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    January 1, 2021
    7 minute read

    What Is a Director of Ecommerce?

    by: Maria Lisac-Ramirez

    If you currently work in marketing but are looking to make your next move, two positions likely on your radar are director of ecommerce and ecommerce marketing manager.

    Learn about the day-to-day responsibilities, skills, and qualifications to become a director of ecommerce. You’ll also learn about how this role overlaps with the ecommerce marketing manager position.

    What Does an Ecommerce Director Do?

    A director of ecommerce is responsible for cross-functional collaboration to manage and direct all aspects of the ecommerce business, including:

    • Building a strategy, planning, developing, and executing content plans;
    • Overseeing the generation of promotional materials and campaigns;
    • Monitoring performance analytics, website traffic, and product performance; and
    • Other responsibilities, depending on the company or industry.

    Builds a Strategic Ecommerce Plan

    A director of ecommerce orchestrates all aspects of the ecommerce strategy for a brand. This role combines sales, marketing, technology, and management expertise to develop a plan that delivers a superior brand and shopping experience for customers.

    Oversees the Creation of High-Performing Product Content

    A director of ecommerce directs integrated campaigns to deliver increased conversion rates and overall order size, managing margin performance across a variety of product lines.

    This person also plans and executes the ecommerce strategy, working cross-functionally with teams to ensure quality assurance (QA) and timely publishing of all web content.

    Oversees the Brand’s Ecommerce Website

    A director of ecommerce manages the overall user experience, including site navigation, content development, sales checkout funnel, and promotional campaigns.

    Builds a Successful Ecommerce Team

    A director of ecommerce builds and directs a team of ecommerce professionals that can effectively help develop and execute ecommerce solutions. This team should represent a variety of strengths to fulfill creative, analytical, technical, and logistical needs.

    Likely roles to fill in a successful ecommerce team include the following, but, keep in mind, specific titles may vary:

    • A digital marketing manager, graphic designer, and copywriter;
    • An ecommerce business analyst;
    • An ecommerce developer, software engineer, IT manager; and
    • An ecommerce program manager.

    Maximize Digital Shelf Performance

    A director of ecommerce owns and manages internet marketing solutions, social media integration, search engine optimization (SEO), and other monitoring methodologies and analytics.

    This person also provides thought leadership, innovation, and process-optimization initiatives, such as implementing ecommerce software and other industry best practices and identifying new areas of ecommerce opportunities beyond current brand offering.

    How Do I Become an Ecommerce Director?

    Becoming an ecommerce director requires some specific skills and qualifications. Candidates will not only have significant experience with ecommerce, but also in leading teams, creating strategies, interpreting data, and generating value.

    An ecommerce director must have the following skills and qualifications:

    • Must be a seasoned professional in the digital retailing market, with business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) experience a plus.
    • Must have extensive knowledge of ecommerce technologies and tactics, especially in commerce experience management (CommerceXM), digital asset management (DAM), and sophisticated digital shelf analytics.
    • Must be a self-described data expert with the ability to interpret data and draw conclusions to implement new ecommerce strategies.
    • Must be a proven leader with experience both managing teams of six to eight people and executing large ecommerce projects.
    • Must demonstrate strong business judgment and decision-making skills.
    • Must have the ability to identify, prioritize, and articulate the highest impact initiatives.
    • Must have proven success developing, executing, and maintaining sophisticated digital commerce brand strategies by leveraging ecommerce platforms, successful delivery of business value, near and mid-term growth for a brand.

    What Makes a Great Ecommerce Director?

    If you’re currently an ecommerce executive, hopefully you’re on the path to becoming a director. To determine if this advancement is feasible for you or what you can do to get there, it’s important to highlight some skills and qualifications of a great ecommerce director.

    A great ecommerce director:

    What’s the Difference Between a Director of Ecommerce and an Ecommerce Marketing Manager?

    If you see some similarities between your current role and what’s listed above, you may wonder if you’re ready to be a director, or if management would help sculpt your dream workday. Below are the main differences between the two roles.

    A director of ecommerce oversees the strategy and drives innovation at the brand. This role will likely require a director to:

    • Lead strategy development and implementation as well as the overall marketing team;
    • Focus on big picture decisions and the overall direction of the brand’s digital presence;
    • Liaise between the marketing department and other directors and help identify marketing priorities.

    An ecommerce marketing manager, on the other hand, oversees the tactical, day-to-day management of the digital shelf. This role will likely require a manager to:

    • Take the lead on strategies under the guise of the director;
    • Help plan website development, organization, and execution; and
    • Serve as a point person between the marketing team and the director as well as offer training and guidance.

    As you can see, there are some similarities between the two roles. Oftentimes it comes down to experience — but don’t sell yourself short. Bring the same passion and energy you have for marketing products and services on the digital shelf to your interviews.

    Learn more about what it takes to be a director of ecommerce. Download our customizable job description template to get a detailed breakdown of the role and core skills as well as requirements to start the hiring process.


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