E-commerce for Brands

What does an e-commerce director do?

E-commerce With Coffee?! podcast guest Emily Ferguson explains

E-Commerce with Coffee?! host Nate Svoboda just interviewed Emily Ferguson, the Director of E-Commerce at Marie Claire.

Situated physically and figuratively between advertising, design, branding, and even the account managers at the Marie Claire office, Emily works to develop new products for the brand and is given the autonomy to do whatever it takes to polish the company’s delivery of its chic personality.

Is that really what an e-commerce director does, though? Who defined that role?

Five years ago, most organizations would never have thought of this position. With the number of direct-to-consumer brands now doubling year over year, however, brands’ e-commerce responsibilities are requiring whole departments of professionals at work.

Emily’s Story

Emily’s varied professional experience speaks to her agility. First, she started in the fast-paced trading world of banking. The load-bearing decisions she made on a daily basis made her as savvy as it did decisive.

It was a natural decision, then, when her real passion called her away from the banking world. Like a moth to the flame, e-commerce and fashion drew her in.

Emily started an e-commerce powerhouse career by building, nourishing, and selling her own brands. When she came onto the Marie Claire team, it was the happy intersection of everything she’d come to love.

Emily’s number-one goal on any given day at Marie Claire is to “ensure new products do well.” And after years of big ideas and decisive implementation, she’s now equipped with the strategies and insights to make that happen.

“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes in your career,” Emily says. “The trick is to carry on.”

E-Commerce with Coffee?! Begs the Question… What Is an E-Commerce Director?

When Emily came into the E-Commerce with Coffee?! podcast, she came ready to talk about building brands, building relationships, and the demands of e-commerce today.

Emily even admitted to being a little naïve when she got into e-commerce, which listeners can divine is the same trap brands are falling into when trying to define their new E-Commerce Directors. This role is as interdepartmental as e-commerce itself. Just like Emily sits between four departments, thought leaders in e-commerce at any organization must come equipped for a fluid role.

Much like Emily’s own trajectory, few E-Commerce Directors will have a resume of similar roles behind them, primarily because this role didn’t exist before. Instead, like Emily, they’ll come with diverse experiences that earned them the agility to take on today’s most dynamic e-commerce strategies.

“You learn more in five minutes in your own business than you do in five years working for a company,” Emily jests.

By the end of the interview, however, you wonder whether she was really joking…

E-Commerce Then and Now

Talking about e-commerce “then” and “now,” Emily reflects, “back then… we were all trying to play the SEO game, which was pretty much impossible unless you were one of the big players. Now, we have the most opportunity we’ve ever had for people to build brands online.”

Emily then touches on the key partnerships that e-commerce brands need now to support today’s most competitive strategies. No one brand can do it all alone, which is why the right software and service providers must be part of the equation.

Emily also talks about the importance of building a recognizable brand. Understanding how to build a brand personality that sets you apart from the next guy is key, now more than ever.

What’s Easiest and Hardest About Today’s E-Com

According to Emily, relationship-building always came naturally to her.

It’s the tech side that she found harder.

Part of the challenge in e-commerce tech is understanding which tools and services fit into a healthy operations ecosystem. Some solutions are actually redundant, some are flat-out unnecessary, but some are absolutely essential in e-commerce, such as ERPs for inventory or PIMs for multichannel product data management.

Even those softwares that are essential, however, still present choices. The number of software companies vying for your attention grows every day.

That’s where E-Commerce with Coffee?! host Nate Svoboda and Emily exchange a knowing look. Amber Engine, the sponsor of the show, is a software company passionate about e-commerce who works daily to educate brands so they can see the difference between dated legacy solutions and new-gen, e-com-specific software.

Just like the title of “E-Commerce Director” simultaneously means nothing and everything, the software stack that e-commerce brands need has changed fluidly. New solutions and strategies that make brands more competitive quickly become the status quo, and any brand not adopting them is otherwise left in the dust.

Take a leaf out of Emily’s book and learn everything possible about the change e-com landscape, so you can stay flexible. Watch the full interview for even more insights!




A content contributor at Amber Engine, a software company passionate about eCommerce

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Alex Borzo

Alex Borzo

A content contributor at Amber Engine, a software company passionate about eCommerce

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