July 20, 2021

Ecommerce Jobs in the UK; a Market Review

Dr Peter Mowforth

Key Points

  1. The Ecommerce jobs market is expanding at over 3x the rate of last year. For example, adverts for UK Ecommerce Manager jobs (taken on 24th June 2021)  were 345.5% more frequent than the year previously.
  2. Average Ecommerce salaries are at least 30% higher than the national average with advertised vacancies highest in and around London and Manchester.
  3. Companies with the most available advertised positions include The Hut Group, Dixons/Carphone, Elliot Marsh (a headhunter company), Apple and Nestle.
  4. The Ecommerce Platform associated with the largest number of vacancies is Magento.
  5. The most commonly advertised ecommerce programming skills are in php and JavaScript.
  6. Over 90% of advertised ecommerce jobs are for full time permanent positions.

Methodology

The primary resources used for this study were:

Data has been compiled over the past month and checked against other sites (S1, Monster, Indeed & TotalJobs) for general consistency and similarity on key points.

One, often overlooked, issue is with the term itself. Although ‘ecommerce’ is a more popular search term than ‘e-commerce’, many sites provide different results for each while only a few are able to combine results. To illustrate this point, the following shows Linkedin search on both:

The majority of websites (including all the major search engines) provide different results when searching on e-commerce rather than ecommerce. This is true even though the two words are synonymous. Linkedin shows a difference of around 5% in returned results. Although some adverts use the word 'eCommerce', every site and search engine treats 'eCommerce' in exactly the same way as 'ecommerce'.


A significant number of adverts contain hyphenated and unhyphenated versions of the word while many jobs in ecommerce do not contain the word ecommerce at all (e.g. Magento Developer).

A top-tip for those looking for specific jobs within ecommerce (e.g. Ecommerce Manager) is to search separately using both ‘ecommerce’ and ‘e-commerce’.
The keyword analysis tool used to investigate ‘in document word frequencies’ was Gillmeister.

Job Titles

Ecommerce, though a distinct sector of business, covers a wide range of integrated activities. These range from ecommerce web design, production of digital content for products, retail and wholesale marketing, warehousing and fulfilment as well as the wide range of support tasks including business analysis and customer service. When part of an ecommerce business, ecommerce activities and skills are often very different to the activities and skills applied within offline businesses. Because online businesses are often less mature than traditional businesses and are also rapidly evolving, the titles, required skills and job descriptions are much more varied than would be found in offline traditional businesses.

The following table shows just a few examples of the wide variety of job titles advertised for those working in ecommerce.

Example top job titles that include the word 'ecommerce' as advertised on Linkedin, S1, Monster, Indeed and Total Jobs.

Job Categories and Salaries

The following broad categories of ecommerce job adverts were taken from Adzuna on 23rd June 2021. The broad categories were for Developers, Marketeers, Managers, Support/Service staff and those involved with the creation of content. All job titles included the word ‘ecommerce’ in the job advert title.

  • Developers include web designers, platform specialists, DevOps and SysOps
  • Marketeers include SEO, Analysts, Social Media and Paid Search
  • Managers include Directors, Executives and Heads
  • Support / Service includes Assistants, Fulfilment/Shipping, Juniors
  • Content includes copywriting, photography and video

The job title ‘Ecommerce Manager’ is by far the most common job title appointment within the ecommerce/e-commerce industry sector.

ITjobswatch provided comparable data showing the overall salary distribution for all job adverts that included the word ‘e-commerce’ in the job title

The bar chart shows the advertised ecommerce/e-commerce salary distribution over the six months to June 2021. Source: ITjobswatch

A key point relating to this sector is that for people working in the ecommerce sector, only a small proportion will have the word ecommerce or e-commerce in their job title. I have spoken informally with half a dozen businesses where the consensus is that only 10% to 20% of staff would use ecommerce in their job title. All this depends on how companies are structured - particularly in relation to marketing and fulfilment.

Trends in Ecommerce employment compared to general employment through advertised jobs

The following graph from the UK Government Office of National Statistics shows the total number of job vacancies across all types of service-sector jobs. The dramatic drop in jobs in early 2020 correlated directly with the pandemic national lockdown.

While the overall job market in the UK has declined, according to Adzuna, jobs in ecommerce have bucked the trend and grown substantially. For example, they claim that the number of Ecommerce Manager job adverts have grown by 345.5%. This is over a 12 month period and is based on 1,225 currently advertised positions.

The average Ecommerce manager salary is £45,130. This is 30.5% above the national average advertised salary of £34,581.

Across all the major job sites the top companies hiring for Ecommerce manager roles are The Hut Group, Dixons Carphone and Elliot Marsh. Elliot Marsh describe themselves as “Mid-Market Headhunting Experts”. That Elliot Marsh feature so highly within paid advertising space confirms that ecommerce staff are in short supply and that employers are making use of every possible technique to find experienced senior staff.

Geographic variation in e-commerce/ecommerce jobs advertised across the UK

Total number of jobs across the UK with the word 'e-commerce' in the title. Repeating using the word 'ecommerce' gives a total of 9,869 jobs with a nearly identical  split by Region/Nation. The total number of advertised e-commerce jobs were 7,509 with 1.96% of those jobs being in Scotland. The data was collected on 28th May 2021 using Meta Search Engine Adzuna.

Ecommerce jobs are not spread evenly across the UK. The two areas of highest job density are for those in and around London and those within what is generally termed the Northern Powerhouse centred on Manchester. Scotland (with 8.17% of UK population), Wales (with 4.7% of UK population), and N.Ireland (with 2.82% of UK population), show the lowest density of Ecommerce jobs relative to population size.

Not surprisingly, London offers the highest ecommerce salaries with Manchester second.

Job Demand for IT Applications and IT Services as advertised by employers


Magento is by far the most sought after application skill within ecommerce. This tallies well with data from SimilarTech which shows Magento dominating platform usage across a variety of different industry sectors. The abnormally high number of Magento jobs is because Magento is technically complex and requires advanced IT skills within the team if the business is to make effective use of the platform. This is not the case with simpler platforms such as Shopify where fewer technical skills are needed to develop and maintain sites. This statistic also aligns with the shift to SaaS platforms such as Shopify or BigCommerce where there is a much lower requirement for senior technical skills recruitment. These SaaS platforms work exceptionally well for smaller (e.g. sub £2m annual turnover) businesses but are associated with higher Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for larger businesses that operate increasingly complex businesses as they scale.

ITjobswatch also noted that Javascript and PHP were the most advertised programming skills needed within Ecommerce.

Top Listed General (non Programming) Skills Identified within Ecommerce adverts

As well as the ecommerce-specific skills, some job advertisers categorise the broad skill-areas associated with different jobs. These are used to help categorise and filter results. Adzuna has offered the following summary for jobs with ecommerce in their title.

Top listed skills for those applying for ecommerce jobs. These results are based on a sample size of 1,225 (Source Adzune; 25th June 2021).


Job Seniority within teams based on advertised Ecommerce jobs

The following pie chart illustrates the seniority split for advertised posts. It should be noted that this will be biased in favour of larger SME, mid sized and larger businesses given that micro businesses are less likely to use paid advertising for finding staff.

Results for different types of ecommerce jobs when pooling together both e-commerce and ecommerce positions (Source Adzune; 25th June 2021).


The following chart confirms that employers are primarily looking to employ full-time staff into ecommerce positions.

A search using Totaljobs.com on 1st July 2021 for Magento Developers listed 2,4032 permanent jobs available where 1,624 of these allowed at least some of that time to include working from home.

Exactly the same search but for Ecommerce Manager showed 1,100 jobs available where 325 included some element of home working.

This shows what type of employment is being offered when pooling e-commerce and ecommerce data (Source Adzune; 28th June 2021).


Text Analysis of Ecommerce Manager Job Adverts

In this final section we attempt to investigate the content and the consistency of job description for the position of Ecommerce Manager. The intention was to establish how similar the job of Ecommerce Manager would be when moving from one Ecommerce Management post to another Ecommerce Management post in a different business.

Using Google Jobs we extracted the text from the top 38 Ecommerce Manager jobs listed and listed these in a (large) text document here. Next, we undertook keyword string analysis across all the documents to identify the most frequently occurring common text. Results are appended at the end of the document.

The analysis provided no additional information other than the occurrence of large amounts of plagiarism.

The conclusion here is that, for many businesses looking for Ecommerce Managers, the job adverts are put together by looking at other job adverts for the same job title and then copying much of the text.

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