What do Online Merchants 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.

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

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