Skip main navigation

The six most important drivers of any eCommerce business

Let's look at the six real underlying tasks and responsibilities that are going on in all eCommerce business.
The stages of supply and delivery in online shopping

Regardless of the size of your business, whether it is a one-person shop or multi-million pound business, all eCommerce store owners have to think through roles and responsibilities – in other words – who is going to do what?

In Course 4 we cover off this topic in more detail. However, even though we are just starting out on this ExpertTrack, it is still useful to know about the real drivers of an eCommerce business so that you get a sense of all the roles, responsibilities and tasks as you go through the four courses.

Whether you are already up and running with a successful store or are just starting out on your eCommerce journey, what will make your eCommerce store successful is thinking about ‘functions’ not individual ‘roles’.

And what are the functions that matter? Let’s call these the six drivers of an eCommerce business.

Each of these functions could technically be run internally or externally. However, the skills do not sit in one person – someone who has to manage the operational aspect of a marketplace is very different to a person who handles customer service or who can write content.

The six most important drivers of any eCommerce business

The six drivers of an eCommerce business. 6 drivers, each in a different coloured box. The 6 drivers are product, brand and content, marketing, trading and conversion, operations and fulfilment. (Click to expand)

  1. Product: everything starts with product – something customers want to have.
  2. Brand and content: creating the communications, in other words, the ‘story’ or ‘content’ and propositions that will excite and captivate your target shopper.
  3. Marketing: amplifying that content and proposition to target shoppers by creating a brand, creating graphics, creating ads, writing headlines and copy (the fun stuff!) to acquire, convert and retain customers.
  4. Trading and conversion: taking the traffic to the website and converting it into customers – sometimes changing the price/product and offers to maximise revenue.
  5. Operations: managing performance and the technology to adapt to changing customer needs and expectations. Handling customer service and managing their subsequent views on the service.
  6. Fulfilment: managing the inventory, making the right choices in terms of stock, picking and packing products, and shipping orders to customers.

Think of these six drivers as the real underlying tasks and responsibilities that are going on in all eCommerce business – no matter what size it is.

Sure, if you become a big eCommerce business you will have experts working on each of the drivers. If it is just you, then you are going to be very busy!

You will get to understand each of the drivers during the course so don’t panic if you don’t right now – by the end of this course, you will!

This article is from the free online

How to Get Started in eCommerce

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now