Ecommerce is an essential sector of the economy now. So it’s no surprise that younger people are researching how to get into a career in ecommerce. However, if you’re already a professional, there’s never been a better time to bring your talents to the digital world. We want to share four tips for anybody looking to get started.

Get in Where You Fit In

Ecommerce, like the retail industry (or any other industry for that matter), has a wide array of areas in which you can specialize. What interests you: user experience? Supply chain management? Merchandising? Marketing? Start by reading industry articles tailored to your area of interest that have an ecommerce flavor to them. Supplement your coursework with a few business and digital media classes if you’re still in school. Join some relevant LinkedIn groups and speak with other professionals about their transition to online retail.

Learn the Buzzwords

Industry buzzwords evolve. Popular words in ecommerce include multichannel, omnichannel, affiliate marketing, brick and mortar, conversion, call-to-action, and more.

Read industry publications, such as Digital Commerce 360, Multichannel Merchant, and Practical Ecommerce, which are great places to start. In an industry where things change daily, you’ll want to stay on top of the latest trends, so consider following a few key industry service providers on social media.

Sign Up For A Shopping Experience

Most of us have purchased something online before, but did you approach it as a researcher? One of the quickest ways to learn more about online retail is to shop!

Visit a variety of stand-alone online retailers and click through everything. Most of your favorite brands maintain their own website and ecommerce storefront. Read their returns pages and FAQs to understand their business models; thoroughly read their product descriptions to understand how they market their products; and check out any add-ons they’re operating on their site (live chat, site search, product recommendations, etc.).

If you buy anything, keep track of your time spent during the checkout process, what you see along the way, and all of the steps (and time!) involved to get your package to its final destination.

Understand How Operations Drive Ecommerce

We may be a little biased, but a retailer’s back-end operations genuinely drive the business’s overall performance. After all, customers are visiting your site to buy stuff: if their package doesn’t get to the right place, at the right time, with the right stuff inside, you’re not going to lose customers.

Regardless of which area of ecommerce interests you, you’ll need a solid understanding of the order fulfillment process to be successful. Marketing works with operations to write content about delivery schedules, returns policies, and to extend the customer experience post-purchase. Customer care needs guidance from operations staff to understand those returns policies, track inventory levels and communicate effectively to customers about an order’s whereabouts. Technology has to know how a company’s back-end operates to fix bugs and offer solutions to run the business.

It’s all connected, and it drives the overall customer experience.