Stay up to date on the digital shelf.



    We'll keep you up to date!


    Ecommerce for CEOs, with Dean McElwee, Director of Global Ecommerce Collaboration, Stanley Black & Decker

    How’s this for a book review: “A fast, easy read filling in my eCommerce gaps…
    IMO, a must-have for all busy CEOs, C-suite Leaders and anyone in the company (i.e. All) wishing to optimize eCommerce opportunities and anticipate potential issues.” Nice review for a great new book, and we had to have that author on. Dean McElwee is the Director of Global Ecommerce Collaboration at Stanley Black & Decker, and brings deep ecomm experience from other global brands such as Kellogg, Nestle, and Coca Cola, and he is the esteemed author of the new Ecommerce for CEOs, a blueprint for how executives must engage in the organizational, process, and technology transformations that must take place to optimize omnichannel performance at the top and bottom line. And a primer for those who look to engage with their C suite leaders from the front lines.


    Speaker 1 (00:00):
    Welcome to unpacking the Digital Shelf where we explore brand manufacturing in the digital age.
    Speaker 2 (00:16):
    Hey everyone. Peter Crosby here from the Digital Shelf Institute. How's this for an Amazon book review? A fast, easy read, filling in my e-commerce gaps. In my opinion, a must have for all busy CEOs, C-suite leaders, and anyone in the company i e, all wishing to optimize e-commerce opportunities and anticipate potential issues. Nice review for a great new book. And Lauren Leach and I got to talk with the author of e-Commerce for CEOs. Dean McElwee is the director of global e-commerce collaboration at Stanley Black and Decker, and brings deep e-com experience from other global brands such as Kellogg and esle and Coca-Cola. E-commerce for CEOs is an in-depth blueprint for how executives must engage in the organizational process and technology transformations that have to take place to optimize omnichannel performance at both the top and bottom line. And it's a primer for those who look to engage with their C-suite leaders from the front lines. Holy moly, we are so excited to have the author of e-commerce for CEOs, Dean McElwee on the podcast today. Dean, welcome.
    Speaker 3 (01:27):
    Thanks Peter, and thanks Lauren for having me on.
    Speaker 2 (01:30):
    Oh my gosh. To have somebody, first of all, you've been a long time contributor and valuable brain for the Digital Shelf Institute and we are grateful, but you've been in the trenches of e-commerce for a very long time across some storied brands and it is so thrilling to read your book, which so we've talked so often about how the leaders of e-commerce and digital are the next CEOs of the industry. They get what this new omnichannel business looks like, and to see that thought leadership and that knowledge come alive in this primer for CEOs and the people who love them is really wonderful. So congratulations on the work. It's really great.
    Speaker 3 (02:19):
    Thank you very much. It was a labor of love that I certainly enjoyed doing.
    Speaker 2 (02:25):
    Well, your book really tackles the challenges for CEOs who might have not have that e-commerce background, how they can quickly get up to speed and how they prioritize what they need to know and keep in touch in order to make better decisions, particularly in this time where all of these things need to work together towards a profitable business. And that's been a challenge. And so there's a lot of big strategic decisions that need to be made and they need to understand what digital can bring to the game, what its contribution can be, and how to know whether or not it's on the track of that kind of success. So I would love to start with just your view of what, because I think of this podcast now, we have some CEOs who listen, but largely I think about this for our audience who need are often in the position of having to gently educate their CEOs and the leaders at their organization, and this book provides that. So I just love to think of it in that way. How can our audience use what you've written one by probably giving their CEO the book, but secondly to just reinforce some of the things that you talk about. So what are some of the top priorities in your book that CEOs need to focus on?
    Speaker 3 (03:47):
    So I think really the top three for me is the role of omnichannel and how shoppers are changing and how they're adjusting over the last 10 to 15 years. If you go back and it's really not that far back. Amazon really came into existence around 1999, 2000, and really started to scale. So, and omnichannel retailing is really a very new phenomenon and it's impacted the way shoppers shop. It's impacted the way they buy, the way they search, the way they get new information to decide which brands to purchase. And that's really impacting the way brands then go to market. It's a much more challenging world than it was perhaps 20 years ago. And the implication of that for a business is how do they resource against that? Brick and mortar is still the dominant way that a lot of our businesses make money. And so we need to resource to succeed in that environment and understand how omnichannel retailing is really different and what are brands especially need to do to succeed in that environment.
    I think the second one is an e-commerce strategy that really is for me, proactive and channel aware. I think we have often followed what is happening and not made deliberate choices about which retailers we are going to be on, which marketplaces we are going to be on and why, and how we are going to interact with those marketplaces. So if you think of the likes of Amazon and a couple of the other large marketplaces, we talk so often about how are you going to succeed on there or are you just hoping to be present? Present is more of a reactive strategy. I think we've got to have a real clear strategy that's proactive, understands the roles of the channels and understands the roles of the shoppers using those channels. So do they use marketplaces to research and then go into their traditional businesses that they would always use to go and pick up the goods. So you need to understand how that customer journey works and therefore how to leverage all those touch points in your channel partner
    Speaker 2 (06:13):
    And dean. I would imagine that that particular one, before we get to your third, I was just thinking to be proactive in channel aware, you talk a lot in your book about that, that requires everyone's participation, e-commerce sit over in its silo and sort of be proactive in channel aware. It means that the packaging needs to be proactive in channel, aware that the pricing needs to be right. It's a sort of all organization effort to pull that off, right?
    Speaker 3 (06:48):
    Yeah, I think it's absolutely, to use the expression, it's a full court press if you're going to go and you're going to go and really succeed in this type of environment, you've got to look at it from the full court point of view. Is your supply chain aware of what they need to do? Are your packaging teams aware of what they need to do? Are the data teams aware of what they need to do to deliver excellence in the digital shelf? So it's really all of those. E-comm is really the spearhead of that, but it is really a full court game including insights even. So our insights teams looking into how shoppers use the various channels. Coming on to the third one, which is really the focus on B two B, which is how are you going to go to market and engage your channel partners, be their retailers, be their dealers, be their distributors, and how are you going to digitize your enterprise with E-commerce and B two B? Because I think what we are seeing is a lot of the purchasing relationships are not necessarily all about seeing somebody. They may want to research the products online and then purchase them online. You don't need to have a negotiation or a full meeting in person for a lot of purchasing behavior. So I think from that point of view, they also need to look at how are we going to market and how are we going to improve that experience for our channel partners as they do business with us?
    Speaker 2 (08:28):
    Oh, go ahead. I'm sorry. Go ahead, Lauren.
    Speaker 4 (08:30):
    That's okay. I was just going to say, when you think about b2b, there's a lot of companies that are both B two C and B two B, and a lot of times they are very separate and they don't necessarily talk to each other or share best practices or content or anything across the board. So if you're for A C E O or any leader at a company that sells both B two B and B two C, how do you think about connecting the dots between both those sides and are there to learn from each side and really to lean in and collaborate together to have a successful strategy?
    Speaker 3 (09:02):
    Yeah, so it is a good question and I think it comes down to where is there similarities and where are there differences? So I think that the similarities are in some of the technology that we use and some of the technology strategies that we use, particularly when you look at things like C R M, the differences become about personas and what they want. So a B two B persona versus a B two B C persona is quite different and you need to take into account that. But I think often we've sort of looked at some of the ordering of goods in large companies as effectively a supply chain function. So they will take the order, it'll come via E D I or through a call center and then supply chain will deliver it. And I think it's much more than that. How are you going to engage with your customer?
    What are the information? What is the information that perhaps your field sales representatives are talking to them about giving them that perhaps could be delivered through the platform instead and be made available 365? How could you look at your accounts receivable departments? How can you move that online? So I think it is really looking at it from the point of view of it's got to be more than just a transaction. It's got to be an engagement platform, and it's got to really be focused across delivering that. And that's where the similarity comes. You've got to engage with your customers in a B two C environment and a B two B environment, and you've got to make them aware of what you've got. You've got to make them aware of new products. So for example, in some of the businesses I've had the good fortune to work for, it's really how do I bring new products to life with a buyer?
    Is it just that one interaction with the national account manager or could it be so much more? Could it be a B two B interaction? Could it be a retail media interaction on a B two B platform? And I think we've got to look at those parallels and bring them into that environment. As you look at the research behind this, this is what people are looking for. We often ignore the fact that everybody who's buying and procuring goods is probably procuring on the same, probably buying for themselves on the same platforms that we are. So they're buying an Amazon, they're buying on Walmart, they do this all the time. They want the same experience, they want the same information, and we should be giving it to them.
    Speaker 2 (11:53):
    And so Dean for a C e O to get involved in something because a lot of these themes that you talked about certainly are themes that our listeners are very familiar with. They're fighting in the trenches of this every day. And I felt while reading your book that you were writing this because you've worked with some great CEOs, and I'm sure part of your role with them was to get them up to speed so that they could help make the right decisions. As we, over the next few questions, we're going to go into some sort of some spotlight places in your book, some areas that we think are worth a focus on, but there's a lot in there overall. Do you have a thought of how do CEO in this era where we've talked about that it needs to be profitable, all of these pressures are on the CEO to deliver a profitable business with top line growth and bottom line profitability. What is it that you hope A C E O having read this? How do you think they will either change their behavior or where will they sliver their days into time slots, right, to have an impact on the business? Where is it that you would, if you were sitting at an EOS C E OS shoulder after they read your book, what role should they be playing? What are the most critical things in your mind?
    Speaker 3 (13:26):
    Good question. And I think there's a couple. So one is be deliberate and have a strategy behind this. It is got to be a deliberate digitization effort within the business to deliver this. It can't be a, we're going to wait for it to happen because if you look at the businesses that have been really successful about a clear strategy, let's take somebody like Nike with their e-commerce strategy. It's quite deliberate. It's nuanced around the world in terms of how they fulfill and the reach to market. But it's been very deliberate and it's been very clear and very well communicated throughout the organization. So I think that's really the first one. Be clear on what your e-commerce strategy is going to be. It's the biggest growing part of most businesses, even post pandemic and it's contributing. It's a disproportionate amount of the growth for businesses themselves and for your retail partners. So if you don't have a deliberate strategy around how you're going to do that, I think that's the first advice is to have a very deliberate strategy. I think the second is make sure that the go-to market teams under your business, so those sales teams that work under you have a clear view on what they want to achieve with their customers.
    So often we see businesses that go to market and it's more of a, well, we're just going to let it happen to our retail partners, but both our retail partners and ourselves are still trying to work it out. So on the omnichannel side, I think we've got to have a real partnership mentality with our retailers, particularly to get that sort of joint business planning in place and deliver what's best for our shoppers. So really be deliberate of having clear strategies behind each of these. I think the third one is democratize e-commerce widely in your business. And that comes via a couple of different methods. So one is upskilling. I think if you're in an e-commerce business, I often talk about e-commerce people needing to be evangelists or missionaries, they have to be going out and spreading the word, but the c e O needs to be working with them to evangelize that across the entire business because CEOs, others may also not be fully comfortable with e-commerce.
    And until we get the entire business happy to do that, we are not going to necessarily move forward. And I think that also goes through to what you described earlier, Peter, which is that the future CEOs being digital leaders, that's not going to happen if we don't create the structures in them. So what is the business's strategy to develop and deliver a future talent pathways that include digital so that those future C-suite leaders are digitally aware? How are you looking at that in terms of making sure that you've got the right bench strength to deliver a new digital business? And I think unless we really, really focus on these things, we're not going to move the needle quickly enough to take advantage of it.
    Speaker 4 (17:06):
    And Dean, one of the things that struck me the most after reading your book aligns with how CEOs need to think a little bit differently around e-commerce. And I think it's a very unique category where they need to understand some of the details, but also be able to level up and do the strategy and understand the umbrella of what e-commerce encompasses. And you did a really great job of balancing some of the detail and all of the higher level. And what I always say is a digital leader needs to be able to ladder up and down between in the weeds and in the strategy. And I think that when you're talking about being deliberate, I think your book really is helpful in painting that picture because CEOs might not necessarily need all the detail in other topics, but they need a little bit to understand.
    Speaker 3 (17:55):
    Yeah, I think what we're emerging to and what I was alluding to in the book is you don't need to be an expert, but you need to know enough to be dangerous as I call it. So know enough that you can ask the right questions, prompt the right discussions, and it doesn't mean you have to be an expert on everything. The c e O of today is not a person who knows the most. He's the person who can leverage all the different parts to deliver more than what they are individually. And so I think it's really about focusing on the right questions and getting the right decisions to be made that are in the best interests of the people we're trying to serve, be it our customers, be it our consumers or shoppers or any particular partner you want to work with. But I think it is know enough that you can press on the right hot buttons to force a change in the organization. We're not going to evolve organizations if we're not just slightly uncomfortable, if we're not just slightly trying to evolve. And I think that's the story with e-commerce, it's about iteration, and I think CEOs need to adopt that and move forward with that.
    Speaker 2 (19:12):
    Yeah, the ceo, she needs to be curious. That's really the most powerful thing. And particularly, I noticed throughout your book you talked about the importance of things like shadow p and ls and how we need to think because ultimately the CEO is going to care. How is this impacting the business? And you need to tease out, and we'll talk a little bit about this later, but what it made me think about was how important it is for the C E O to be an advocate with the C F O on these shifts because well, we've heard a lot and you've been there. So tell us is that sometimes it can be difficult. CFOs love consistency and approaching things in the same way we've been doing this because that's where stability comes from because you have a apples to apples kind of life. We don't live in that world anymore. Is that right? And I often find that we hear the relationship with CFOs either can be distant or it can be even combative rather than, let's figure this. And that's not always true, of course, but is that one of the relationships that you think A C E O can help with?
    Speaker 3 (20:22):
    Yeah, I think it's about challenging the way that we've always done things and challenging the assumptions that we've always made. Is it going to work in exactly the same way as it did 20, 30 years ago? And the answer is no one. Often the things that I've been quite curious about is people sitting there and saying, retailers, well, the p and l doesn't look like it should. And well, what does that mean? Does it mean that it doesn't look like it did 20 years ago before retail media or does it look, does it look like it? What exactly is the question you're trying to ask? So I think what CEOs can help with is to your point, be curious, learn about it, and then restructure it to do that. But I think it comes back to often what I've seen is people are very passionate about what they do.
    It's one of the things that I love about e-commerce people. They're passionate and they go, you should be doing e-commerce, you do get e-commerce. But A C E O and A C F O are looking at value addition, value dilution, capital allocation. Are we giving the right money to deliver the right results? Because that's how we measure and that's how we've got to learn to talk to them about e-commerce like that. So how's it additive to our business? What's dilutive and how can we save money, make more money, or be more efficient? I think it really boils down to that. And if we can help them do that and show them the value of it, they will buy into this regardless of what it is.
    Speaker 4 (22:19):
    And Dean, you touched on retail media and we can't not dive into that because it's definitely a hot topic in the e-commerce world and it's challenging for anyone at any level right now to really figure out what to focus on and where to put their time and their budget. So from a CEO's perspective, what would you say top line for retail media they should be thinking about or the questions they should be asking their teams in terms of their strategy?
    Speaker 3 (22:47):
    There's a careful balance that everybody needs to make, and I think we're all finding it out. Retailers can be very persuasive in various ways of wanting us to participate in retail media. And if you are the C E O, you need to make sure that it's delivering results for you and your brands and understand what success means in that environment. Because what you going to be faced with is a lot of pressure from retailers to invest more in retail media. It is very profitable, but it is challenging to manage. You've got multiple platforms that have different metrics and you've got to harmonize that. So I think really understanding what success means on that, understand how much value it generates, and then work with people like your C M O and your commercial teams to work out how you balance your spend. You're going to have huge crossovers in audiences if you take somebody like Walmart.
    Walmart has 150 million people visiting its digital properties and you're going to be wanting to get a part of that audience, but how are you going to get parts of the other audience where they may be it in stadiums on billboards, you've got to meet that shopper where they they're. And I think trying to balance that so that you make the right decisions in the right way and measure it is going to be a key thing going forward. And then I think really with this is, and it's aligned to people like your brand directors or your marketing directors, how do you educate them so that they can understand how retail media plays a role? And it's not just retail money. I think we tend to have this thinking that, oh, retail media, that's just money we are giving to the retailer. Well, no, it's not. We're trying to get shoppers to buy our products.
    They happen to shop at retailers, they happen to shop at multiple retailers on multiple platforms. So how can we make the best use of that money? So I think it comes down to really focusing on how are you going to measure it? How are you going to decide on the allocation of the spend between the different channels that you've got so many of those, and then how are you going to evolve that spend? It's only going to increase. So how are you going to make sure you get better use, more effective use and be very clear on your objectives behind it.
    Speaker 4 (25:39):
    And sorry, Peter, really quickly on that, I just wanted to talk about, so I feel like sometimes when it comes to e-commerce, especially if there might not be a ton of knowledge around it, there's an urgency to do everything all at once all the time on every channel because everyone else is doing it right? And they're seeing that in the media, they're hearing other people do it. How would you help CEOs to pick one thing, whether it's prioritization or focusing on the customer, how can you help anchor them, especially when maybe they're learning more about e-commerce to help them put those blinders on and say, okay, this is where I need to focus first, or this is how I should be looking at my strategy. So it's not overwhelming and we're not doing everything everywhere.
    Speaker 3 (26:29):
    There's this tendency to do peanut butter strategy, which is just spread it around and everybody gets a little bit of something that isn't strategy. In my view, strategy is about choices and it's about trade-offs. Trade-offs mean that sometimes something needs to get less so something else can get more. And so I think it's being really clear on the why you're choosing to do that. Why do you want to go on Amazon? Why should you be on Amazon or why should you not be? These are the questions that I think in businesses we tend to be very good at capturing all the insights, but less clear about distilling what that means and why we need to do it. So I think it's been very clear that what are the trade-offs that I need to make to get the types of people that shop on the platforms and on the e-commerce channels and understand what they get from them?
    Because I get something from a D two C side that I don't get from an in-store environment. So I think we've got to really be quite deliberate and quite specific with insights and data to validate why we're doing things. I think you're absolutely right. Everybody's suddenly doing a D two C site, everybody's suddenly doing this, but because your friends are doing it or your peers are doing it doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Is it right for your shoppers? Is it right for your business? Less about the competitor focus, but more about the consumer focus? I have this saying that I use inside my business, which I go, we should be consumer or customer focused, business led and technology enabled. And it's the same thing from an e-commerce point of view, E-commerce is the technology, but I still need to get my consumers in my customers.
    I still need to focus on them first. And I can't just let the fact that there's an e-commerce technology that can give me a D two C side, for example. It doesn't mean I, I think there's numerous examples I've seen, and that's what I try to tease out in the book of ways to help CEOs decide, do I do D two C or don't I? Is my brand strong enough to carry it? And if not, what exactly is it? Because I think there's lots of people doing D two C sites and shutting them down as well. I think there's going to be a large number of people shutting down D two C sites, especially in the next five years.
    Speaker 2 (29:17):
    Yeah, the chapter on D two C is very clear in terms of offering, what are the reasons why you're doing this? You have the two business objectives that you can achieve from D two C and it makes it very clear that you need to pick one and don't let me put words in your mouth, but that you at least have to have a sense of which one you are focusing on. Is that correct?
    Speaker 3 (29:48):
    Absolutely. And what the trade-off is, one of the teams that you and I both know well, Francesca Hahn and the Mondelez team have done a fantastic job of Oreos and personalized Oreos on a D two C side. Now that is perfect because it really shows that their D two C strategy is about engagement with their shoppers. They're not expecting to grow a half a billion dollar personalized Oreos business. That's not the objective. The objective is to give a great and differentiated experience to anything that they can deliver in store through a retail partner doing personalized Oreos at scale through Walmart or a Target or anybody else be extremely difficult. But they've managed to do that through an e-commerce experience, which delivers differentiated D two C, and they've clearly managed the expectations and the offering, the value proposition that they're putting forward internally in their business. And I think that's a great use of D two C for engagement and shopper engagement
    Speaker 2 (31:00):
    And great data on your most loyal and consumers with brand affinity, right?
    Speaker 3 (31:08):
    Absolutely. And incubation. So is there possible new Oreo flavors or designs that you can pass back to the factory and go or the r and d team and say, can you deliver this like this? So that's a great example of using D two C quite constructively for a purpose, but it's been very clear on what your proposition is and saying how people choose to shop for things. I think we often think we can reinvent the wheel about how people shop. If you're part of a big basket shop, I don't want to go and buy baked beans or ketchup on a D two C site. I buy that with part of my big grocery shop, fun interactive things like personalized Oreos. If I've got kids, that's a great way to do something different. So I think it's just being very clear about what's the behavior that people do and then therefore what are the choices I'm going to make to help them deliver that experience.
    Speaker 2 (32:16):
    So Dean, moving from the D two C motion and to the one which for a lot of our listeners is the real meat of where their money comes from and where their consumers are. And that's in the joint business planning that you have to do with your retail partners to be successful. And you were talking earlier about retail media as one of those things, and one of the things that stood out to me in that section was that, and I want to try and paraphrase that in retail media, do not include it as part of annual negotiations shouldn't be a mandatory part of your business relationship. It should be used to drive specific objectives to ensure R O I and that if it is included, ensure it is based on performance, be sure it is based on performance and not mandated minimums. And that really stood out at me because I hear a lot from our listeners, but that the retailers seem to be attempting to use it as sort of a mandatory cost of doing business maybe. And so tell me what your experience is and sort of that as a microcosm inside of overall, how do you want to educate your C E O to be thinking about what joint business planning looks like in this new age of the digital show?
    Speaker 3 (33:44):
    I admire our retailers for doing it. So I think if I was running a business, I would also try and lock in my locking my income for the year. So we try and do the same thing. So don't begrudge them that fact. I think there needs to be that positive friction. I think we need to be clear about what the friction is for and to whom we're delivering for. So if I look at this and I say from a joint business planning perspective, and I've been very fortunate to work for a couple of companies in my career, and one thing that struck me about 10, 15 years ago was the business I was working for made it very clear that we shared different objectives, retailers and ourselves, and therefore we've got to focus on one specific person where we have the same objective, which is retailers are trying to get new shoppers and so are brands.
    And so what we need to focus on is focus our joint business planning efforts and everything that we do that supports that retail media assortment, et cetera, around getting those shoppers to buy our brands and visit the retail partners because then we both win. And I think from an e-commerce point of view, I've often heard businesses talk about, I've got an e-commerce J B P, and I've got a brick and mortar J B P. If you're in an omnichannel environment, there's not Lauren or Peter, the brick and mortar person, and Lauren, the e-commerce person, there's Lauren and there's Peter and they're shopping at the stores. So how do I take into account that when I have my J B P that it's aware of how Lauren shops the store or Peter shops the store online and offline and gives them the capability to get different experiences from either of those, can I get recipe suggestions on for tonight or Whole Foods or one of the other retailers to help me get inspiration for a new meal? And then can I deliver that through the store environment or online? So I think we need to look at joint business planning as a must, first of all, and then aligned around a single person or a single shopper understanding the journey through both the online and offline properties. And if it's a marketplace, you need to understand how shoppers use your business both online and offline.
    I think that the reality is we often lose sight of that and we need to understand shoppers use Amazon to do research, they use Amazon to understand a bit more about the products, given idea about pricing. And our JVPs or our work with each of these retailers should understand how shoppers move through. I certainly don't advocate splitting this out because I think we're talking to individual shoppers.
    Speaker 2 (37:05):
    Well, what I really liked was that you really prioritized and focused on shopper profiles and making sure that those call out include how and through what channels shoppers engage with the retailers, how is their behavior different or the same? Are there different basket sizes depending on online versus offline usage bringing, I would imagine, and you tell me, bringing shopper profiles to the table that are omnichannel in nature from the get-go focuses everyone properly on what we're solving for to joint business planning session. It doesn't allow you, doesn't when you're presented with that I imagine makes it tougher just so, oh no, let's just go over here and talk about what we're doing with our end caps. Right?
    Speaker 3 (37:52):
    And it helps to solve challenges with retailers. I think if you look at something like grocery retailers, especially if you are in the situation of selling impulse products like confectionary crisps, beverages, and people do big basket shops, the retailer loses that impulse checkout chocolate sweet beverage snack. And what we've got to do is look at solving that both online and offline and delivering solutions that can do that. So I think you've got to look at that because the retailer's p and l is made up of profitable things, not so profitable things. Big baskets are great, but impulse stuff makes great money for them. So you need to take into account how shoppers shop and how it influences the p and l for the retailer and yourselves.
    Speaker 2 (38:51):
    One of the things that I really loved about the book is I think there are 13 chapters and they really go through in great detail everything from sort of what is e-commerce from the sort of very, you have to understand your definitions first. And I would say for some of our audience, what it does for me is it takes those concepts. And so some of it will depend on sort of what is the sophistication of your CEO E o, which of these chapters you pull on more than others. But I was thinking, if I am in e-commerce and digital and I kind of want to be ready for what my c e O might ask about, in your 13 chapters, you've kind of cover what are the major pieces of e-commerce that need c e o understanding. And some of those little slacks or emails you might get from your CEO o saying, for example, why are we doing D two C or why does retail media cost so much? And it lays out, Hey, here are the things you should be thinking about, and then here are the recommendations I would make. And that's incredibly sort of useful a fodder for guiding those conversations. Or even if you're at a level below the ones that report into the C e O for helping your boss get ready for a conversation like that, I think is that part of what you were trying to drive for? I'm assuming you didn't want just CEOs to buy your book.
    Speaker 3 (40:26):
    No, I think it's a book for everybody. I think it's about how do we learn to bridge the gap between where we are and where we need to be. And I think that that was the real purpose around trying to decode it and demystified, I think we're very good at making things quite complex and things quite sophisticated, but that doesn't make it easier to make decisions. And so it was really trying to bridge that gap and help people really understand how do I move from where I am to where I need to be? Because I think if we treat e-commerce as a dark art, we're probably not going to have as much success as democratizing e-commerce. I think our job as e-commerce professionals is to democratize e-commerce and make sure that we all understand it. We don't need to be all experts in everything. I don't need to be a supply chain expert. I do need to the implications of the decisions I make on supply chain, for example. So that's really is just trying to make sure that you understand it so you can make better informed decisions.
    Speaker 2 (41:49):
    Dean, I just want to congratulate you for embarking on this project. You have your day job, so for the investment that you made in really trying to pull together your years of experience and also what you're seeing in this moment, it's shifting under our feet as we speak, and I'm sure you're experiencing that in the work you are in. So it kind of is, for me, your book is kind of that bridge between the era of build out experimental orgs and processes and tech stack and see what's starting to work and okay to now this next era of maximize efficiency, optimize for growth, break down silos so that you can achieve that profitable omnichannel business. And it's a prodigious work. And thank you so much for being here to talk about it.
    Speaker 3 (42:50):
    Great. And thank you for all the help from you and your team. And a lot of the thoughts on this have been started in conversations, talking to other people, comments on comments and things like LinkedIn. That was actually one of the original seeds for this was a Curie masters doing it. And then B, another friend of mine say, Dean, you're so used to posting on LinkedIn, you write so much, maybe you should actually turn it into a book.
    Speaker 2 (43:23):
    People love to say that they don't realize how hard it's
    Speaker 3 (43:27):
    No, I can guarantee you I didn't realize how hard this was until I did it. And I think, yeah, there may be another book in there somewhere, but just trying to work out what exactly it's
    Speaker 2 (43:42):
    About. I'll give you a couple of months to think that through. And I did notice when I opened it up, one of my favorite people in the business, smartest people in the business, a particular Lauren AK, might have given a blurb for your book, Lauren, is that true?
    Speaker 4 (43:57):
    I don't know. Maybe. Yes, it was. I got the privilege and honor to read it before went live. So huge. Thank you Dean, for allowing me to do that. And it was really great to see it come to light.
    Speaker 3 (44:10):
    Lauren plays down her contribution. She was massive in terms of helping me formulate some of the thinking, editing and really being a sounding board in many cases on what I needed to do. So really thanks to Lauren. I think it really came to life through that. Thanks, Dean. Happy to help.
    Speaker 2 (44:34):
    That's amazing. And so Dean, I'm going to make a recommendation and tell me if I'm right here. If someone goes to Amazon and searches e-commerce for CEOs, they will find your book. Is that the best way to, that's
    Speaker 3 (44:47):
    The best way to find it. It's right there. Pretty easy to search for and it should definitely come up on the first page. I've worked quite hard to get those keywords right.
    Speaker 2 (45:01):
    I went there this morning and I can guarantee you that is true. So e-commerce for CEOs by Dean Mcoe. Dean, thank you so much for all the contributions you've made for the D S I and for this contribution to our industry. It's really well done.
    Speaker 3 (45:17):
    Thank you. And thank you for having me on the show.
    Speaker 2 (45:20):
    Thanks again to Dean for sharing his scholarship with us. Be like Dean and become a member of the Thanks for being part of our community.