HARRY’S COMMENTS: We’re working with a confidential jewelry brand in its search for a proven VP of Ecommerce based in the Mid-Atlantic United States.
With nearly 300 employees, the client’s brand is very well established. The firm sources products from around the world — mostly jewelry, watches, handbags, walking sticks, collectible knives, accessories. For the most part, it’s a niche business selling to older men. The average customer is a 50/up male, buying gifts for their loved ones, and occasionally something for themselves.
This particular 50/up customer is affluent, self-indulgent, and buys through direct mail. But that’s changing.
Currently, the client produces 14-16 different catalogs a year, mailing roughly nine million catalogs and 15 million pieces of direct mail. The company is very story-driven in how it sells product. Just the way the customer likes it. The customer’s LTV is excellent, and the repeat buyer file is quite robust.
The firm has carved out an excellent niche and has roughly 3 million customers in its database — a decent percentage of which buy from the client pretty regularly. The client does much of its cross-selling / up-selling in its own call center where many of its inbound callers are converted to its Buyers Club. In their current media plan, remnant advertising is a pretty big deal, as is direct mail.
But there’s always the potential for channel shift.
The company’s business is not in decline — but there’s loads of untapped potential for them to grow their ecommerce business. The same can be said for all players in this category: Currently, only 8% of the US jewelry sales happen online, lagging far behind retail and direct marketing. No single player enjoys a runaway first mover advantage, and category-wide, total sales are flat.
Overall, the client’s business would benefit from more aggressive integrated customer acquisition — and there is a fantastic opportunity for the client to grow through good old fashion business model innovation. For example, imagine a Millennial-friendly subscription-type business. Like a “Rent the Runway” for jewelry. Maybe “Borrow the Bling?” (Just a thought.)
Leveraging a “direct mail mentality.”
Given that the company launches +12 products a month, you’ll find it useful that the firm’s direct mail mentality lends itself easily to multi-channel, multi-device, multi-step demand creation. Everyone in management understands the mechanics of a great offer (headline, subhead, USP, risk-reversal, testimonials, sense of urgency, etc.), so your colleagues in Sourcing, Creative, Marketing, and IT won’t need convincing and hand-holding to support your campaigns on Adwords, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
“We need a leader for the web.”
There are no fires to put out, but neither is there a strategic roadmap in place for ecom. The company has just been winging it — profitably, so far. But they need you to determine what the online channel looks like in 3-4 years …
… What are the major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the business, and how does online fit in? Does the company have the right technologies in place to grow, and are the firm’s resources optimized accordingly? …
The firm’s business model is really unique, and there’s really nobody else in the jewelry business that’s doing something similar. Other than independent brick-and-mortar retailers, our client doesn’t have a direct competitor focusing on 50-plus year old guys, which is the biggest income group in the country and HATES shopping in stores.
Targeting this cohort is a great example of Sutton’s Law.
As a demographic, 50/up guys are both loaded and self-indulgent. That does not make them bad people. Anyone who knows about estate planning knows that the death tax is a killer. Better to spend the money now. Maybe not all of it.
But, hey, you can’t take it with you — and you’ve already been taxed on it once.
So the argument goes. The client has outstanding sourcing capability (much better than the independent jeweler, and frankly better than any department store). The firm sources their own own products, and they deal directly with manufacturers all over the world.
The client understands the sourcing vagaries of the jewelry world, and their products are priced well, well, below their luxury competitors. They’ve got the “luxury for less, bargains for millionaires” things nailed down to a T.”
You won’t believe how much we know about this search!
Allan and I spent FOUR HOURS on the phone with this client’s hiring committee 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 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 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 as the firm’s new VP of Ecommerce.
- 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 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.
- Own both the front and back-end of the ecommerce site including: UX, navigation, checkout funnel, promotional campaigns, development roadmap & content implementation
- Build out the digital marketing strategies to grow the business including but not limited to email marketing, SEO optimization, search and social (Facebook, Instagram) in order to optimize reach and grow sales and customer acquisition via the site.
- Develop and oversee efficient, timely, and accurate planning, QA and execution of digital content across all relevant sites / marketing campaigns
- Manage all aspects of ecommerce web analytics reporting (both ecom site and 3rd party software solutions) and communicate relevant information and actionable insights to team members, firm leadership, & cross-functional partners
- Coordinate all etail merchandising and product decisions, which means generating and implementing innovative new sales and marketing initiatives to increase ecommerce sales and profitability
- Manage all external service providers to maximize sales and support performance including but not limited to: agencies for SEO, SEM, social marketing, email, 3rd party software solutions
- Demonstrate the ability to drive analytics (e.g., basket analysis, promo effectiveness analysis, churn analysis) to derive consumer insights in order to grow customer acquisition, sales and achieve profitable growth
- Take ownership and act as main point of contact from an Account Management perspective for Amazon on behalf of the client. Seek out ways to grow the business and advise on AMS/PPC and marketing promotional strategies (ie: Coupon, Early Reviewer Program, Lightning Deals, etc.).
- Optimize Amazon ASIN product listing pages, imagery, content (A+/EBC), pricing, etc. with the goal of driving sales growth at optimal margin targets for Amazon Vendor and Seller Central (FBA.) Work with 3rd party resources, software and internal teams as necessary to achieve sales targets and profitable growth.
- Facilitate weekly reporting of the Amazon channel with status updates on ecommerce sales, inventory, marketing and profitability performance.
- Work with Supply Chain regularly to provide insights on key ecommerce sales variances to ensure demand plans and purchasing are aligned. Utilize 3rd party resource tools to address competitor pricing issues, mitigate 3P interference, address offline assortment issues, etc. Take action in addressing issues that may be affecting sales opportunities.
- Assist in building out foundation for the client’s ecommerce and Amazon expansion on a global scale: US, Canada & Europe.
- Stay abreast of top competitors and new strategies/approaches and trends within the industry; also continued focus on learning new strategies as it pertains to various eCommerce platforms, not just Amazon.
- Bachelors degree from an accredited university
- 7+years’ Marketing and Digital Marketing experience at well-known digital / media /ecommerce companies with expertise in brand building and brand storytelling
- Extremely deep experience in web and usability principles, including A/B and multivariate testing
- Extensive knowledge of and passion for Digital Marketing Best Practices that result in customer acquisition, retention and growth and managing a DTC ecommerce P&L
- Knowledge of search engine optimization, mobile marketing and performance marketing
- Outstanding analytical skills, strong experience interpreting test results & drawing conclusions and able to define metrics, instrument their measurement, and lead a team to hit them
- Demonstrated business judgment and decision-making skills; ability to identify, prioritize, and articulate highest impact initiatives
- Experience in leading teams and developing people in a creative and entrepreneurial environment.
- Excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills; strong multitasker with the ability to work effectively under tight deadlines in a stressful environment. Ability to juggle several assignments simultaneously
- Strong passion for testing, data and metrics, curiosity and belief in discovering insights in data
- Solid understanding of digital marketing technology
- Excellent quantitative and analytical skills. Must be able to use and analyze data to inform media strategies and optimization
Applications for this position are being coordinated by Allan Seibert. To apply, CLICK HERE. Candidates, please be sure to email Allan for additional information that will differentiate you in your candidacy. Due to the intensely competitive nature of this search, thorough preparation for these interviews with this proprietary material is strongly recommended.