A lot of businesses can be run solo. And that’s not your regular Twitter hot take. We’ve seen it in practice too many times. Many of the small-scale brick-and-mortar store businesses within our localities are one-man businesses surviving on the shoulders of one fella.
However, when it comes to e-commerce, you’ll be deceiving yourself to think you can do it alone. Believe us; you just cannot.
It is a business model that demands a lot of brains and hands. And those can only be provided by a team of workers.
This post will discuss essential job roles in an e-commerce company.
As you can imagine, different E-commerce companies may have different roles that fit their operations, but for the context of this article, we’re going to look at those roles that are likely common in all e-commerce companies.
To help e-commerce startupreneurs and wannabe e-commerce moguls understand what it takes to start and run a successful e-commerce company.
9 people you need for your e-commerce thrive
- IT specialists
Everything about an e-commerce business screams digital systems. From business site build to order fulfilments, shipping to creating invoices, taxes to marketing, you’ll need the help of tech. So, it’s inevitable that you’ll need IT personnel
For instance, you’ll need the help of a professional IT person in setting up and managing your e-commerce store. Although some ready-made eCommerce builders allow you to own stores without needing any tech skills, you still need the help of an IT person in handling bugs, designs, themes, updates, plugins, add-ons, SEO, and so on.
From time to time, your business website will require updating. That’s something only an IT person can handle successfully. Besides that, you’ll need to call on tech to process and track orders/inventory, handle email marketing with clients, automate customer service, accept and process payments, and do so much more. Oh, and let’s not forget areas like email campaigns where you need to utilize tools such as Topol to create and optimize your campaigns.
To be honest, there’s just too much tech involved to not have a pro at the helm of things.
- Project Manager
E-commerce business is one of those business models that reach scale-up pretty quickly. One day, you’re processing orders of just 10 items, and the next you’ve moved up to a thousand.
Instances like this is why you need a project manager around your corner.
From time to time, you will need to take on projects like brand expansion or business rebranding. A project manager is what you need to plan for these projects with respect to your budget.
A project manager will also help manage a team that will take on this project. For example, the designers, web developers, operations, etc. They will ensure that this team meets the project deadlines. A great project manager will be organized and a strong communicator in order to run productive project management meetings with effective workplace communication.
Take the project manager as a more technical role that helps your e-commerce business to implement, estimate, and plan your project. Their primary focus is to identify problems your business faces while also looking for solutions to these problems.
Now you see why they are essential for your business. There are still more roles to talk about. So, let’s kick on.
- A Social Media Director
“A business that wants to thrive in 2022 cannot neglect social media. It is where your customers are.”
Well, those are not my words. But those of Barbara Dean – leading analyst at the reputable social media company, Likes.io.
Indeed, your eCommerce business cannot afford to neglect social media in this age. It is where you’re likely to find and convert more customers. But to use social media effectively, you’re going to need a social media director.
A director will be in charge of your social campaigns, strategy, etc.
Social media will be a vital tool for building your e-commerce business. Because it is through this, you will be able to connect with your online customers better. It would also help drive lots of interest and conversion.
Whoever you are going to employ for this role should be able to know the in and out of social media platforms. The right trends to follow and the content that will spark attention for e-commerce businesses. They will also be in charge of the social media team, which works together to help build your brand visibility on social platforms, leveraging different social media marketing tools as well.
A Real-life reference:
As the Instagram handle screenshot below shows, even an eCommerce giant like Amazon relies on a strong social media presence to sell their services.
With 3.7M followers and over 2300+ posts, I’m willing to take a bet it isn’t Jeff Bezos who’s behind this page. They definitely have a social media director at their beck and call.
August Allen (Searchmen.com): “Searchmen“It takes a professional to grow a social media page from meh to amazing. Don’t underestimate the power of professionalism in growing your social media presence.”
- A copywriter
A copywriter is another person you will need to employ for your eCommerce business. Their skills are necessary to help sell the brand and give well-detailed descriptions of your products. A detailed description of a product can help spark interest in potential customers.
It is critical that when you are picking a copywriter, you choose based on reliability, qualifications, and passion. Do not make the mistake of hiring just any writer, as it might haunt you.
The job of a copywriter is quite different from that of a writer. A writer writes more on in-depth topics like I’m doing in this post, while a copywriter does more of short-form sales copies/pitches/ads.
As Jeff Spence of Rankwisely likes to put it, “content writers talk, copywriters sell.”
The role of a copywriter cannot be replicated by anyone. I mean, absolutely no one. Especially in this age where 8 out of 10 people only read headlines, your copies have to be inch-perfect to capture and convert prospects.
- Supply Chain Manager (SCM)
Managing the supply chain is yet another crucial aspect of an eCommerce business. It involves the transfer of goods from one location to another. These goods could be finished goods or raw materials needed to produce products.
A supply manager is in charge of the overall flow of goods. Additionally, they work to keep the business’s relationships with its vendors positive.
The role of a supply chain manager is to plan, execute, control, and monitor supply activities. Through this, e-commerce businesses will be able to build a competitive infrastructure.
Generally speaking, they must possess a good understanding of supply chain and logistics processes.
Sadly, many up-and-coming e-commerce businesses are reluctant to hire SCMs these days. A lot of them argue that the role of an SCM is redundant and causes a strain on their budget. But we beg to differ. In fact, you’ll be making a mistake to think like them.
Let me paint you a picture.
A Hypothetical Scenario Highlighting the Importance of an SCM:
In the wake of the pandemic, the global supply and shipping industry suffered a serious hit. For months, cargos were stuck at docks, on water, and in warehouses. This continued into the new year and even 2022.
Imagine your e-commerce business had resources to receive or orders to process for customers during this period, how would you ensure all goes through smoothly and on time? Considering something like the global shipping crisis hadn’t happened in recent times, chances are you wouldn’t have any experience dealing with such. But your supply chain manager (SCM) will do. SCMs know the logistics and shipping industry like the back of their hands. An SCM will ensure your inventory is well managed and the deliveries happen in a timely manner. He might even be able to leverage his connections in the shipping industry to ensure your freight gets a higher delivery priority.
Liam Mead (Chief Consultant DontPayFull): The global shipping crisis of 2020 is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Doubt mankind would ever experience anything like such again.”
- Customer Service Manager
This is where most of the complaints go. Your customers might be faced with issues concerning your product or business. A customer service manager is tasked with providing solutions to customers’ problems. Also, follow issues through to resolution.
A customer manager oversees the interaction between the company and its clients. They also support keeping the customer service division running smoothly. In situations where the business runs affiliate partnerships, the customer service manager oversees communications with partners and referred customers.
A customer manager tries to establish a clear mission and implements tactics to help achieve it. Additionally, they work to enhance customer service, engage customers, and promote organic growth.
Once more, a customer service manager aids in the selection, training, and advancement of customer service representatives. Additionally, they strive to give this agent the ideal environment. Furthermore, a customer service manager advises the company on the right client management tools, strategies, and campaigns to adopt.
All in all, they contribute to the development of a good customer experience environment.
- A Digital Marketing Director
Brian Jacobs of SeoServices Canada once said “Digital marketing is a whole world in itself.”
And we couldn’t help but agree.
It encompasses everything from content marketing to SEO to email sequence outreach to social media marketing. It’s an extensive world that demands a dedicated office in every company.
E-commerce being an internet-focused business model is even in a greater need of digital marketing than other businesses. With all of your customers and prospects existing on the digital landscape, digital marketing remains the only means of reaching everyone.
In other words, there’s no hiding away from hiring digital marketers.
A digital marketing manager is responsible for creating, carrying out, and overseeing marketing campaigns that promote a company and its goods and services.
Also, a digital marketing manager is very crucial in increasing brand recognition in the online world, as well as in increasing website traffic and attracting leads and customers.
This is Warby Parker – one of the leading eyewear e-commerce companies around.
Warby Parker is a great example of a thriving e-commerce company. The company specializes in the sale of prescription glasses, contact lenses, and sunglasses. But what strikes the most about the brand is their digital presence.
Besides having a super-active blog profile (featuring everything eyeglass-related from fashion to health), the brand also has a strong presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. And on each of these channels, their expertise shines through.
No way they conjured all of that up without having a professional digital marketer or digital marketing experts somewhere in the background. No way!
Indeed, it is brilliant to have an online store where people can make orders and deliver them. But as an e-commerce business, you wouldn’t want to depend on your physical store alone. The work of a digital marketing director is to ensure that your product or business gets the necessary visibility it needs.
When hiring a digital marketing manager, you should hire one with experience in the e-commerce industry.
Additionally, they should have a history of successfully managing a digital marketing team to meet company goals and leading various digital marketing campaigns.
The following are some of the skills a digital marketing manager should have:
- They must be creative
- They must have good analytical skills
- Good charismatic leadership to help maintain your digital team.
- They must have a good sales background.
- Storytelling is also a very useful skill that they should possess.
- They should also be very innovative and know when to adapt.
- They should be visionary with ambitious goals.
- Graphic designer
A statement from Brightkeys website reads: “You will win 10x more customers if you market your products with images.”
A Forbes report claims that 65 percent of humans are visual learners.
What do you think all these mean?
That your prospects and customers are best interacted with when you use images.
A graphics designer is who you need to create these visual elements.
will help create designs for social media teams to use on social platforms. They are also required to make designs that will be used for magazines and other marketing activities.
In simple terms, graphics work for almost everything, from publicity to marketing. You will require the service of an experienced graphics designer.
A graphics designer should be able to determine the type of designs that fit a particular campaign. They should have an idea of colors that will get the attention of customers and a variety of fonts that work, too.
Although many people can draw and design by hand and use these skills to create rough sketches and mock-ups, graphic design skills typically include using software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. This is why an excellent graphic designer should be able to keep up to date with software trends.
- Business Analysts
We’ve saved the best for the last. An e-commerce business analyst.
As an e-commerce owner, what would you know about expected consumer behavior? If sales dropped today, would you know the possible causes and instant fixes? What about marketing trends, would you know anything about that? And your competitors, have you any idea on how to beat them?
These are just a few of the justifications for hiring a business analyst.
An eCommerce business analyst increases the effectiveness of online sales through research on market trends, consumer behavior, and cost-benefit evaluation.
A business analyst offers suggestions that takes the business to the next level. And in case of challenges, he offers solutions that bail the company out of trouble.
About the Author:
Uday Tank is a serial entrepreneur and content marketing leader who serves the international community at Rankwisely. He enjoys writing, including marketing, productivity, business, health, diversity, and management.