Cover Story: The Top Women in Cross-Channel Retail
Welcome to Retail Online Integration's third annual list of the best and brightest women in the cross-channel retail industry. The women highlighted on this list are marketing and merchandising professionals, e-commerce experts, and chief executive officers at cross-channel retail companies of all sizes. They've all helped to position their companies to succeed in today's fast-paced cross-channel retail environment.
All of the women on this list are curently employed at a cross-channel retailer and, like the previous two years, were chosen based upon their position and scope of responsibility, accomplishments and achievements within their own company, and their involvement in the retail industry.
Take advantage of this oppurtunity to learn about the career paths of these top retail executives as well as gain some insight from them. Each woman has offered her best tip for success in cross-channel retail this year.
Katherine Bahamonde, Executive Vice President, Global E-Commerce and Operations, C.Wonder
Katherine Bahamonde is responsible for C. Wonder's e-commerce business, including online marketing, and is the strategic architect for all things digital. Bahamonde also oversees companywide distribution and logistics at C. Wonder, an apparel, accessories and home décor retailer launched by Burch Creative Capital. Prior to working at C. Wonder, Bahamonde held leadership roles at Citibank, Nike, PepsiCo Inc., Sears,lululemon athletica and Juicy Couture. She graduated from Harvard University and Harvard Business School and is a board member of City Kids.
TIP: The challenge extends beyond systems and data. Ensure that organizational structure, culture and training fully support the cross-channel customer experience.
Elisabeth Charles, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Petco
Elisabeth Charles joined Petco, a pet specialty retailer, in February 2009 as senior vice president, chief marketing officer and a member of the company's executive committee. In her role, Charles oversees Petco's brand strategy, creative, advertising, CRM and loyalty, customer analytics and insights, PR, and social and digital media for over 1,200 stores across the United States. Prior to joining Petco, Charles served as the executive vice president of marketing for Victoria's Secret Stores; senior vice president of global corporate marketing for Herbalife International; and also held senior marketing roles at Ideaforest.com, YUM! Brands and PepsiCo Inc. Charles began her career as an associate consultant with Bain & Company.
TIP: Develop your marketing and creative campaigns with a multichannel, multimedia view from the onset so that they can be effectively and consistently delivered across every customer touchpoint for a seamless customer experience.
Amy Choyne, Senior Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer, Kenneth Cole Productions
Amy Choyne has 15-plus years marketing executive leadership and global marketing experience. Choyne is the senior vice president/chief marketing officer for Kenneth Cole Productions, where she oversees all marketing, advertising, visual display, social media, cause marketing, public relations, customer insights and data analysis. Prior to joining Kenneth Cole Productions, Choyne served as global executive director of marketing for Anthropologie, a division of URBN Inc., from 2010 to 2102. She also served as vice president of marketing at Barneys New York from 2006 to 2010. An expert in consumer brand management and brand building across all channels, Choyne has also held senior marketing positions within Giorgio Armani S.p.A., The Limited Brands and A|X Armani Exchange. Choyne earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She also holds a secondary degree in graphic design and advertising from Parsons School of Design.
TIP: Break down company silos by rolling up your sleeves and getting on the retail floor or online to gain better perspective of what's driving customer experience and conversion. Success is measured not only by sales, but also by end user experience, loyalty and engagement. Relevant content and creative consistency is key across all channels. Understanding the ever-developing social matrix and customer engagement is key to being ahead of the curve and translating activity into a loyal base.
Kelly Cook, Senior Vice President, Marketing, DSW
Kelly Cook was named senior vice president of marketing at Designer Shoe Warehouse(DSW) in March 2012. Cook is responsible for engaging the organization to dutifully optimize all customer relationships. She's accountable for DSW Rewards (it has approximately 19 million members), precision marketing strategy, customer-advanced analytics, research, call center, social media, digital media, the online customer experience and advertising. Cook most recently held an executive role at Waste Management. While there, she launched an inaugural CRM framework, which quickly drove significant results. This strategy included customer-centric operational diagnostics and frontline employee rewards. This undertaking marked a major shift in the company's transaction-focused culture.
TIP: Love living. Inspire passion. Share glory.