Online Merchants

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$75,990 Median Wage (2022)
107,000 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
4.10% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Conduct retail activities of businesses operating exclusively online. May perform duties such as preparing business strategies, buying merchandise, managing inventory, implementing marketing activities, fulfilling and shipping online orders, and balancing financial records.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  • A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  • Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Bachelor's Degree

Related Work Experience: Over 2 years, up to and including 4 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Over 3 months, up to and including 6 months

On-the-Job Training: Over 3 months, up to and including 6 months

Detailed Work Activities

  • Update professional knowledge.
  • Create marketing materials.
  • Purchase products or services.
  • Allocate physical resources within organizations.
  • Develop business or market strategies.
  • Determine the value of goods or services.
  • Correspond with customers to answer questions or resolve complaints.
  • Execute sales or other financial transactions.
  • Maintain data in information systems or databases.
  • Market products, services, or events.
  • Analyze business or financial data.
  • Obtain information about goods or services.
  • Identify strategic business investment opportunities.
  • Develop business or financial information systems.
  • Develop financial or business plans.
  • Create images of data, locations, or products.
  • Calculate data to inform organizational operations.
  • Collect payments for goods or services.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Fill customer orders by packaging sold items and documentation for direct shipping or by transferring orders to manufacturers or third-party distributors.
  • Receive and process payments from customers, using electronic transaction services.
  • Create, manage, or automate orders or invoices, using order management or invoicing software.
  • Deliver e-mail confirmation of completed transactions and shipment.
  • Correspond with online customers via electronic mail, telephone, or other electronic messaging to address questions or complaints about products, policies, or shipping methods.
  • Purchase new or used items from online or physical sources for resale via retail or auction Web site.
  • Determine and set product prices.
  • Calculate purchase subtotals, taxes, and shipping costs for submission to customers.
  • Compose descriptions of merchandise for posting to online storefront, auction sites, or other shopping Web sites.
  • Compose images of products, using video or still cameras, lighting equipment, props, or photo or video editing software.
  • Upload digital media, such as photos, video, or scanned images to online storefront, auction sites, or other shopping Web sites.
  • Calculate revenue, sales, and expenses, using financial accounting or spreadsheet software.
  • Cancel orders based on customer requests or inventory or delivery problems.
  • Prepare or organize online storefront marketing material, including product descriptions or subject lines, optimizing content to search engine criteria.
  • Order or purchase merchandise to maintain optimal inventory levels.
  • Determine location for product listings to maximize exposure to online traffic.
  • Create or maintain database of customer accounts.
  • Promote products in online communities through weblog or discussion-forum postings, e-mail marketing programs, or online advertising.
  • Collaborate with search engine shopping specialists to place marketing content in desired online locations.
  • Investigate products or markets to determine areas for opportunity or viability for merchandising specific products, using online or offline sources.
  • Maintain inventory of shipping supplies, such as boxes, labels, tape, bubble wrap, loose packing materials, or tape guns.
  • Measure and analyze Web site usage data to maximize search engine returns or refine customer interfaces.
  • Develop or revise business plans for online business, emphasizing factors such as product line, pricing, inventory, or marketing strategy.
  • Disclose merchant information and terms and policies of transactions in online or offline materials.
  • Design customer interface of online storefront, using web programming or e-commerce software.
  • Select and purchase technical web services, such as web hosting services, online merchant accounts, shopping cart software, payment gateway software, or spyware.
  • Transfer digital media, such as music, video, or software, to customers via the Internet.
  • Devise, select, or purchase domain name and web address.
  • Initiate online auctions through auction hosting sites or auction management software.
  • Implement security practices to preserve assets, minimize liabilities, or ensure customer privacy, using parallel servers, hardware redundancy, fail-safe technology, information encryption, or firewalls.
  • Investigate sources, such as auctions, estate sales, liquidators, wholesalers, or trade shows for new items, used items, or collectibles.
  • Participate in online forums or conferences to stay abreast of online retailing trends, techniques, or security threats.
  • Integrate online retailing strategy with physical or catalogue retailing operations.
  • Create or distribute offline promotional material, such as brochures, pamphlets, business cards, stationary, or signage.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.