15 ECommerce Skills You Need for Building a Successful Online Store


Want to boost your eCommerce success? Guest writer Yen Pedrajas explains some of the most important skills needed for growing your online store.

Running an eCommerce business is an essential way to increase consumer purchases. Whether you’re branching out in the virtual marketplace or becoming an entirely web-based enterprise, huge success is possible if a retailer has the right skills. Specifically, a variety of procedural know-how is required – encompassing an extensive balance between soft, hard, and technical skills. 

Competition is tough in the online world. Only those prepared for the battle of the brands will emerge victorious and generate as much income as possible.

You may be asking, “What skills do you need for eCommerce?” 

We’ll cover them all in the guide below.

Why Specific Skills Matter in Building an Online Business

2020 witnessed a whopping 44% boom in virtual stores. Statistics show that the online market is flourishing. 14.1% of sales worldwide came from retail eCommerce sales alone in 2019, and this figure is only rising. 

It’s forecasted that these sales will rise by another 8% in 2023, making digital commerce sales take over around a quarter of marketing returns across the globe. 

This data shows that people in business should be intentional when building their eCommerce platforms. Top competitors will trample over budding eCommerce sellers without the right eCommerce skills.

3 Categories of Skills eCommerce Businesses Need

There’s a lot that goes into running an online store. here are three categories all eCommerce store owners need.

1. Soft Skills

In the virtual arena, customers mainly deal with automated systems. Creating a personalized transaction for buyers that will enhance the customer experience poses a challenge. Humans are emotional beings, after all.  

Brands must install personalized recommendations and address customers in chat boxes and through email marketing. All these intricate factors necessitate the development of soft skills that include things such as interpersonal skills, behavioral, and personality-based strengths.

While it’s true that online store owners can skip face-to-face interactions and cash registers, eCommerce skills dependent on human conduct build the base for excellent customer support, which will translate to customer loyalty. 

Soft skills, such as patience in handling conflict, are part of a wide array of behavior and social intelligence, which builds a good relationship between owners and clients. Ecommerce manager skills such as these don’t have to be learned but can be developed.

2. Hard Skills

All high-paying jobs require hard skills. 

These are job-specific abilities or capabilities which are earned through education and training. Compared to soft skills, which are assessed through subjective judgment, hard skills are verifiable and measurable.

Licenses, certificates, and diplomas often signify the degree of achievement or mastery of particular skill sets. Individuals learn hard skills in a variety of ways. This can be via traditional institutions, vocational centers, online platforms, apprenticeship programs, and on-the-job training. 

In managing your own eCommerce business, hard skills ensure your capacity to translate certain activities and tools into profit and fulfill obligations to customers.

3. Technical Skills

There’s a lot that goes into eCommerce. ECommerce managers need to carefully employ a wide range of technical skills to ensure a business is profitable.

There are technical eCommerce skills which are a subcategory of hard skills. These involve the technical know-how to perform specific responsibilities. When these tasks require someone to utilize a particular technology, tool, technique, or equipment, they are considered technical skills.

In this fast-paced era of technology, automation, digitalization, and artificial intelligence result in a more significant percentage of jobs depending on technical eCommerce skills. You cannot have an online store and not deal with internet-related software.

Having a balanced set of skills will help you easily manage your eCommerce business. So without further ado, let’s discuss the important skills you need to acquire.

Soft Skills for Ecommerce

Here are some of the most important soft skills eCommerce business owners should develop.

1. Leadership

An eCommerce business will not succeed without good leadership. The world of virtual marketing is filled with all sorts of suggestions and advice. An assertive leader with good critical thinking and interpersonal skills provides the business with clarity in pursuing the organization’s vision. 

Under effective leadership, precise decisions are made even under pressure. Leaders are trailblazers who inspire and motivate a team toward success. A leader’s careful deliberation of the pros and cons of a situation can save the brand from bad marketing pitches. 

A company head is also expected to provide solutions to usual eCommerce dilemmas such as dissatisfied customers, distribution setbacks, shifting trends, and supply chain interruptions. Thus, leadership is at the core of eCommerce skills. 

2. Adaptability

Online trends and consumer demands are ever-changing. What may be marketable today may be unpopular in the future. One day, a virtual store may need to focus on blog content strategy; on another, they may have to prioritize search engine optimization

Being fully aware of the variety of responsibilities in running an eCommerce store will allow you to stay on top of the game despite market fluctuations. It’s all about being in the right state of mind. Change is beyond anyone’s control, but being equipped with knowledge and tools will make it easy to adapt to a fast-changing online community.

3. Time Management

Efficient handling of limited-time resources is a much-treasured eCommerce skill. Wasted time is directly proportional to wasted money. Online stores must be able to maximize the productivity of their workforce. If not, they may experience unnecessary losses and expenses. 

Virtual businesses should tap into the power of automation tools to optimize time usage. For example, modern customer support is already empowered with chatbots. These are a series of pre-written options and questions companies use to answer customers’ frequently asked questions via chat. This way, the queue for live customer support is greatly diminished. Many tools can perform or manage repetitive workloads. Utilizing them will eliminate tasks that take up a lot of time.  Staff can then focus on what’s important.

4. Effective Communication

Online eCommerce marketing requires a delicate balance between written, verbal and artistic communication. Everything a potential client sees on your eCommerce website will create a lasting impression. The logo, the blog posts, the background design, and the choice of endorsers appearing in an eCommerce store should resonate with the brand’s messaging. Your brand should be able to pull the heartstrings of consumers. 

Email newsletters should be relevant and engaging; otherwise, the customers will just hit unsubscribe and take their money elsewhere. Social media posts should also aim for brand awareness that can result in commercial advancement. Moreover, disseminating goals and feedback also requires good communication. Lack of connection within a team will harbor distrust and disengagement within the rank and file.

5. Critical Thinking

As an entrepreneur profiting from online transactions, you must be able to think objectively. Business concerns arise every now and then, so weighing the credibility of differing views must be done accurately. 

There are multiple ways to handle a customer complaint. It requires on-point critical thinking skills to make the most out of the situation and regain a client’s trust. A logical and evidence-based decision-making approach protects the enterprise. You must have a systematic process for the problem at hand to gather relevant data and make an informed decision. Accepting the difficulties of running a virtual store is the first step to resolving them. Assuredly, all efforts will be rewarded at the end of the day!

6. Social Intelligence

When people ask, “What skills do you need in eCommerce?” they should not forget about public interaction. Aside from working with different contractors and freelancers, the popularity of a brand will be utterly dependent on its ability to connect with its target audience. 

A business must be able to speak the language of its shoppers. For example, a child-friendly brand should be able to emphasize how a product can promote the child’s safety and well-being. A child’s comfort is the priority of all parents. If an eCommerce store fails to address these, they have been unable to woo potential customers.

Hard Skills

Here are some of the most important hard skills that eCiommerce retailers need to develop.

7. Digital Marketing

As an eCommerce manager, having marketing expertise is a must. An online brand must be particular in choosing the marketing platforms where they would like to present themselves and how they will do it.

Would it be a pay-per-click advert, a popup ad, an email marketing campaign, or a brand referral incentive program? Wherever you want your eCommerce marketing strategies to go, it needs to be well-planned and monitored.

Data collection is also crucial in digital marketing. To drive traffic on an eCommerce website, an entrepreneur must research before selecting influencers that can boost product following and recall. You also need to look at the written content of your competition. Moreover, you must know about high-ranking keywords and prevalent social media applications for your intended audience. 

8. Graphic Design

A user-friendly and eye-catching website becomes the equivalent of glass windows in physical stores. While traditional stores focus on product arrangement, virtual arenas should capitalize on the image they are attempting to project for their brand. 

The way an online shop appears matters. A visually aesthetic platform says much about the credibility and character of merchandise. Your website should also be compatible with mobile phones.

9. Copywriting

Great copywriting is essential for boosting your sales. This complex skill proves that eCommerce skills require a meticulous and rigorous checking of outputs. A sales-driven virtual marketer will place appropriately crafted words to set the tone of the written content. You should know what phrases or words can translate to profit. Landing pages should create a solid first impression. 

Make sure to develop concise and convincing posts no matter what age or consumer group you are targeting. The entirety of the website content should be free from grammatical and spelling errors. This will display professionalism and authority, increasing the customer’s trust and loyalty.

10. Product Photography

High-quality photos must capture the caliber and attributes of a product. Compare a blurry picture versus high-definition imagery for a clothing line. The more detail a brand can capture in photos, the greater its appeal is to possible consumers. 

You must also be careful not to overdo backdrops since they may remove the focus from your selling item. It would be wise to decide if you should minimize background details or remove the background altogether.

11. Accounting

Without proper auditing or bookkeeping, the impact of other eCommerce skills will go down the drain. All businesses revolve around money. If you cannot keep track of your profits, expenses, and losses, you are headed toward a financial disaster. Make sure to get an accounting education to learn about the checks and balances of your online business.

Technical Skills

Finally, eCommerce stores also require some specific technical skills for success.

12. Google Analytics

This platform gives eCommerce business owners an in-depth understanding of their store processes. Google Analytics provides relevant data on what products the site visitors are checking and buying and what they are deliberately ignoring.

13. Technical Search Engine Optimization

You may have heard people say that “Content is king.” While it is true that quality videos, blogs, and product descriptions govern your marketing strategy, it is your technical SEO eCommerce skills that will help maintain a good user experience on your site. SEO allows your content to be accessed by web users. Landing on the top of search engines doesn’t happen by accident. It requires planning, research, and, most importantly, the intentional use of technical SEO.

14. Google Tools

When starting your eCommerce business, the things you need to track and accomplish can get overwhelming. Luckily, as a technological giant, Google provides helpful virtual analytics and marketing tools for small businesses. Getting familiar with platforms such as Google Drive, Google Merchant Center, and Google alerts can eliminate the need for a paid marketing professional.

15. Google Ads

This marketing tool allows you to use Google to promote your products and services. There is a wide array of ad formats one can choose from. Since Google is a colossal virtual location, having the proper budget and interface in your paid advertisement can relieve the burden off your shoulder when trying to showcase your brand.

Teach Yourself New Skills

Establishing, sustaining, and optimizing an eCommerce website takes a lot of work. The online environment is constantly changing, and so are the skills and tools you need for success. To achieve a successful eCommerce business, you’ll need to constantly learn, adapt, and develop the right skillset. Make it a habit to continually learn about new technologies and trends to give you fresh insights on how you need to position your business in the years to come. This will help you set your business up for greater chances of success.

Yen Pedrajas – Removal.AI Yen is a digital marketing and eCommerce enthusiast who loves to write about various topics, share new insights about marketing, and impart growth hacking tips for startup businesses.