What does an e-commerce manager actually do?

What does an e-commerce manager actually do?

With the job title “e-commerce manager”, you will find more and more job postings advertising a wide range of activities in e-commerce companies. In order to correctly assess the opportunities of this job in e-commerce, you will find an overview of the fields of activity and requirements for e-commerce managers here.

Are you interested in success factors, key figures and innovative concepts in e-commerce? Then you should get in touch with Prof. Richard Geibel right away: Tel. 0221 973 199 722 or mail info@ecommerceinstitut.de.


    1. Entry into a growing field of work
    2. The responsability of an e-commerce manager
    3. Requirements in education and working experience
    4. Where to find job offers as an e-commerce manager


e-commerce manager
(Foto: Ditty_about_summer / shutterstock.com)

E-commerce Manager – An entry into a growing working area

E-commerce has long since established itself as a sales and distribution channel. As a result, a variety of job profiles have emerged that focus on one of four main disciplines and combinations of these. The main disciplines are:

    • IT, especially store systems and merchandise management
    • Purchasing
    • online marketing
    • Fulfillment & Logistics</a

It depends on the size of the company and the degree of division of labor whether an e-commerce manager handles the entire range of these disciplines or only a limited section. In principle, however, the overarching responsibility for e-commerce processes and resources is a key characteristic of the e-commerce manager’s area of responsibility.

The areas of responsibility in detail

The work of e-commerce managers can focus on both strategic and operational tasks. The following areas are typical:

Strategic tasks for e-commerce managers

Strategic tasks are those that have a long-term effect on the e-commerce company. Managers are usually assigned the role of project manager. Strategic e-commerce projects mainly relate to

  • Online store projects: Launch, relaunch, redesign or notable extensions to the range of functions
  • Product range extensions
  • Online marketing projects
  • Logistical capacity changes such as taking over fullfilment tasks for external partners.
  • Extensions or changes in the use of technology

Operational tasks for e-commerce managers

Operations is where the daily routine takes place, which is essentially fulfillment, i.e. the processing of orders. This core process is preceded, followed and supported by many complementary processes, which are also handled by e-commerce managers depending on the division of labor. The processes are:

  • Ensuring delivery capability
  • Processing orders
  • Monitoring and controlling online marketing processes
  • Monitoring and controlling logistics processes
  • Ensuring and monitoring interface processes
  • Platforms
  • Carrier logistics
  • Suppliers
  • Other service providers & departments
  • E-commerce controlling
  • Quality control
  • Employee management, especially organization of seasonal staff

As an e-commerce manager, one is responsible for ensuring that customers find attractive products in a company’s online store and that these products reach customers quickly and reliably. The process that leads to customer satisfaction involves several stations and departments, so you should be able to think across the board. Further, it is important to be able to analyze the process using e-commerce KPI or other information. Once there are problems and bottlenecks, it is up to the e-commerce manager to find and fix them.

Prerequisites in education and work experience

Since the fields of activity of e-commerce managers are very diverse, the prerequisites for becoming an e-commerce manager are also not very specific. However, in any case, one should have a business education, be problem-solving oriented and have the ability to make decisions. The prerequisites for taking on a job in e-commerce management are:

  • University education in business administration, (online) marketing, logistics, e-commerce
  • High degree of personal responsibility
  • Flexibility & ability to work under pressure
  • “Hands-on” mentality
  • Affinity for IT & software
  • Affinity for numbers

Where can you find job opportunities as an e-commerce manager?

In the growing e-commerce, you will find a large number of interesting job postings at all major companies that operate an expanding e-commerce channel. Visit the e-commerce site of your choice and check out the careers page there. Alternatively, you can also search on one of the well-known job portals. There are also job boards specializing in e-commerce.

Another alternative is career fairs or field trips to fulfillment centers. There you can speak directly with the companies and get an unmediated impression.

Text: Prof. Dr. Dominik Große Holtforth

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