Offering 18 million items across homewares and apparel and accessories for women, men and kids through partnerships with 1400 brands and presented in an easy-to-use online shopping experience, ShopStyle is without doubt a massive ecommerce retailer.
And that’s no surprise, considering it makes use of its base of 16,000 fashion bloggers and the eponymous website of parent company Popsugar.
In this week’s 5 Minutes With segment, senior business development director Chrissy Fitzgerald Maitland explains how ShopStyle’s digital and social tools – such as its new first-of-its-kind app Emoticode – are changing the face of online retail.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background before ShopStyle.
My career has been a series of great opportunities. I started my career with L.E.K. consulting, working in both their Boston and London offices. As a strategy consultant, I offered growth, acquisition and business development advice to companies in the life sciences, finance and retail sectors.
As a first job out of college, the learning curve was incredible, but at a certain point I decided I wanted to invest in the growth and success of a single business. At the time, Thomas Cook was expanding its online travel business and brought me in to manage corporate development for the chief executive. I then moved into a commercial role managing one of their product verticals.
When Thomas Cook started a significant restructuring process and I questioned my future there, ShopStyle came knocking. I started as head of commercial, managing ShopStyle’s retailer relationships across Europe. I am now the senior director of business development, responsible for driving new revenue opportunities for the business.
What got you into the retail sector in the first place?
My move was opportunistic – I was offered an opportunity to take a step up in my career and do so in a fast-moving, exciting business. Of all the industries I have worked in, fashion and tech is definitely the most fun.
Even though I work in the online space and ShopStyle doesn’t own any product, there’s something tangible about fashion. You see it everywhere you go. You recognise trends you’re featuring in website editorial, you pass by high street stores of the brands you work with. It makes it very relatable.
I also love working for a site that I believe offers a great customer experience and unique value to our users. Even my husband is a loyal ShopStyle user, so we must be doing something right.
Describe your responsibilities at ShopStyle.
My overall responsibilities are to help drive revenue from new opportunities outside the US. As I’ve moved through the role and as the business has changed, this has meant taking on a variety of different work streams, initiatives and teams. I do whatever the business needs at a given point in time.
Right now, my focus is on international growth of our Collective program, a monetisation platform for influencers and app developers. We provide access to our entire product catalogue and a collection of tools and analytics to help individuals drive revenue from all their content, whether it be blog, video or social, on site or on mobile.
Previously focused on the US and UK, we’re now setting our sights on Asia, the Middle East and several other European markets. I’m responsible for this growth and managing the team that drives it.
How has your previous experienc