eCommerce is an exciting industry to be involved in, especially here in Singapore as the spending per head is over $1,400 per year online, which is huge. And with such big-spending locals and like any industry it requires a certain level of practical skills to be really good at it, you need to update your eCommerce skills list and ensure you are no one to mess with… enter Liam Neeson quote:
…what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it.
Liam Neeson in Taken.
You most likely have some of these things on the eCommerce skills list already, built up through a life of interacting on the internet.
Now, while I put these skills down, it does not mean that you need to be able to do everything on the list, as you can outsource most things if necessary.
So first off let’s just dive into a list of skills that will help you.
What Will I Learn?
What Is On The eCommerce Skills List?
eCommerce is not a small business model and the ability for you to enter into it and become a success will rely solely on you (and the team you build in the future). Now while I mentioned above that these skills are necessary, and also that you can outsource them, it is a good idea to get a basic understanding of the list mentioned below if you are to outsource these.
- Search engine optimization (SEO),
- Content marketing,
- Email marketing and automation,
- Social media marketing,
- Data analysis – Google Analytics,
- Customer service,
If you are able to get to grips with these skills then you could be onto an exciting eCommerce business.
So, let me give you a brief overview of each one of these.
eCommerce Specialist Skills
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the practice of helping web pages rise to the top of the search engines by using a mixture of a few different things including, keyword research, creating great relevant content, acquiring backlinks from authority websites plus, making your content as user-friendly as possible.
When you learn to master SEO it is one of the best marketing skills you can have for eCommerce. Now while there are a few technical skills included in SEO, it is a good idea to outsource these things to a qualified person.
Content marketing and SEO go hand in hand (as do many of the things on the internet). This is the skill of being able to create great platform-specific content that adheres to a specific KPI, like making sales or getting email subscribers.
I say platform specific because not everyone consumes content in the same way on the different platforms online. While someone reading content on a website might like a long article to read, someone on YouTube obviously wants a great video, and someone on Twitter needs a short sharp smart 140 character assault.
So being able to know what people are after, craft your content in a certain way to be most effective on these platforms is what content marketing is about. Again, very outsourceable to services online.
Email Marketing and Automation
I have put both of these together for one reason, they work so well together, and the different email software’s that eCommerce entrepreneurs use is a perfect mix of crafting beautiful emails and automating the process of sending those emails to people who you have successfully gotten onto your email list.
There are a number of skills inside of email marketing that will help you excel:
- Copywriting to help you write great headline and body copy for the emails,
- Writing email sequences,
- Abandoned cart emails,
- Email automation workflows.
The list goes on, but the most important thing I recommend is that you learn copywriting (not only for email marketing but nearly every single aspect of your online business).
Social Media Marketing
This is the skill required to utilize the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, Quora, etc for your marketing purposes.
There are a couple of different types that you can do, mostly, Paid marketing within these platforms, but also Free organic marketing.
This is really not essential when it comes to starting your eCommerce store, but it is good to know a thing or two about it. Basically, this is about making your site function the way you want it to, and also structuring it the way you want. Developers create eCommerce sites or adapt them.
But, with the rise of companies like Shopify, Magento, WordPress who have created an off-the-shelf eCommerce platform for your shop developers are mostly used if you want extra work done on your stores, extra functionality.
A great place to hire developers is called Upwork.com a huge outsourcing/freelancer job site, where you can place any jobs your new company might have.
Design is super important, at least knowing what good design is. The reason I say this is because:
- There are a lot of bad designers on the market,
- There are a lot of want to be designers who create bad work,
And you, as the eCommerce store owner needs to be able to tell the difference between bad and good. Because, wannabe designers who cut corners, and don’t have the skills necessary to create a great design (mostly).
Bad design for your store can mean lost revenue for you. You spend money on a great site, get all your products up, and pay for a designer who isn’t good and your website will suffer.
You might start running a promotion on Facebook, or Instagram, paying your money to send visitors to your website and when they get to your site (even if your products are good), if your design looks bad it will appear untrustworthy to your potential customer and they will leave very quickly.
You have about 3 seconds to convince a person that your website is ok to start looking further into, and if you can’t do that, they leave, which is mostly down to the look and feel of your website.
So, invest in good design.
Also, with the likes of Shopify on the market, they have lots of themes that you can use which are professionally designed, so make sure you check out them too.
A final note on this: If you are not a designer, don’t create your own logo. If you spend $20 -$50 you can get a great one made on a website like Fiverr.
Data Analysis – Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool by Google that allows you to see how your visitors interact on your website, easy things like seeing:
- How many visitors you are getting on your site per day,
- How long they are staying on your website,
- Which content they are looking at,
- What country are they from,
- Which device did they use – desktop, tablet or mobile.
And then as you get more attuned with GA you will be able to explore things like:
- Audience demographics, who they are, what age are they,
- What interests them, what industries, markets, categories,
- Which browser did they use to come to your site, what technology,
- Did they come from Facebook, or Google or Instagram,
- And how many sales your site is making, where sales are falling off etc.
Google Analytics is a fabulous tool and skill to have because if you know who the people are that are coming to your site, what they are doing that is helping them convert into sales, or where they are going that is leading to them leaving instantly.
When you know this kind of data and information you can then look at the good things and make them stronger which will lead to more sales, and look at the bad things, fix any issues which will lead to more sales.
This is a great skill to have and is really not for everyone. While the idea of talking to customers might be brilliant for some people and help solve potential customer problems or answer questions, for people like me, I find it terrible.
From my perspective, it’s good to get an idea of it, and when you have made enough cash to hire someone do it.
One of the most important skills to have, everyone does it, throughout life, just some of us are better than others at it. As an eCommerce entrepreneur, even if you are not selling face to face, when you are negotiating with partners, looking for a great supplier deal, or even handling a disgruntled customer you should learn a few basic sales skills to help you handle the situations better.
I learned a sales technique back in my younger days called “SPIN” selling, by Neil Rackham.
The acronym SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-Payoff. It was designed to help salespeople close difficult, complicated deals.
Now, while it is not a necessity to learn this process, grabbing it as a bit of side reading can help you no end. So, there is a list of eCommerce skills that we recommend you get to grips with if you want to make your eCommerce journey so much smoother.
What else can help you achieve success in eCommerce in Singapore?
The retail world in 2021 is super competitive. Due to COVID-19, companies face trouble, and now they’re trying to get back in the game.
Work On Your Mindset & Focus
- It all starts with the mindset and focus. If you don’t have that, you’re just playing around with multiple things,
- Before you get into eCommerce, make sure to have a plan of attack,
- Without a particular set of long-term and short-term goals, you won’t be able to stay motivated throughout the journey.
Express Yourself and Your Product As Clearly As Possible!
- If you’re not expressive for yourself and your products, you’re not going to get any sales,
- Most people lose sales because they convey an improper idea in front of their customers.
Your Brand is Your Purpose
- Find a purpose for what you are doing with your ecommerce store, stick to it. This will keep yourself motivated throughout the journey.
- A strong purpose is highly needed to roll with punches because almost every entrepreneurial journey is full of hurdles.
Understand Digital Marketing
- The world has changed a lot in the last decade. To survive, you need to keep up with digital marketing trends and marketing platforms.
- Just by understanding the digital marketing ecosystem, you will be able to see how to use certain skills mentioned above that other people might not even think about.
Stop Running After Multiple Things
- If you keep jumping from one skill set acquisition to another, you’re not going to master what you need to get results
- Always focus on one strategy at a time. If you’re learning SEO, then learn SEO and master it without being distracted.
What Does An eCommerce Specialist Do?
There’s a saying, follow the path of the successful person to be a successful person. So, to get better at eCommerce, we need to know what skills these specialists in online commerce usually have.
Here’s what an eCommerce specialist usually does.
- Analyzes the situation of their marketplace,
- Plans accordingly and sets achievable goals and also has a BHAG,
- Stays highly relevant to the niche they are in before expanding,
- Coordinates a team to take care of those micro-tasks that free them up to focus on business building,
- Works daily focusing and updating ontrend digital marketing rules,
- And in the end, an eCommerce specialist either learns from their mistakes, or doesn’t and fails.
To your success,