If you look at large retailers or pure players, eCommerce usually is a business unit or a sales department. This makes sense, since it is about buying and selling again with a profit. Plain and simple.
So why is it then that in many organizations the Head of eCommerce does not report to a VP Sales?
I have seen eCommerce Managers reporting to Marketing, to IT and even to PR.
The answer lies often in the motivation behind doing eCommerce in the first place. eCommerce is one of the most frequent answers to the question to “what does Digitalization mean to our organization?”.
Here are a few reasons to do eCommerce and how to deal with it:
|You want to make profit
|Basically operate it like a sales department; KPIs should include ROI and Conversion. Monitor Cost-Expenses-Relationship
|Your customers expect it from you
|Keep the setup simple, try to minimize the loss at which you might be operating; focus on customer experience, monitor customer feedback closely
|You need it as an additional brand touchpoint
|Like the above plus KPIs should focus on brand experience, reach, views, conversations
|Your core business is weak, the competition is ahead of you
|Revisit the opportunities of eCommerce and check if it is really helping you in your current situation;
|You just want to try it
|Check your business planning and set clear goals what to achieve with your MVP; if you are on a tight budget, make sure you are drawing the right conclusions (if you pay peanuts you will get monkeys)