The One Where We Learned About E-Commerce With Outdoor Voices

Hi AMA! 

Welcome back! I hope this article finds you well amongst the midst of the overwhelming adjustment to online school and midterm season. Take a quick study break and come learn about E-commerce in the fashion and athletic industry with Tara Melton from Outdoor Voices!

Meet Tara! 

First impression? An extremely approachable, put together, and respectable woman who seemed extremely passionate about her line of work!

The downside? (There really isn’t one at all other than- Tara is an A&M grad) 

BUT we won’t count her as a rival because she was so kind to take time out of her schedule to speak with us! 

Education/ Career Background? Tara majored in finance at Texas A&M, but soon came to realize her heart didn’t lie in that industry. So, she made the shift to consulting. To kick off her career, Tara worked as a tech consultant at Deloitte. 

As she explored her passions even more, she realized what was truly important to her was having the opportunity to be involved in the strategy from the inside pertaining to a brand. For this, she shifted to Tory Burch and worked in product management which she absolutely ADORED! 

Now? A Senior Manager for eCommerce at Outdoor Voices- Tara spoke with us in great detail about her role and even brought in a case study for us to have more of an interactive experience to understand what most of her projects look like! So, let’s dive right into the reflection on Tara’s talk…

Outdoor Voices

A little bit of background about the company! Outdoor voices is a direct to consumer activewear brand based in Austin, TX. Their mission is to GET THE WORLD MOVING by #DoingThings! Their brand is centered around creating comfortable activewear because freeing fitness is the main goal and performance starts with having fun and generating endorphins.

Tara’s Role! 

Digital Product Management! Digital Merchandising! E-Commerce Go-To- Market! CRM,Retention, and Lifestyle Marketing! What can she NOT do?

These are all some specific titles, if you will, of the roles Tara has taken on at Outdoor Voices. Let’s look into what Tara had to say about the details regarding these roles!

As a #Digital Product Manager…

Tara’s role here has much to do with owning forward looking strategy and generating roadmaps for the E-Commerce aspect of the company. Specifically, she oversees what project features and experiences might need to be prioritized. The ultimate goal of this role: 

PRIORITIZATION!

DELIVERY!

EXECUTION!

Working in #Digital Merchandising…

Let’s talk aesthetics! AHH this sounds like such a fun role to be placed in, am I right, AMA family?? Here, Tara gets to work on the ONLINE aspect of the look and feel of the product and the way in which it is executed/ marketed/ shown to customers on digital platforms. 

Even better– she gets to work with other teams!! YAY for collaboration!!

#E-Commerce Go-To-Market… WHATTTT???

Here, Tara gets to work with everything E-Commerce related- managing all aspects in terms of supporting the digital site:

STORYTELLING

EMAILS

ADS

Tara is your go to for the strategy on that!! 

But…. wait… what is… E-Commerce?? I’m so glad you asked because it’s super important we establish the basis of what she really does, right?!

E-commerce is this: commerce that is well, “e”lectronic!

Pretty self explanatory, I know. It’s really just the means of buying or selling products online which we’ve been seeing a lot of in light of recent events.

Last, but certainly not least… her work in… 

#CRM, Retention, and Lifecycle Marketing

Personally, I LOVED the way Tara explained this. 

You know when you’re online shopping and you leave the nicest pair of jeans in your cart. But maybe they’re a little expensive… Or maybe you just don’t have the time to evaluate your options at that moment. A few days later when you’ve completely forgotten about that pair of jeans in your cart, an email notification pops up with the subject line, 

You left something in your cart! Come back and buy it!

Guess who’s in charge of regulating those abandonment flows?? 

… That’s right! It’s Tara!

All things related to re engaging customers to come back and shop at Outdoor Voices, informing us about low stock products being back in stock, testing promotions and welcome offers, including loyalty flows such as birthday gifts… you name it! That is what goes on in this aspect of Tara’s role.

Now that we’ve had the opportunity to discuss Tara’s background, and experience a day in her professional life…let’s go into the second half of her presentation. The CASE STUDY!

Sample Case Study… What the General Project Looks Like.

Let’s first look at this overarching question of…

How do we bring a product back into the market?

Tara lays out the process for us:

  • Buys are completed by the Merchandising and Planning Team
  • Then.. the planning and Marketing teams partner up to reconcile buys and product flows 
    • Here they create Seasonal Message Maps! And Marketing Campaigns!
  • The marketing campaigns are finalized by the Brand Marketing team and presented back to channel owners 
    • Here’s what the channel owners focus on:
      • Campaign brief
      • Campaign message
      • Product focus
      • Channel requirements 
  • The channel owners are responsible for putting their channel plans together and briefing in the Brand Creative Team and others to EXECUTE this plan 
    • The execution occurs by means of 
      • Web/ E-Commerce
      • Email
      • Organic Social Schedules 
      • DEOR/Influencers
  • Campaign assets then come back and channel owners review and provide feedback! 
    • Finally there’s a campaign launch and the product is ready for the market!!!

What we see from this, is that E-commerce, strategy, and product management are all extremely organized and detail oriented pathways in which PLANNING is a huge aspect!! 

Thanks to Tara, we were able to learn so much more about not only Outdoor Voices, but also the overall insight of what it looks like to be working the NUMEROUS roles she does. 

Takeaways

I hope you all gained as much insight as I did from Tara’s presentation (and hopefully this recap!)

  • Your pathway to your ideal career will not look like everyone else’s! Tara is a wonderful example of someone who has explored her options and taken advantage of all opportunities that came her way until she found her perfect match. 
  • E-Commerce is a unique and upcoming industry in which many young professionals don’t get much insight on… but you just did! SO hopefully you are able to add this to the list of career explorations you may have 😉
  • So many different roles encompass so many different tasks… find what speaks to you!
  • STAY #DOINGTHINGS

BY Ishita Ahuja

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