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Online Merchant  What They Do

Just the Facts


Online Merchants Career Video



Conducts retail activities of businesses operating exclusively online. May perform duties such as preparing business strategies, buying merchandise, managing inventory, implementing marketing activities, fulfilling and shipping online orders, and balancing financial records.

This career is part of the Business, Management and Administration cluster Operations Management pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Fills customer orders by packaging sold items and documentation for direct shipping or by transferring orders to manufacturers or third-party distributors.
  • Creates, manages, or automates orders or invoices, using order management or invoicing software.
  • Receives and processes payments from customers, using electronic transaction services.
  • Delivers e-mail confirmation of completed transactions and shipment.
  • Corresponds with online customers via electronic mail, telephone, or other electronic messaging to address questions or complaints about products, policies, or shipping methods.
  • Purchases new or used items from online or physical sources for resale via retail or auction Web site.
  • Determines and sets product prices.
  • Calculates purchase subtotals, taxes, and shipping costs for submission to customers.
  • Composes descriptions of merchandise for posting to online storefront, auction sites, or other shopping Web sites.
  • Composes images of products, using video or still cameras, lighting equipment, props, or photo or video editing software.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overtime work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

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