Most of the actual unique data on Web pages, such as product prices and descriptions, is stored in databases as different bits of information, and then retrieved and assembled dynamically to create the Web pages viewed by shoppers. Typically, business managers do not access and modify the data stored in those databases directly using the tools supplied with the databases. For the business manager to do so would involve knowing what database tables to modify, and more specifically, which columns within those tables to modify.
One common alternative is for business managers to delegate the technical details of the modifications to site administrators who possess the requisite technical abilities. Another alternative is to create more sophisticated tools. At one level of sophistication, such tools can make the tasks of the site administrators more straightforward and less prone to error. Taken further, such tools can become user-friendly enough for the business managers themselves to modify the relevant data directly. Many business managers see such direct access to the Web site data as a big improvement over having to communicate their decisions to someone else, and then verifying that the changes have been correctly made.
Another important way in which business managers interact with their Web sites has to do with analyzing the activity on the Web site. It is very important for business managers to be able to generate reports, such as sales reports at varying levels of detail. More sophisticated reports can track how users navigate the Web site, or perhaps, fail to navigate the Web site. Such data can be invaluable when considering improvements to the site.
Some Web sites are designed so that different sets of shoppers, or other users, are allowed to access specific subsets of the site. This is an aspect of security that is not directly important to any given user, who may not even know that they are not getting to see the entire Web site. But to the various types of shopkeepers, who have a larger view of the Web site, this type of security is directly important. Business managers are bound to play a role in defining how the Web site is divided in this way, even though they may themselves be limited from accessing the entire site.