Chart showing ecommerce growth metrics.Leading up to this last holiday season, shoppers spent $18.7 billion in e-stores, up 15% from last year. Cyber Monday sales were up 33% over 2010, with a growing number of consumers making purchases from their smart phones and tablets. The message is clear: E-commerce isn't just an afterthought or a "nice to have" anymore—it's the mainstream.

Managing a successful online store requires a different set of skills than running a brick-and-mortar operation, however. Long after a site launches, retailers face challenges like finding new customers in a crowded web space and tweaking their sites based on customer and market feedback.

According to The Wall Street Journal, retailers like Target, Kohl's, and Coach are tackling these problems by hiring Chief E-Commerce Officers (CECOs) "who can build and manage websites, handle increasingly complex inventory management, and unsnarl the logistical problems that come with developing a new sales channel." Unfortunately, CECOs don't come cheap. "E-commerce heads—who a decade ago made $50,000 to $100,000 a year and lurked in the back offices of retailers' catalog businesses or in tech support—have joined the C-suite. Their salaries now range between $300,000 and $500,000, on a par with heads of merchandise or marketing."

At Table XI, we often play this role for mid-market companies desiring the expertise of, but lacking the budget for, a full-time CECO. If you ever want to talk with someone who knows as much about doing business online as you do about running your business offline, drop us a line. We'd love to chat about your needs.

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