Become an E Commerce Project Manager
Companies are constantly looking for help selling goods, information, and services online. Accordingly, demand for E-commerce project managers continues to increase. In order to be successful, you’ll need to be familiar with a wide spectrum of online business operations. Getting a traditional computer science education, building your knowledge of e-commerce business practices and equipment, and acquiring direct work experience will provide you the best chance to become a E-commerce project manager.
Ensuring You Get the Necessary Technical Skills
- Get a computer science or business degree. Getting a degree is often the best way to expose yourself to important aspects of both business and technology. While a bachelor of science in computer science will introduce you to many of the skills needed to work in E-commerce, other degrees can also be helpful. For instance, a business degree that incorporates classes on web-based business may be even more beneficial.
- Marketing and finance programs can also prepare you to be an E-commerce professional, though you will need to supplement these programs with classes more specific to web development and other technical skills.
- In order to succeed as an E-commerce project manager, you’ll need to be familiar with best practices and products relevant to web design, data management, online transactions, online communication, and search engine optimization.
- Brush up on web design. As an E-commerce professional, you’ll do much more than simply help businesses sell stuff online. In particular, you will be asked to help design the website that allows them to do so. Since you will be hired for your expertise in online business, knowledge about electronic showrooms, payment processing portals, and transaction fulfillment systems is of greatest importance.
- At the most basic level, the more programming languages you’re proficient in, the more capable you will be as an E-commerce professional. In particular, proficiency in Java, PHP, Python, and Ruby will each immediately make you a more capable developer.
- If you do not already know how to design and built these online environments, take a web development course focusing on online business.
- Develop and manage databases. As an e-commerce professional, you’ll be helping companies deal with large amounts of data. You’ll likely be tasked with organizing, storing, and protecting this data. Further, you’ll need to provide your clients with the ability to search this data, and otherwise learn from the data generated by your databases.
- Take courses that will train you to work with large amounts of data and identify information that can lead to actionable business moves.
- Master the art of e-mail and social media. Electronic mailing lists provide your clients with a quick, effective way of reaching a massive targeted audience. You’ll need to know how to design e-mail communications that make utilizing this valuable resource easy. Further, you need to be prepared to consult clients on any social media platform that can help generate sales. In fact, you will often be asked to help plan an online company’s marketing strategy generally.
- For starters, make a personal account on any social media platform with relevance to the types of companies you're working for. This is the quickest way to get exposure to platforms that are brand new, and may not even be addressed in formal education courses.
- Optimize traffic. The Holy Grail of e-commerce marketing is knowing how to generate increased traffic to your clients’ websites. One of the best ways to do this is by helping their website show up earlier in search engine results. This often involves advertising with search engines, and can provide opportunities for you to develop pay-per-click promotions that increase your own and your client’s profit.
- If search engine optimization and advertising appeal to you, consider specializing in this area specifically, as it is of particular importance to many E-commerce positions.
Getting Hired as an E-Commerce Project Manager
- Speak with program staff. Whether you went to school or developed your skills through online training, programs that provide technical knowledge usually also have staff who can help you find a job. Since programs want to be able to show that their participants can easily be hired, they’ll work with you to identify positions you’re interested in and qualified for. Reach out to your program’s administration offices directly.
- Attend e-commerce conferences. Break out your least wrinkly collared shirt and practice your networking handshake. There are several high profile e-commerce conferences each year. These provide ample opportunity to stay up-to-date on industry knowledge, meet colleagues, and even find work opportunities.
- For example, 10-X E-Commerce Event (February, Florida), eTail conferences (various, global), eCommerceFuel Live (October, Tennessee), and Mivacon (March, California) are all great options.
- Craft a strong resume. The most important part of your resume as an e-commerce professional is your work experience section. Use this section to draw a potential employers attention to the diversity of your skills and experience. Start sentences or bulleted points with action verbs that convey the successful execution of various tasks. In particular, use “analyze”, “consult”, “track”, “plan”, “develop”, “resolve”, and “improve” wherever possible.
- Use the past tense for action verbs that describe your accomplishments at previously held positions, and present tense verbs when discussing positions you still hold.
- For instance, include things like, “Supervised the development of program that helped identify unapproved downloads of our products” or “Recommended various protection options and compiled cost-benefit analysis for each option.”
- Consult reputable job posting websites. Given the immense demand for E-commerce project managers, many positions are frequently posted on online job posting websites. In particular, visit websites that cater to business professionals, such as LinkedIn. Don’t just look for specific positions to apply for. Get a good idea of which types of companies actively hire for the types of positions that appeal to you, and visit their websites directly.
Considering Online Training Programs
- Focus on building a portfolio instead. Acquiring direct work experience following a traditional degree is preferable to any online certification program. Take web design as an example: If you already have coding skills that allow you to build websites and applications, the best way to demonstrate your talents is by using them. In fact, simply designing web content is the best way to learn more about developing the web. Whenever you’re unsure of how to accomplish a certain task, online forums are usually the best ways to learn how.
- If you are entirely new to web development, online certification programs can help bring you up to speed on standard industry knowledge. However, if you're able to begin putting skills into practice, do this instead of spending time pursing certification.
- Enroll in a certification program with the CEC. There are several certification programs that teach you about the fundamentals of E-commerce. If your knowledge and skills are already specialized in web design, marketing, or information technology, get certified in other aspects of the E-commerce industry. The Institute of Certified E-Commerce Consultants (CEC) is a leading program offering certification in E-commerce project management and more specific topics, like marketing, risk assessment, and quality management.
- If you have 2 years of E-commerce related experience, you may be able to waive certain requirements for admission to the CEC’s certification programs. Send a resume or inquiry to [email protected] to find out if you can apply immediately. If you don’t have experience, you’ll need a degree from an accredited education institution with relevance to business and/or information systems.
- Ask to speak with someone who has completed the certifications you’re considering to see if the content will actually help you learn new skills.
- Get certified through the CIW. Certified Internet Web Professional (CIW) offers another reputable option for certification in E-commerce related skills. CIW certification classes include content on all components of the industry, including web design and development, administration, networking, databases, and security.
- You can also purchase self-directed study guides with or without exams that provide you with formal certification. Prices start at $249. Most exams, if purchased separately, cost $150.
- Certification series, which include online courseware, range in cost from around $200 to $600 and lead to certification upon completion.
- Instructor-led online classes are also available. Note, however, that instructors are often not identified. Contact CIW directly for pricing, but be sure the courses cover content you are not familiar with.
- Consider a CIW apprenticeship. Apprenticeships can be a great way to both learn and get alongside work experience. While you may be able to find an E-commerce apprenticeship yourself by contacting companies directly, CIW registered apprenticeships involve working with a mentor, as well as taking classes, often online. By completing a registered apprenticeship, you’ll acquire on-the-job learning and demonstrable skills. Further, CIW apprenticeships allow you to earn formal certifications during and on completion of an apprenticeship.
- If interested in an apprenticeship, reach out to companies in your area that may be willing to hire you in an entry-level position. Convey your desire to learn from the experience, and be sure to mention any skills you already possess. Though you will not receive certification for undertaking a private apprenticeship, you will gain valuable experience within the field.
- Contact the CIW directly through the provided form on their website for further information about registered apprenticeships, including the associated costs.