How to organise / structurean e-commerce teamThis note has been written by Michael de Kare-SilverMichael has been involved in the digital technology, e-commerce and Mobile world for some 15yrs. He used to be MD at Argos.co.uk, ran Experian.com, launched Burberry.com, started upMyFaveShop.com with Ld Saatchi and has chaired IMImobile and BlisMobile. And previously atMcKinsey. He is a regular commentator and adviser on the digital scene, has written several leadingbusiness books on the topic and currently runs Digital 360, which helps companies find and recruitthe best digital talent to drive their agenda and business in this space
Contents1. Background Vision/goals/roadblocks to manage2. Proposed team structure responsibilities direct reports key metrics /deliverables3. Possible Team gaps 2013 /2014 new responsibilities /skills that will need to be added
1. e -Commerce team structure:BackgroundThe ABC team are continuing to develop and evolve their e-commerce capability and success. With now someearly wins in building revenues and a more established position online, there is an opportunity to review theexisting e-Commerce team and skills and define the team shape and objectives for the next wave of growth anddevelopment.With this in mind, this note sets out a potential team shape for implementation start fiscal 2013.But before describing that there is a brief review of what the business goals are and what roadblocks and challengesthe e-Commerce team must manage in order to be able to build and deliver the desired online success.Vision//structure/goals/roadblocks(i) Vision: to build online revenues to [ m] by end 2015(ii) Structure:For 2013 to develop the e-commerce team into a measurably effective unit with clear KPi which can be monitored to showmilestone progress and revenue development to place greater emphasis on the key stages of the e-commerce value chain and to appoint managers to takeresponsibility for each of those key stages to be evolutionary and embrace the skills and expertise which already exists within the e-commerce team today to be supportive of the people and respect their individual worth and contributionsBy 2015 to move over time to implement a multi-channel strategy and develop the team which can deliver a fully integratedcustomer experience. The aim is that the company markets and presents itself with one voice, one coherent andconsistent product and marketing presentation and champions and enables customers to interact in store, online orby phone with ease.
1. e -Commerce team structure:Background (cont’d)(iii) Key 2013 goals: drive revenue to [ m] build an online presence which people talk about with passion and enthusiasm and are proud to recommend tofriends and colleagues work with IT to provide a seamless, easy, scalable and highly functional e-comm technology platform ability to respond in real time to customer needs develop effective cross-functional support with other departments(iv) Key constraints/roadblocks today in the company: Site IT does not work well today (eg site performs slowly /products disappear) (the platform is being relaunched in September ’13 but meantime there are long delays in any interim tacticalimprovement plans and lack of appropriately skilled IT resources) salary levels for key individuals in the e-Commerce team are bottom quartile (this impacts quality of hire and ability of people who do join to be able to hit the ground running, they need to betrained up which delays their impact and contribution) a lack of understanding generally across the business about the breadth and complexity of building a successfule-commerce business, about the different skills required starting with: customer acquisition, IT site build, useroptimisation, online branding /marketing, content/ editorial, online merchandising and IA, transaction and paymentmanagement, sales conversion, customer service, CRM and then through to fulfilment and returns. a prioritisation of work across different departments which can often mean significant delays or lack of attention tothe Online business.As a final comment before introducing the 2013 structure, it is worth emphasising that it is recognised that organisationstructures need to be fluid and evolving. One of the key drivers will be to work around the skills and expertise of thepeople already in the e-commerce team. Another will be the continuing fast pace of change in the e-commerce worldwhich is identifying new skill /new value-added areas which may need to be embraced and incorporated.There is a brief section at the end of this note which anticipates potential additional changes required for 2014and beyond.
2. Proposed 2013 team structureThis proposed team structure is designed to drive the next stage ofe-commerce revenue growth. And it is set against the backcloth of theconstraints and roadblocks described above.Specific structure goals:improvedmeasurabilityof progressclear deliverablesfor each individuala more performancebased cultureThere will be 5 key reports to the Head of e-Commerce(i) Customer Acquisition Manager(ii) Customer Conversion Manager(iii) Customer Retention Manager(iv) Content / Category Manager(v) Programme / Ops Managera focus on whatrequired to deliverthe 2013 revenue andcontribution targets
(i) T he CustomerAcquisition Manager(get ‘em to visit! / footfall)Key responsibilities: responsible for all the key ways to drive potential customers to the online buying experience. will include Paid Search (PPC), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), will also include the establishment of key traffic-driving partnerships online consideration of selected Affiliates social media engagement advertising both online and offline eg drive to store and web site print campaign to create awareness /promote keyseasonal merchandise and multi-channel customer opportunityWho reports in online marketing exec (general marketing) online marketing exec (online partnerships) Search PPC/ SEO person Social Media? (currently sits in Marketing)Success metrics for this role: # unique visitors # uniques by source eg number from partnerships /number from Search /number from Social Media cost of paid search /customer acquired click through rates on advertising tracked advertising click-throughs to purchase consideration
(ii) The CustomerConversion Manager(get ‘em to buy)Key responsibilities responsible for number of visitors who complete and purchase online optimising the user experience to continue to improve dwell time on site and bag/ basket completion working with Site Analytics to identify what working online and what not establishing an ongoing and weekly agenda of site improvements that need to be addressed with clearrecommendations as to requirements working with Creative Dept. and /or the site Design agency to identify issues that require minor redesigns eg moveclick button to different part of page working with Web Master /IT resource to implement changes carry out these tactical Design /IT changes and ensure that job gets done very quickly identifying new functional tools that will strengthen customer engagementWho reports in Site designer UX AnalyticsSuccess metrics for this role:(should show increasing progress and upward trends to at least match best practice benchmarks in the sector) % conversion ratio (visitors: sales) ave. basket size UX positive comment trends reduced bounce rate reduced checkout uncompleted baskets rate
(iii) T he CustomerRetention Manager(get ‘em to come back)Key responsibilities: responsible for driving customer lifetime value this involves identifying key means to build relationships with existing customers and encourage /drive repeat purchase will require the establishment /further development of an online customer database with their email addresses regularly cleansed to ensure up-to-date a programme of outbound marketing to target customers with differentiated communications to reflect eg active vslapsed, UK vs overseas, hi income vs mid income etc development of other tools to encourage repeat purchasing eg ABC Club, My ABC online, loyalty incentives,privileged invitations etc this may also involve social media activityWho reports in CRM /database email marketingSuccess metrics for this role: # of repeat purchasers size of eg “loyalty club” ave. basket size of repeat purchasers customer life time value of this group eg top 1000 by estimated value
(iv) The Content /Category Manager(get ‘em engaged)Key responsibilities responsible for the Product /Copy /Editorial and Photographic content on the site a major role in charge of the way the site looks and feels quality of photography and image resolution the copy descriptions signage overall online merchandising and design lay-out Information Architecture to optimise visual presentation definition of key product categories ensuring each category is easily found by site visitors and provides a compelling experience product and information hierarchy working with Customer Conversion Manager to identify which products /categories working best and identifyingopportunities for improvement provision of content /copy for distribution by Marketing to social media sitesWho reports in Product /Category execs Visual Merchandising Editorial copy editor editorial /copy exec Studio team :photography stylingSuccess metrics for this role: % customers surveyed rating site look and feel positive sentiment trends through social media comment timely upload of new photography and product detail % visitors moving from product to checkout pages 0 site glitches /bugs in terms of product presentation /product availability key social media site # of interactions /positive comments to distributed copy /content
(v) The Programme /Ops Manager(make it happen!)Key responsibilities responsible for the delivery of the key major change programs for the e-Commerce team specific charge to deliver the new site relaunch for September 2013 extensive and ongoing interface with IT, the technology partner as well as coordinating with other key ABCdepartments eg IT and also Marketing to ensure appropriate levels of support and publicity site pre-launch testing and QA this role will also be responsible for the key Phase 2 post launch bug fix and site management to ensure the siteworks as planned this person will also take on-going responsibility for site IT liaising with the IT team but dealing with and takingresponsibility for tactical IT issues which affect the day-to-day working of the site and liaising with IT resources toensure issues are resolved immediately and the role will have an overall Operations responsibility that extends specifically through to Fulfilment andensuring that ABC Logistics is managing effectively timely delivery and returns management this will likely lead to the setting up of a Fulfilment Steering Cmttee that this person will chair and which will involveinput and participation from IT and LogisticsWho report in Project exec Web Master tactical IT web development (to be confirmed)Key success metrics delivery of 2013 site relaunch on time in full on budget (“OTIFOB”) O bugs by end of 2013 24/7 real time resolution of site technical issues 24/7 real time capability to update /change content and tactical IA establishment of Fulfilment Steering Cmttee size of returns % deliveries completed on time
3. Team gaps 2013/2014The team structure just described will provide a natural evolution for the existing team. It will also provide a step-upchallenge for the existing staff as their roles now become more focussed and there is greater emphasis on KPi/ keydeliverables and measures of success.This approach will provide greater clarity on what is working and contributing to revenue growth and profitdevelopment, and which areas are not. So it should enable a stronger drive to ROI.However, as mentioned, e-Commerce is evolving fast and there are three particular areas which may need to beprovided for with specialist skills brought in:Mobile is becoming more and more critical as a necessary communications channel. And Mobile is also expected tobecome a critical way for people to search, browse and buy.At present, Mobile is an area which ABC is not proactively exploring. It does require specialist skills and know-how.For example the online site needs to be reconfigured so it works and is user-friendly on each of the main Mobile OSand handsets. Key apps should be developed and maintained which allow instant access to rich content, click andreserve and easy buy. Mobile resource(s) could form part of the 2013 recruitment plan for the e-Commerce team.Social Media is becoming an increasing driver of site traffic and an increasing influence on Brand perception. This isanother area that will quickly need more specialist attention and resource.At present it sits within the Marketing department and functions alongside PR. But there is a case to say this functionshould be more firmly rooted in the e-Commerce group given how much social media activity that is now takingplace online and on Mobile and how important it is becomingLastly IT: online is of course very closely aligned and dependent upon scalable, Agile, real time /fast responsetechnology that can enable ABC to quickly adapt to changing customer needs and expectationsThis note does not suggest that IT should now be part of the e-Commerce team. But it does suggest that thereshould be resource in IT which is dedicated to supporting the e-commerce platform and enabling quick changes tobe made.A Web Master could for example still be a part of the IT team but might need to sit day-to-day with e-Commerce andshare responsibility for the ongoing and tactical changes to improve the whole web site experience.In addition, the 2013 plan in the short term places significant dependence on the IT Partner to build, deliverand be available to upgrade the web site on a continuing basis. This places some risk on the business and it’srecommended that some IT web development resource be established in-house that can more efficiently “partner”so that future risk is managed and there is greater capability in the ABC team to take ownership of the onlineenvironment and its reliability.Michael de Kare-Silver [email protected]
This proposed team structure is designed to drive the next stage of e-commerce revenue growth. And it is set against the backcloth of the constraints and roadblocks described above. Key responsibilities: responsible for all the key ways to drive potential customers to File Size: 707KBPage Count: 11Explore further5 Organizational Structure Examples Which to use?www.heflo.com4 Common Types of Organizational Structures - AllBusiness.comwww.allbusiness.comHow to Structure an E-Commerce Marketing Teamwww.linkedin.comHow to build a successful e-commerce teamwww.sana-commerce.comHow to structure different eCommerce teams to optimize for .deliverr.comRecommended to you b