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One of the coolest Ecommerce Director jobs around!

HARRY’S COMMENTS: We’re working with Theisen Supply (pronounced “Tyson”) in their search for a Director of Ecommerce based in Dubuque, Iowa (pop. 58,300).

I know what you’re thinking, so let’s start with Dubuque:

I’ve been to Iowa and it’s really nice. Dubuque is only 175 miles from downtown Chicago, roughly 3 hours by car (unless you drive like I do). Dubuque is the oldest city in the state of Iowa. It’s got fantastic architecture from the 19th and 20th century and the landscape is incredibly scenic, with rolling hills along the Mississippi River. The people there are extremely friendly, and there’s a lot to do.

Honestly, what’s not to like?

Frankly, Dubuque reminds me of Chattanooga, where my wife and I started our family in our 30s. No regrets. In fact, just the opposite. Small-town living is fantastic. Low cost of living. Fresh air. Nice people. Minor league hockey. And in Dubuque, the food is fresh and fantastic.

If you are looking to get out of the big city rat race, keep reading.

Now then. Theisen Supply is a family-owned retailer in the Rural Lifestyle channel, similar to Tractor Supply. The company has 21 stores in Iowa and 2 in Wisconsin. Its categories include sporting goods, farm supplies, pet supplies, basic hardware and auto parts.

Theisen’s stores range in size from 5000 ft.² to 110,000 ft.².

Without being specific about Theisen’s revenues, let’s just say that this is a healthy, profitable, cash flow positive nine figure business. This is neither a workout nor a turnaround. You’ll be a key player in a GROWTH STORY.

Our kickoff call included the Theisen’s President, Brannon Dixon, Sharon Donovan (Director of Marketing) and Jesse Strittmater (Director of IT). Smart people. Relatable. Business oriented. Anxious to get this role filled. We are happy to share with qualified candidates Theisen’s ecommerce revenues, average order value, conversion rate, seasonal factors, plans for growth and much more. The intake call for this involved a lot of business math.

But I have no intention of getting into that here. What I can tell you is that this role will be a fantastic springboard for a bright, strategically savvy ecommerce up-and-comer who’s ready to roll up their sleeves.

The Rural Lifestyle Stores industry is growing like a weed.

Surprisingly, I was able to pull some current, academically rigorous market research about this industry and I was impressed with what I found. The industry has demonstrated stable growth since 2012, and the retailers serving this space provide a one-stop shopping destination for a number of much-needed supplies for consumers in rural areas.

These supplies include items like pets and livestock feed, heating fuel, clothing and footwear – as well as larger items like farm equipment and fencing. Click here to get a feel for Theisen’s product line.

Since 2012, per capita disposable income in rural areas has recovered, and the Rural Lifestyle Stores industry has benefited from pent-up demand for parts and accessories. Yet Theisen’s concept holds tremendous appeal for hobby farmers, gardeners, and home improvement buffs. It’s not uncommon for Iowan families to make an afternoon out of visiting a Theisen’s because there’s something in it for everyone.

In aggregate, these markets have enticed players like Tractor Supply to expand westward as demand has grown in recent years in proportion to the growing national interest in sustainable living, self-reliance, and a do-it-yourself attitude.

Professional market researchers believe that the market for rural lifestyle products remains unsaturated, which will provide Theisen with ample opportunity to expand its online business outside of its traditional retail trade areas, pictured here …

Dubuque, IA

About the Role

Again, for competitive reasons I have no intention of detailing Theisen’s growth strategies for ecommerce in this job posting. What I can tell you is this:

As Theisen’s Director of Ecommerce, you will provide front-line managerial direction to the firm’s current ecommerce team. You’ll partner with management to streamline processes, resolve escalated issues, build out Theisen’s ecommerce strategy, and drive sales performance for both the web only and “buy online, pick up in-store” purchasing paths.

To get this job, you must have grown a direct to consumer ecommerce business previously. That means driving traffic, improving an average order value, and juicing conversion rates. This will be your business to run. One trick ponies need not apply.

In fact, the first FIVE questions we’ll ask you is …

  1. When was the last time you personally ran an ecommerce P&L?
  2. How big was when you got there? Where did it end up?
  3. How big was your team?
  4. Which agencies did you use? For what functions?
  5. Step me through your process for growth.

Naturally, we’ll expect you to understand how to keep Theisen’s inventory turning. It’s not enough to simply generate orders. You’ll need to know how to forecast demand, negotiate smart buys, and optimize your turns so Theisen earns a decent ROIC. We’re looking for someone who can drive asset velocity, even if it means drop shipping.

We’ll expect you to have an incredibly analytical bias to the way you make decisions about the business. Not only will you need a test and learn mentality, but we will expect you to know your way around an analytics package — Not just to run reports, but to look at the numbers, read the tea leaves, and make meaningful decisions about how to grow the business in reality-based, cost-effective, brand accretive ways.

Is that YOU??

As usual, we spent a ton of time on the phone with this client teasing out exactly what you’ll need to KNOW and DO to hit the ground running in this role. Some of the things we can share with highly qualified candidates include …

  1. The “real” background requirements for this position, along with the top five things all resumes MUST have to be considered for the role.
  2. The top five problems that exist due to this position being open. These are the little fires you will be expected to put out during your first month on the job. Every job has these — whether your recruiter wants you to know about them or not!
  3. What your average day / week will look like in this role. There’s what you read in the standard job posting … then there’s reality. We’ve got the reality.
  4. The top KPI’s that will determine your success in this role. In a nutshell: How you keep score.
  5. The major projects you’ll need to complete by Day 100 to be considered a home-run in this position. We’ve got the lowdown on how you can plug-and-play and drive REAL value in this job.

We have a massive amount of proprietary intel to share with qualified candidates. Our industry research for this assignment exceeds 75 pages! Be sure to TEXT Allan Seibert for this info at (706) 318-1196.

Or simply use the email link when you apply for the role below.

View Harry Joiner's LinkedIn profileView Harry Joiner’s profile


  • Motivate and drive staff to meet service & sales goals as defined by Theisen’s Brand
  • Manage day to day tasks for the digital team
  • Plan, execute, measure and adjust digital promotions in conjunction with the eCommerce Team
  • Analyze performance data and identify areas of strength and opportunity for improved customer digital experience and increased sales
  • Identify trends and technologies that could be integrated into Theisen’s Digital Marketing Strategy, especially in the retail sector
  • Help to navigate an integrated shopping experience online and in-store
  • Partner with the eCommerce team to drive content and keyword plans and execution
  • Handle escalated customer digital situations
  • Manage and contribute to various department-wide projects that focus on driving service & sales performance and/or streamlining processes
  • Provide backup management support as needed and perform other job related duties as assigned
  • Daily leadership and skill development of Supervisor(s) in order to achieve plan objectives (monthly, quarterly, annually)
  • Hold team accountable to company and department standards via consistent and timely coaching, performance management and progressive discipline processes


  • BA/BS preferred in Business Management or related field
  • 3 years proven sales experience, preferable in a digital or retail environment
  • 2 years proven supervisory/management experience, preferably in a digital environment
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Proficient in chat/call center operating systems or experience
  • Analytical ability and demonstrated problem solving skills
  • Intermediate proficiency with Microsoft Office Applications
  • Demonstrate ability to respond appropriately and professionally to customers, colleagues, or direct reports in situations of conflict
  • Ability motivate, develop and coach direct reports through disciplinary issues, as well as developmental opportunities
  • Ability to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines and work independently in a fast paced environment
  • Uphold and enforce company policies
  • Detail oriented with strong organizational skills
  • Ability to maintain high morale and engagement with eCommerce associates
  • Support and communicate company initiatives
  • Requires normal physical exertion within an office environment (i.e. sitting, computer and telephone use)
  • May be required to work non-typical hours (ex. mid-day, evening, and weekend shifts), will be required to work rotating shifts to ensure coverage during team operating hours.


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