As I'm exploring, interviewing for, and analyzing new opportunities, I've started taking notes on what a great onboarding would look like.
A great onboarding is a great predictor of job success, but still, a huge reason why new hires don't work out.
Here's what I'd focus on during the first 90 days as a an Ecommerce Manager:
Customer Service deep dive
Dive deep into conversations with customers from the previous weeks and try to understand their problems and concerns.
I've seen multiple places where new hires are onboarded by doing Customer Service for a limited period. Alternatively, listening in on calls once a month would also paint a picture of the current customer experience.
Tech stack deep dive
Next, I'd focus on the technical side of things. Get a proper understanding of the codebase and different services in use.
One can have a lot of great ideas about how to improve the customer experience, but if the knowledge of the technical side of things is lacking, it's difficult to know where to focus.
Analytics & tracking deep dive
Across all the companies I've either consulted, worked at, or had a chance to peek inside their tracking and analytics, there have always been things to improve or fix.
You could have what seems to be correct data inside your analytics only to find out large portions of it haven't been collected. Cookies, attribution, etc. Plenty of things that could've gone wrong.
Database deep dive
A key part of an Ecommerce Manager's job is to analyze the performance of the site or digital product. In analytics, I'd say proper tracking is 50% and proper data storage and cleansing is the other 50%.
Whenever you start analyzing stuff, it's important to know the basics of the database schema, and relevant tables, which are not being used, and which to join to get the data you need.
Knowing so removes friction and makes it much easier to push toward bigger projects because you've uncovered the complexity of the data storage.
Marketing deep dive
Marketing plays a huge role in the entire customer journey. Lots of customers start their journey by being exposed to some form of marketing material.
I think it's important to be aware of what's being marketed to the target audience. It enables you to understand their mindset once landing on the site, and it makes for a much better collaboration between marketing and ecommerce.
Processes to be built and maintained
There are certain operational tasks that I think one should build up over time. Tasks that continue to contribute to the business and understanding of customers.
Talk to a customer every week
Across the jobs I've had, talking to a customer, whether it's about their problems or figuring out what they need, has always been a great investment.
But at the same time, it has also always been a task that requires a lot of effort. Sourcing the right customers, reaching out to schedule a call or meeting, and then making sure prototypes, questions, etc. are ready.
So investing time to make this process easier should be a no-brainer. The less friction the more customer interviews and thus, valuable insights.
Place an order with a customer every month
As single steps of the customer experience change over time, the overall experience could quite easily change dramatically. But Ecommerce managers often just test the steps they're changing and not the entire flow.
And by entire flow, I mean from Google search to order delivery on the doorstep. Huge plus if it can be done with a customer that hasn't purchased anything on the site before.
Since this is less of an exploratory test, using friends or family is perfectly fine. You're testing UI and biases are okay, as long as they haven't used the site before.