Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a Cincinnati, Ohio native with two older brothers and a younger sister. I was born on a Leap Day (February 29th) which means I am technically only 7 years old. I attended THE Ohio State University and went on to work in New York City for almost three years before moving back to the Buckeye state. My fiancé and I have 2 dogs, and we recently bought a house on the West side of Cincinnati. I am a self-described Cincinnati fanboy and love all things the Queen City has to offer: new restaurants, concert venues, dog parks, hometown food staples, unique breweries, amiable people, and yes, our mediocre sports teams (WHODEY!). A lot of people think I am crazy, but I absolutely love political discourse and keeping up with the local and national political landscape.
You are one of our long-time veterans at HINGE COMMERCE. What are a few things that have changed about working here?
When I first started working at HINGE COMMERCE, our office space was a converted apartment unit, with 7 employees, and only 1 bathroom. Fast forward to today, and we have an incredibly deep bench of talent and extensive service offerings. Although there have been numerous changes to the company over the years, what hasn’t changed are our core values and our commitment to our clients. Our mission is to connect our clients to their online consumers, and we’ve added some talented people to the team to accomplish that.
ECommerce has changed a lot too. Over your time in this business, what is an example of a big shift you’ve seen on Amazon or other marketplaces?
There have been several changes but I think the most impactful shift has happened recently as a result of Covid-19. This pandemic has forced organizations to rethink how their consumers find and experience both their brand and products digitally – from top-of-funnel marketing all the way to how consumers interact with the product. I believe that consumers have become so accustomed to online shopping that many will continue to shop this way even after Covid-related restrictions are lifted. Therefore, it is more important than ever for brands and manufacturers to invest in their digital capabilities.
You talk to companies about their eCommerce challenges every day. What is a common issue that you come across?
Many companies do not recognize all of the expertise and work that goes into a successful Amazon account or any eCommerce marketplace for that matter. Sellers often don’t understand the long lead time required to capture meaningful market share: creating best-in-class content for organic search and conversion, generating reviews, ensuring sufficient inventory, and executing paid search and advertising. Most importantly, because Amazon uses artificial intelligence to drive its organic search, even after all of the best-in-class content is in place, it can take several months before a new product will rise to higher positions in search rankings. Given this, sellers need to be prepared to invest in paid advertising and digital content, but also need patience!
You lead HINGE’s strategic partnership with Salsify (among many others). What benefits does the HINGE-Salsify partnership offer to eCommerce sellers?
Salsify has been amazing to work with, and their company culture is really similar to ours at HINGE COMMERCE. The team is extremely hard-working, and customer-focused 110% of the time. The main benefit eCommerce sellers have in partnering with HINGE and Salsify is that we offer a seamless approach to digital shelf content creation and syndication. We can work with any sized brand to determine existing content gaps within their product assortment, do the copywriting, create product images and videos, and make the enhanced content according to a priority schedule. Then, we syndicate the optimized content to any eCommerce channel they are selling on.
You recently bought a house with your fiancé. How is that going?
The whole process has been a little crazy but definitely rewarding. We closed last March just as the country started to shut down because of the pandemic. While we missed seeing our colleagues, working remotely allowed us to get a lot of projects done immediately after the workday ends. We haven’t had the opportunity to have a house-warming party yet, but we have enjoyed the much-needed extra space, and the dogs absolutely love the back yard. (Fred: If you’re reading this, another bottle of tequila would fit perfectly on our bar cart.)