Head of E-commerce: What It is and How to Recruit for It
The pandemic has made the position “Head of E-commerce” hotter than ever. Businesses know how essential e-commerce is to their operations and the pandemic has only made it more essential to hire e-commerce executives who can execute advanced strategy, oversee online product launches and otherwise extract maximum amount of value out of online channels.
What are the responsibilities of a “head of e-commerce”?
A head of e-commerce, also know as a a director of e-commerce or VP of e-commerce is a cross-disciplinary position that develops and directs the execution of all aspects of the e-commerce strategy for a brand.
A strong head of e-commerce needs a blend of marketing, technology, and management skills, along with a strong understanding of trends pertaining to social media and so-called “social selling.”
Why are Great Heads of E-Commerce so Hard to Recruit?
We find that this role is particularly hard to recruit for simply because the economy has placed a premium on this position. Talented candidates have the advantage, with the knowledge that:
- they are over-solicited, so employers need to move very fast;
- there is a bidding war on them, so compensation plays a huge role; and
- more than most positions, any technology related function is going to be expected to be fully remote.
Key Skills for a Head of E-commerce in 2022
Some of the key skills we look for in a Head of E-Commerce have remained consistent, while others have increased around the pandemic. Principally, we look for a well-rounded, strategic candidate who has a strong view of the following:
- Revenue maximization: successful Head of E-commerce executives must use sophisticated strategy and data analysis to constantly be maximizing revenue on their portfolio of products.
- How to develop relationships with customers: We look for Heads of E-commerce who are adept at leveraging email and social media to develop brand affinity and long-term, trackable relationships with customers.
- Knowledge of the role of social networks like TikTok and Instagram: “social selling” has become a hot term in the e-commerce world and we increasingly look for candidates that are masters of these platforms.
- Amazon know-how: As even luxury brands contemplate selling on Amazon, we are increasingly finding that employers want candidates who can navigate this important channel.
- Secondary markets: By some measures, luxury resale is growing four times faster than traditional luxury retail. Far from being a threat, these secondary markets are a key way for legacy brands like Chanel, YSL, and Louis Vuitton to develop a new, younger customer base, and earn their loyalty over a lifetime.
- Omnichannel experimentation: The pandemic shifted consumer behavior more towards buying online, a boon for e-commerce executives. We’ve seen a lot more interest, over the past few years, in executives who can experiment with multiple channels, such as “order online and pick up in store,” which has been extremely successful with big retailers like Target and Walmart.
- Online launches and events: With consumers encountering products in a more and more online first fashion, executives must be adept at creating buzzworthy online events, a newer skill that we have seen grow with the pandemic.
How to Recruit a Top E-commerce Director
Once qualified Head of E-commerce candidates have been identified, we here at ACCUR Recruiting Services work with our clients to craft an interview strategy aimed at getting the most accurate possible picture of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. To do that we use a four step process. To learn more about our method, click here.
Let Us Help You Find the Perfect Head of E-Commerce
Contact us for a consultation.