Career Boosters is a monthly e-panel discussion that scouts out leaders in the marketing, digital, communications and advertising space to provide their perspectives on industry topics related to career development, talent acquisition and hiring practices.
Todays’ panel: Drew Green, CEO and founder of Shop.ca; Jim Reynolds, director e-commerce product management at Indigo; and Richard Cohene, director of marketing and business development at Beyond the Rack.
Sum up your role as director of e-commerce
Drew: Any director of e-commerce has the endless (sometimes thankless) task of keeping the site current, building out a plan to get customers into their site and getting products shipped out to those customers, all the while ensuring that the complex myriad of human, media, technology and logistics elements collide in a perfectly orchestrated fashion that keeps customers buying more.
Jim: Provide strategy, guidance, and industry expertise to your organization, and ensure that the needs of your core businesses are supported by your digital experiences. Ensure that those digital experiences are optimized and evolving ahead of the industry.
Richard: A director e-commerce is responsible for scoping the development/changes of the website/product from a UI/UX and full functionality and for the full funnel and optimization.
How do you think this role will evolve over the next year?
Drew: The growing importance of tablet and mobile shopping cannot be overstated. The platform is different, the media is different and the customer experience expectations are different. Adjusting existing product planning and media planning, as usage increases, will be critical points of evolution in the space.
Jim: Omni-channel is a popular and somewhat overused cliché these days, however the merging of digital and the in-store/in-person experience is inevitable. I think we’re past the point of believing all shopping behaviour is going to move online; people are social and crave real interaction. The challenge facing us as an industry is, how do we better integrate our digital commerce with the in-store experience. If you’re lucky enough to have a great brand and in-store experience, the opportunities are tremendous.
Richard: It will continue to grow in respect to the mobile industry. It will include new and developing technology Universal Analytics and fingerprint tracking
What are some of the current and future challenges of this role?
Drew: Maintaining and updated mobile, tablet and web, experiences can be difficult. You’re fighting a battle on so many fronts; it is hard to keep up. And it makes you wonder how exactly we’ll sell home appliances on Google Glass. Bottom line, the only constant is change and sometimes that’s harder than you’d like. Also, your parents will never understand what you do for a living.
Jim: Keeping up! With the competition, with the technology, and with your customers. Like I said earlier, you need to love it. If I wasn’t doing this job, I’d still be poring over tech blogs and finding out what the latest trends in digital were. It all moves really fast. If you went back in time only 10 years and described Twitter to someone, they’d think you were crazy. Ignore emerging technologies and trends at your own peril. And having said that, don’t buy into every trend. Will Google Glass change the industry forever, or will it be next year’s blue tooth headset? I don’t know the answer, but I know I’ll be watching it carefully.
Richard: Not staying on top of the upcoming changes and improvements technology has to offer.
Rachel Scott is the marketing and content manager and Trina Boos is president of Boost Agents, a specialist recruitment provider to the marketing, advertising, design and communications industry.