What to Look For When Recruiting Ecommerce Staff

Looking for a specialist in ecommerce to work for your business? You may be disappointed, as people with ecommerce expertise are few and far between. This is because the range of skills and experience required to help manage your online store is not covered by existing training courses or qualifications.

In the past Digital Six has helped clients write ecommerce job specs and the feedback from them is that, although the spec covers all the bases, there are very few people that have the experience and qualifications to do the job.

The main issue lies with the fact that ecommerce touches on all areas of learning – from technology to business to marketing. Most students are only exposed to one area of study and traditional job roles do little to prepare an employee for a job in ecommerce.

Another issue is that ecommerce is changing on a daily basis so teaching material on the subject matter becomes outdated quickly.

What should my job spec contain?

An ecommerce professional needs to be a dab hand at everything. This is a wish list compiled by Digital Six® for previous clients and covers the main areas for an ecommerce role:

  1. Technical Skills – You can’t expect an ecommerce professional to develop your website, but they do require a basic understanding of HTML. This should be a prerequisite as it lends itself to understanding how a site is put together and will help them in working with web developers and in ensuring that the code of the website is optimised for search engines.
  2. Business & Reporting – An ecommerce professional should have a good understanding of the business models in ecommerce. An ecommerce person should have a solid understanding of business. This is important, especially where online advertising is concerned. They need to be able to ensure that any marketing is profitable. Therefore they should:
    • Understand pricing and profit margins
    • Calculate Return on Investment (ROI)
    • Understand VAT
  3. Google Analytics  – (or other analytical tools) are hugely important in ecommerce and the potential employee should be familiar with analysing these reports.
  4. Writing skills – Most successful ecommerce websites update products on a regular basis so good writing skills are a must. It follows on that understanding how these descriptions and the copy on the page relate to Search Engine Optimisation is very important.
  5. Customer Services  – Skills in customer relations are key to ecommerce success, especially when using retail channels such as eBay and Amazon.
  6. Managing Orders – Understanding the fulfilment process and managing orders is a prerequisite along with stock control and distribution.
  7. Image Editing – The cornerstone of a good website is the imagery that it contains. If you can find someone takes good pictures you are onto a winner. But understanding the basics of image editing software such as Adobe PhotoShop will ensure images are the correct proportion and file size.
  8. Online Payments & Security – A good understanding of online payments, security and payment service providers
  9. Organisational skills – The ability to juggle multiple tasks yet still be highly organised is a must.
  10. Understanding of back-end systems – Experience with your ecommerce platform and email platform
  11. Close attention to detail – Someone with an eye for detail is likely to keep your website optimised

Legal & General Regulations

The legal obligations of the web are important. Your ecommerce professional should be aware of these including:

  • Distance Selling Regulations
  • Privacy and Cookie laws
  • PCI Compliance
  • Import/ Export Rules
  • GDPR

Marketing

An ecommerce person’s day to day role will involve exposure to most of the following marketing methods:

  • Email Marketing
  • Online Retail Channels – For example, eBay and Google Shopping
  • Pay per click
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Website Content eg. Blog
  • Behavioural Marketing and Segmentation

It is rare to find someone with all of the skills listed. However if they can tick off most of these boxes then they should be able to pick up the rest of the skills on the job.

– This article was last updated 2nd November 2018 –

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