A Day in the Life of a Global eCommerce Specialist

We caught up with Kayleigh Caton about what a typical day looks like as a Global eCommerce Specialist.

How did you get to where you are today?

It wasn’t an easy journey figuring it out. I studied Photography at university but lost all interest in it as a career. After graduating, I set up a lifestyle blog as a hobby and that’s when it clicked – a career in digital marketing. My blog introduced me to the basics of social media marketing, SEO, content writing and more, so I started off as a Trainee Digital Marketer for an agency. After a year in that role I learned a lot but wanted to experience working on the client side. From there I worked my way through various marketing assistant roles, before acquiring my first managerial role as Marketing Manager for a construction group. I’m grateful for the opportunity these roles offered, but I realised there was one area that I was truly interested in – eCommerce. After the toughest, yet most rewarding interview process, I started my journey at Fiskars Group as a Digital Marketing Specialist. Then just 5 months later, the opportunity arises to become Global eCommerce Specialist at Fiskars Group for the renowned brand, Royal Doulton. I’ve been in this role since May 2020 and it’s literally the most rewarding and exciting job I’ve had to date.

Tell us about a typical day in your role

There’s so much going on day to day but it’s the fast-paced and varied nature of the role that I love. If I had to pin-point my main responsibilities they’d be; building global plans for promotions, the brand’s email strategy and the affiliate marketing calendar. Liaising with external agencies to oversee our PPC, SEO and affiliate activity and performance. Sharing ideas to improve the user experience on our website, improving KPIs, but also general maintenance of the websites to ensure everything is running smoothly. Here’s a typical day in my role:

8.30am

I don’t start until 9am, but I like to beat the traffic (although there’s not much traffic between my bedroom and home office since working from home) and I use this extra time to make a head start on my emails. I check if anything’s urgent that needs addressing asap, then re-prioritise tasks on my to-do list accordingly.

9am

I liaise with teams across multiple time zones; Finland, US and Australia, as well as the UK, which means I’d normally have a meeting first thing with an external agency in Australia to discuss our current PPC activity and performance across all markets. This is a great opportunity to see how specific campaigns are performing, any differences between markets and any stand-out products we should be merchandising on the website.

10am

Once equipped with a fresh brew and a cheeky morning snack, this is when I get the opportunity to start on my to-do list. This varies every day, as no day is the same. I could either be updating our global plans due to new product launches or a shift in focus for a particular collection for example. Or I could be liaising with our IT team to work through any outstanding tickets we have for web development projects. Other times I could be jumping on calls to discuss our email strategy, assisting other teams with our new systems, invoices, or doing further research on new opportunities for the eCommerce team to explore.

12pm

All-important lunch time!

1pm

This is typically when myself and my manager would jump on a call with our marketing, CRM and Social & PR teams, who are mainly based in Finland, to discuss upcoming campaigns. We could be discussing anything from a new product launch, holidays, or our core collections, but every meeting has an agenda to keep us focused. This is our opportunity to discuss what each team can do across their own channels to support the campaign. Depending on where we’re at within the campaign journey, these meetings are weekly to ensure we’re on top of everything and to keep all teams up to date.

2pm

As mentioned, I work with teams across multiple time zones and my direct team are actually based in New Jersey, USA – I’m based in Staffordshire, UK. This means my 2pm is my team’s start of day, so we start off with a weekly catch-up. I report directly to the Global eCommerce Manager and work alongside the Global eCommerce Development Specialist too. We talk through the previous week’s performance across all channels and where we’re at with achieving our KPIs for the year. Then we discuss what’s on our plate for the week, anything that needs urgent attention, then simply crack on!

3pm

This is normally when I’d have a catch-up with one of our agencies to talk through our SEO performance. We’d discuss what we need to implement on our websites to improve our rankings and increase sessions, talk through opportunities to increase link acquisition, or start brainstorming content ideas for the next quarter and how our internal teams can assist with this. As these meetings are bi-weekly, I also catch-up with both our UK and US affiliate agencies around this time during other weeks. This is to discuss the channel’s performance, any new affiliates we need to review, and what we can do to improve the channel’s performance.

4pm

The final hour! I typically spend the last part of my day finishing off tasks which are near completion, then updating our global plans with any changes which have been discussed throughout the day. I also like to re-write all my meeting notes in a separate notebook on the same day they’ve taken place. This might sound like a waste of time to some, but for me I find it extremely helpful. Firstly, it means I can then understand my own notes when they’re not scrawled all over one sheet of paper. Secondly, it reminds me of things discussed that I’d already forgotten I needed to action ASAP i.e. sending someone a file, confirming a date for a promotion, or any other ad hoc bits I could’ve missed. Lastly, it’s also good for me to have every meeting documented by date in one notebook so I can flick through and confirm any queries when questions are asked later down the line.

Since working with a team who are based on a time zone 5 hours behind my own, I do find myself naturally working past 5pm. Even more so since working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, as I don’t have that commute from the office to allow me to switch off anymore.

What are the top skills needed for your role?

For my role, but also for the demanding nature of the eCommerce industry, being proactive is crucial. The ability to make your own decisions and not rely on others to come up with the answers for you is important. There are lots of deadlines to fulfil and you’re likely to experience a few technical problems along the way too. This means you always need to be on the ball and one step ahead to get the job done.

It’s also important that you have strong communication skills. There’s a lot of stakeholder management due to liaising with multiple agencies, plus lots of internal teams you’ll work closely with which sit outside of your direct team. Organisation is also key, as your workload is very varied. This means you can easily get side-tracked and find yourself forgetting about other areas of your role which are just as important.

Lastly, a mindset of growing a business is a must. I understand this more now having worked in eCommerce during the global pandemic, where eCommerce has been the driving success for companies across the world. As businesses have depended on the eCommerce teams to drive sales which are lacking in other channels i.e. retail closing and wholesale slowing down as a knock-on effect, now has been a critical time to think of new ideas of how to drive the business forward.

Top tips or any advice for students hoping to get into Marketing?

Don’t be afraid to take risks and throw yourself into the deep end. This role has introduced me to responsibilities I would’ve usually been too afraid to put myself forward for – starting from the day of my second interview! I find that taking yourself out of your comfort zone and just giving it your best shot is what makes you better at what you do and more importantly, grows your confidence. It’ll also help you realise your strengths and weakness which is great for self-evaluation – you then know what to work on to better yourself and I think that’s a skill of its own.

If you’d like to share a day in the life of your role, please email us at studenthub@girlsinmarketing.com

Laura Robinson
I'm a Commercial Marketing Executive for the UK's largest News Publisher. During my time at uni and after I graduated, I felt there was no platform that offered advice to new grads trying to get into Marketing, which is where my passion to help students and anyone new to Marketing came from. I hope I can help you all out by sharing some tips I've learned along the way!