Academic and Professional Background
Years of Experience
A highly experienced ecommerce and online marketing professional with over 18 years’ of establishing and handling the trading, user experience, performance marketing and functionality of major and emerging ecommerce sites, with total online sales of over £1.5 billion. Operating at head of ecommerce and director level, and acted as a consultant for large and SME organisations and projects. Selected by IMRG to be a speaker and panellist at Ecommerce Expo (the largest ecommerce event in UK) on UX, CRO and Online Trading.
Having received both an academic grounding and practical exposure to ecommerce since 1999, I’ve a fantastic understanding of Ecommerce, digital marketing and multi-channel retailing at all levels of the strategy and implementation. I’m passionate about ecommerce and feel I bring a blend of creativity and pragmatic application to my work, which facilitates the effective development and enhancement of commercially viable e-commerce and multi-channel ventures. Strong understanding of User Experience, Customer Journeys and designing User Interfaces, I’m able to lead teams and implement an organisation’s online strategy. Ecommerce visionary - did a dissertation in AB & Multi Variant Testing in 2002, and continued to stress the importance of testing, learning and evolving. I’ve managed teams of 20 or more people; dozens of different agencies of all types – PPC; SEO; affiliates; email marketing; social; data feeds; personalisation and onsite merchandising. During my 18 years’ in ecommerce, I’ve done all the ground level jobs and all aspects of online trading, merchandising and performance marketing so really understand the whole online spectrum and able to communicate, train and influence at all levels. Strong strategic business analyst and project management skills with an agile and practical methodology to delivering to the business’s requirements.
Successfully planned and implemented 5 IBM Websphere Commerce Suite replatforms within budget and timescales, and worked and consulted on several others.
Wrote and managed the RFP processes for selection of Vendor Platforms; Implementation Partners; Payment Service Providers; Email Service Providers; Marketing Agencies etc.
Extensive knowledge of web platform capabilities, worked with and implemented SAP Hybris; Oracle ATG; Magento; Salesforce Commerce Cloud; Shopify Plus; IBM Websphere; as well as large and small custom builds.
Online Trading, Merchandising and Marketing of large ecommerce sites, managing internal and external relationships and significant P&L responsibility and budgets.
Excellent understanding of the customer journey and analytics, giving a strong commercial instinct towards UX and UI templates, enhancements and developments. Excellent understanding of user testing and using data, writing test scripts and creating analytics dashboards and reports. Use of Google Analytics; Coremetrics; Omniture; Rich Relevance; Qubit; Hotjar; SimilarWeb VWO, Google Optimiser, Zmags etc.
Online Trading Manager for a FTSE 250 company turning over £1billion, £700m online through over 20 international websites.
Running the promotional and trading calendar, management of the promotions codes engines, and involved in pricing decisions and sales analysis.
Managed many significant projects following Agile methodology and beliefs. Project management skills, and acted as a SCRUM master for software development and delivery.
Concurrently managed the web content of 20 of N Brown’s trading titles and international sites taking over £150m per annum – Simply Be; JD Williams; Fashion World; Viva La Diva etc
Increased Hotter Shoes’ online trading from £6.8m to £11m in one year with a conversion rate of 8%
Increased Ann Summers’ declining online sales from £17m to £30m in 2 years. Increased traffic by 50% YOY, conversion rate by 27% and the email database by 400%.
Increased The Works online sales by over 700% in less than a year, the highest YOY growth on the high street according to Retail Week.
Consulted for over 40 leading High Street Retailers, Pureplays and FMCG brands for their ecommerce strategy, online marketing and site development requirements – Muller; Coca Cola; Kelloggs; BirdsEye; Nestle; Iceland; Austin Reed; Barratts; Grenade; House of Fraser; Scottsdale Golf; Pepsi; Mondalez etc.
2017 - 2019
HEAD OF ECOMMERCE - I SAW IT FIRST
I Saw It First was founded in 2017 by one of the founding brothers of BooHoo. Involved from the beginning, supporting and leading all aspects of the ecommerce strategy, focusing on online trading, performance marketing, partnerships, opportunities, UX, analytics, development requirements, logistics and customer services (highest Trustpilot score against fast fashion competitors). Acting as the assurance manager within the business, ensuring everything operated as expected, and deliver significant growth and performance. Delivered a fully operational ecommerce site for I Saw It First in under 2 months with over 4000 products. In under 6 months from launch, the sites was trading at over 1000 orders a day (peak 6000 orders, £220k in a day), with sales of over £1m a month. After 18 months, I Saw It First is the fastest growing fashion retailer in the UK, now doing over £1m a week from £30 AOV. 147k orders in November, £6m turnover. Expected 2019 turnover of over £75m.
Managed and implemented key marketing partnerships and initiatives including Google Adwords; Affiliate Marketing with AWIN; Criteo; Adroll; Buzzfeed; Facebook & Instagram Advertising (Facebook Blueprint certified); Sky Adsmart; Snapchat and a number of media brands, as well as building an offshore analytics and marketing support team. Responsible for the digital marketing strategy – PPC, Affiliates, SEO Display and involved in Social and the offline activities. Developed the marketplace strategy for the business including – Amazon, Ebay, Trendeo, Zalora and MySale. Involved in offline marketing and analysis of TV adverts during such shows as Love Island, billboards and taxis.
As part of The Robert St Hub group Direct involvement with other fashion websites – LOTD.com, Koi Footwear, Plus size brand Pink Clove, discount retailer 10Store, and premium menswear brand Societe Noir.
I Saw It First is recognised as the fastest growing fast fashion websites in the industry, with sales to over 100 countries worldwide and dedicated sites in Dubai and America, and an app. Real focus on building the digital strategy for the businesses, leading to excellent SEO results – ISAWITFIRST.com– top 5 ranking for important generic keywords including Dresses, Womens Clothing, Swimwear and many more – incredible achievement in a year given the highly competitive and saturated market. Managed the Google Adwords strategy which won best marketing campaign at the Northern Marketing Awards 2018, delivering an ROI of 9:1.
2015 - 2020
Setup my own ecommerce and digital strategy consultancy business and worked on some significant projects with a variety of brands across different industries throughout the UK. Worked with a number of high profile clients, projects, agencies and start-ups delivering their online strategy and business change requirements.
Nutrition Retailer – 2019 – 2020 – ‘Ecommerce and Marketing Director’ (Contract/Interim)
Orchestrating all aspects of the strategic ecommerce plan - focusing on trading, marketing, technology. Internal and external management to improve the customer experience and operation of the website. Owning the development and implementation of the marketing channels – SEO, PPC, Shopping, Email, Display, Affiliates, Paid Social etc. Hired new agencies for PPC, Shopping, Feed Management, SEO, UX and CRO amongst other opportunities. Technical SEO audit carried out and implemented. Management of the site built through Salesforce Commerce Cloud and SI – Astound, management and prioritisation of a host of UX and merchandising improvements within desired budget. Responsible for the trading of over 200 brands and 5000+ products, developing and implementing the promotional, pricing and marketing strategies. Supporting the marketplace activity through Amazon and eBay.
Grenade – 2019 – ‘Ecommerce Consultant’ (Contract/Consultant)
Grenade are the UK’s number 1 protein bar and shake brand, selling to hundreds of retailers and all major supermarkets. The number 2 selling confectionary bar in Tesco, Grenade is the one of the biggest growing FMCG brands in the last 10 years. Brought in by the MD who I’d previously worked with, I was tasked with reviewing the ecommerce, Amazon and multi-channel marketing strategy. Focused on reviewing the website, user experience and implement a CX project to improve the site design, traffic and conversion. Identify the marketing opportunities and to implement the affiliate program, refer a friend and display marketing. Identify social media and google adwords opportunities. Identify the team structure, roles and responsibilities.
Muller – 2016 – 2017 – ‘Ecommerce Consultant’ (Contract/Consultant)
Muller are one of the world’s leading FMCG brands with a turnover of over £6 billion. Following the acquisition of Milk&More and the milk delivery network from Dairy Crest, I was brought in to deliver the replatform strategy. Milk&More is a £200m+ business, delivering milk & other groceries to over 600,000 households in the UK. As the UK’s largest doorstep delivery service, it’s a highly complex operational business model, with over a million orders per week (more than a lot of the leading supermarkets), delivered from 58 regional depots. My role was to deliver the business requirements and selection process for an ecommerce replatform and services, and full migration of assets and operation to the Muller group. The business model is very complex with a subscription based model, with customers able to have a credit account and pay via direct debit, also undertook a Payment Service Provider RFP. Did a full RFP and platform selection with SAP Hybris selected as the solution.
Elevaate – 2015 – 2016 – ‘Ecommerce Customer Consultant’ (1 Year Contract)
Elevaate are an ecommerce startup, winning Retail Week StartUp of the Year 2015, and have been recognised by Gartner Forrester as one to watch in innovative ecommerce. Elevaate are experts at supplier contribution online and linked to commercial, allowing brands and manufacturers to merchandise and market their products on the retailer’s website. I recruited and managed over 50 FMCG brands as clients including Coca Cola; Britvic; Nestle; Mondelez; Birds Eye; Kelloggs; Warburtons & McCain operating their digital marketing and merchandising strategy through the Iceland website. I’ve delivered online merchandising strategies for all these brands and delivered exceptional growth in sales and ROI for these brands e.g. KitKat sales up 600% at an ROI of 10:1; Birds Eye’s total sales up over 30%. My merchandising and trading abilities have helped Iceland.co.uk be recognised as Which Online Grocer of the Year. Other brands and retailer clients include House of Fraser; Austin Reed; Sigma; Ralph Lauren; Lacoste and hundreds of merchants on the Not on The High Street marketplace.
Tweak Sleep – Ecommerce Consultant
Working with a leading specialist mattress and sleep business, supported the entire online marketing and business strategy. Setup PPC, Affiliate Network, SEO Strategy, Social Media and Facebook marketing. Part of the Amazon Launchpad initiative for startups. Developing the TV Advertising and Video strategy, working with Sky on their new Adsmart campaigns. Worked on a sleep advice project, with a mobile app, technology, data and insight planned to improve people’s sleep, health and wellbeing.
ECOMMERCE & MARKETING DIRECTOR, PRETTYLITTLETHING
PrettyLittleThing.com are one of the largest and most recognised fashion pure plays worldwide with social media followers of over 9m. Now co-owned by BooHoo.com, founded in 2013. Joined the business as the Ecommerce & Marketing Director whilst relocating to Manchester. Implemented an ecommerce strategy which focused on mobile optimisation and took it truly responsive, which accounted for over half the 2m monthly visitors. Focused on UX, Merchandising and the Trading of the site, increased conversion rate from 2.5% to 3.77%, seeing over 3000 orders a day. Saw fantastic growth, leading the business to its first £500k week and £100k day. PrettyLittleThing.com have ran successful TV marketing campaigns, celebrity collaborations (Lucy Mecklenburgh, Kylie Jenner etc) and a strong social media presence which I've gained a strong understanding of their impact on growth. Implemented an AB testing software, a visual merchandising tool, new SEO agency and helped launch their first international site. The core focus was identifying issues with processes, missing functionality, bottlenecks and errors and defining the ecommerce landscape. This approach has led to an improvement in the performance on the site without the need to invest heavily in marketing to drive sales. Posted annual sales of £30m, up 500% YOY. Also responsible for the customer service department, successfully outsourced this to a 24/7 operation.
2013 - 2015
INTERNATIONAL ONLINE TRADING MANAGER, PREMIER FARNELL
Farnell are one of the world’s leading electronic distributers and a FTSE 250 company. A B2B global organisation operating out of over 40 countries and has a turnover of £1 billion. As the International Online Trading Manager, I have significant responsibility in helping deliver online sales of £700m a year across Europe, Americas and APAC. Farnell have recently implementing one of the largest replatform projects in the world using IBM Websphere commerce suite, delivering 40 regional websites with over 750,000 skus.
Trading responsibilities and projects include:
Site Merchandising, Marketing and Content
Mega Menu proposal and restructuring of over 500 categorisations based on key metrics
Product sequencing – new algorithm to define the ranking of products, delivering incremental sales of several million.
Internationalisation – Translation, Localisation, Marketing etc
Analytical trading dashboard
Search and Browse improvements
Personalisation project – product recommendations, customer type, order history etc.
Active Base and Lapsed Customer Campaigns
Promotional Calendar, Special Offers, Supplier funded opportunities
Functionality and User Experience improvements
Future Mobile site and strategy
Jira Project Management – Adopted Agile Methodology for dozens of software developments and website improvements in weekly sprints
2012 - 2013
THE WORKS - HEAD OF ECOMMERCE
The Works is the UK’s leading discount book store with over 300 stores nationwide. As the Head of Ecommerce I was focused on the growth of the ecommerce channel and multi-channel strategy. Growing an ecommerce team to ten direct reports, as well as managing the customer service department and web warehouse, The Works has seen an intense year of growth accumulate into sales of 700% up year on year. I was able to influence the online trading and marketing of The Works website and marketplace stores.
Key initiatives were embracing a Multi-Channel strategy:
Replatformed with IBM Websphere Commerce Suite 7, the leading ecommerce platform according to Gartners, defining the site architecture, customer experience and checkout process.
Implemented a new warehouse management system and was responsible for a new fulfilment strategy.
Successfully implemented direct dispatch from store, third party product dispatch, Click and Collect, Loyalty Program and a new Mobile site.
Embraced The Works huge book buying power and now sell hundreds of books every day via Amazon, eBay and Play.com, achieving powerseller/top rated status on all three.
Implemented Responsys, a new Email Service Provider to manage the customer profiles and triggered email campaigns.
Engagement and management with SEO and PPC agencies as well as a direct focus of onsite optimisation within the team.
Data management of over 50,000 skus with a focus on merchandising, search, personalisation, customer journey and sales.
International strategy embracing key opportunities in Australia, Europe and America.
2010 - 2012
ONLINE TRADING MANAGER - ANN SUMMERS
Ann Summers is now the leading multi-channel lingerie and adult toy retailer in the UK. Based in Surrey, Ann Summers’ turnover over is circa £150m, with online sales of over £30m, and key trading weeks exceeding £1m.
As an expert online retailer with IBM Websphere Commerce Suite, I was offered the opportunity to refocus Ann Summers’ online and multi-channel strategy, including mobile, international, third party, ebay and the party plan business. Within the first month of trading, I had turned the fortunes round from declining sales to 30% up year on year.
Managed, developed and expanded a large team within the ecommerce department. Selected and managed a number of agencies and suppliers. I was responsible for delivering the strategy, content, merchandising, marketing and design of the website and mobile site:
Working closely with the buying and merchandising department, ensure all products are successfully merchandised on the site.
Deliver a multi-channel experience, supporting retail and party plan with a number of marketing and strategic initiatives.
Ensured the successful implementation of key marketing activities including TV sponsorship campaigns
Made significant improvements to the website functionality and aesthetics with new navigation, checkout flows, wireframes and site designs.
Selected key ecommerce partners to enrich the site including personalisation and ratings and reviews.
Manage the Email marketing strategy and was responsible for over 200 email campaigns, briefing all creative concepts. 850k active database.
Develop an excellent understanding of analytics and make recommendations to the business.
Work closely with the Online Marketing Manager to deliver fantastic SEO results through onsite optimisation, establishing Ann Summers for top generic keywords. Support and influence PPC and Affiliate campaigns with a budget of over £100k per month.
Helped with the award winning social media strategy, increased Facebook fans from 60k to over 250k.
Managed and supported the Ann Summers Party Plan B2B website which in itself was taking over £40m per annum.
Top 20 ecommerce website according to e-Consultancy.
2008 - 2010
ECOMMERCE & ONLINE MARKETING MANAGER - HOTTER SHOES
Hotter is a UK based manufacturer of shoes and has a turnover of £35m via wholesale, retail and mail order. Traditionally aiming its comfortable shoes at the elderly market, Hotter has established an extremely loyal customer base. Tasked with developing an ecommerce strategy, increasing online sales, new customers and developing a new website, I have achieved my objectives through:
Building a new website and defining the customer journey and experience.
Increasing affiliate sales by over 500% YOY.
Developing an email strategy for the year, which included weekly newsletters, a customer registration 21 day welcome pack, abandon bag emails as well as a number of event triggered emails.
Managing and working with a PPC agency targeting over 10,000 keywords.
Achieving first place ranking on Google through SEO for keywords Comfortable Shoes. First page ranking for Shoes and other keywords. Focusing on SEO and strong search and merchandising through the build of the new website.
Started a successful eBay clearance store.
Created and managed a data feed to a number of shopping comparison sites such as Google, Kelkoo, Shopzilla and Shopping.com.
I undertook a platform change for Hotter Shoes in which I wrote a request for proposal from the leading ecommerce solutions. Upon deciding on Salmon and IBM Websphere Commerce Suite, I delivered a website within budget and timescales (4 months) which had a conversion rate of 8% and annual sales in excess of £11m and 30% of the business. In the first week of going live, the online sales were 257% up on the same period the previous year. Paid particular attention to the user experience and user interface, aesthetics, functionality, checkout flow and merchandising of the site. I’ve an excellent understanding of best practices and solutions available, and focused on maximised the potential of IBM’s Websphere platform, multiple trading titles and international sites within a budget of a medium sized business.
2007 - 2008
ECOMMERCE MANAGER - HALO
Halo & Timothy Oulton are leading Furniture manufacturers, supplying to over 200 retailers nationwide. Stockists include large national accounts such as Harrods, House of Fraser, Furniture Village, Stocktons & Fenwicks.
Key function was to develop and maintain the ecommerce strategy for the Halo Group with a view to being profitable within its first year of online trading. The Halo Living website sold home accessories and leather goods whilst was an information website for its core furniture product and used the traffic to build brand awareness. The online strategy was developed to ensure that Halo had the grounding and presence online so when they were logistically setup to sell furniture online they would be financially able to cope with the inevitable loss of some retailers.
Identified a strong online recruitment strategy for Halo, on a tight budget.
Opened and set up an affiliate program with Trade Doubler.
Setup and managed the Google Adwords & Yahoo PPC campaigns.
Developed data feeds for the leading shopping & comparison sites. Receiving excellent results through first page positioning and great brand awareness. Listed above the likes of Marks & Spencer and John Lewis as a retailer for Home Accessories.
Managed the content of the website, design of the homepage, emails and affiliate creative.
Managed a web programmer, content editor and a number of agencies and suppliers.
Delivered an excellent user experience for the B2B and B2C websites
2000 - 2007
ONLINE MARKETING MANAGER - JD WILLIAMS / N BROWN GROUP
JD Williams is a Manchester based multi-channel retailer with a turnover of over £700m p/a posting profits of c. £70 million. In the financial year 2005 it was rated ‘best performing retail share’.
Key Function was to have a revenue driving and customer focused influence on all published content in relation to the Home Pages and editorial content of commercial company websites. This encompassed creative control for the aesthetic nature and the user experience and journey of over thirty of JD Williams’ B2C websites and international trading titles with online sales at the time of over £200 million. Brands include ‘Simply Be’, ‘Fashion World’, ‘JD Williams’, ‘VivaLaDiva.com’, ‘Shoe Tailor’, ‘Jacamo’ and the joint venture website for the Express Shopping Channel.
The role entailed:
Trading the websites through strong merchandising and representation of the catalogues.
Supporting and enhancing the offline content and marketing of JD Williams with an online visual interpretation. Working closely with the marketing department.
Creating new offers for the websites, requiring an excellent understanding of analytics, product base, fashions, seasonal trends and customer profiles.
Developing the creative briefs for the design team and managing the design work to ensure it met the required criteria and deadlines.
Strong copy writing skills and responsible for the editorial copy of all static and dynamic pages including fashion pages and brand profiles.
Building the html and developing the hierarchical merchandising structure of the website.
Working alongside the Email marketing manager to deliver and channel consistent and compelling communications to the relevant customer groups..
Key member of the business and involvement in all projects concerning ecommerce, providing strategic, creative input, ideas and solutions.
Active involvement and experience with Pay Per Click, Search Engine Optimisation and Affiliate promotion.
Excellent knowledge of website legalities including financial pages, terms and conditions and ensuring the website is DDA compliant.
I worked on a multi-million pound code rewrite project which revolutionised the existing website functionality, identifying key requirements for current and future development. In the course of this work I developed a strong working relationship with the Marketing, IT & Merchandising departments and my role was pivotal to all online activities.
My function required an ability to direct and monitor multiple streams of content related activity in order to meet deadlines and ensure that creative content adhered to business requirements.
Specific Project Experience: Brand manager for VivaLaDiva.com
Excelled in developing this brand into one of the industry’s leading online shoe stores.
Managed a team responsible for the content of the website as well as being visionary leader for a design team responsible for creating the look of the website.
Involved in all aspects of PR including art directing the advertising campaigns in magazines such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Glamour and the Sunday Times Style magazine.
Responsible for promotional activities such as Flyers, Look Books, CDs, VIP cards and Press Day activities. Working closely with the design team and external agencies as well as project managing the online and offline photography.
Co Project-Managed VivaLaDiva.com’s debut appearance at the Clotheshow Live. Helped to design the layout of the store which was awarded 2nd prize as best stand at the Clotheshow.
Worked at the NEC Arena for a week and gained valued events management experience as well as a greater understanding of the customer profile through multi-channel retailing.
Won and accepted the prestigious Drapers Women’s Footwear Retailer of the Year 2006. The first ever Online Winner of this award.