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2018 eCommerce Salary Guide

The definitive guide to understanding the job roles and salaries
so you can work from home within the eCommerce industry.

A recent Bureau of Labor report revealed that eCommerce workers are paid more than people who work in retail.

To understand this online job opportunity and to make it work for you, learn from the following:

  • eCommerce employers can pay more because they often have fewer employees than other businesses
  • Skilled online workers receive higher wages than unskilled workers
  • There is a shortage of skilled eCommerce workers, so they are more in-demand

Work from home - eCommerce Salary Guide

In conclusion:
To earn more than an average retail or online worker, you need to work in the eCommerce industry.

Read On To Discover The eCommerce Industry

As part of our ongoing research programme at eCommerce University we've collated an extensive range of data sources, video interviews, wage tables and more to give you an in-depth guide to understanding the job roles and salaries within the eCommerce industry. You'll also discover options for working from home in an online job.

CHAPTER 1

Who Earns The Most?

Who Earns More? You or eCommerce Workers?

In this section, we uncover the typical salary rates for common jobs and compare with the earning power of eCommerce employees working in online jobs.

The first three roles are well-known offline jobs. You can pursue these anywhere, regardless of where you live: Bank Teller, Teacher and Nurse. The others in the list are typical "online" jobs that also occur in the eCommerce industry.

You will note that Nurses, a highly skilled profession, have the highest maximum salary when it comes to this study of common "offline" jobs. But despite Virtual Assistants having the lowest rate among the eCommerce jobs, it still pays slightly more than Nursing.

Study the chart and ask yourself; how does your salary compare to a typical online worker?

You can create your future and financial security in eCommerce, especially if you are a skilled online worker. To achieve that, you need to start acquiring new skills now. While the salary you earn is very important, the flexibility and the comfort (e.g. most online jobs enable you to work from home) that online employment provides should also be taken into consideration.

Sources:

Australia: Salaries for Professionals, Payscale Australia, Salary by Occupation, Average Salaries, Minimum Wages Pay Guides, Nursing Wages Salaries & Pay Rates

Kenya: Average Wage Earnings, Average Salary Nairobi, Monthly Salaries for Professionals, Salary Explorer, Best Paying Career Guide

New Zealand: Salaries in NZ, Who Earns What, Trade Me, Salaries and Wages in NZ, Seek NZ

Philippines: Occupational Wages Survey, Popular Job Pay Rates, Job Index, Average Salary Survey, Workers Wages and Salary, Salary Reports

Serbia: Average Salary, Average WagesBelgrade Salaries

United States of America: US Average Salaries and Expenditures, Occupational and Employment Wage Estimates, Entry Level Job Salaries, US Wages and Salaries, Nurse Salary by State, Highest Paying States for Registered Nurses, Average Salary in US Survey, Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers, USA Jobs Salaries, USA Jobs

United Kingdom: Nurse salaries in UK, Average Registered Nurse Salary, Best Paid UK Jobs, UK Employee Earnings, Average Salary in London, Income in UK

 

CHAPTER 2

How Much Can You Earn?

In this section, salary data, from across the globe, has been summarised into easy-to-read tables, revealing hourly rates, average monthly salaries and regular yearly gross incomes for common eCommerce roles.

The data shows how much a beginner with no specialist skills or eCommerce training can earn and then displays the pay rates for more experienced and expert employees.

Hourly rates and contractual arrangements (e.g. freelancer vs full-time) can vary between employers, but you can expect to receive the rates quoted in this table. Please note that these are specifically for eCommerce roles and we use US Dollars.

eCommerce Virtual Assistant

Wanting to break into online work? Start with becoming a Virtual Assistant. You'll learn a wide range of skills by working in many different areas of the business.

 

Beginner

Experienced

Expert

Hourly Rate

$3 - $6

$7 - $15

$7 - $15

Average Rate

$4.50

$11

$11

Yearly Salary

$6,240 - $12,480

$14,560 - $31,200

$14,560 - $31,200

Average Salary

$9,360

$22,880

$22,880

eCommerce Copywriter

A junior copywriter will be expected to understand how to write good quality product descriptions and standard blog articles. Whereas an expert copywriter will be expected to write a product description that affects the conversion rate of sales, and to also write lead magnets that attract the target customer.

 

Beginner

Experienced

Expert

Hourly Rate

$3 - $6

$7 - $20

$21 - $45

Average Rate

$4.35

$13.50

$33

Yearly Salary

$6,240 - $12,480

$14,560 - $41,000

$43,680 - $93,600

Average Salary

$9,360

$28,080

$68,640

eCommerce Customer Service Representative

A critical skill for success in this role is excellent written English and a problem-solving approach. Even at the beginner level you'll need to be able to communicate well in English and be able to solve even seemingly insignificant misunderstandings.

 

Beginner

Experienced

Expert

Hourly Rate

$4 - $6

$7 - $12

$15 - $25

Average Rate

$5

$9.50

$20

Yearly Salary

$8,320 - $12,480

$14,560 - $24,960

$31,200 - $52,000

Average Salary

$10,400

$19,760

$41,600

eCommerce Store Administrator

The difference between a beginner and expert level store administrator is significant. At the beginner level you are expected to maintain inventory numbers, update product information and process customer orders. At expert level you have the ability to manage holiday buying frenzies and to build and run campaigns that significantly increase gross revenue.

 

Beginner

Experienced

Expert

Hourly Rate

$10 - $25

$30 - $45

$55 - $70

Average Rate

$17.50

$37.50

$62.50

Yearly Salary

$20,800 - $52,000

$62,400 - $93,600

$114,400 - $145,600

Average Salary

$36,400

$78,000

$130,000

eCommerce Graphic Designer

Employable designers understand more than how to use Photoshop and Illustrator. They understand balance, typography and colour theory, and can combine this with intelligent strategies to help an eCommerce store sell more product.

 

Beginner

Experienced

Expert

Hourly Rate

$7 - $10

$12 - $25

$30 - $45

Average Rate

$8.50

$18.50

$37.50

Yearly Salary

$14,560 - $20,800

$24,960 - $52,000

$62,400 - $93,600

Average Salary

$17,680

$38,480

$78,000

Region Based Pay Rates

Truth be told, often, there are regional pay gaps, mainly influenced by differences in the cost of living in different economies. What this simply means is that your location may affect your pay rate. It is not a matter of people being worth different amounts. It is a matter of the local economy. The data below elaborates this point further.

CHAPTER 3

Who Typically Works In eCommerce?

Explore the four definitions of online workers and learn the particular set of skills, habits and behaviours that are useful for working in an online environment.

Online employment is experiencing a massive shift throughout the world. Nowadays, more people are investing in developing skills that will ensure their future employment in the face of rising job automation and the declining BPO industry.

People who have skills for the future will also have the jobs of the future.

As expected, people who have the most relevant skills are usually also paid the most. As eCommerce is a rapidly growing industry, skilled eCommerce employees are more employable.

Stay-At-Home Parents

Working moms and dads constitute a large sector in the online workforce due to one particularly attractive advantage – working from home.

Working from home has the advantage of reducing your commute times, being available for school activities and negotiating time off or flexible working hours during holiday periods.

Stay-at-home parents will often accept a lower salary in exchange for the convenience of more easily managing their family duties.

However, this influx of stay-at-home parents also explains why aspiring unskilled workers find it harder to get entry-level jobs; job boards are crowded with people who have no eCommerce skills but are competing for the same jobs.

To be a successful online worker in this group you need to undertake specialist skills training.

Career Switchers

People all around the world are discovering that they can leverage their local situation to work in an offshore economy and get paid more. As a result, they switch careers.

A typical example is seen with Serbians who work online for Americans. The US dollar affords a more reliable exchange currency and they typically earn more, per hour, from a US employer than the could in their local economy. Specifically, school teachers in Serbia are able to work as copywriters and earn far more than their local salary.

This is only one example. There are many more well-known and established scenarios where you can work from one country and leverage another country's economy to receive a higher income.

CHAPTER 4

Which Salary Level Are You?

Discover the three levels of experience and how they contribute to earning power. What defines each of their levels and which area is your natural fit.

Beginner Freelancer Skillset = Lowest Wage

These are junior workers usually with very little online work experience and therefore in the lowest pay bracket. They usually don’t realise that they are in the lowest pay bracket and their careers advance very slowly.

Examples of routine skills and behaviours include:

  • Ability to use basic online tools including Gmail, Google Docs and Google Drive because they learned it at school or university.
  • Can do basic data collection from websites, but very little ability to assess the data that they collect.
  • Novice level written English skills but lack confidence with speaking English. English grammar contains unnoticed (by them) idiosyncrasies from their native language.
  • Ability to transcribe audio content into blog posts. Can copy/paste from document to document, but doesn't have the ability to notice layout and formatting issues.
  • Rarely has a regular routine. Usually believes that online work is an opportunity to work in your pyjamas, while watching the television and enjoys the idea of being unsupervised.
  • Usually works from a family living space such as kitchen table or sits on a couch in front of television.
  • Lacks the ability to self-assess performance and understand employer's goals.
  • Is often dismissed from jobs, but understand why.

If you are a Beginner and wish to advance your career we recommend the eCommerce Virtual Assistant Learning Path.

Experienced Freelancer Skills = Middle Wage

These people either have a few years of online work experience or have completed eCommerce training. They have a clear understanding of good online work habits and are committed to an online career.

Examples of normal skills and behaviours include:

  • More advanced ability to use Google products. For example, can use the SUM and conditional formatting in Google Sheets to filter data.
  • Excellent written English skills. Can compose text without assistance from a native speaker.
  • Inherently understand good document layout and formatting and can use it to communicate well.
  • Can research and compile data from websites and provide low-level analysis. Can usually spot patterns in the data, but may not have ideas for implementing changes in strategy.
  • Able to work independently, set goals and measure own productivity. Understands that failing to succeed is just a learning opportunity, rather than being fearful of reprimand.
  • More likely to have a regular routine and working space that is separated from the family environment. More likely to invest their earnings in good quality work tools and internet connection.

Experienced workers are often searching for a specialisation such as becoming an eCommerce Copywriter in order to increase their hourly rate.

Expert Freelancer Skills = Highest Salary

These people have several years of real-work experience and undertake regular training to stay up to date with the fast-moving eCommerce industry. They are focused on building their skillset in order to increase their earning capacity.

Typical skills and behaviours can include:

  • Has a fixed, committed daily work routine that enables them to work efficiently and to avoid distractions.
  • Usually has a dedicated office room in their home or works from a co-working space or shares an office with friends.
  • Has high level written and spoken English skills which enables them to understand more complex instructions and take on a wider range of online work tasks.
  • Always has a specialisation. Either web developer, graphic designer or copywriter and can create monetary value for a company with this advanced skill set.

They have learned good work routines (e.g. dealing with distractions) and how to communicate well with their employer and other international team members. This means they've become dependable and trustworthy.

As a result, experts have long-term, secure work with well-paying eCommerce companies. They command the highest hourly rates, frequently receive pay rises and are treated with respect.

CHAPTER 5

Which Job Role Suits You Best?

Examine the daily tasks that are commonplace for each eCommerce job role and discover which match with your skills and personality.

What type of personality do you have? Do you like diving into detailed tasks and only working on that one project? Or, do you prefer to have wide ranging tasks that are constantly changing from week to week?

In this section we consider the characteristics that are best suited to the job roles typically found in online work and the eCommerce industry.

Virtual Assistant - Administrative, Detail-Oriented, Process-Driven Personality

You will be suited to working as a Virtual Assistant. VA tasks will mainly have you handling a wide variety of routine tasks, for example, the administrative, technical and scheduling aspects for the smooth operation of a web-based business. These and more duties, are doable from anywhere in the world.

Here is a detailed breakdown of Virtual Assistant tasks;

Email and Schedule Management Tasks

  • Answer customer service emails or tickets and offer live chat support
  • Schedule appointments
  • Manage the Calendar
  • Manipulate data on Spreadsheets
  • Data entry on Microsoft Word or Google Docs
  • CRM Database Building
  • Organize cloud storage on Dropbox and Google Drive
  • Store files and other organization tasks
  • Filter emails to manage spam
  • Convert, split and merge PDF files
  • Prepare keynote presentations using PowerPoint
  • Reminder Services

Administrative and Blogging Tasks

  • Transcribe videos and audio files
  • Format simple eBooks
  • Prepare minutes for online meetings
  • Online research
  • Basic lead generation
  • Manage blog publishing
  • Moderate blog comments
  • Add blog post's tags and images
  • Send client invoices
  • Perform basic Bookkeeping (MYOB, XERO & Quickbooks)
  • Manage projects
  • Train and onboard new Virtual Staff
  • Track deliverables

Social Media Management Tasks

  • Create Facebook groups or fan pages
  • Schedule and post Facebook insights
  • Promote Facebook pages
  • Collate and interpret Facebook insights
  • Create Twitter account/s
  • Manage and increase Twitter following
  • Schedule tweets, track mentions and hashtags
  • Create and manage LinkedIn account
  • Create pinnable images on Pinterest
  • Schedule and track pins
  • Create and manage YouTube account
  • Upload videos to YouTube
  • Moderate YouTube comments
  • Upload videos on social media
  • Respond to inquiries and messages on all channels and profiles

Email Marketing

  • Create lists in Email Marketing Software
  • Add and remove subscribers from lists
  • Create and schedule broadcast emails to promote content
  • Edit follow-up emails and auto-responders
  • Create email Newsletters
  • Proofread emails

Copywriter - Imaginative, Story Teller, People-Person Type

All the stuff you received in your mailbox? Well, as a copywriter, you’ll be writing that and more. You will play a crucial role in writing marketing materials like website content, emails, brochures, catalogues etc.

Your writing will be used to promote the sale of goods and services offered by online stores. Simply put, you will be informing the general public about all the good aspects of relating to a specific product or service.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of the tasks;

  • Write clear, attractive copy - with a distinct voice; And Copy includes;
    • Content or Blog posts
    • Website and Landing Pages
    • Internet ads: LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and PPC Ads
    • Emails
    • E-books
    • Social media posts
    • Whitepapers
    • Case studies
    • Product reviews
    • Press releases
    • Newsletters
    • Bios
    • Sales presentations and slide decks
  • Collaborate with designers, PR and other professionals in marketing projects e.g. email campaigns, landing pages etc.
  • Conduct high-quality research and interviews
  • Edit and proofread copy
  • Interpret and understand copywriting briefs
  • Source for high-quality images and other content
  • Use SEO principles to maximize copy’s reach

Graphic Designer - Creative, Usability, Ordered, Researcher Personality

Graphic designers have these traits. Using computer software and your design skills, you will produce high impact visual concepts to communicate ideas that inspire, inform and captivate consumers. Thus, give the online business an impressive visual brand.

Here is more;

  • Advise clients on strategies to reach a target audience
  • Edit basic videos - Splicing intros and outros with raw footage
  • Design Infographics images - content will be provided
  • Design landing, sales, opt-in pages
  • Design Logos, Banners, Icons, eBook Covers and Headers
  • Design Websites, create mock-ups
  • Determine the message the design should portray
  • Review designs for errors before publishing
  • Select relevant colours, images, text style and layout

Store Administrator - Technically Minded, Organised, Thorough, Engaging Personality

As an online store administrator, your main job will be ensuring that all the items being sold are up to date, have the correct sizes, prices, etcetera. You may also be required to list store policies and put up shopping carts for customers use.

Check out the responsibilities in detail;

General

  • Generate and update website content
  • Work with agencies to build traffic & sales
  • Plan, define and implement website changes
  • Maintain and update the store’s online marketing plan
  • Monitor and improve website's key performance indicators

Marketing

  • Understand and develop traffic sources
  • Implement and support campaigns
  • Assess new ways of generating additional traffic and orders
  • Produce performance analysis reports of online marketing campaigns and promotions

Online Store

  • Create website's displays e.g. banners, images, promotions
  • Test, deploy and document functional store projects and improvements
  • Make strategies on improving website sales, conversions and customer engagement
  • Investigate and report any operational issues
  • Liaise with internal and external resources regarding the day-to-day management of the website
  • Manage configuration parameters e.g. payment options, stock management
  • Update the online store's product information, content, artwork etc.

Customer Service - Friendly, Punctual, Reliable, Problem-Solving Personality

As a customer service representative, you will be directly interacting (mostly online and on the phone) with customers on behalf of the eCommerce company.

You’ll be required to provide information to customers regarding online merchandise or service orders. This involves attending to customers’ questions, complaints and comments, taking orders and processing returns.

Here is a further breakdown of the duties;

  • Handle returns or complaints
  • Listen and respond to customers’ needs and concerns
  • Provide information on products and services
  • Research answers or solutions as needed
  • Review and document customer accounts
  • Take orders, determine charges, and oversee billing
  • Generate sales leads
  • Identify and assess customers’ needs to achieve satisfaction
  • Build sustainable relationships and trust with customers
  • Offer accurate and complete information
  • Meet personal, customer service and team sales targets
  • Follow up and resolve customer complaints
  • Records data on customer interactions
  • Adhere to communication procedures and guidelines
  • Go an extra mile to engage customers

CHAPTER 6

Who Leaped Into A New Life?

Watch first-hand as ordinary people reveal how working in the eCommerce industry has transformed their lives.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH MIA & MIKKO'S STORY ›

Before I only earned roughly 8,000 pesos or $154 every month. Frankly, it was not enough to cover all our expenses. But everything changed when I started working online. Now I am earning double the amount of what I was earning back then. Regularly - on a weekly basis!

Mikko, Online Worker

My gross income a month is 15,000 pesos. Right now, it's not enough especially as my husband just resigned from his job. That's why I want to switch career to eCommerce.

Thea, Bank Teller

I worked in a local BPO company for 7 years. And back then, I earned around 12,000 to 15,000 pesos or $250-$300 dollars each month. But now, we have improved the quality of our lives. We have enough for our daily needs. I even took my family to Disneyland for a holiday, a dream come true for us.

Noeme M, Online Worker

Learn the skills so that you can work from home.

Or jump right in and enroll in a course

CHAPTER 7

Finally, How Can You Earn More?

We summarise the eCommerce Salary Guide into actionable steps that improve your chance of success in the eCommerce industry.

It’s simple. Learn and you will earn more. But... it's easier said than done. Learn what? Where from?

The Internet is full of free resources you can use to boost your skills. However, this freely available knowledge is a coin with two sides. The content is free and available and comes in many different formats, so you can pick for yourself.

On the other hand, those resources are scattered all over the place and you can hardly create a clear learning path for yourself.

Additionally, anybody can publish anything online, so it is challenging to pick the right content to learn from. What guarantees you that the author knows what they are teaching? Do you have the time to check everybody?

You need reliable training with a clear outcome. Following are the next steps you can follow to learn and earn more.

  • Prove Your Knowledge

    Gain eCommerce competency records and learning transcripts. This will help you stand out in a crowded and highly competitive marketplace.

  • Choose Your Employer Wisely

    Advertise to the right employer, not just any employer. Join a job board that is an exact match for your skill set and you’ll be more likely to land your first job.

  • Set Aside Study Time

    Create a regular time in your daily routine for learning by dealing with distractions. We’ll provide you with your first lesson free.

  • Create An Awesome Resume

    Your resume also needs to make a first-rate impression on the employer. Ensure it is up-to-date and an exact match for the online work you’re seeking.

CHAPTER 8

How to Negotiate Salary Raise: 15 Expert Tips

Let us help you learn how to negotiate for a salary worthy of your skills. Discover 15 best tips from experts on how to effectively negotiate a salary raise.

Let’s face it: Negotiating for a salary raise can be intimidating. And most of all, there’s the anxiety of rejection which can quickly turn into a reality if you negotiate the wrong way. Don’t let this be you.

Curious? Let us help you learn how to negotiate for a salary worthy of your skills. And guess what, your next salary negotiation, “the chat”, will be successful.

So, let’s check this out!

1. Speak Up

First and foremost, you must speak up. Make no mistake about it. And here’s why:

“You may have considered changing your rates in the past, but for most of us, conversations about money are quite awkward, and ones we’d much rather put off. But unless you have ‘the chat’ you’ll gradually earn less and less per year and feel resentful at working so hard for such low prices.” - Talented Ladies Club

2. Everything is Negotiable

“No one will ever turn you away for work if you request a bit of leeway in the budget. Everything is negotiable.” - The Balance Careers

And that’s the simple truth. Sometimes all you need to do is...

3. Be confident

“To be successful in asking for a raise, be calm, collected, confident and professional. Make your case, present your evidence and then stop talking.” - Working Mother

Sounds easy enough, right? Read on!

4. Be a Niche Expert

“When you specialise, you become an expert in a specific field, and experts can charge more for their specialized services.” - Ryan Robinson, Skillcrush

Fair enough. But you have to read the next point.

5. Demonstrate your Value

“The best way to ask for more money and get it is to tangibly demonstrate your value.” - Success

Even better…

6. Surpass Client Expectations

“The less mental energy, correspondence and review time a client needs to spend in collaboration with you on ongoing tasks, the more they’ll be willing to pay you” - Angie Nelson, The Work at Home Wife

And then there’s also this aspect:

7. Your Work Speaks Volumes

“Treat every job with the utmost care and build your feedback rating. This is how you create a steady flow of work and command higher rates/pay.” - Money Making Mommy

But consider this:

8. Honor Your Worth

“Those clients who show up and try to nickel-and-dime you would never make good clients anyway, no matter how low your rates are.” - Leaving Work Behind

And this too:

“The first thing you must do as a freelancer is ascertain the lowest equivalent hourly rate you are willing to work for—your Minimum Acceptable Rate (MAR)” - Lifehacker

But before we go any further, you need to:

9. Know Your Numbers

“If you walk into a salary negotiation without a number, you’re at the mercy of an experienced hiring manager who will simply control the conversation.” - The Muse

And remember:

10. Don’t Make the First Offer

“While it’s important to show flexibility regarding salary (if indeed you can be flexible), don’t get into specifics early on, as you could leave money on the table.” - AARP

And you’d be right to...

11. Charge for Value

“Don’t make the mistake of presenting your clients with a price that is based on the amount of time you will be providing them a specific service. You should always price your services according to the value provided, not according to the amount of time you THINK it will take” - Career Addict

But first a warning:

12. Be Realistic

“A realistic view is important: on the one hand, asking too much for too little is hazardous; on the other hand, asking too little for too much is a pity.” - Experteer

Despite what you may have heard, you must:

13. Demonstrate Career Growth

"Raises and promotions are given to people who generate trust and demonstrate competence to handle more complexity," Says Steve Levin. Focus on this, and the money will likely follow. - Monster.com

Here’s something else to keep in mind...

14. Don’t Apologize for Negotiating

“Negotiating is uncomfortable, and our natural tendency is to try to smooth the edges on a difficult conversation. Saying sorry could signal to the recruiter or hiring manager that you might be willing to back down, and that could be expensive. Don’t apologize for negotiating.” - Glassdoor

And finally,

15. It’s Never Final

“Never assume that the salary offered is the final amount that you can receive. Especially if the salary is lower than the average, you can (and should) negotiate for a higher number, particularly if you have experience in the field, strong skills, and also have previous telecommuting experience—all factors that can help command a higher salary.” - WAHM

You’re Now Ready for “The Chat”

The worst thing you can do is not negotiating at all. And now that you have all these handy tips, you are ready for “the chat". Go on and negotiate a salary worthy of your skills. Speak up!

About The Writer

I'm Katrina McKinnon, creator of eCommerce University, founder of McKinnon Group and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to creating engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers.

There is an amazing opportunity right now for aspiring online workers. The eCommerce industry is growing and there is a demand for trained staff to join established companies.

Students of eCommerce University are taught all the skills, behaviours and tools needed to gain long-term employment. I encourage you all to undertake training and improve your chances of success.


Update Schedule

First published: 5th April, 2018

Updated: 29th October 2018. Added Katrina's bio profile. Added information regarding Scholarship training.

Updated: 26th November 2018. Added sources for regular job wages.

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