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What does it take to be an e-Commerce Manager?

Ask anyone what does it take to be an e-Commerce Manager and you’ll get a job description. That is, is a long list of responsibilities and requirements you need to meet in order to fill that chair.

Here’s what nobody will tell you.


Half of the job description is micromanagement stuff

If your business is 100% e-Commerce, then your e-Commerce Manager (E.M) should be the CEO. If your business runs both offline and online, your E.M. should at least be part of your top management. Either way, the E. M.  is there to grow your business alongside the business owner/s and their associates.

They will:

• build a long-term, macro strategy for the e-Commerce business
• create, improve and connect your flows and processes
• work with the heads of departments to make sure everyone shares the company’s mission, vision, and strategy
• coordinate the entire e-Commerce team
• decide on the third parties and maintain the relationship with them
• define and monitor the KPIs

They won’t:
• document procedures
• supervise activities
• hire people
• fire people
• take calls from the customers
• build or edit ads and banners
• test shit
• make you coffee


The other half is plain crap

For those who woke up from a long coma, this is 2019. And in 2019 you don’t post a job description requiring that the E.M. is “highly skilled in navigating on the internet”.
Or that he’s “used to working with large teams” (here’s a relevant article on how you can build a strong, performant team).

And the big NO goes to “previous experience with digital marketing or a similar position is a plus”. We said it before, we’ll say it again: the role of a marketing manager/ agency is NOT to build your strategy. The only relevant previous experience involves the roles of Project Manager, Product Owner, CTO or anyone with a strong technical background.

When you’re looking for an e-Commerce Manager, you want someone who’s strategic, very good with processes, well updated on the latest technologies and who’s damn good in making fast decisions. You’re looking for a partner.


The E.M. is a fireball

If you think your e-Commerce Manager is someone who keeps their mouth shut and executes what they’re being told, your whole life is a lie.

An E. M. is the most dynamic member of your team, who acts and reacts like a fast-spreading virus.

They will ask thousands of questions and collaborate with all the other managers, and they will recommend, coordinate and implement major changes in your company. E. Ms contribute actively to the development of your business, therefore they must attend every board meeting and be involved in all the big decisions.


Their personal piggy bank

Delicate as it may be, this conversation needs to take place. Most companies keep their budget locked in a safe, just like Old Paps did when he used to hold on to his pension. And the key to that safe hangs by the neck of the Head of Financial, who’s usually the iconic symbol of Medusa. Come on, we all know it’s true.

If your business activates both offline and online, and your e-Commerce division depends on that budget, the time to invest in developing that division will never come. Ever. And trust us, an e-Commerce division requires a lot of money.

In order to grow your business in a healthy manner, the e-Commerce Managers need to have their own chunk of your company’s budget and handle it the way they see fit, following the company’s best interest. So don’t feed them leftovers, but give them something they can truly build on, instead.


The real job description

In a nutshell, here’s what your e-Commerce Manager should really have:

• brains
• balls
• intuition
• the ability to make fast, good decisions
• their own budget
• previous experience in business fail is a plus.

____

Looking for a good e-Commerce Manager? Go for the one who, upon being asked “what’s wrong with my business?”, is able to point out at least 3 irregularities in a heartbeat, and to suggest 3 solutions for them.

That’s everything your hiring interview should contain. One question in exchange for a valuable e-Commerce Manager. All the other requirements can be thrown in the trash.


thestartups_ecommerce_manager_job_description

Authors: Vlad Diaconu, Andreea Mares

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