Instructional Proposal

Portfolio Summary: This is a course proposal written as part of a new class to be taught at the college extension level.


E-commerce Marketing Management

Instructional Proposal

Fredric B. Gluck /

Purpose and Focus

Over the past 10 years, e-commerce has been the driving force behind a huge change in how products are designed, marketed and sold. E-commerce has been responsible for new retail concepts, new markets and new products while successfully delivering billions of dollars in products and services to consumers around the world. E-commerce has truly changed the definition of retail. 

Unlike the early days of e-commerce, today, a successful, profitable on-line enterprise requires much more than just a knowledge of HTML, Photoshop and Dreamweaver.

As the technique and technology of selling over the Web has matured, the skill set required for success has expanded and changed so that it is now decidedly different than both the skill set required in the early days of e-commerce (e.g. HTML programming and web site design) and the skill set required for today’s bricks and mortar ventures. In other words, simply being a “webmaster” or “web designer” is no longer a guarantee of on-line success

This class provides an in-depth examination and training in the special and sometimes unique skills, strategies and tactics required to successfully plan, manage, grow and analyze the operations of an e-commerce based enterprise.

It focuses on the personnel and tasks, the technical computing platforms, the merchandising skills, the customer retention tools, the analysis skills and the creative tasks required to plan, launch and successfully manage an on-going, profitable on-line retail venture. 


The intended audience for this class is targeted toward on-line retail management. It will be drawn from the following groups:

Technical positions and entry- level merchants on a track for on-line retail management positions

For the “webmaster” or “assistant buyer” looking toward the next step in their career, this class provides a solid base of knowledge that will prepare them to move from their current career into a merchant or on-line store manager position. This class is a next logical step for those who have completed classes in web design.

Owners of brick and mortar enterprises moving on-line and entrepreneurs seeking to start a new business or expand their current business in order to broaden their customer base.

For the owner of a small business or direct marketing (catalog) establishment who is seeking to expand their market reach, or for those starting a retail business, this class will provide an overview of the difference between brick and mortar and e-commerce as well as the costs, technology and personnel skills that are required to expand or start their business venture.

Product Managers and Product Designers

Good and complete product design and management must incorporate methods that allow the product to be sold and delivered through multiple channels. For the product manager and designer who needs a more in-depth understanding about how their product will be brought to market, this class will provide an understanding of the structure of the online sales channel and of online marketing techniques that should influence the design of their product.


Subject Matter Overview

Content and Method

This class will examine techniques, tools, best practices and strategies that can be used to sell products and services in an on-line environment. The class will not focus on a specific vertical market but will draw on knowledge applicable to all markets.The class will incorporate a combination of lecture, case-studies / labs and real-life experiences including the following:

Required Readings

Textbooks will not be used for the class (although “Why We Buy” by Paco Underhill, ”Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy” by Martin Lindstrom and similar books on the psychology of purchasing and marketing) may be incorporated as required reading).


Most of the required reading will come from current, industry focused articles. Students will be required to subscribe to current on-line, e-commerce focused newsletters and will be required to bring in and discuss articles from these newsletters.

Guest Lecturers From E-commerce Businesses

These speakers will provide actual experiences, wisdom and insight into day to day operations, merchandising and results analysis of e-commerce sites. They will be drawn from merchants, store managers, Information technology professionals, copywriters and the creative staff from local direct marketing companies and from bricks and mortar businesses who have expanded and opened on-line businesses.

Possible companies that may participate as guest lecturers include

  • Lands’ End
  • Duluth Trading Company
  • American Girl
  • Omniture (E-commerce analytics)
  • Commission Junction (Affiliate Marketing)
  • Google (Search and Analytics)

Evaluation and Understanding In the Current Business Climate

The purpose of laboratory work and team projects in this class will be to examine and evaluate specific elements of current e-commerce sites. Issues such as product mix, usability and shopping cart structure will be examined in these evaluations.

Techniques and best-practices used to successfully market and deliver products in various markets (music, hard goods, fashion, clothing etc) will also be examined as part of this section.

A team project which examines, in-depth, an on-line business enterprise making recommendations for improvement or identifying “best practices” will be required as part of the class.

// August 03 2018 // Post ID: 290