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New roles in retail with Jorge Mendes of Emma Bridgewater

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In preparation for an upcoming series, we’re interviewing people in roles considered ‘new’ to the retail landscape.

Kicking us off, we have Jorge Mendes, marketplaces manager at Emma Bridgewater, who shared insight into his increasingly prominent role and what it means for the wider ecommerce industry.

Thumbnail description of your role?

“I’m a marketplace specialist. My role is basically the central point of any business presence in marketplaces. That requires some expertise in digital platforms, operations, marketing, trades, merchandising, branding, and strategy reporting. It’s pretty much managing a business within a business.

“The market changes all the time so you need to program for that change and you need to react quickly, which as a brand, is not always easy.”

How does your role support retail growth?

“I think in regards to the business, it will depend on what your goals for marketplaces are and what you’re trying to achieve.

“If it’s sales and you’re trying to be competitive and you want to trade aggressively, then yes, you need to keep an eye on the competition on a daily basis. Things are always changing on Amazon. However, if you’re building a brand, the best tool you have is actually content, visibility and marketing.

“For me, brand awareness is the biggest thing. Many customers will be curious about your brand, but they will not try you because they’re not familiar with your website. Amazon provides a door for people to experiment with buying into new brands.”

On career journey

“My first experience with marketplaces was probably about 20 years ago. So, very early on in the game…I think we were all using marketplaces without understanding that we were using marketplaces.

“It was probably my experience with operations that led me to take advantage of the marketplaces opportunity. I’ve always been very interested in new challenges and I like to think about what’s coming next.”

Why do you think marketplaces have grown so rapidly over the last few years?

“The pandemic helped a lot, everyone was stuck at home and marketplaces offered an easy and convenient way to get the essentials in.

“In my opinion, Amazon is the biggest reason for this because it offers a level of fulfilment and a level of customer service that is unparalleled. I know if anything goes wrong, they will take care of my needs. On the other hand, you don’t really know how unfamiliar retailers are going to deal with certain situations.

“You trust it and you stick with it.”

How do you expect your role is going to develop over the next five years?

“As I mentioned earlier, it’s a little bit of a business within a business which means the marketplace manager role is often a one-man show. And as technology continues to advance, I believe that is going to become a very isolated role because it’s going to be a single person running machines.

“With globalisation progressively removing barriers to trade, I can see us being able to deliver things from all around the world in 24 to 48 hours. We can create advanced drop ship models, we can operate on several platforms – a brand can be just a person because everything can be outsourced.

“I believe that it’s become a more relevant role, but a very isolated role too.”

If you’re a marketplaces manager or in a role new to the world of ecommerce and multichannel, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact scarlette@internetretailing.net for further information.

In the meantime, download our Growth 2000 Marketplaces report 2021 to discover more about how retailers are using marketplaces to increase visibility and attract customers.

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