How to Move Up Fast in Ecommerce

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Ben Wattenbach Adaptive Digital, Digital, News...

Global ecommerce continues to grow at a rapid rate, with digital experience giant Adobe’s recent $1.68bn purchase of platform provider Magento underscoring the anticipated future value of the sector.

Adaptive’s recruiters are often asked ecommerce professionals what they can do to accelerate their career growth and capture the potential of this fast-evolving space.

Here are some ideas on how to move up the ecommerce career ladder fast.

Let’s tackle the most obvious question first – if ecommerce is such a thriving, fast-growing space, why do people need career advice? Surely everyone’s getting swept along with the current, onward to bigger and better things?

Well, it’s important not to mix two issues – just because an industry is growing rapidly doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone involved is feeling or benefiting from that growth in their everyday lives.

While trailblazing tech visionaries may be busy inventing the next generation of game-changing ecommerce tools, there are thousands of career ecomm professionals spread across every major online retailer whose day-to-day may not reflect that excitement.

But the good news is, they can get a piece of the action if they try.

Look at an example Adaptive’s digital recruitment team encounters frequently: an eCRM Manager two years into their career, absorbed in a weekly loop of email marketing layouts and click-through rate reports, and wondering when the ecommerce gold rush they read so much about is going to reach them.

Sure, they have a foot on the career ladder, but what’s next - Senior eCRM Manager, maybe in another year?

Not the jet-powered ascendancy they’d hoped for.

Here’s what we advise when candidates ask how they can springboard their own ecomm careers forward:

- Offer pro-active solutions

Sometimes everyone can get blinkered by the scope of their current role, but to move towards the top of ecommerce you have to start thinking and acting like someone at the top. Why else would you deserve to get there?

Senior ecommerce managers aren’t following someone else’s gameplan, they’re thinking for themselves, being creative and trying out ways to generate results.

Taking this approach in your own role can change your career trajectory overnight. Many people grumble that their roles are too implementation heavy and not strategic or creative enough, but have never pro-actively brought any strategic or creative thinking to the table.

This doesn’t mean becoming a troublesome maverick and refusing to follow instructions, it just means bringing ideas for improvement under your own steam and going beyond the basics of your role description without waiting to be told.

- Ask for exposure

As any senior executive will tell you, a big part of career development is ensuring that your ambition is clear to your superiors. If that ‘ambition’ only comes in the form of an annual wrangling over salary, then your superiors haven’t got much to work with.

Instead, give your managers a clear signal that you want to learn more and contribute more to the team.

This could mean asking to sit in on meetings that aren’t part of your usual rota, getting more involved with partners and suppliers, or suggesting books and courses that the company might contribute towards.

- Network

An oldie but a goodie. Networking is a practice designed to create opportunity, and if you don’t participate you’re missing out. Sites such as Meetup.com offer great chances to meet like-minded professionals. 

Adaptive has worked with candidates who’ve funded their own way to conferences like eTail and Shoptalk, rationalizing the ticket prices not as a cost but as an investment in their future.  

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If you’ve got advice to share with ecommerce professionals looking to build their careers, we’d love to hear about it below.

You can check out Adaptive’s active E-Commerce job vacancies here.