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We are working with in their search for an Ecommerce Marketing Manager based in San Diego, CA. This is definitely one of the coolest ecommerce marketing jobs around! is an Internet Retailer Top 500 site and an Inc 5000 fastest growing company for the last three years. Profitable and growing for over a decade, has stayed focused on driving smart growth that delivers to both the top and bottom line. The firm is based in sunny San Diego, and this position will be full-time at its corporate headquarters.

The Ecommerce Marketing Manager will lead the marketing team in the development and execution of the Ecommerce business. This person will have strong ecommerce experience enabling them to effectively take on and manage the wide variety of job aspects including SEO, PPC, UX, Content, Branding, Customer Acquisition, Analytics and more. This position reports directly to the CEO, and the firm is looking for an exceptional individual.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: As you can imagine, we have handled many auto-parts searches in the past, but we are always partial to working with clients who have a very strong “sense of self.” In other words, they understand and cater to specific market niches, and dominate within that construct. Such is the case with, based in beautiful San Diego. is a specialty auto parts company that doesn’t carry a full line of auto parts. Instead, the firm gets very deep into specific lines of replacement and performance products where they can create a specialty and add value. Unlike NAPA Auto Parts or AutoZone who cater to the mass market, specializes in hard-to-find and often difficult items. Its inbound phone sales reps are extremely knowledgeable, making it very easy for parts seekers to appreciate the firm’s level of expertise. sells a mix of house branded products in addition to more than 40 premium brands such as Delphi, Denso, Bosch, Valeo for the replacement parts and MagnaFlow, Diablo, SCT, VisionX, aFe, FASS, and others in performance products. The basic strategy is to offer a wide variety of products from high-end, superpremium performance manufacturers, and give customers many different options in terms of how the firm sells.

It’s a jungle out there.

The US autoparts retail space includes about 40,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $48 billion. Auto parts account for about 50% of retail sales; auto supplies 12%; and auto batteries and auto lubricants, about 6% each. The industry includes retailers of new and used automobile parts.

Demand for autoparts is driven by the age and mileage of vehicles in use and generally increases when fewer new cars are sold and older cars are kept on the road longer. The profitability of individual companies depends largely on inventory management and marketing. Large companies have economies of scale in purchasing and distribution. Small companies can compete effectively by carrying specialized parts or providing extra services such as fast delivery. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about half of industry revenue.

Obviously, the auto parts space is extremely competitive, especially with dealerships in brick-and-mortar stores, both of whom are moving online in droves. Additionally, is getting into the space, and at any given time is competing with dozens, if not hundreds of other companies. Indeed, there are tens of thousands of small niche players that pop up on the web, making it a challenge to generate revenue and profits in this milieu. exists in a densely populated universe of auto parts retailers, brokers, traders, and more – making it hard for the stars to shine through.

Which is why it pays to be different.

Several things differentiate For the most part, the firm does not drop ship. actually maintains a full warehouse of premium auto parts valued in the tens of millions of dollars, and it prides itself on being able to put its hands on everything it sells. It has no loss leaders (incredible, given the category), and it has no fancy or unusual methods of getting customers in the door. prides itself on knowing exactly who its customers are; what their frustrations are; what they’re looking for; and how’s parts will be used in their business. In other words, …

These are auto parts nerds selling auto parts to other auto parts nerds.

While competitive considerations prevent me from being too specific here, sells to two main groups of customers: Do-it-yourself (DIY) customers who work on their own cars; and do-it-for-me (DIFM) customers. Within these two categories, market specifically to a very large number of both B2B and B2C customers, including commercial installers such as auto repair shops, gas stations, fleet operators, and car dealer service departments. My kickoff call with this client lasted 90 minutes, and there is an extraordinary amount of information I can share with qualified candidates regarding’s marketing strategies.

For now, please know that these are extremely sharp marketers who have done a first-rate job slicing and dicing their database, and there are ample opportunities to grow the top line by diving into’s business and getting to the bottom of issues like …

  1. How can do a better job of selling new products to new customers? You’ll need to look at the data to guide you. While most of the analytics is on the company’s website, some of it will be pulled from’s ERP system, in addition to phone data coming from more than 20 toll-free numbers.
  2. Which products and customers are the most profitable, and WHY? Obviously,’s management has a pretty good idea already, but the landscape shifts constantly, and what might have been a very profitable product or customer 6 months ago, might be a dog today. The right candidate for this role will be able to look at the data and wrap their head around the costs and benefits of every single customer interaction relative to the likelihood that that customer will buy again.
  3. How can mobile be better utilized in the business? Should get its mobile site in front of users with the intention of driving them back to its website? Or will mobile be a profitable standalone channel?
  4. How can the company use better personalization? Ford Mustang enthusiasts don’t want to see offers on Chevy parts, and I assume the same thing can be said of Chevy enthusiasts about Ford parts. What’s the strategy for making sure that’s customers are presented with a slick, seamless user experience that’s relevant to them personally?

Naturally, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

There are dozens of questions to be considered, and to be effective in this role you’ll need to understand the company, the culture, its business model, its customers, and develop a prioritized agenda list regarding how you will budget, prioritize, and systematically attack your punch list of improvements for the business.

The role is perfect for someone who’s been in successful marketing manager at an Internet Retailer Top 500 company. Ideally, we’d love it if you had strong experience in UX design, analytics, project management, and understand how to build and mentor a strong team. Additionally, you’ll need to understand how to leverage a suite of best in class web tools, in addition to managing relationships with some first-rate agencies.

It’s a great gig in a great city. is home to a team of smart, likable people who have carved out an interesting niche in a very competitive marketplace. The fact that the market is competitive shouldn’t daunt you. Every market is competitive, and well-run companies who know 1.) What their business is ABOUT, and 2.) Who their business is FOR … will always find a way to win. sells to a rabid, self-referencing subculture of high-end auto parts buyers who read their own magazines and speak to each other in their own language. Once you’re a trusted supplier, you’re in like flint.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manage and lead the 5 person marketing team. Solid planning and management with results driven focus.
  • Assume full P&L responsibility for the Marketing Department
  • Develop customer acquisition strategies by bringing creative ideas to revenue generation.
  • Elite level analytics. Total comprehension of traffic sources, unique visitors, user paths, funnels and conversions. Identify additional analytics to improve business performance.
  • Develop and manage solid UX strategy to maximize onsite conversations.
  • Develop creative ideas to drive new customer acquisition strategies.
  • Collaborate with Executives, Products, Sales, Operations and IT to ensure the online marketing efforts are consistent with company-wide branding & promotional strategies.
  • Lead the development and discussions with external partners to provide insight into best practices for media planning and creative optimization for website and advertising banners, text links, landing pages, editorial content, and other Online Marketing strategies.
  • Identify and leverage current and new leading edge Ecommerce trends and technologies (e.g. social networking, affiliate marketing, mobile applications, etc) to develop and execute an effective Ecommerce strategy.
  • Develop and execute strategies for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), including technical onsite and content strategy
  • Oversee the Paid Search campaigns; some of which are 3rd party managed, some of which are internally managed. Maximizing ROI on all ad spend.
  • Manage key partner relationships including SEO/SEM, email service provider, affiliate marketing, analytics, online advertising, and other site features & functionality partnerships
  • Partner with Product to maximize the product offerings and corresponding brand recognition and messaging.
  • Develop and manage UX strategy both desktop, mobile and tablet to maximize onsite conversations.

Personal Initiatives

  • Update job knowledge by tracking industry trends, participate in educational opportunities, webinars, etc; maintain personal networks; participate in professional organizations.
  • Enhance organization reputation by accepting ownership for new and different requests. Explore opportunities to add value to job accomplishments.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Bachelors degree (BS/BA) from four-year College or university and minimum five years of ecommerce marketing management experience, preferably in a Marketing Manager, Assistant Marketing Manager or Analyst role. Experience managing a team and Developing Strategy required.
  • Strong people management skills to build a highly functioning marketing team
  • Solid organization skills including Marketing Plan Development, execution and review
  • P&L expertise with the ability to move dollars to more profitable areas.
  • Experience in online marketing and understanding of the value of analytics in driving online strategies.
  • Proficiency in Excel (including creating Pivot Tables/formulas), Word and PowerPoint.
  • Excellent time and project management with exceptional attention to detail.
  • Prior experience managing third party partnerships and vendors.
  • Demonstrated success in collaborating with a dynamic team of associates.
  • Knowledge of HTML and other languages a plus but not required.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; especially important for communicating technical matters.


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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