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HARRY’S COMMENTS: We are working with KnifeCenter.com in their search for a Director of Ecommerce Technology to be based in Fredericksburg, VA — roughly one hour south of Washington, DC (and one hour north of Richmond).
Riddle me this: Who doesn’t love a good knife?
I’m not even a knife guy, yet for some reason, I think they’re kinda cool. And I’m not the only guy who thinks this. KnifeCenter’s YouTube channel has 22K subscribers …
Knife collecting is a hobby that includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining knives. Some collectors are generalists, accumulating an assortment of different knives. Others focus on a specialized area of interest, perhaps bayonets, knives from a particular factory, Bowie knives, pocketknives, or handmade custom knives.
Knife nerds aren’t crazy! They see knives more as tools than as weapons.
It’s an enthusiast subculture with a rich history, its own terminology, and its own Hall of Fame. Knife collectors have their own quirks and can always find a reason to buy another knife — and then tell each other about their latest acquisitions.
About the Market
The specialty knife market is addressable, reachable (online and offline), and GROWING. According to the American Knife and Tool Institute, the sporting / work knife and tool industry generates $954 million in annual revenue with 4700 direct employees.
All told, specialty knife sales are increasing at a clip of 4.5% per year, with sportsmen driving much of that activity. Nearly 140 million Americans are involved in at least one outdoor activity, and sportsmen spend $90 billion annually.
These folks know the value of a good knife!
American knives are highly sought after in international markets, from Russia to South America to the Pacific rim — and the industry places thousands of models of man’s oldest tool in the hands of millions of people for dozens of reasons.
Knives are one of the only products about which I’ve ever said “We’ll have this thing in a thousand years.” Seriously. Poke holes in that.
About the Role
This is a unique opportunity for a marketing-oriented technologist to think like a technology-oriented marketer. Without getting into the specifics – and boy, could I ever get into the specifics here – the client wants you to make an impact in two major areas:
Organic search and conversion rate.
KnifeCenter.com sells +20,000 SKUs, and there’s a lot of work to be done in the optimization of those pages for Google, etc. At some point in the near future, management intends to seriously upgrade the site, and it will be up to you to ensure that KnifeCenter.com can take advantage of the latest trends in web design and UX.
Additionally, the firm owns several marquee domains like KitchenKnives.com that, for now, simply resolve to KnifeCenter.com. Obviously, the company could be doing more to leverage these assets — and you’ll be expected to weigh in on these issues. The kitchen cutlery market is huge and a search for kitchen knives brings KnifeCenter up rather high, but Management sees more potential here.
You’ll be responsible for the technical design and development of back-end and front-end of the KnifeCenter.com website, maintenance of internal network and machines, and making recommendations on technology strategies.
VERY IMPORTANT: At some point in the near future, KnifeCenter will migrate its site from a fast-as-hell homegrown WebDNA platform (which is killing it in the Google SERPs) to something along the lines of Magento (which was recently acquired by Adobe).
Although the ecommerce world is filled with great Magento resources, few people support WebDNA. To maintain your sanity (and everyone else’s), you’ll need to be a process-driven project manager.
Just because “Anything can happen” doesn’t mean it should.
Even after the site’s relaunch, your daily routine will touch every area of the company — including its fulfillment center, the customer service staff, the product development team, marketing, and its social media department (which includes videographers, photographers, copy editors, web designer and a junior developer).
You’ll have a lot to say grace over!
Recently, KnifeCenter engaged a consultant to perform an SEO audit, and there’s a punch list of things for you to knock out ASAP. You can expect to diagnose the traffic drop and troubleshoot from there.
I’m happy to share this punch list with qualified candidates, but plan on seeing action items involving …
- Site architecture (site maps / in content linking / anchor text distribution / taxonomy / link location)
- Technical considerations (site performance / micro formatting / 301 redirect mapping / etc.)
- Content (title and meta-tags / code to content ratios / relevancy and quality / keyword density / social sharing)
Candidates: Be ready to discuss these things during your calls with my team!
Over time, you’ll be expected to analyze/improve KnifeCenter.com’s bones to ensure that the site can attract and convert traffic from non-organic sources such as direct navigation, referral, paid, email, and social. Think of a greased chute: That’s what we want KnifeCenter.com’s conversion funnel to be. How much can you automate the marketing and conversion process?
You won’t believe how much we know about this search …
Like I said, Allan and I spent a ton of time on the phone with the client teasing out exactly what you’ll need to KNOW and DO to hit the ground running in this role. Some of the things I can share with highly qualified candidates include …
- The “real” background requirements for this position, along with the top five things all resumes MUST have to be considered for the role.
- The top five problems that exist due to this position being open. These are the little brush fires you will be expected to put out during your first month on the job. Every ecommerce job has these — and this one’s no different.
- What your average day/week will look like in this role. There’s what you read in the standard ecommerce job posting … then there’s reality. We’ve got the reality.
- The leading and lagging KPI’s that will determine your success in this role. In a nutshell: How you keep score.
- 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 ecommerce job.
We have a massive amount of proprietary intel to share with qualified candidates. Our industry research for this assignment exceeds 100 pages! Be sure to TEXT Allan Seibert at (706) 318-1196 for this info. Or simply use the email link when you apply for the role below.
- Document technical designs for custom site features.
- Develop using business requirements from internal and external resources across several areas including front-end (client-side), back-end (server-side), and/or web service technologies.
- Report project status and updates to Senior Management team.
- Ensure web pages/site follows best practices from a coding, SEO, and performance perspective.
- Work with web designers to deliver pages that integrate text, graphics, sound, and/or video.
- Explain pros and cons of design approaches from a technical perspective to non-technical business partners.
- A fair understanding of fundamentals and concepts of Magento, PHP, and Zend
- Document developed code and maintain quality standards.
- Flex critical problem solving skills to diagnose site issues and implement fixes.
- Apply knowledge of ecommerce and web technology to business strategies and opportunities to drive the business to success.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
- Attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines required
- Demonstrable knowledge of XML, XHTML, JSON, CSS, Modules i.e. API integration, Payment Gateways, XML with a focus on standards
- Experience supporting an e-commerce platform with two or more published e-commerce websites under your belt
- Extensive experience of PHP 7 and MySQL
- Demonstrable GIT source control experience
- Experience developing web services required
- Thorough knowledge of SEO required
- Extensive knowledge and experience with Google Analytics and Google Search Console a must
- Experience with Linux and Windows Servers
- Minimum 2-3 years hands-on ecommerce development experience