Business Owner vs. Entrepreneur: Roles Shopify Store Owners Play

Business Owner vs. Entrepreneur: Roles Shopify Store Owners Play

You're a Shopify store owner, which means you're a busy person balancing all the hats a Shopify store owner must wear.

Between designing your store, sourcing products, managing orders and shipping, and dealing with customers, there's not enough hours in the day.

It would be great if you could delegate some of these tasks to someone else, but that's just not possible. You're too busy running your business to take on extra work - and you don't want to take on debt until your revenue stabilizes.

Plus, you don't even know who you would hire first.

That's where this blog comes in.

I want to share with you the top 15 roles of an ecommerce company.

Then we will analyze whether you can (and should) fill the role, and whether technology can help.

You'll feel more confident about your next big hiring decision!

A 15-person ecommerce company can be organized into the following key roles:

1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO):

The head of the company, responsible for setting the overall strategy and direction of the organization.

2. Chief Technology Officer (CTO):

Manages all technical aspects related to developing and maintaining an ecommerce platform.

3. Chief Operations Officer (COO):

Oversee day-to-day operations, analytics, customer service and sales activities.

4. Chief Marketing Officer (CMO):

Responsible for product roadmaps, new features and tech stack decisions that support a successful ecommerce platform.

5. UX/UI Designer:

Design user-centered experiences across web and mobile applications while adhering to relevant standards and best practices in design & accessibility.

6. Quality Assurance Engineer:

Ensures high quality software is released by performing extensive testing prior to deployment; identifies bugs quickly so they can be addressed before release.

7. Marketing Manager:

Develops marketing plans, leads campaigns and creates content for customers to educate them on products/services offered online; also handles social media outreach efforts using platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

8. SEO Specialist:

Optimizes websites for higher rankings on search engine results pages; manages the implementation of keywords and links, site structure optimization, and other techniques.

9. Analytics Manager:

Collects data from digital channels to measure user engagement & track marketing efforts ; creates actionable insights from information collected that guide further improvement or expansion initiatives.

10. Customer Service Representative:

Provides customer service through phone , email , chat or other communication channels ; assists customers with returns , refunds or inquiries about products or services .

11. Shipping/Warehouse Coordinator:

Coordinates between vendors suppliers and carriers; ensures orders are filled promptly and accurately; maintains organized stock with accurate counts for inventory tracking.

12. Web Developer:

Designs builds maintains websites according to company standards & specifications in terms of functionality performance security etc.

13. Content Strategist:

Responsible for creating content that is engaging, informative and meets the needs of target audiences.

14. Accountant:

Tracks business expenses and revenues related to operations & marketing activities; prepares reports financial statements tax returns etc.

15. Social Media Manager:

Manages various social media platforms to engage customers, build relationships and increase brand awareness.

Looking at that list, I don't know whether to laugh or cry about the amount of work it takes to create a successful ecommerce store!

But let's break it down by job role.

Who (or what) can serve as CEO?

Did you know that the CEO is like the captain of a company's ship?

They steer the organization in the right direction, making sure it sails smoothly towards its goals.

From crafting big-picture visions to managing resources and budgets, these leaders have a hand in every aspect of the company's journey.

They also build strong crews, ensuring that the best people are on board and that policies keep the ship running efficiently and legally.

So next time you think of a CEO, imagine them as the bold navigator, charting a course for a company's success!

Unless you are planning to exit your company, you should serve as CEO.

CEO tasks that I've implemented include SWOT Analysis planning for my Shopify store, setting financial goals and prioritizing quarterly product sprints.

I have an annual task list that you can make a copy of as well.

My job as CEO is to make sure that all of these tasks get completed.

Person/Tech Responsible: Shopify store owner.

Reports to: Board, Shareholders (if applicable)

Who (or what) can serve as CTO?

If a ship has a CEO as its captain, steering it towards success, that makes the CTO the mastermind behind ensuring all the technical machinery runs smoothly!

Their mission?

Making sure every single tech aspect of an ecommerce platform is well-oiled and tailored to the company's goals.

They're constantly on the hunt for cutting-edge tech, exploring ways to transform your online shopping experience.

Plus, they're incredibly resourceful and energetic, working hand-in-hand with product teams to deliver innovations swiftly.

Oh, and they've always got your back when it comes to cyber security!

Unless you have a six figure sum allocated to this position, as the Shopify store owner you will also serve this role.

The CTO will assist the CEO to ensure all the website is functioning at its best technically.

I really enjoy this role because I am always looking for ways to streamline our ecommerce processes.

Whether that is utilizing ai or adding Shopify apps, this all falls under the CTO's responsibility. 

 Person/Tech Responsible: Shopify store owner / Shopify platform.

 Reports to: COO, Board, Shareholders (if applicable)

Who (or what) can serve as COO?

Imagine the CEO as the ship's captain, and the COO as the trusted first mate, skillfully managing the vessel's day-to-day journey.

The COO makes sure everything runs smoothly, abides by the law, and keeps an eye on the financial compass.

They're also the ultimate team player, building relationships and working side-by-side with fellow leaders to achieve their goals, keeping the ship sailing in the right direction.

In my opinion, the COO is also like the general manager, the person handing out the hats and jobs to all of the other employees of the company. 

Again, unless you have another six figures allocated to this role, it will default to you as the Shopify store owner.

From a solopreneur perspective, you can utilize project manager tools like Asana, Trello, or Click up to manage all of the tasks and completion.

Person/Tech Responsible: Shopify store owner / Asana/Trello/Clickup

Reports to: CEO, Board, Shareholders (if applicable)

Who (or what) can serve as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)?

Ahoy, mateys!

The Chief Marketing Officer is like the Chief Navigator on our ship, steering the organization's product journey with great skill and precision.

They craft a strategic course with product maps, launch our treasures into the world, and make sure they shine brighter than any rival's loot.

Our intrepid explorer also spearheads innovation, listening to the whispers of customers, and constantly improving our offerings.

In an ideal world, the CMO would only worry about marketing activities, including branding, advertising, product development and promotion.

However, this is again an area where, without mountains of cash, the Shopify owner will now grow a fourth head to serve as the CMO as well.

Utilizing the findings of a SWOT analysis, you can serve as a strategic marketing leader for your Shopify store.

Person/Tech Responsible: Shopify store owner 

Reports to: COO, Board, Shareholders (if applicable)


Who (or what) can serve as UX/UI Designer

Think of a UX/UI Designer like the ship's trusty navigator, guiding the Captain (CEO) and crew (eCommerce store) towards success in the vast ocean of online shopping.

With their savvy map-making skills, they create smooth sailing for customers, leading to happier voyages and increased treasure in the form of sales!

So, anchors aweigh, as a well-designed store makes for smooth seas and prosperous journeys.

An optimized UX/UI design enables customers to easily navigate and use the store, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Additionally, an improved user experience can lead to increased sales, as customers are more likely to make purchases when they are able to use the store quickly and easily.

Which all sounds wonderful, and is also wonderfully expensive. If you hire for this role, expect to pay another six figure sum.

Or, more likely, take another hat!

Person/Tech Responsible: Shopify store owner / Shopify theme

Reports to: CTO


Let's assign the final job roles of your Shopify store:


 Job Role

Responsible Party

Quality Assurance Engineer

 In my Shopify store, I have given this role to my husband, Jon, to look over everything I have created and mark it as acceptable for shipping.

Marketing Manager In my Shopify store I take the recommendations from the SWOT and create a marketing plan. Then I utilize marketing tools and social media apps to post to different sites online. Canva handles the graphic design and tools like Tailwind handle the "auto-posting" to different social media sites.
SEO Specialist Using tools like ContentKing, Ahrefs, and Ubersuggest, I consistently scan my Shopify website for technical and on-page SEO errors and correct them.
Analytics Manager Google Analytics and Pinterest analytics, as well as Google Search console give insights on what content is working well, and which keywords are bringing traffic to our site. I use these insights to promote our products.
Customer Service Representative Shopify has created great apps to help with this. First, I have a contact us page on our website. I also installed Shopify Chat on our website so that I can answer customer questions via the chat function on our website.
Shipping/Warehouse Coordinator Currently I ship everything out of my home. However in the future I hope to utilize Amazon's warehouse or outsource my shipping to Shopify.
Web Developer Shopify plays a major role in this, particularly if you use a free theme. That's the benefit of using a CMS like Shopify - Shopify employs developers and troubleshoots a majority of the technical stuff and builds the websites.
Content Strategist Utilizing information from the SWOT, analytics data and customer feedback, I create a content strategy based on previous year data. The number one tool that helps me with this is Surfer SEO.
Accountant This is the one task I do outsource, although I serve as our Shopify store's bookkeeper.
Social Media Manager This task is fulfilled primarily by Tailwind at the moment. I do miss SmarterQueue. I have to remember to post manually to Linked In.


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