First Movers: Rachel Tetreault
RACHEL TETREAULT is the Vice President of Digital eCommerce Sales & Marketing for EastPoint Sports, leading manufacturer of casual games and sporting goods behind industry- leading brands like Kan Jam and some of the best sports licenses in the world like NFL, NHL, MLB etc.
Prior to joining East Point Sports, Rachel spent 10 years at Procter and Gamble where she held sales, strategy planning, trade marketing roles with billion-dollar brands like Pampers, Always and Tide. Additionally, Rachel worked with Pure Play and Omni Channel Customers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target where she implemented new business models to navigate market dynamics across channels and developed strategies to acquire new shoppers through auto replenishment programs.
After her tenure at P&G, she joined Ferrero, the 3rd largest global confection company as the Vice President of eCommerce in North America and Strategic Channel overseeing Brick and Mortar retailers like Target, Walgreens, CVS, Dollar General, Aldi, and 5 Below. In her role at Ferrero, Rachel led the integration of Ferrero’s online capabilities through digital marketing and path to purchase. She also developed new fulfilment models and route to market that further accelerated growth for the company and its retail partners.
Rachel has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and International Business from Temple University and an MBA from Arcadia University.
Why did you choose to pursue eCommerce in your career? I LOVE Whitespace and the notion of building a business from the ground up! The channel dynamics and evolution of how the retailers are going to market is exciting! I also have a strong passion for continuous learning and to be successful in eCommerce, you have to constantly learn and adapt. For me, the best part is that many of the business cases are unchartered waters and finding new solutions to go to market or solve new challenges is thrilling!
What is your biggest strength, and how have you used it for your success in eCommerce? Eyeing out talent and developing high performing team to drive the business. I have drafted some of the best talent for the roles and developed them to accelerate our eCommerce business!
What is the weirdest skill or talent to come in handy in your eCommerce experience? Motherhood. This is typically not considered a talent, but in my eyes, it is! When I became a mom, I learned how to be a little bit more patient and how to motivate different personalities! Each are unique, have various strengths and opportunities. They problem solve differently and have different wants and needs. Yes- – only 1 out of 3 daughters like peanut butter & jelly sandwich! I would never understand!!
I reapply similar outlook in developing my teams. Not everyone has the same strength and motivators. In fact, I try to make sure that the organizations that I build are created with the most diverse talent. Besides surrounding myself with smartest and brightest in the industry, as a leader I make sure I focus on their unique strength and immediately figure out how I can keep them motivated to accelerate growth for the company.
How have you most successfully influenced change within your organization (or with your clients)? Embracing and adapting to change can be tough for many companies. Bring them along the journey. Share your vision and make them feel that they are part of the adventure! Understand the overall objective for the company and share with the most senior level within the organization i.e. CEO, VP etc.
Set the vision, define the strategies and tactics. Then, show explosive growth!
What was your most “valuable” career failure, and why? We launched a new innovation at Amazon and it didn’t perform as expected. We did not have the right supply chain to get to the consumers fast enough and deliver the products with the highest quality. What we have learned was that we needed investments in cold chain logistics to ensure full distribution of our products all year around. The failed product launch drove visibility to the supply chain opportunity within the organization and quickly resulted in investments of new capabilities to ship and distribute the product all year. This helped reduce out of stocks and drove relevancy on the platform making the item a top seller for the category.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior or habit has most improved your life? Family is key. Live life with a purpose and everything else will fall into place. As a young career driven professional, I have not stopped and “smell the roses”. Now with young kids, they are the focus and the north star of decisions in my life.
What are you learning right now? I am learning about Incoterms and Imports. Managing supply chain dynamics and business impact of COVID 19 on production. Super fun industry to be in and an eye opening for me on how to plan properly for the business especially in eCommerce world where everything is driven by algorithm!
What are the 1-3 songs that would make up your career soundtrack today?
- This Girl Is On Fire by Alicia Keys
- The Champion by Carrie Underwood
- Brave by Sara Bareilles
What are the 1-3 books you’ve gifted the most or that have greatly influenced your life, and why?
- The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey
- The Everything Store by Brad Stone
- I know only three, but I will need to bend the rules and insert Good to Great by Jim Collins
If you could have a gigantic billboard for the world to see with anything on it, what would it say, and why? “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.”- Randy Pausch
In eCommerce, we must be resilient. It is widely understood that this channel will be the growth driver for many businesses. However, not all decision makers are yet bought into this notion and us Digital Pioneers would need to embrace this to keep pushing the eCommerce agenda and be change agents for the future!
What are the worst recommendations or advice you have heard related to eCommerce?
“Amazon is unprofitable and I would rather invest in Kmart!”
“You have to focus on Brick and Mortar (only) as it keeps the lights on”
“A career in eCommerce will pigeonhole your future”
What advice would you give to a future leader of change about to enter business, or specifically the eCommerce field?
- Look at the business end to end. eCommerce is not only a sales channel, but it also plays a huge and important role in driving visibility and awareness to the brands/products. It is here to stay. It is no longer an option to run a business without eCommerce. To be successful, eCommerce must be integrated across all functions.
- Follow the consumer, their behavior is changing, and the shopping journey is complex. There are many touchpoints to consider. Utilize data to identify where to capture and delight them so you can make the most out of your investments.
What specific, industry-related change do you believe will happen that few others seem to see? Convert impressions into dollar sales! Retail media is here to stay. Get comfortable and shift traditional media to lower funnel tactics like SEARCH!!
Convenience and speed to market is critical to gain share. Invest in agile supply chain to get to your consumers faster! Retailers are investing in their own models, but they will need help from vendors as well.
What is the last thing you bought online, and why? I wanted to get into gardening and bought my first Vegetable Garden book and an Aero Garden! Now I can grow Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes and Basil to start my journey!
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.