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We are working with Essilor in their search for a Director of Ecommerce for FramesDirect based in Austin, Texas. This is one of the coolest Austin ecommerce jobs ever …

In this role, you will develop and execute the Marketing strategy to grow electronic orders for Essilor’s Ecommerce business. You’ll develop strategies that proactively engage clients to create a long-term relationship with FramesDirect, while also creating and implementing online order management initiatives to provide a great customer experience. Additionally, you’ll streamline FramesDirect’s order processes to improve productivity, efficiencies and reduce Service and Order Entry costs. Finally, you’ll develop public relations and outbound marketing programs to increase sales, and lead the creative team for continuous improvement of the website experience.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: FramesDirect is a pure play. Remember those? Those are the online retailers with no brick-and-mortar stores and no omnichannel component. Like Amazon. Despite the incessant buzz about omnichannel, there are brilliant people out there who question the merits of an omnichannel strategy, and I can see their point. If you don’t have stores, then you have nothing weighing you down. If you do have stores, you’ll have to reinvent yourself.

Makes sense to me.

Searches like this are my favorite because pure play online retailers usually have a very strong “sense of self.” They know what their business is about, who their business is for, and why — exactly — their target customer should choose to do business with them versus every available option, including doing nothing.

Such is the case with FramesDirect, Austin-based online retailer of the world’s finest prescription eyewear. Founded by two optometrists, Dr. Guy Hodgson and Dr. Dhavid (yep, Dhavid with an “h”) Cooper, who ran a chain of successful optometry practices in Houston Texas, FramesDirect was founded on the premise that patients want a broader selection of better eyewear at lower prices than could be offered in brick-and-mortar stores.

Their timing was perfect.

FramesDirect launched in 1996 and was the first company to sell eyewear online. Later, the firm became the first company to sell progressive lenses online as a result of the groundbreaking innovation its founders were introducing. Today, FramesDirect is committed to using only the highest quality lenses, providing world-class customer service, offering the best selection of premium brand eyewear, and selling their merchandise at the lowest possible price without sacrificing quality. Here’s Dr. Cooper talking about frame sizing on the brand’s YouTube channel …

As you can imagine, the market for eyewear is massive.

While I can’t give you the exact size of the US market for prescription eyewear, I can offer some proxies. In the United States there are roughly 20,000 optometrist offices with a combined revenue of $12 billion. I’ve recruited for Luxottica, and I’ve heard eyewear market size estimates as high as $20 billion. That’s $63 for every person in America (including babies!).

Key growth drivers include the aging of the population and the increased availability of insurance coverage. Demand is driven by demographics, and the aging of the US population increases demand for eye exams and eyeglasses every year. Additionally, eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma, which are often diagnosed by an optometrist but treated by an ophthalmologist, also increase with age.

If all FramesDirect did was sell to Boomers and Seniors (which it doesn’t), it would be fine. Boomers number nearly 80 million and make up 26% of the US population. Roughly one in 4 consumers is a Boomer, and according to demographer Harry Dent, the age wave will dominate this economy in the marketplace for many years to come. Every day for the next 18 years, 8-10,000 boomers will reach age 65.

Most of ’em will need prescription eyewear.

These consumers’ spending habits show no signs of slowing down, with 4 in 10 affluents being Boomers. 46% of that group has a net worth exceeding $2 million, putting the number of affluent Boomers at about 25 million. Again, this is by no means the only market to which FramesDirect sells, but it’s important to know that there is an extraordinary volume of business to be done in this one segment of FD’s house file where the opportunities to cross-sell, up-sell, and re-sell frames and lenses is enormous.

But of course, this is an extremely competitive space.

There’s a limit to what I can disclose here about FramesDirect’s strategies, tactics, and KPI’s – all of which I am happy to share with qualified candidates. What I can tell you is that we need a Director of Ecommerce who knows how to run a business. That means having great problem-solving skills plus the financial wherewithal to calculate basic things like ROAS and ROIC while managing a P&L. Such things will require not just a knowledge of — but rather a bias towards — using business cases to cost justify marketing opportunities.

It’s easy to throw money at Google, but that’s not what this job is about. We’re looking for someone who can think strategically about how different customer cohorts think and buy, and what their likely conversion path will be when using multiple devices, whether it’s mobile, tablet, or desktop. Naturally, each cohort (White Male Boomers; White Female Boomers; Afro-American Millennials, etc) will have a tendency to research and consummate purchases very differently on each of these devices.

For example, male Boomers might research eyewear on a tablet, click a paid search ad, sign up for the FramesDirect email through landing page, and download all future emails on their smart phone, finally purchasing on the desktop with the help of a customer service rep. Afro-American Millennial’s might research eyewear on their smart phone, then buy through some other channel or device. To succeed in this role, you’ll need to be a detective about where and how specific cohorts are engaging the brand and buying.

Improving the user experience is a must.

I don’t say that because FramesDirect’s user experience is a train wreck. I say that because with Google’s recent Hummingbird update, it’s obvious that Google is factoring leading and lagging UX KPIs into its algorithm. Google is leaning on ecommerce executives to improve their sites by asking questions such as …

  • Would my customers trust information from my website?
  • Is my website written by experts?
  • Does my website make my users feel comfortable giving me their credit card details?
  • Do the pages on my website have obvious errors?
  • Does my website provide original content and information?
  • Is that content so good that my best customers would pay for it (even though its free)?
  • Do people in my industry or competitive sandbox recognize my site as an authority?
  • Does my site contain insightful analysis?
  • Would people consider bookmarking pages on my site?

What Google wants to know these days is “Could pages from this site appear in print? Do they provide REAL value and utility to users?” In this role, it’s your job to tease out those issues and take FramesDirect’s UI to the next level. After all, you’ll be competing against the likes of WarbyParker, which has raised $60 million.

Basically, it will be within your purview to remove all friction from FramesDirect’s shopping experience by improving trust (through better design, trust symbols, social proof), reducing page load speeds, optimizing the site (through native or hire strange loop,, etc.) and improving’s checkout process.

There’s low hanging fruit all over the place.

In this role, you’ll have a wonderful opportunity to impact nearly everything about the business: The ecommerce platform; loyalty and retention strategies; mobile and tablet commerce; all organic and paid search initiatives; social media activities; user experience and web design; and possibly international ecommerce. It’s all there to be taken to the next level by the right person.

The only question is: Is that you?

Please apply below …

Harry Joiner

View Harry Joiner's profile on LinkedIn

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Direct the Marketing, IT and Creative Departments. Ensure all teams are striving to meet the expectation of growing the business, while keeping the website current and on trend by directing all ecommerce marketing aspects for the business.
  • Optimize the website shopping experience to reduce friction and increase conversion.
  • Create actionable measurement tools and KPIs to improve conversion, retention, and acquisition costs.
  • Create best in class branding and public relations activities.
  • Optimize paid and organic search to maintain high traffic volume.
  • Ensure realization of business results – ie, e-order growth, improved order accuracy and service to customers. Making updates and changes as needed in partnership with Senior Management.
  • Ensure customer loyalty and satisfaction measurements are in place in order to measure effectiveness and make timely course corrections as needed.
  • Establish acquisition and retention programs to retain and/or build accounts and grow e-orders.
  • Manage both the inbound and outbound marketing. Own the Frames Direct site experience.
  • Provide feedback to management on successes and needs for improvement.

Education and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Advertising or Business. Master’s degree is preferred
  • 10 years minimum experience in managing people, projects and processes
  • 10 years minimum experience in eCommerce Retail Marketing, Media Planning and Marketing plans.
  • Must have documented record of leading sales growth in ecommerce retail.
  • Experience in managing revenue growth programs with financial accountability
  • Experience in developing and implementing productivity improvement programs
  • Optical industry experience is a plus, but not required.
  • Strong decision making and analytical skills.
  • Ability to analyze and interpret sales reports and financial reports
  • High energy level and ability to manage the timely delivery of multiple projects in parallel
  • Experience that demonstrates excellent communications and presentation skills
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with customers, management, co-workers and employees
  • Ability to work autonomously and think independently


PS – If you’re thinking about changing jobs this year (though us or anyone else), you might want to check out this post on why even TOP candidates get rejected.

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