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We are working with AutoAnything.com in their search for an experienced Merchandise Buyer based in San Diego, CA.
AutoAnything merges the high-speed lane of custom automotive parts and accessories with cutting-edge internet technology and top-notch customer service. Their flexibility, entrepreneurial style, knowledge of the competitive landscape and innovative business model has allowed them to excel in the industry since 1979. AutoAnything is currently ranked #159 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide of e-Tail companies.
HARRY’S COMMENTS: We have A TON of information to share on this role. Great company. Fantastic opportunity for someone with proven category management and merchandising experience.
I like to think of it like this: If there were Academy Awards given for e-commerce, very often the award for Best Actor would go to a customer acquisition person. Normally, the highest award that a Merchandise Buyer/Product Manager would ever receive is Best Actor in a Supporting Role. But that’s not the case here at all.
AutoAnything’s corporate goal is simple: To be North America’s dominant ecommerce retailer of specialty automotive accessories and performance parts. The company has been around since 1979, originally as a manufacturer of specialty seat covers, then as a brick & mortar retailer, and now as an Internet Retailer Top 200 website. They have a unique business model, very strong vendor relationships and an excellent credit rating. The company is privately held and has enjoyed explosive ecommerce growth in the last five years.
AutoAnything is a customer centric business. They differentiate themselves through offering the best selection of product, at the best possible prices, via a top-notch online experience and world-class service including a US–based contact center. The client seeks an experienced ecommerce merchant who has great gut instincts and proven, successful P&L responsibility. In this role, the Merchandise Buyer/Product Manager will regularly assess the following:
- What products should AutoAnything add to its assortment?
- What vendors should the company add?
- Which products should the company drop?
- How can AutoAnything negotiate new and better deals with its suppliers?
- How can AutoAnything motivate customers to buy the most profitable items that are right for their vehicles?
- How can AutoAnything build the topline, while also growing the bottom line?
To answer these questions, we need a Merchandise Buyer / Product Manager with great gut instincts. We need someone who has the instincts of a trader, someone who can quickly assess the opportunity and manage risk effectively, all the while ‘defending the daily turf’ and building action plans to capitalize on the opportunity.
Additionally, the Merchandise Buyer / Product Manager will need to be able to get things done through others, both internally and externally, in a way that’s hard on the issues and soft on the people. This is an extremely dynamic ecommerce position that at times, requires the Merchandise Buyer / Product Manager to be a salesperson, selling the company to vendors who may be resistant to letting AutoAnything carry the product line (or who might be resistant to the company’s requirements for gross margin, fulfillment, ad support, etc.).
The ideal candidate must be analytical and creative, and they must think like a business owner. Each ecommerce Merchandise Buyer / Product Manager manages every aspect of how their product is sourced, fulfilled, merchandised, and marketed on the website and in print. In a sense, you would be running your own business ‘within the AutoAnything mall’, and it’s up to you to make sure that the product makes money in a way that is brand friendly to both AutoAnything and its suppliers.
This is not a cookie-cutter ecommerce role. The new Merchandise Buyer/Product Manager will get a very real opportunity to put their stamp on the business. The new Merchandise Buyer/Product Manager must have P&L responsibility for their current business, and they must be incredibly business-oriented. Judgment and street smarts will also be determinants in the success of the new hire. You must understand demand, trends, timing, and which products are likely to be popular 6 to 8 months down the line as well as which are becoming obsolete.
Strong knowledge of managing a complex MAP controlled assortment with multiple fulfillment sources capable of timely drop shipments in a highly competitive marketplace is important. AutoAnything does not inventory product; they drop ship it – so they count on suppliers to have product available within 24 hours of receipt of AutoAnything’s order.
Naturally, this must be completely seamless and transparent to the customer, so it’s essential that each ecommerce Merchandise Buyer/Product Manager maintain a relationship with every supplier that guarantees that AutoAnything’s orders go out immediately, packed in a way that reflects beautifully on all those involved. AutoAnything sells to a highly educated, high income customer and it is essential that its suppliers view themselves as an extension of AutoAnything’s business.
As noted, there is a great deal of information I can share with interested candidates. For now, simply realize that this is a growth oriented, high-profile role with an online retailer that’s going places.
And lest we forget, the job is based in San Diego – where the food and the weather are amazing year-round. If you’d like to know more about this ecommerce opportunity, please apply below and I will follow-up with you directly.
Please Tweet this job, and you’ll be automatically entered into our monthly drawing. Just do it and see what happens: 2010 prizes included $100 Amazon gift certs, Dean & Deluca steaks, and Keurig coffee machines …
The Merchandise Buyer/Product Manager will be responsible for planning, merchandising, and managing multiple categories of merchandise to achieve/exceed the company’s planned sales and gross margin goals for those categories.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Product positioning – in conjunction with Merchandising Director, determine the best opportunities to maximize profit and customer value through developing and executing merchandising plans for all assigned product categories and styles:
- Drive vendor/category/product results through merchandise management including product promotions, upsell & cross sell opportunities, online and print presentations, marketing and search.
- Regularly review and analyze vendor/category/product results, communicating findings to management & recommending reloads, template revisions, product additions, drop, price changes, etc.
New product launches – in conjunction with COO and new product staff:
- Identify new product opportunities (brands, categories, items, etc.) that meet the Company’s merchandise strategies.
- Source new products identified above.
- Negotiate new product specifics (items, prices, presentation needs, promo).
- Oversee new product process for handoff to Data/Content, including collaborating with Data & Content staff on which templates and sales strategies to use for launch.
Vendor management – in conjunction with COO and Merchandising Director, develop and maintain a supplier base capable of achieving customers’ desired level of quality while meeting Company’s value, quality, delivery, and flexibility requirements and ensure the integrity of such suppliers.
Pricing – establish retail price for all product selections to optimize gross margin opportunities for each product classification and establishing vendor and product specific promotions. Prepare price point analyses and ensure that pricing is competitive and commensurate with brand strategy.
Communication – serve as liaison with internal departments:
- Data & Content for product updates, images, presentation & template needs
- Marketing for promotional needs and opportunities; email , magazine & catalog content; affiliate marketing & shopping channels
- SEO/SEM for product opportunities, including site traffic & conversion rates
- Sales & Customer Service for Upsell, cross-sell & training opportunities and to learn customer feedback
- Must be team oriented. self motivated and able to multi-task and shift priorities
- Excellent planning, organization, and time management skills with proper attention to detail
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Strong knowledge of MS Office, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
- Ability to interact effectively at all levels and across diverse cultures
- Ability to adjust in a fast-paced environment
- Coach, develop and mentor small staff (1-2 people)
- Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in related field and minimum three (3) years buying, merchandising, or product management experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Successful supervisory experience and catalog &/or ecommerce experience a plus.
- Automotive experience a plus. Business to Consumer experience preferred.
- Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing.
- Ability to read, comprehend, analyze, and interpret technical and non-technical materials, including general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, specifications, or government regulations, as well as interpret a variety of instructions.
- Ability to read and write technical, professional, and business correspondence, memos, journals, procedure manuals, and other materials.
- Ability to effectively present information verbally and in writing one-on-one in small and large group situations.
- Ability to add, subtract, multiply, divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, decimals, and percents.
- Ability to compute rate, ratio, margins, proportions, dimensions (area, circumference, etc.), percent, and to draw and interpret graphs.
- Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
UPDATE: THIS SEARCH IS CLOSED.
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