VP of Ecommerce (Midwest, USA)

  • Full Time
  • Midwest USA
  • This position has been filled

  • Full Time
  • Midwest USA
  • This position has been filled

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HARRY’S COMMENTS: I’m working with a publicly traded Sporting Goods Manufacturer in its search for a VP of Ecommerce based in the Midwest United States.

The firm manufactures, imports and distributes sporting goods for recreation, fitness, training and hunting. With more than 75 years of experience in manufacturing and retailing sporting goods, the company has become a leading provider of recreational game and activities products.

The company’s portfolio consists of 20 of the most respected and beloved brands in the sporting goods space, and its markets include mass merchandisers, specialty retailers and sporting distributors. The company has a talented, dedicated, and passionate team of employees who are driven to win plus a strong balance sheet that will allow it to take full advantage of DTC ecommerce.

About the Market

Athletic and Sporting Goods Manufacturing is a $10 billion industry. At wholesale, we’re talking about $39 billion worth of gross merchandise value. Not too shabby.

Obviously, 2020 hasn’t been the best year for sports participation, but the client expects this downturn to be temporary. In the next 24 months, as manufacturers increase brand recognition and begin to operate their own distribution, many sporting goods manufacturers will have been able to cut out wholesalers and increase profitability by selling products directly to retailers and consumers.

This trend has boosted profitability for operators, with average EBITDA margins expected to reach 7.5% of revenue in 2020, up from 6.4% in 2015. In the next five years, as consumers become more health-conscious, demand for athletic equipment will increase as preventative care and promotion of physical activity become central to healthier lifestyles and improved quality of life.

Now then: Every BIG job starts with a BIG idea.

The company is intensely focused on deepening its knowledge of and connection with consumers to drive innovation that motivates them to engage in healthy, fun activities with their family and friends. The firm’s categories are mature and stable, but that doesn’t mean it can’t grow. As leaders in its categories, the company seeks to …

  1. Grow the size of its markets,
  2. Broaden the use cases of its products,
  3. Increase its mind-share and wallet-share among its consumers, and
  4. Use digital to improve CX and customer intimacy.

As the firm’s VP of Ecommerce, you’ll have full autonomy and responsibility to build a world-class ecommerce business — using the company’s sites as “branded content hubs” to improve CX and sell directly to your customers WHAT, WHEN, and HOW they want to buy, even if that means moving those customers over to channel partners if doing so strengthens the customer relationship.

The client seeks a VP of Ecommerce who can bring small company effectiveness to a big company environment. Take a moment to reflect on that.

The firm’s CEO and Board have high expectations for ecommerce as a critical part of its growth model, and you’ll be funded and empowered to drive the companywide movement of the ecommerce flywheel.

Yet there is very little digital expertise in the business, and the company is based in a town that’s not exactly a mecca of ecommerce leadership. The firm’s websites are homegrown with multiple operating platforms. Ugh.

How many recruiters do you know who’d bake that into a job posting?

But here’s the thing: The client’s CEO APPROVED this posting, so rest assured he understands and appreciates the nature of this challenge and will 100% have your back as you put DTC on the map — as long as your tactics are sound.

That’s fair, right? You can’t run off half-cocked.

You see, the CEO is new and comes from a highly successful firm that has made a similar transition. He’s been there, done that, and bought the tee-shirt. Frankly, neither the CEO nor the Board cares where the consumer shops as long as they choose the company’s brands, categories and products.

Call it the “Consumer Connect Offense.”

YOU will get to quarterback the initiative, and YOU will heavily (if not solely) determine what’s in the playbook: YOUR imprint will be all over the firm’s ecommerce presence — including 1/ the look and feel of its websites, 2/ the budget and forecast, and 3/ the strategy for optimizing how customers move from one brand to the next, regardless of which channel gets “credit” for the sale.

To win in this role, you’ll need to be a …

  • Free-thinker and strategist
  • Speed agent, self-starter who understands hope is not a strategy
  • Student of the business who understands how to manage trade offs between “what’s right today” vs. “what is best for tomorrow.”
  • Cross-functional leader who can operate within a matrixed organization
  • Someone who feels comfortable in a small city (pop. 120K)

You won’t believe how much I can share about this search!

I 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 I 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 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The leading and lagging KPI’s that will determine your success in this role. In a nutshell: How you keep score as the firm’s new Digital Content Manager.
  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.

I have a massive amount of proprietary intel to share with qualified candidates. My industry research for this assignment exceeds 80 pages! Be sure to TEXT me at (404) 281-2025 for this info. Or simply use the email link when you apply for the role below.

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


  • Own the consumer journey and increase owned DTC penetration to 30-40% in ways that position the company’s brands as unique and valuable to the consumer.
  • Develop and implement a “hub” strategy for the firm’s websites that allow its fans to learn, engage and BUY.
  • Devise ways for consumers to find, compare, and purchase products from the firm’s entire brand portfolio regardless of whether the order is routed through the company directly or through one of its channel partners.
  • Recruit, organize and lead the team necessary to maintain cross-brand functionality including Site Merchandising, Content Creation and Management, Go To Market Calendars, Site Analytics, and Front End Development
  • Work with the firm’s in-house IT team to focus on UX and backend needs to create a world-class consumer experience from the moment the consumer lands a company-branded site through the time the product lands on the consumer’s doorstep
  • Serve as a thought leader who can build the infrastructure tied to a prescriptive investment model and business plan
  • Develop and lead the execution of a high-powered and profitable digital marketing strategy, which would likely include utilizing outside resources to execute, analyze and pivot investments
  • Partner with Senior Leadership (operations) to develop the appropriate SLA’s to deliver a world-class consumer experience, including timely shipping and ecommerce order prioritization
  • Drive Amazon 3P and other 3P businesses


  • Recent (2018, 19, 20) client-side responsibility and oversite of a $20 million DTC ecommerce P&L. This is ESSENTIAL!!
  • Deep knowledge and experience leading relationships with Amazon (3P) and other 3P marketplaces
  • Premium consumer brand experience a must (not Louis Vuitton). Think Nike, Timerland, Untuckit, Vans
  • Digital marketing strategy and experience either in-house or with an agency
  • Financial background to build Brand/Category ROAS models with CFO
Recruitment and Staffing Services for Ecommerce Experts
For more info about Ecommerce Jobs call (404) 281-2025


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