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One of the coolest ecommerce jobs around!
HARRY’S COMMENTS: I am working with a confidential client in their search for a VP of Ecommerce located in the Philadelphia metro area.
These people are SUPER smart, business-oriented retail / wholesale operators and private equity pros who know their way around an omnichannel ecommerce business. The hiring committee has asked me to make this posting confidential, and on a high level here’s what I can share about this opportunity …
The client is an industry-leading designer and manufacturer of home environment products. The company is the industry leader in its primary product category with a leading share in most major traditional and ecommerce retailers of their products.
Sales are primarily in North America, although targeted expansion outside these areas is a focus. The company generates greater than $500 million in gross sales, of which a significant and growing portion is conducted through ecommerce retailers and marketplaces.
No doubt, you’ve seen their products in stores like Walmart, Home Depot, Target, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Bed, Bath and Beyond — as well as online at Amazon, Wayfair, and all major e-tailers. Like me, you may own these products — because they work.
Products are designed, developed, and engineered by the company in the United States, where the firm operates three manufacturing and distribution facilities. Additionally, the client has long-standing sourcing relationships in Asia for certain components and finished products. Domestic operations ensure market-leading customer service in a difficult-to-serve seasonal business for retail customers.
This situation is not a turnaround. You’ll be inheriting opportunities, not problems.
This is a well-run company with real customers, real revenues, a real market, and real investors. Ecommerce sales are critical to the firm’s growth, and YOU will lead the company’s large, complex, and rapidly growing ecommerce business.
For a PROVEN ECOMMERCE LEADER — this is a great gig any way you slice it.
As the company’s VP of Ecommerce, you’ll be a pillar of leadership responsible for driving the firm’s vast ecom business (plus all related digital marketing). Everyone will look to YOU to provide the development / implementation of all online sales and marketing strategies in the firm’s global, multi-channel environment while working closely with internal and external partners.
If you want a seat at the table — here’s your chance.
This is a position that was initiated in 2019 and will lead ecom sales and related digital marketing with the goal of increased alignment, effectiveness, and efficiency leading to sustained omnichannel growth. You’ll be guiding the team through the development of a digital ecosystem that heightens customer engagement across customers’ ecommerce platforms, digital and social media.
You’ll work with cross-functional partners in product management and development, engineering, sales and pricing, logistics / supply chain, customer service and finance to ensure alignment while enabling the right competencies to support the digital business from strategy to execution.
There’s no understating the importance of Amazon!
Your team will have total responsibility for the Amazon channel — but AMS search campaigns will be particularly important because my client’s product is (usually) more need-based than want based. Your job is to deeply understand how and why the client’s customers engage with the firm on Amazon.
Here’s why: When people are searching for [my client’s type of product], they know what they need. Like when I’m searching for a tape measure or a space heater. The client is usually capturing demand more than creating it.
The client needs to advertise more towards the bottom of the funnel. If their product is not on Page 1 (or they’re not Amazon’s preferred choice), then they might lose the business. Paid tactics are will be huge, as will enhanced branding.
In addition marketplace listing creation and SEO optimization, Amazon-related things you’ll be expected to manage include:
- Inventory management and forecasting
- Catalog cleanup of existing listings
- Channel cleanup and brand protection
- Online advertising program management
- Customer service
- Product ratings and reviews (the good, the bad, and the ugly.)
- Multichannel account management on US and international Amazon channels
Among other things, during your interviews for this position, you can expect me to ask you …
- Take me to your Amazon page. Did YOU do this? If not you, what was your involvement? What was your PROCESS for developing it and managing it?
- Talk to me about your firm’s relationship with Amazon, the platform. What’s working? What’s not? What are your team’s sales goals for Amazon this year? (I use Jungle Scout — so be prepared to get nitty-gritty with me.)
- What’s your process for identifying the most important tools for selling on Amazon?
- What’s your process for determining the optimal amounts to fund Amazon’s marketing tools?
- What are your primary challenges to improving marketing execution with your team’s current level of investment, organization, and application portfolio?
- How are you personally involved with Amazon and how do you manage to negotiate with them regarding annual programs, unprofitable SKUs, and other operational and business challenges? What are your biggest challenges in working with Amazon?
- Tell me about your relationships with other e-tailers like Walmart.com, Home Depot, Wayfair and other 3P providers.
- And more.
You won’t believe how much we know about this search …
I spent a ton of time 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.
I have a massive amount of proprietary intel to share with qualified candidates. My industry research for this assignment exceeds 100 pages! Be sure to TEXT me, Harry Joiner, at (404) 281-2025 for this info. Or simply use the email link when you apply for the role below.
- Grow, develop and oversee a team focused on ecommerce sales, with an emphasis on Amazon (3P Marketplace and 1P Direct), in addition to other ecommerce retailers/marketplaces (e.g. Wayfair, itself a somewhat complicated business) and the ecommerce operations of traditional retailers (e.g. Walmart.com and Homedepot.com). Work closely with retail partners to ensure seamless, multi-channel integration to optimize member experience across channels.
- Develop and manage a 1-5 year vision for ecommerce. Maintain constant knowledge of how the ecommerce landscape is changing and identify implications for consumers and retailers. Develop and implement a sustainable growth plan and strategy for the ecommerce business.
- Maintain full P&L responsibility for all activities related to the firm’s ecommerce business, including content, marketing, pricing, fulfillment, product selection, and customer service.
- Effectively manage a variety of customer accounts: Provide category management for customers (e.g. product/ assortment, pricing, marketing, content, availability, fulfillment); Understand and adapt to customers’ goals (e.g. margin %, profit-$’s and/ or growth); Develop and manage relationships with customer contacts
- Collaborate with the CEO and SVP of Sales and Marketing on overall ecommerce strategy and key account coverage.
- Partner and coordinate with other functional leaders: Supply Chain / Operations (e.g. inventory planning, pricing, fulfillment, manufacturing); Engineering / Product Development (e.g. new product introductions, value engineering); Sales and Marketing (e.g. pricing, channel management, branding, geographic expansion); Finance (e.g. financial metrics, operational KPIs, budgets, account P&Ls, and other resource/ cost-center planning)
- Develop a “drop ship” capability or partnership, with the support of the SVP Global Operations.
- Integrated new and existing businesses as appropriate.
- Develop a collaborative process with the supporting technology and tools to develop and integrate brand content into ecommerce sales efforts. This includes content – pictures and videos, online customer reviews, related digital consumer advertising and communications, and social media.
- Develop and support a global digital architecture that is efficient and flexible. This includes technology, infrastructure, and applications that help consumers, retailers, and influencers get the right information at the right time in the right format throughout all consumer touchpoints.
- Create consistent reporting methodology, setting standards for monitoring, tracking and sharing of relevant digital marketing KPI’s.
- Develop and execute all ecommerce marketing and merchandising initiatives to drive profitable online sales with the client’s ecommerce customers and related analytics and reporting.
- Work closely with retail partners to ensure seamless, multi-channel integration to optimize customer experiences across all channels.
- Develop a longer-term (3-5 year) roadmap to support other Direct to Consumer (“DTC”) marketing initiatives including email, paid search, SEO, affiliate marketing and retargeting/re-contact strategies that lead to conversion, loyalty, and revenue growth.
- Collaborate with the Director of Marketing on brand consistency of digital presentations and communications.
- Understand and embrace the nuances of the client’s business, including seasonality, operations, logistics, and margin structures, while complimenting and supporting the enhancement of the core business through the ecommerce business and digital channels.
Experience and Qualifications:
Minimum of three to five years in each of the following areas:
- Experience with a consumer products company in a management role overseeing ecommerce business, including first-hand management experience (e.g. recruitment, performance management); P&L responsibilities (e.g. budgeting, pricing, allowances, etc.); Coverage of Amazon; Proven track record of accelerating profitable growth; Experience with omnichannel (Walmart, Target, etc.) retailers
- Progressive experience in selling consumer products through online channels and retail channels (preferred).
- Clear understanding of overall business drivers on major ecommerce marketplaces and retailers – product, content, marketing, pricing, and fulfillment.
- Experience in leading digital marketing and merchandising with a primary focus on selling via third party ecommerce retailers, or demand generation; Strong brand and marketing capabilities – strategic and operational marketing experiences across multiple marketing functions.
- A successful record of progressive career trajectory with expanding roles and responsibilities.
- Working in a leadership role, managing a team; experience working in a complex, fast-paced business (e.g. seasonal, IT or consumer electronics) that operated in a matrixed environment; proven leadership experience with the ability to identify, develop and retain top talent.
- Well-versed in selling via 1P and 3P fulfillment models on Amazon.
- Data-driven, algorithmically oriented skillset. History of using performance and market insights to inform strategic planning, and improve account management and customers’ performance.
- Demonstrated ability to recruit, lead, manage, and mentor a high-performing, data-driven team.
- A college degree is required with MBA a plus.
Key Personality and Leadership Characteristics:
- Proactive, responsive and fully engaged. Driven and takes personal accountability. High energy and results-driven.
- Brings the energy and drive to win the organization’s respect and drive change. Strong team builder and people manager. A steward and cultivator of the best elements of the company’s existing culture.
- Results-oriented – drives and supports team and collaborative partners with clear priorities and stretch goals.
- Entrepreneurial spirit and enjoys a fast-changing environment.
- Be able to get into the details – need to be action-oriented and be able to handle the pace of a highly seasonal and intense business – where resources are not abundant.
- Data-driven, analytical, and good at generating accurate and understandable data and reports.
- Direct communication and working style. Advocates and selects the best idea, not necessarily their own idea. Low on ego and apolitical. Decisive and balanced in business approach/style.
- Collaborative, flexible and open-minded. Able to thrive in a team-based environment. Exhibits a high degree of autonomy with a proven ability to pull disparate pieces together across the organization and ‘get things done’.
- Passionate about managing, coaching, and developing people.