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We are working with Need Supply Co. in their search for a Director of Ecommerce. Need Supply Co. is an established and fast growing apparel company based in Richmond, Virginia, a beautiful city which consistently ranks among the “Best Places to Live and Work in America.” The firm opened in 1996 selling a unique collection of vintage pieces. Over the past decade, its selection has evolved to become a well-edited assortment of contemporary designers and independent labels from the U.S. and abroad. In 2012, GQ Magazine called NSC “The Best Ecommerce on the Web.”

HARRY’S COMMENTS: It’s been said that to develop an emotional bond with their best customers, online retailers need to be a media company of sorts, curating and celebrating the brands that they carry. Below, Need Supply Co. takes you behind the scenes with Rogue Territory at their “Meet the Maker” event. Karl Thoennessen sits down with the NSC crew to chat about collaboration, fabric inspiration and humor in fashion. Way cool

Need Supply Co. was started by Chris Bossola in 1996 as a traditional brick-and-mortar shop in Richmond, VA. initially, the company offered a unique collection of vintage pieces. Yet since going online in 2009, Needs Supply Co.’s selection has evolved to become a well edited assortment of contemporary designs and independent labels from the US and abroad. In 2012, GQ magazine called Need Supply Co. “The Best Ecommerce on the Web.”

Today, Need Supply Co. sells men’s and women’s apparel, shoes, accessories to a core customer aged 18 to 35. The age range is probably more of an aesthetic than it is an actual demographic: Need Supply Co.’s customers are fashion forward, well-educated, urban, affluent, intend to live in densely populated areas. Additionally, a significant portion of the business is international.

Essentially, the firm’s value proposition hinges on the curation of a particular look, which is largely influenced by Gabriel Ricioppo, the arbiter of Need Supply Co.’s online look and feel. Gabe’s background is in web design and creative, which brings with it a more technology focused and design influenced aesthetic.

According to Gabe, …

“We concentrate on creativity and do a lot of things to support our use of good design. We do certain things because we are fans of good design, not because it has a particular ROI. We are extremely thoughtful about how we spend our money, yes. But we are very passionate about design.

We want to be part of the design subculture, not that we are targeting a design audience. We find so many retailers have a pedestrian aesthetic because they are trying to appeal to everyone. We would like to offer beautiful products simply because they benefit society. We feel that people have a responsibility when they run a business to promote beautiful design while blending them into their company’s DNA.”

Those values inform Need Supply Co.’s vision of being a curator of great design, and then vision informs Needs Supply Co.’s strategy of curating more than 150 collections – only 30 to 40 of them the firm will actively promote. In some instances, Need Supply Co. is working with highly respected brands to source exclusive products.

Catering to the those with good taste might make Need Supply Co. sound like a niche operator, but that doesn’t mean the firm couldn’t have huge appeal.

Frankly, when I heard the KPIs for I was blown away. I can’t share those here – but in particular, the firm’s email marketing numbers are insane, in terms of the number of subscribers, the growth rate of subscribers, and email open rate.

Their email open rate is among the highest I’ve ever heard – and it’s not just because they have a tiny list of friends and family. No, it’s clear to me that not only has Need Supply Co. found a core audience, but that audience loves Need Supply Co.’s POV on art, design, music, and culture and cannot get that elsewhere. Check out some of NSC’s recent emails and you’ll see that Gabe understands the value of great eye candy. There’s nothing to read with some of these emails — which is precisely what NSC’s customers love them.

Is this job right for you?

First and foremost, “Job One” will be taking to $50 million in sales. That is not to say that Need Supply Co. is looking for the new Director of E-commerce to reinvent its business. To the contrary, the company is very happy with its DNA. They like who they are online. Having said that, there is quite a bit of basic blocking and tackling that could have a dramatic impact on the growth of the business.

What you need for this candidacy: There are 7 keys to success in this role. Your resume will need to note your accomplishments in these 7 areas, and you will need to come to the interviews with concrete examples, actions, and results of how you have built successful ecommerce businesses using these keys. To learn more about the search and what it’ll take to win in the role, please apply below.

About the Role

The Director of Ecommerce will be responsible for defining and leading NSC’s overall ecommerce strategy and execution. The firm is looking for someone who works well in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment with proven project management skills. He/she must be detail-oriented, creative and passionate about growth, marketing, technology and customer satisfaction. Above all else, NSC is looking for someone that can intuitively grasp and apply the appropriate quality, design and functionality of the Need Supply Co. website and brand.

The Director of Ecommerce will manage technology company-wide and all online store activities with a focus on improving customer acquisition, conversion and retention efforts.This includes ecommerce web development, internal and 3rd party systems administration and digital marketing.


  • Develop and oversee the execution of all online marketing programs and initiatives to drive sales and profits including: Paid search, SEO, email marketing, affiliate marketing, retargeting and online analytics.
  • Define and deliver upon all sales objectives. Ensure maximum cost efficiencies and balanced spending are consistently achieved; track and ensure accurate budget forecasting, program ROI and benchmark identification.
  • Drive qualified traffic and sales with CRM and cross-channeling strategies.
  • Develop and oversee the Need Supply Co. customer experience to increase engagement and conversion rates; drive revenue and profitability.
  • Manage online store initiatives such as user-experience and analytics; product descriptions, photos, cross & up selling, product reviews, etc.
  • Develop and oversee measurement strategy to track the performance of all online marketing programs; design test strategies and refine creative assets to optimize results.
  • Develop and oversee customer retention strategy and programs to achieve revenue and profit growth targets.
  • Perform research and segmentation studies to determine key consumer targets, insights, needs, wants and behaviors.
  • Develop monthly, quarterly and annual marketing budgets and forecasts for revenue, margin and expenses; recap and analyze business results versus plan.
  • Identify and implement new opportunities to drive sales, visibility and efficiencies, including site functionality and design.
  • Provide structure and manage evolving development team operations, roles and responsibilities and systems/tools to support the needs of the organizations growth.
  • Identify and implement modifications to improve the existing platform or assist in sourcing new solutions.
  • Work with merchandising team to understand Need Supply Co. products, promotions, and key selling dates to ensure the appropriate assortment is available online and at the right time.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated ability to hire, develop and manage an ecommerce team in a hyper-growth environment.
  • Proven business skills including analytical thinking, financial acumen, creativity and innovation.
  • Demonstrated passion for multi-channel retail, technology, ecommerce, design, and marketing.
  • Demonstrated ability to leverage web analytics, platforms, and resources to drive results.
  • Proven ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to recognize and anticipate business trends and opportunities and respond quickly.
  • Interpersonal skills including collaboration, communication, and customer focus.
  • Understanding of merchandising operations and buying.
  • Strong leadership skills that inspire talent to become their best.
  • Strong work ethic aligned with the firm’s values.
  • Minimum of 5 years relevant ecommerce and technology experience.
  • Minimum of 5 years relevant fashion and apparel industry experience.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing or something similar.
  • Consistent positive attitude.
  • Demonstrated ability to acquire new customers and grow revenue.
  • Ability to prioritize efficiently in response to changing needs and situations.
  • Experience working with multiple ecommerce platforms.
  • Demonstrated ability to source and successfully implement various technology and ecommerce platforms.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Minimum of 7 years relevant ecommerce and technology experience
  • Related development experience
  • Experience with Magento
  • International ecommerce experience
  • MBA

Applications for this position are being coordinated by Allan Seibert. To apply, CLICK HERECandidates, please be sure to email Allan for a packet of market research and company / competitive intel that will differentiate you in your candidacy. Due to the intensely competitive nature of this search, thorough preparation for these interviews with this proprietary material is strongly recommended.

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