Live from eTail: Bridging the Gap Between Online Marketing and Merchandising

Philadelphia—Jay Shaffer, vice president at New Jersey-based home furnishing merchant DirectlyHome.com put it well on Tuesday during a panel discussion at the eTail Conference when he said the best way to help bridge the gap between online marketing and online merchandising departments was to get them physically closer together.

Shaffer and other panelists explained that by being in closer proximity, both departments can seamlessly integrate work more easily, work off the same long-term schedule, and have a combined focus of creating a better online experience for customers.

The tough part of the task is coordinating schedules for the two departments, said Marty Keane, senior vice president of eCommerce at New York-based designer fashion merchant Bluefly.com, adding that when departments work off the same calendar, it’s easier to communicate the same brand message.

Employees in each department are experts at their job but their primary focus should be creating the ultimate customer experience. Kim Richmond, vice president of marketing services at King of Prussia, PA-based e-commerce solutions provider GSI Commerce agreed that departments need to work together. “The circle—whether you’re a merchandiser or a marketer—is complete all the way,” she said.

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