What qualifications should companies look for in an e-commerce manager?
Based upon our experience working with dozens of retailers, no one-size-fits-all candidate exists. Online pure-plays tend to focus on quantification and metrics like conversion rates, whereas branded manufacturers, where transactions can occur through their own and partners' online and offline storefronts, typically put greater emphasis on brand engagement. Either way, the clearest focus for all our clients is maximizing a site's business return. This should steer any retailer toward people with these key attributes.
Focus on customer experience: Beautifully branded experiences that do not function fall flat and deter repeat buyers. A holistic understanding of intuitive design, appropriate branding and technology is mandatory.
Sense of brand cohesion: Retailers advertise through multiple modes. Adhering to — and reinforcing — brand standards while adapting campaigns to online media is paramount.
Marketing sensibilities: Online stores often serve as the shopper's introduction to a brand. Further, the convergence of marketing and commerce mandates that candidates who solely focus on sales numbers may build a site that falls short in terms of brand engagement.
Ability to prioritize: More ideas exist than any retailer can implement. Choosing the ideas that acquire shoppers and convert sales over those that are exciting for the sake of design or technology alone, is indispensable.
Online shoppers are in need of the "long wow," not bursts of flashy features. Successful sites continuously improve, engaging shoppers on every visit with new features. Opt for agile, adept candidates to run this marathon — people who focus on both the brand and business and are equally comfortable with Web development, marketing programs and designing inspiring shopping experiences for enthusiasts. l