12 Essential Skills and Online Courses for E-Commerce Professionals

Kenneth Palmer

The retail e-commerce industry shows no sign of slowing down as online shopping becomes even more convenient. According to Statista, the industry is projected to grow by as much as 50 percent in the coming years.

If you want to explore the possibilities in e-commerce job roles, then it’s time to invest in some skills. Here are some important skills for e-commerce professionals.

1. Copywriting

Copywriting is writing for the purpose of selling. Purposeful copywriting increases brand awareness and creates powerful calls to action. When done right, it can broaden your customer base and build customer loyalty.

Copywriting is not creative writing, although your creative writing chops can help. It requires a bit of practice to create persuasive copy, which should be free of unnecessary flourishes. As pioneer advertising executive Leo Burnett said, “Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.”

Online Copywriting Course: The Art of Storytelling for Freelancers and Creators is one of the best-selling courses on Domestika. Created by Sun Yi, the founder of award-winning digital branding and marketing agency Night Owls, the course goes through writing techniques that grab your audience’s attention from the get-go.

2. Business Communications

Business communication skills help you effectively communicate with different types of people within or outside your business. This skill encompasses email, instant messaging, formal letters, business presentations, and many others. If you want to build strong relationships with your suppliers and staff, add this to your list of essential skills to learn.

Online Business Communications Course: edX offers Business Communications facilitated by Marlisse Silver Sweeney, a lecturer at UBC Sauder School of Business. Pay $150.00 for unlimited access, but you can also enroll for the free audit track, which gives you six weeks of access.

3. Accounting

Any kind of business requires accounting skills to keep track of profits and expenses. Learning accounting skills will also make tax filing a less tedious process. For a start, you can invest in book-keeping software for small businesses and freelancers. But while these tools will help you, you’ll still need to make sense of the numbers.

Online Accounting Course: Coursera’s Financial Accounting Fundamentals by the University of Virginia teaches you how to record your transactions in journals, prepare financial statements, and analyze your business’s financial health.

4. Project Management

Project management skills help you effectively plan and execute your e-commerce project. For example, if you want to design a website for your business, you might want to start a Gantt chart to help you manage the tasks for the project. Get to know the best types of project management reports and methods, so you can choose the one that suits your needs.

Online Project Management Course: This Google Project Management from Coursera promises to teach you the basics of project management in less than six months, even if you have no skills or experience.

5. Graphic Design

Today’s generation has become increasingly visual, interacting primarily through photos, videos, and emojis. Even an excellent copy will fall flat if it’s paired with poor graphic design.

If you’re just starting out in graphic design, there are some essential graphic design terms you need to know. These terms will also come in handy when collaborating with a graphic designer for your e-commerce business. If the vocabulary sounds Greek to you, try learning the basics from an online course.

Online Graphic Design Course: Design@Work markets its course for business owners who need a few design skills. Learn how to make business cards, brochures, and other templates using Adobe InDesign.

SMM helps you develop a clear-cut strategy to engage your audience through popular social media channels. You don’t need to be on all channels, but it’s recommended to use the ones occupied by your target customers. Any e-commerce business that wants to thrive needs to step up its social media game, and that’s where an online course will come in handy.

Online Social Media Course: Acadium’s free Social Media Marketing course covers 35 beginner-friendly lessons on social media, most used by businesses today.

7. Customer Service

If you survey job boards, you’ll see that customer service professionals are very much in demand today. Salesforce research shows that buyers value customer experience as much as product quality, which is why it makes sense for businesses to place emphasis on this skill.

Online Customer Service Course: This high-rated Customer Service Training from goskills contains 22 practical lessons that you can access for free for seven days.

8. Search Engine Optimization

The goal of SEO is for your site to turn up on the first page of search engines, making it a crucial part of your business’s content strategy. The reality is, most people rarely click the second page of their search query, which is why you need SEO. Organic, authentic, and quality content can be paired up with SEO to produce killer copy that ranks on Google.

Online SEO Course: Improve SEO for your Ecommerce Site by LinkedIn learning will help you optimize your product page and build brand authority on search engines.

9. Email Marketing

A successful email marketing campaign needs a well-crafted message. Email marketing is a low-cost way to increase your sales and promote your brand. Thus, writers who are adept with tools such as MailChimp are valuable to any e-commerce business that wants to engage and nurture its clients.

Online Email Marketing Course: Hubspot’s Email Marketing Certification Course is a free online training that helps you understand the basics of email marketing and create high-performing emails.

Google Ads is the undisputed authority when it comes to pay-per-click marketing. Google’s paid online advertising program generates revenue when advertisers pay per click or impression on an ad. Internet Live Stats reports that Google receives 3.5 billion searches per day, which makes it one of the best platforms to promote your business.

Google Ads Online Course: Learn how to develop a solid Google Ads campaign with the Google Ads Masterclass (AdWords): Run Campaigns Yourself from Udemy.

Google Analytics is a tool that helps you improve your business website’s performance. When you add Google Analytics’ code to your website’s pages, the platform collects anonymous information such as the number of visitors, unique page views, a visitor’s average time on the page, and other insightful metrics.

Google Analytics Online Course: Google Analytics Academy offers free training that takes you through the fundamentals and the more advanced levels of the platform.

Excel is one of the most important skills for e-commerce professionals, or any professional for that matter. Excel spreadsheets help you keep track of sales, stock inventory, and customer details to name a few. Excel formulas can get tricky for beginners, so you can start with the ones most commonly used for business.

Excel Online Course: Excel Skills for Business Specialization from Coursera will teach you to analyze data, create spreadsheets, and present them in user-friendly ways.

Level Up Your E-Commerce Skills Today

E-commerce is a lucrative industry with a lot of opportunities for freelancers and remote workers. If you want to break into this field, you can choose one basic skill to launch your career as an e-commerce professional.

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