First Movers: Allan Peretz
ALLAN PERETZ is President at BOLD Strategies, Inc. Allan is a proven global business leader with over 80 successful CPG product launches across 22 countries (both branded and private label). Among other senior leadership experiences, he was selected by P&G to lead direct-to-consumer eCommerce globally for a range of brands including Gillette, Old Spice, and SK-II. In addition to leading BOLD, he maintains the company’s “eCommerce Playbook” which reflects latest strategies, tactics, and practices.
Why did you choose to pursue eCommerce in your career? I didn’t choose eCommerce – it chose me. I was asked by P&G to lead their DTC eCommerce organization (first in the US and then Globally) because of my mix of marketing, retail, and IT experience. I didn’t really know what to expect but I quickly realized that this was the perfect space for me. I love having the ability to create nearly instantaneous change in the marketplace.
What is your biggest strength, and how have you used it for your success in eCommerce? My biggest strength is “risk tolerance” – I was born with a good amount of it but it really grew when I was on assignment managing a fast-based and rapidly growing business across 21 different European, African, and Middle Eastern countries. I got conditioned to make fast decisions even in the absence of data that I would have considered essential in my previous roles. This has served me well as an entrepreneur. Risk is always present when you’re leading a startup.
What is the weirdest skill or talent to come in handy in your eCommerce experience? I read exceptionally well upside down.
How have you most successfully influenced change within your organization (or with your clients)? I fell in love with the marketplace selling model long before the CPG industry recognized its value. In particular, I saw that it offered an unprecedented level of control to brands – control over distribution, control over pricing, and control over the user experience.
BOLD has maintained a big focus on this model. We’ve built a substantial toolkit that has helped many companies, including several in the Fortune 100, successfully take their first steps into marketplace selling.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior or habit has most improved your life? I’ve been trying to avoid eMail before noon when possible. As soon as you get into your inbox, you enter a “transactional” frame of mind. I try to keep my mornings open to do deep work – to make real progress on the true priorities of my business. It’s helped me a lot this year.
What are you learning right now? I’m learning how to get a lot better at hiring. When I worked at big companies, most of the important screening and selection was done for me. At a small company, I’ve had to get a lot better at assessing values, cultural fit, and relevant skills. I didn’t realize how hard or important this was until I had to live with the consequences of a couple of hiring mistakes.
What are the 1-3 songs that would make up your career soundtrack today?
- · Better Way by Ben Harper
- The Theme from Patton by Jerry Goldsmith
- The Center Line by Spock’s Beard
What are the 1-3 books you’ve gifted the most or that have greatly influenced your life, and why? I gift two books to each of our new employees.
- The Art of Client Service by Robert Solomon. This book was given to me when I first moved from big CPG into a consulting role and it helped me immensely.
- Traction by Gino Wickman which is a primer on EOS (the Entrepreneurial Operating System). We use EOS concepts to run our business and develop our team and we love the focus it’s enabled.
If you could have a gigantic billboard for the world to see with anything on it, what would it say, and why? “Be good to each other”
What are the worst recommendations or advice you have heard related to eCommerce? “Just take what you’re already doing in store and put it online.”
What advice would you give to a future leader of change about to enter business, or specifically the eCommerce field? Before getting into the field, make sure that you enjoy the technical and analytical aspects of the job. In eCommerce, you can’t survive long-term without understanding what happens “behind the curtain.” If you don’t get excited when you’re digging into the data or troubleshooting an integration issue, this probably isn’t the right field for you.
What is the last thing you bought online, and why? To complete my fall look, I bought 5 Amazon GoodThreads wool crew-neck sweaters in different colors. It’s starting to get cold and these sweaters have amazing value for money.
First Movers is a change leader interview series featuring select industry pioneers who are boldly driving the evolution of digital commerce, the consumer and everything in between.