Nick Fairbairn is Senior Vice President of Marketing at Le Tote leading the marketing team. Nick oversees brand & communications, media strategy & customer acquisition as well as revenue & forecast management. Before joining Le Tote, Nick served as Vice President of Brand Marketing at Dollar Shave Club as well as Director of Acquisition Marketing at Dollar Shave Club prior to that. In his time at Dollar Shave, Nick helped drive the company’s growth through strategic messaging and go-to-market strategies for new and existing products.
Ahead of his presentation at the eCommerce Innovation Summit this March 20-21 in San Francisco, we sat down with Nick to talk all things eCommerce, from mobile to the physical store.
1. How did you get started in your career?
I started as a TV and Radio media buyer at big agencies as an intern in college. I had great mentors that took the time to help me advance young. I didn't love being a media buyer, I wanted more context and wanted to really drive strategy vs just place spots and dots. I then went into Comms Planning and Media Strategy at boutique agencies for a few years and ended up running the media team at a small agency between 3 offices. From there I founded a media practice that I was planning on white-labeling to the creative agency community in SF. I ended up merging that offering with a creative firm to become partner and Media Director at an agency for 7 years. I worked on clients such as Google, popchips, Disney and many more. From there I went marketing side at Provide Commerce, eventually leading to Dollar Shave.
2. What, in your view, are the key elements of a successful eCommerce strategy?
Customer-obsessed. A strategy that is balanced between long and short-term gains, building sustainable growth vs just topline. A thriving community and virtuous cycle of feedback. Providing value beyond the good being sold. Solves a problem in a category or for a consumer.
3. In what ways is the growth of mobile forcing companies to think differently about eCommerce?
It used to be that people research on mobile and transact on their computer. Those days are long gone. Attention spans are shorter and capabilities on phones these days are endless. Our teams design in mobile, desktop is the afterthought.
4. What impact do you see emerging technologies like VR and chatbots having on eCommerce in particular going forward?
AR and VR will be interesting tools to help digital business emulate a trial/brand moment. Once that tech is more largely consumer adopted, brick and mortar will be less and less relevant. As for chatbots, they are fine for the basics but I don't think it should or will ever replace some human interaction in the near term.
5. How possible is it to connect eCommerce with physical stores?
It's totally possible if you know your customer, have an infrastructure and good data. Many eComm retailers are opening B&M locations and are seeing huge gains to the LTV/AOV of the omnichannel customer. That all while making the B&M presence profitable stand alone too.
6. How important is UX, particularly on mobile, to eCommerce?
It's table stakes, it's huge, it can make or break a business. It takes a balance of art and science. Be mindful of who you are creating the experiences for and what you are trying to achieve. Sometimes function can and should win over design. Ongoing iteration and including the customer in your decision making and testing prior is paramount.
7. What can audiences expect from your presentation at the summit?
Authenticity, passion, experiences I've had, and possibly a few swear words.
You can hear more from Nick, along with many other industry-leading eCommerce experts, at the eCommerce Innovation Summit this March 20-21 in San Francisco. Check out the full schedule here.