Lucy Hawkes is Regional Ecommerce Director at OMG Transact, the newly launched ecommerce arm of Omnicom Media Group.
Who is your ecommerce hero?
Alex Gremin, Sales Director at Associated British Foods.
What have they done to win hero status in your eyes?
Alex is an inspirational leader who can overcome even the most challenging issues within the ecommerce landscape in a calm and methodical way. Not only is he great at problem solving but also at leading a team through the dynamic world of ecommerce as it changes and evolves.
He has a talent for engaging relevant stakeholders both internally and externally and always thinks of long-term strategies by focusing on the bigger picture – a characteristic crucial for success in this industry.
Even now when faced with a challenging situation I will think, ‘What would Alex do?’. I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to work with him.
How has his heroism helped drive ecommerce?
One of Alex’s characteristics is that he is fearless; he sees an issue and will throw himself wholeheartedly into fixing it, whether that be profitability challenges or operational issues.
There were occasions where the team would be unable to see clearly or distinguish a clear path to resolve a problem, and that is where he would step in and drive the business forward.
What the biggest challenges in ecommerce we need another hero to solve?
Without a doubt, sustainability. As sales within ecommerce grow, brands should look to move to a more sustainable model. This can be challenging for multiple reasons, particularly from a monetary and time perspective.
At the moment there is a paradox in our consumerism, we are constantly seeking new and exciting shopping experiences whilst also trying to focus on sustainability to protect the planet and environment.
We need an ecommerce hero to champion this change and look for ways to grow eCommerce sustainably.
What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in ecommerce?
I was hired into a team that was going through the initial phases of digital transformation. Previously they had not had an ecommerce team and people within the business were reluctant to accept the need for change.
Not only did I lead the change and manage the ecommerce side of the business into profitable growth of 30-60%, but I had to encourage people to believe and trust in me. In fact, this was the most challenging thing, getting people to believe in what you are doing when it goes against what they trust and know.
When I started in the role, we were just a team of five. When I left, the team had grown to over 30 and I still have great relationships with all the existing team members that were initially averse to the emergence of an ecommerce team.
Is there a diversity problem in ecommerce and how can we best address it if so?
In my opinion, no. In the ecommerce teams I have worked in there has always been a harmonious balance of people from a range of backgrounds and with a variety of experiences.