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We are working with Chantelle Lingerie in their search for a Director of Direct to Consumer Ecommerce in New York City. The Director of Direct to Consumer Ecommerce is a key position with high visibility in the organization.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: Chantelle manufactures and sells women’s lingerie. The client is vertically integrated, and has 6000 employees worldwide, selling in 80 countries. The company concentrates on the middle and high-end of the lingerie market, and it owns its own factories, wholesale operations, and retail stores. Additionally, the company sells through retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, and Nordstrom.

Chantelle’s clients are women aged 25 and up who appreciate the best lingerie in terms of the products unique materials, design exclusivity, fit and quality. Chantelle is an aspirational brand, and usually a client has to try their product only once to love it.

Listening to Chantelle’s North American President, Sonja Winther, the company’s marketing strategy reminded me of Allen Edmonds’, which now has a 100% share of my closet: A woman starts with a Chantelle bra for special occasions, and then realizes that it’s fantastic for everyday use. In fact, the product is so high-quality data changes the way the customer relates to the entire category. Before long, Chantelle has a 100% share of the client’s wallet. Additionally, the client has products of varying degrees of sophistication and styling which allow it to offer entry-level price points, and moving a woman up the ladder as the brand grows on her.

Sonja was kind enough to share many details with me regarding the company’s marketing and pricing philosophies, and I will share these thoughts with qualified candidates in due course. Frankly, they are amazing. These people really “get” luxury branding. I was going to include a YouTube video with this write-up but I chickened out (NSFW).  If you want to see their beautiful line, here’s a clip from FashionTV’s coverage of a recent Chantelle fashion show.

Online Retailing background:

Currently, ecommerce represents 10% of Chantelle’s sales – but the company believes that there is an enormous opportunity for growth given the size of the market, both domestically and abroad.

According to the research firm Just-Style, the average woman buys two bras and five pairs of briefs per year. She has in her wardrobe between five and eight bras, and six to ten pairs of briefs. Lingerie enthusiasts will have considerably more. By 2014, the world lingerie market will be worth $33.57 billion, broken down as follows:

  • Lingerie market, value: $33.57 billion
  • Bra market, value: $18.69 billion
  • Briefs market, value: $10.70 billion
  • Bra market, units: 1,794 billion
  • Briefs market, units: 5,794 billion

According to Internet Retailer, Victoria’s Secret’s online sales exceed $1 billion.

Chantelle’s goal is to use the online medium to be understood by target customers as much as it is to transact online. In fact, the company believes very strongly in the value that its retail partners add to its marketing and branding process: Many new customers need to touch and see the product in person before buying it.

Naturally, Chantelle feels that it’s critical for the company to have a direct to consumer relationship in order to contribute something to the conversation. An informed social media strategy is essential for this to happen, and Chantelle intends for commerce to be a logical extension of these efforts.

The client admits that it has very little ecommerce experience in-house, and it seeks a smart, business-oriented team player to lead the process of going online. In order to succeed in the role, the ideal candidate will be an excellent listener, a strong communicator, and above all else – a self-starter with a collaborative work style.

Responsibilities include:

  • Driving traffic and sales on the Chantelle USA ecommerce site
  • Regularly update web content according to the strategic sales and marketing plan
  • Manage all outside vendors, ensuring compliance with Chantelle policies and initiatives
  • Maintain Chantelle’s target levels of client satisfaction
  • Optimize customer engagement via Social Media, via Facebook, YouTube, etc.
  • Develop and execute strategy for growing customer base, and engaging existing customers
  • Drive sales from featuring key items/collections to running promotions in sync with Chantelle’s wholesale strategy
  • Analyze sales performance by product (down to size level) and customer
  • Develop weekly and monthly reports from Google Analytics
  • Present analyses to Marketing and Sales departments, suggesting ideas to improve the metrics
  • Ensure Marketing department and web agency develop relevant, high-quality, on-brand content to support online sales strategy
  • Manage and update product descriptions, optimizing copy based on return rate and customer comments / questions
  • Organize visual needs and ensure images delivered are conform to the specifications required
  • Manage and update the availability of products, with reference to stock availability and launch / markdown dates

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