Looking for an VP of eCommerce? 9 Things You Can’t Afford to Compromise On
What exactly does a VP of Ecommerce do?
A VP of Ecommerce is the person that runs the entire business unit for your ecommerce channel. They are ultimately responsible for running, managing and growing your ecommerce channel effectively.
The VP of Ecommerce helps set your ecommerce strategy based on your business goals. They create the marketing plan to achieve that goal, managing the marketing channels, ad budgets, and teams. This includes paid channels, content strategies, organic traffic, promotional calendar, and more. Finally, they have a deep understanding of your ecommerce platform and how to manage and optimize it.
A VP of Ecommerce may also be called an Ecommerce Marketing Manager or Channel Manager.
When is the right time to bring in a VP of Ecommerce?
If you are relatively small (under 2M in revenue per year) and growing fast, it might be good idea to consider adding a VP of Ecommerce. As the founder, it’s likely that you no longer have all of the necessary skills to manage and grow your ecommerce channel. It’s time to hand this channel management off to someone else so you have time to focus on what you do best.
Larger companies that do not currently have a VP of Ecommerce may also need to consider this role. It is a good idea to have one person overseeing this entire channel at a high level to ensure it’s receiving the intentional planning and actions required for an ever-growing business.
What is the checklist of responsibilities for a VP of Ecommerce?
1) Understand 1 year and 5 year business goals and objectives.
This applies to the ecommerce channel as well as the business at large.
2) Develop a strategy to achieve those goals.
And put together a clear action plan to accomplish them.
3) Own and execute that plan on a daily basis.
The VP of Ecommerce must do this while managing the marketing P&L and the entire ecommerce and marketing team as well.
4) Understand your customers.
The VP of Ecommerce must understand how to talk to your customers about your brand to turn them into fans.
5) Understand all of the facets that go into a full marketing plan.
This includes an understanding of each channel that is deep enough to oversee it and hire the right people to operate it. Online marketing is a changing landscape with rules for each channel changing constantly. What worked for Facebook ads a year ago doesn’t work anymore. Your VP of ecommerce should be a thought leader in this space.
6) Analyze data to drive growth and optimize marketing channels and on-site performance.
This is crucial. In ecommerce, almost every activity can be associated directly with a sale, so understanding data and knowing how to analyze it and make changes based off of it is crucial.
7) Manage ecommerce platform.
This requires a high level of understanding of the platform itself, including its different features and how to leverage them to get the most out of your site.
8) Understand web design and development.
Your VP of Ecommerce needs this knowledge in order to manage a team that handles design and development on a day to day basis.
9) Manage a team of multifaceted people very effectively.
Your VP of Ecommerce oversees a wide variety of roles, so they need to know how to manage a diverse team well.
What characteristics should you look for in a VP of Ecommerce?
First and foremost, experience. It is crucial that your VP of Ecommerce has experience to draw on from the past to make decisions.
Next, a good cultural fit. The VP of Ecommerce is a core member of your senior leadership so make sure they are a good cultural fit and their character matches your company’s values.
Finally, passion. You want your VP of Ecommerce to be passionate about your brand and believe in your mission.
A good VP of Ecommerce is hard to find. Especially one with all of the qualities outlined above. In your search, you may also want to consider an agency team to handle your VP of Ecommerce responsibilities.
How can an agency fill the VP of Ecommerce role?
In a quality ecommerce growth agency, you are partnering with an entire team of ecommerce experts that has the skills to grow your company and does so every day. Rather than one expert, you have a fully specialized team working for you.
That’s the reason that Metacake exists: to help great brands be successful through their ecommerce channel.