What does an Online Merchant do?

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.

Jobs Roles

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