The Best Roles To Make Big Money

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With the global ecommerce industry steadily growing each year, it’s clear that retail is transforming to accommodate more and more of online shopping’s share of the market. However, despite its name, ecommerce isn’t as simple as clicking a few buttons and fulfilling a number of electronic transactions each day. It requires thousands of people actively working behind the scenes to keep the gears turning without encountering major disruptions in the supply chain.

With that in mind, there seems to be no limit to the amount of room for competition, and there are a lot of promising ecommerce roles and businesses that can make you a lot of money if and when you decide to pursue a career in one.

The Best Ecommerce Roles To Make Big Money

The amount of money you can make working in ecommerce usually depends on your specific role. The higher-paying positions, for example, come with more responsibilities and tend to require a greater amount of previous experience to obtain.

Below is a rundown of some of the highest-paying ecommerce roles you can find.

Ecommerce Web Developer

An ecommerce web developer is responsible for planning, building, and maintaining the online platforms that allow a business to sell its products and services effectively. These days, so much of an ecommerce store’s success has to do with how its website is designed and maintained, so a proficient ecommerce web developer needs to create user-friendly interfaces (UI), come up with secure ways to handle online payments, and implement intuitive sales funnels for a smooth shopping experience.

To excel in this role, it’s best to have some advanced technical skills like a deep understanding of key programming languages (Python, JavaScript, Swift) and a background or degree in web development.

In terms of UI, a well-prepared ecommerce developer should know how to include basic and advanced filters that will give customers a quick way to sort through their favorite products while excluding any undesirable items. Additionally, they should know how to create responsive menus, apply clean designs, and optimize pages for performance and speed.

An example of a modern, simple, and effective ecommerce store is Black Star Pastry. Its website features a unique and clean design that also feels inviting for newcomers and brand loyalists alike. Black Star Pastry does an excellent job of blending function and innovation, and it serves as a great example of the collaborative effort between an ecommerce web developer, graphic designer, and project lead.

Black Star Pastry homepage

The average salary in this role is around $70,000, with many making close to $90,000 or more per year depending on factors such as previous experience, communication skills, office location, and more.

IT Specialist

In ecommerce, IT specialists are responsible for supporting an organization’s hardware infrastructure and keeping its software technology in perfect working condition. These specialists may come from a variety of different tech fields, but their main duties revolve around running complex yet reliable IT systems and troubleshooting any network issues that can arise. For this reason, you may sometimes encounter IT specialists donning the hat of software engineers, system analysts, database administrators, network analysts, and cybersecurity experts.

In general, IT specialists are expected to be the first people to respond whenever there’s a hiccup in one of the company’s IT systems. Their duties include setting up networks and servers, updating old hardware, installing software, managing databases, maintaining high-level cybersecurity standards, and helping customers with the website. For this reason, ecommerce IT specialists should have a thorough understanding of a wide range of topics such as antivirus and database software, firewalls, administrative tools, and online security.

Notwithstanding, perhaps one of the most important responsibilities of an IT specialist is to provide support for in-house team members. This support includes hardware issues concerning desktop and laptop computers as well as peripherals such as keyboards, controllers, printers, scanners, and monitors. It also includes software issues related to installation, access, updates, migrations, and operating system (OS) backups. 

To accomplish all of their tasks, IT specialists should be very good at communicating technical matters in a clear and understandable way. They often have to coordinate with large groups of people who may or may not be familiar with all of the technology involved.

The average salary for an IT specialist in ecommerce is around $88,000 annually, with these positions being in very high demand both globally and across the United States. 

Operations Manager

An ecommerce operations manager is the architect of retail operations. Generally speaking, they are responsible for overseeing warehouse management, product sourcing, order fulfillment, shipping, budgeting, company policies, operational procedures, human resources, and customer relationships.

To succeed in this role, a well-rounded operations manager needs to have a deep understanding of supply chain logistics, data analytics, warehouse solutions, and digital marketing.

More specifically, their key responsibilities include:

  • Improving user experience (UX): An ecommerce operations manager leads team members to create a visually appealing, smooth-running, and easily navigable website for users to engage with and make a purchase. They are fully aware of the customer’s journey and do everything in their power to make the UX as enjoyable as possible from beginning to end.
  • Planning inventory levels: Somebody needs to match customer demand for all inventory items, and that somebody is the operations manager. Those in this role try to identify trends and predict upcoming product demand by analyzing historical sales data, getting rid of slow-selling stock, and leveraging the popularity of best-selling products. One of their main goals is to avoid overstocking and prevent stockouts.
  • Overseeing order fulfillment: Operations managers work closely with their teams to ensure systematic and methodical order fulfillment. They coordinate with logistics partners to negotiate contracts and mitigate any issues that might crop up in the supply chain network—like dealing with damaged, misplaced, and lost goods.

An ecommerce operations manager can expect to make $85,000 per year, but many qualified professionals make well over $100,000 yearly.

Ecommerce Product Manager

An ecommerce product manager is responsible for product development, research, and optimization. They create product line strategies, design new features, and analyze technological challenges. They also oversee the product team and try to strike a balance between putting the customer’s needs first and running a profitable business. 

Given the fast-paced nature of ecommerce businesses, their product managers have to be flexible, agile, and open to innovation. They have to be open to following the latest ecommerce trends in order to stay competitive, while also making sure that product availability is never a problem when customers are ready to make a purchase.

One of the unique features of being a product manager is that the role tends to have access to vast amounts of customer analytics and data insights on a regular basis. By taking into account how customers behave and exploring the shifting market trends that drive their spending habits, good product managers are constantly making use of this data to make informed decisions that will fuel growth in a sustainable way.

The ecommerce product manager role is a demanding but lucrative one, with an average salary of $109,000 per year.

Supply Chain Manager

Many duties and responsibilities will overlap between operations managers, product managers, and supply chain managers, but the roles are far from the same. An ecommerce supply chain manager is responsible for controlling and maintaining the entire product lifecycle. In other words, the supply chain manager ensures that the things customers buy arrive at their proper destination undamaged and on time. While doing so, they must keep open communication channels with warehouse managers, distribution specialists, and, in rare cases, the end customer.

In particular, the supply chain manager’s work covers three notable areas:

  • Production logistics: Managing warehouse inventory, among related tasks.
  • Supply logistics: Placing the right orders with suppliers to ensure that stocks are always available for customer purchase.
  • Delivery logistics: Working with a wide range of suppliers to deliver the right products to the customer’s shipping address—plus dealing with and processing returns.

Naturally, the supply chain manager needs to have a strong understanding of international shipping rules and customs policies, especially if their ecommerce store operates globally. Having these skills allows them to delegate certain tasks to outside contractors without introducing major interruptions to the supply chain network.

Lastly, a proficient ecommerce supply chain manager will search for new ways to optimize their supply and delivery channels in order to reduce any incurred costs during the shipping and delivery process—all while providing exceptional service to customers. Amazon, which is arguably the biggest ecommerce shop in the world, is a prime example of leveraging a fast and efficient delivery network with competitive prices.

How Supply Chain by Amazon works

Keeping up with the constant demands of the supply chain manager role may prove to be very physically and mentally challenging. However, the average salary is between $105,000 and $140,000 a year, making it one of the highest-paid positions in ecommerce. 

Director of Ecommerce

The biggest ecommerce paydays come when you’re sitting at the head of the table. In this case, it’s when you’re a director of ecommerce.

A director of ecommerce is the de facto leader of an ecommerce organization. They are responsible for all major aspects of running the ecommerce business, including the following: 

  • Planning and developing high-level strategies
  • Prioritizing and delegating tasks to executives and other team members
  • Interviewing and hiring new talent
  • Creating, assessing, and assigning budgets
  • Meeting with stakeholders and other partners to find growth opportunities
  • Monitoring data analytics
  • Optimizing the company’s online sales channels and monitoring top drivers of revenue

A successful director of ecommerce should have a strong sense of leadership, a comprehensive understanding of the ecommerce industry, and a fair share of soft skills to help them communicate their ideas in a clear way. They may also need extensive B2B ecommerce experience or a similar background. 

Honestly, a good director of ecommerce won’t leave any stone unturned, so it helps to be intimately familiar with social media marketing, SEO, supply chain networks, unit economics, and consumer behavior if they want to succeed in the industry.

Given all the prerequisites, responsibilities, and challenges, it’s very rewarding to be the head of an ecommerce organization. A director’s average salary ranges from $197,000 to over $250,000 per year.

Recap

There are no secrets, guarantees, or shortcuts if you want to succeed in the ecommerce sphere. However, there are still a lot of good opportunities to be had if you want to start wherever you can and climb to the top of the ladder. 

Some of the best ecommerce roles that can get you there include ecommerce web developer, IT specialist, operations manager, ecommerce product manager, supply chain manager, and director of ecommerce.

If you’re interested in running an ecommerce business of your own, some good resources to get started include our guide to buying an ecommerce business and our walkthrough on building your first ecommerce website. 



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