The fact that school leavers have had the opportunity to train in the e-commerce sector since 2018 means that a huge step has been taken in the direction of digital transformation. This is because the next generation is being prepared for online retail from now on and will thus have a significant impact on the future of retail. Shopify also recently announced that the e-commerce apprenticeship program will be further strengthened through an open learning platform for vocational schools.
For us, this is the perfect opportunity to report on our experiences. Two of the Latori employees are currently training to become e-commerce clerks. In the interview with our trainee Ahmed Jalab, who has been completing his e-commerce apprenticeship since 2019, we give you an overview of the training and the prospects afterwards.
Table of contents
- Why did you decide to do this training? Why was the e-commerce sector absolutely the right choice?
- How did you decide to do your training at Latori?
- When you started your training as an e-commerce merchant, what did you learn?
- Latori specializes primarily in Shopify and Shopify Plus. Do you still have points of contact with other store systems?
- How is your daily life at Latori divided between school and work?
- Which Latori clients have you worked with?
- What do examination results look like in the training occupation?
- Looking back, would you choose this training profession again?
- Do you have any tips for school leavers who don't really know what to do but also have an interest in online media, online marketing or e-commerce?
- What about compensation?
- What are your prospects after your training as an e-commerce merchant?
If you have any questions about e-commerce training, contact us and we will be happy to advise you.
Why did you decide to do this training? Why was the e-commerce sector absolutely the right choice?
Ahmed: For me, it started early on. After school, I didn't know exactly what I should do. I dropped out of high school and then took my vocational baccalaureate in business. After that, it wasn't clear to me where to go, because the classic business professions like tax clerk were too standard for me. I have an acquaintance who runs his own online store and is quite successful with it - his store is the leader for hairdressing accessories in Europe. That inspired me a lot to go in the direction of e-commerce. I did some research, delved more into the topic and realized that this is something I'm burning for.
How did you decide to do your training at Latori?
Ahmed: The school offered an information day at the employment agency where you could get a taste of e-commerce. There were ten to 20 different companies there looking for trainees. I took part and got to know Latori. They were sitting at the first table, I talked to the team and I liked the Shopify focus right away, because I already knew Shopify. We got along very well right away. When I walked out I knew this was meant to be.
When you started your training as an e-commerce merchant, what did you learn?
Ahmed: It's very broad. Because Latori is an IT company and I'm surrounded by computer scientists, I'm learning things differently than other e-commerce salespeople. That means I'm also learning the basics of programming - for example, I can now edit and customize code on a website.
"Above all, you learn how online stores work and the automation behind them."
In general, my tasks consist of managing, configuring and creating stores and looking at how to integrate automation, connect the stores to other systems or set up an entire merchandise management system. So above all, you learn how online stores work and which automations are behind them. At the same time, there's the marketing aspect, where you learn how to analyze customers and acquire new ones. It really is a very wide-ranging training profession.
Latori specializes primarily in Shopify and Shopify Plus. Do you still have points of contact with other store systems?
Ahmed: I myself have looked at all kinds of store systems: Prestashop, Shopware and Co. There are very many that are good. However, in my opinion Shopify is number 1 because everything is cloud based. The security processes and the reason that the hosting and updates are already taken care of by Shopify, as well as many marketing automations and connections such as Facebook run so uncomplicated, speak for Shopify. This is much more cumbersome with other store systems such as WooCommerce. Shopify is the easiest to use and that is also the reason why many large companies switch to Shopify.
"You're always learning something new in e-commerce."
How is your daily life at Latori divided between school and work?
Ahmed: We are at work three times a week and have school for two days. One day we only have half-day school and then we're at work again.
At school, the lessons are divided into 50% e-commerce content and 50% business administration. Our teacher does a lot of research, always coming up with new topics for us to learn, and constantly analyzing what's new in the market to teach us. You always learn something new in e-commerce. With the business content, you learn accounting, labor laws and the laws that go with it in the traditional school day.
At Latori, I have my fixed tasks and customer projects, and I also have to keep to the schedule. You always have new challenges that are fun and you always learn something new.
Which Latori clients have you worked with?
Ahmed: There are actually very, very many - so I can't list them all. I have also looked after customers myself and managed and completed entire projects.
With customers like Sennheiser, for example, I learned a lot, such as how to optimize purchasing processes for customers. With other large customers, I was able to learn a lot about the logic of stores, how to integrate functions or translations. For some customers I also took over the marketing, placed Facebook ads, analyzed their Google Analytics accounts and ads.
What do examination results look like in the training occupation?
Ahmed: We write exams as normal and there is an intermediate exam, which we already took last year in November. Of course, you also have to take a final exam at the IHK at the end.
In addition, we have to complete a project. At Latori, the trainee project currently involves setting up our own online store where we offer Latori's discarded technology as products. So we have created our own brand and opened our own store. The project is just starting. This project is used in training to show that you have already managed an online business from the beginning and understand all the processes behind it. It's not necessarily important to know a particular store system, but to understand the processes. If everything works out, I'll be finished with the training in June/July 2022.
"If you know what's behind it and have acquired the knowledge, it's worth its weight in gold."
Looking back, would you choose this training profession again?
Ahmed: Definitely. It's a new training profession and if you really know what's behind it and have acquired the knowledge, it's worth its weight in gold.
Do you have any tips for school leavers who don't really know what to do but also have an interest in online media, online marketing or e-commerce?
Ahmed: You shouldn't do the job just because you like doing something with a computer. This training involves a lot of thinking and creativity. You definitely have to be able to think logically. You also have to have worked with computers before and have knowledge of basics like Excel or Word. A basic understanding of technology should be present. You also have to understand what's going on in the world right now. Especially with social media. You have to be able to empathize with different target groups and understand how to reach them. You always have to be able to look at them from different perspectives.
You always come to points in your training where challenges are waiting. Look at the profession, look at online videos, how this profession looks like, whether you like something like this. If you choose this profession, really look for a very good company where you can learn something. Before you stand in a warehouse and just process orders and learn nothing, choose a very good company where you will learn the contents of the training beforehand. Make sure that you really get a complete insight into marketing and e-commerce.
What about compensation?
Ahmed: As an apprentice, you always get €800 to €900 gross per month as standard.
What are your prospects after your training as an e-commerce merchant?
Ahmed: I would like to stay with Latori after my training. I would definitely like to continue my education, be it through studies or something else. I would also like to see how the opportunities at Latori develop, because of course Latori itself is also developing. We have very good growth at the moment. Of course, we are an IT company. Nevertheless, I don't see programming as my future field. I would like to focus on marketing later on.
"No matter how good the store looks, it comes down to marketing whether the store sells."
But for marketing, in turn, you need a very good website. The two go hand in hand. My goal is definitely to become an e-commerce manager and manage complete online stores and help them become successful and generate sales. To be part of how everything is automated, the customers are satisfied and to see this success online is what drives me.