EVANSVILLE, IN – With more than 200 digital commerce searches each year, EcommerceRecruiter.com is the leading contingency-based executive search firm serving the Shop.org, Ad:Tech, and IR-500 communities. To opt-in to our popular “Ecommerce Job of the Day” email, click here. To invite Harry Joiner to connect on LinkedIn, use Harry.Joiner@EcommerceRecruiter.com

One of the coolest e-commerce jobs around.

We are working with Shoe Carnival in their search for an Ecommerce Marketing Manager based in Evansville, IN. Shoe Carnival, Inc. is a chain of over 370 footwear stores located across the United States. Combining value pricing with an entertaining store format, Shoe Carnival is a leading retailer of name brand and private label footwear for the entire family.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: This is the second search I’ve done for Shoe Carnival, and these are great people. There are a couple of things I’ll address right out of the gate:

#1.) Evansville, Indiana is awesome. I’ve been there. The home of rocker John Mellancamp, Evansville is the third largest city in the state of Indiana and the largest city in Southern Indiana. Evansville is ideally located within a 200 mile radius of four major metropolitan cities including Indianapolis, Nashville, Louisville, and St. Louis. Immediate access to all major forms of transportation makes Evansville an expanding location for economic growth and an important factor in Indiana’s global economy. As of the 2012, Evansville was home to 120,000 people.

#2.) This role reports to Kent Zimmerman, one of the best-connected executives in the Internet Retailer Top 500. A former VP of Ecommerce for Finish Line, Kent spent the last five years as a consultant serving members of the Shop.org community. Few people know as much about multichannel integration as Kent, and few folks are as genuine. Kent’s a prince, and I’d want my own child to work for him.

Suppose you wanted a world-class MBA, and Harvard was based in Smalltown, USA. Would you move there for two years to study with the best? Of course you would!

Well, this is the same thing: Shoe Carnival offers a perfect opportunity for a rising star to “learn by doing” while working with one of the industry’s best. I’m not sure you could get a better education anywhere.

Plus, the market’s a fertile proving ground for future Ecommerce GM’s:

The US shoe store industry includes about 28,000 stores with combined annual revenue of about $27 billion and is expected to grow at a moderate rate in the next two years. Stores include national and regional chains, franchises, and independent retailers. Superstores can range between 10,000 and 25,000 square feet, while chain stores range between 1,500 and 3,500. Revenue growth is driven by consumer spending and fashion trends, and the profitability of individual companies depends on effective merchandising and competitive pricing. The industry is concentrated: the top 50 companies have about 75 percent of industry revenue.

All of this spells OPPORTUNITY for Shoe Carnival.

In addition to selling famous name brands, Shoe Carnival merchandises some of its own private label product. The firm prides itself on being a family footwear retailer primarily to the middle market. Traditionally, Shoe Carnival has offered an open inventory concept specializing in self-service value family footwear with outstanding staff support. Its stores are famously interactive, sometimes featuring an in-store emcee on a microphone announcing specials, engaging guests with crazy trivia questions to give away merchandise, and doing different things to interact with customers. On one level, Shoe Carnival is in the entertainment business in the sense that they make shopping fun.

That strategy has worked like a charm.

Shoe Carnival expects to reach $1 billion in sales next year, up from $700 million just 2 years ago. The firm expects to add 40 stores per year in the next 10 years, taking it to 700 stores total. The company has nearly tripled in size in the past 12 years, and every major metric is headed in the right direction: Number of stores; Sales; Revenue growth; number of states with stores; number of employees; and more. Shoe Carnival has NO DEBT and has plenty of cash in the bank. The people are great, and the firm boasts strong Midwestern values with an open door policy from the CEO on down.

Digital commerce: Front row, center seat.

“Omnichannel” isn’t just a buzzword at Shoe Carnival. It’s absolutely essential to the company’s strategic thrust. The firm spends a fortune on traditional marketing, which only serves to write and the opportunity for growth in its digital channels. Customers who see an magazine ad, for example, are more likely to recognize a Shoe Carnival email or search result later on in their consideration cycle.

This puts the pressure on Shoe Carnival’s new Ecommerce Marketing Manager to optimize its current channels while working with its paid search vendor to ensure that its Adwords programs are optimized to leverage Shoe Carnival’s traditional marketing efforts. Additionally, there’s a great opportunity get more mileage out of Shoe Carnival’s e-mail marketing initiatives, especially as they pertain to promotional planning for Q4.

Naturally, in any ecommerce department where the effectiveness of SEM and email are being re-evaluated, there are significant opportunities to review the firm’s loyalty, promotion, and mobile commerce activities. Be prepared to get nitty-gritty on the analytics piece of the business; not necessarily on the technology side – but Kent would expect you to understand the major philosophical concepts behind omnichannel analytics. You will need to be extremely proactive in terms of picking apart the data, reading the tea leaves, and predicting intelligently how Shoe Carnival can better satisfy the needs and values of its clients.

The people at Shoe Carnival know how to count.

They look at the numbers, and they know whether they are winning or losing at the margins every single day. Management has very concrete ideas regarding its marketing ROI’s, and it’s playing to win. Accordingly, in your interviews for this position, be prepared to discuss how YOUR work has contributed to your company’s revenue growth. Additionally, you can plan on giving us the lowdown on the biggest customer acquisition challenges you have faced so far in your career.

Finally, we will ask you one REALLY TOUGH question you’ll need to answer to make it through your interview with Kent. We can share that question with you when you request the info pack for this search. Please apply below.


  • Work with the VP of eCommerce to develop and execute marketing strategy to drive rapid, profitable growth.
  • Responsible for customer acquisition from planning through execution, maximizing traffic, demand and customer conversion.
  • Coordinate and execute actionable marketing plans in conjunction with the corporate marketing calendar.
  • Develop and maintain a promotional calendar that includes all web site promotions, features and email deployments.
  • Manage digital agencies to maximize success. Must be able to lead and build relationships, and meet performance and cost objectives.
  • Continually evaluate current partners, new partners and new innovations that will optimize performance and budget.
  • Successfully collaborate with internal teams to ensure eCommerce success; marketing, merchandising, store operations, finance, customer service, etc.
  • Responsible for reporting and analytics on marketing channels, and collaborate with eCommerce Analyst on all analytics, and provide insights to improve performance across all KPI’s.
  • Work with VP of eCommerce on long term strategies and annual planning for customer acquisition, investment levels, ROI forecasting, etc.


  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience
  • 5+ years online marketing experience, preferably in a leadership role with budget responsibilities.
  • Proven track-record of developing and growing profitable online marketing programs via SEO, SEM, Comparison Shopping Engines, Mobile and Display channels.
  • Experience in multi-channel retail, including hands on experience with Google Analytics, Google Adwords and marketing reporting tools such as Business Objects and Coremetrics.
  • Experience with web analytical tools such as Coremetrics, Omniture and Google Analytics.
  • Solid background in creating engagement on social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  • Strong interpersonal communications skills. The ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously is required

Applications for this position are being coordinated by Allan Seibert. To apply, CLICK HERECandidates, please be sure to email Allan for additional information that will differentiate you in your candidacy.

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