in college or working for a small business, chances are the salary won’t be as high as compared to someone who works for a giant eCommerce company like Amazon.
7. What Are IT Skills Required for E-Commerce?
To be successful as an eCommerce specialist, you need to have a solid knowledge of the following:
- HTML and CSS – These languages are used for designing websites and also for programming web applications.
- eCommerce platforms – These are used to create websites for businesses and also let them create their own apps. Some of the most preferred platforms include Magento, Shopify, Bigcommerce, etc.
- Analytics tools – These help you analyze visitor behavior on a website so you can determine things like which one has been visited the most, where visitors are coming from, what they are looking for etc.
- Major eCommerce sites – These include Amazon, Alibaba Group, eBay, Etsy, etc., which you can create accounts on and do research on their selling methods to get an idea of the industry standard.
8. How Do I Master E-Commerce?
Mastering eCommerce requires you to not just learn about these skills but also use them practically. There are many online tutorials and courses that will teach you step by step how to build websites, market products, and even find jobs in this field.
You can become an eCommerce specialist in less than a year if you complete relevant coursework and internships while working on your own website. This can help you get an entry-level job which will allow you to gain experience in the field, work with experts, and get paid all along.
After gaining some industry-specific skills, it is important that you keep yourself updated about the latest happenings in the world of eCommerce by following blogs, forums, and social media. This will help you develop your own ideas and also see new trends as soon as they arrive, which can be a major advantage when it comes to setting up businesses and creating products.
9. What Is the Job Outlook for E-commerce?
With the advent of technology, eCommerce has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. It is expected to grow even faster in the future as more people get access to internet-enabled devices every day.
eCommerce jobs are available across different verticals like logistics, product management, etc., while some specific opportunities include business analyst, site merchandiser, etc. The job pressure for eCommerce specialists is currently high, and it is likely to grow even further as the industry expands due to increasing demands by businesses across all industries.
10. Which Course Is Best in E-commerce?
There are many courses that you can choose from to learn about eCommerce and become a specialist. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Digital Marketing Specialist: This course is perfect for those who want to understand online marketing and how different social media platforms can be used as powerful tools for business promotion, lead generation, etc.
- Web Development: This course will teach you how to create and manage various types of websites. You can learn about coding languages like HTML and CSS, CMS (content managing system), and many other things related to it.
- Digital Business: Here, you will learn everything from setting up an online company on digital marketing skills to understanding analytics tools that help you find out about the performance of various business activities.
- E-Commerce: In this course, you will learn how to create e-commerce websites and apps using different platforms like Magento, Shopify, etc., as well as how to manage the backend operations for a digital business.
- Social Media Marketing: This is a specialized course for those who want to understand how social media can be used as a powerful marketing platform and learn about different tools like Pinterest, Twitter, etc., which are the most popular ones.
- Retail Management: This course is best suited for those who want to go into retail business after building a strong foundation in eCommerce and related fields. You will learn about building and managing a retail store along with the backend operations, like inventory management, etc.
- Blogging: If you enjoy writing and sharing your thoughts on various topics, then this is the perfect course for you as you will learn how to create high-quality content as well as monetize it to start making money online.
11. Best Colleges to Study E-Commerce
There are many colleges that offer eCommerce-related courses. Some of them include:
- New York University, New York City
- City University of Seattle, Washington
- University of Florida, Gainesville
- Michigan State University, East Lansing
- Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester
- Kent State University, Kent
- Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, etc.
12. Online Courses to Study E- Commerce
There are many online courses available for those who want to become specialists in different eCommerce-related fields. Some of the most popular ones include:
Complete E-Commerce Course – Java, Spring, Hibernate, and MySQL by Udemy- This course is very popular among those who want to learn the basics of eCommerce website development. You will be provided with a detailed explanation of how you can develop a product-oriented online store from scratch by using the most sophisticated technologies and frameworks.
Ecommerce & Marketing course: Agency, Marketer, Affiliate by Udemy- Another popular course among students who want to learn eCommerce is the Ecommerce & Marketing course: Agency, Marketer, Affiliate by Udemy. In this course, you will learn how to set up a profitable affiliate marketing business from scratch. You can choose from multiple topics such as keywords research, SEO optimization, and product targeting in order to attract the right traffic to your site.
E-commerce Academy by Coursera- E-commerce Academy by Coursera is another great course for those who are passionate about eCommerce. This course will help you to get a working understanding of the most successful online stores, so you can learn how to increase your own store’s revenue. You will be able to perform a detailed analysis of different elements that influence return visits and loyalty, such as overall design, layout, mobile responsiveness, and other aspects.
Digital Channel Planning and E-Commerce Strategy by Coursera- Another great option is Digital Channel Planning and E-Commerce Strategy by Coursera. This course will help you to become familiar with all the tools that are necessary in order to plan your online strategy, including PPC advertising, email marketing, affiliate networks, and social media.
Ecommerce Marketing Training Course: Learn How to Use Ecommerce to Attract, Convert, and Delight More Customers by Hubspot academy- A great option for those who want to learn all about eCommerce marketing is the Ecommerce Marketing Training Course: Learn How to Use Ecommerce to Attract, Convert, and Delight More Customers by Hubspot academy. You will be able to increase sales and revenue of your online store by implementing personalized recommendations, dynamic product banners, and other features that help you to engage potential customers and increase revenue.
If you are looking to make a change in your life and want to find an e-commerce career path, there are many things that should be considered. One of the most important considerations is understanding why you would like this new job? There are several reasons people may choose to pursue an e-commerce career, including wanting more flexible hours, being closer with family, homeschooling their children, or simply liking how it sounds better than other options they might have. When considering all these factors before making any decisions about where the future leads them, then they will know if pursuing an online business degree program is right for them.