Q&A with Amanda Green of L’Oréal
Welcome to a new weekly series, where we conduct a Q&A with one of Internet Retailing’s 2017 Top 50 People in E-Commerce.
This week, editor Heather McIlvaine speaks to Amanda Green, head of e-commerce and CRM at L’Oréal Australia – Luxury Division. Since joining L’Oréal last year, Green has launched two websites, and prior to that, she helped build Nike’s online store in Europe.
Short on time? Here are three key takeaways from the interview:
- Australians don’t have a history of online shopping being a value-driven channel, especially compared to overseas markets.
- Retailers here will rarely have the same level of investment that online businesses overseas do.
- The industry is so interconnected and supportive makes it a great place to share and learn.
Heather McIlvaine: Before working in e-commerce, you had a career in finance. What made you want to make the switch?
Amanda Green: My career had always involved IT in some way. Back when I did my degree in accounting (will not mention years here!) there was no such degree as business information systems, so you had to find other ways to incorporate your passions into your role.
In some accounting firms, I was the resident IT help desk, in others, like Electrolux in Sweden, I took on roles implementing financial systems (e.g. Cognos) and developing an online international budgeting and finance system, which in those early days of the internet was a new concept to try.
Eventually I went back to university to do a masters in e-commerce in Dublin so that I could pursue a career change on a more permanent basis. The background of accounting and my interest in IT made this a perfect combination for my skillset.
HM: You worked in Europe for many years. What about the Australian e-commerce industry stood out to you most when you returned to working here?
AG: When I came back to Australia it was like coming to a country where we had all the technology in place and were on par with Europe, but the customers were still at the beginning of using e-commerce. It is great to see our adoption in Australia of e-commerce is not always as a value or price-driven channel, but that we view it as another channel altogether, where we can tell our brand story and drive premium online sales.
We have a customer who doesn’t have the history of online shopping always being a value-driven channel so they are more open to alternate ways of it being utilised. This makes it an exciting and opportunity-driven channel to explore.
HM: Are there aspects of the Aussie approach to e-commerce (either from a retailer or consumer perspective) that you think are undervalued?
AG: I think we tend to sell ourselves short sometimes comparing our websites to those overseas and the great things they are doing, sales they are achieving, etc. We have a unique marketplace here with unique opportunities that we need to take advantage of.
We will rarely have the same level of investment or resources some of the other online businesses overseas do, but we have the advantage of being able to learn from them and improve, often finding a better way to do things which can be achieved at our available level of investment.
HM: What is on your plate at the moment?
AG: Building on the e-commerce and CRM strategy for the coming years, developing some exciting new websites for launch in 2017, and hoping to get some time to do some higher learning. You never want to stop developing your knowledge or abilities and L’Oréal is giving us great tools to support this.
HM: What excites you most about working in e-commerce today?
AG: The opportunities. Everywhere you look there is a way to improve what you do, reinvent the processes, make small changes that give big results.
Our industry is so interconnected and supportive that it is a great place to share and learn from others and we will reap the benefits of that in the future with the Australian online market achieving outstanding results.