First thing first, we need to clear up is what we mean by “product”. In the case of The Iconic, the product is the website and the Director of Product (Meet Zoe) is responsible for the entire platform and it’s flow for shoppers.
When we talk about the ‘flow for shoppers’ we are talking about things like the checkout journey on The Iconic when you buy your item, or how you filter brands when are browsing, or even how you go about making a return – no matter which activity you are doing – each of these steps have been planned, designed and built under the eye of the Director of Product.
The quality of The Iconic product will be judged on how impressive the website is to each different customer that uses it. How easy is the product to use? How feature rich is it? How fast is it? How extensible is it? How polished is it? How many (or rather, how few) bugs (tech issues) does it have? So, whether the Iconic is getting a new line of items to market or redesigning an existing experience, the Director of product, Zoe Ghani is responsible for organising the flow of digital product solutions to deliver the highest quality user experience.
Our Footnotes: We know this is a little confusing because, in most contexts, a “product” is a thing you sell to people, yet online, it refers to the site itself. So be careful, particularly in e-commerce as Directors of Product often get confused with Directors of Categories (like buyers), which are the team that sources and merchandises the products sold on a website.
To help explain the enviable role of a Director of Product a little more we chatted to The Iconic’s very own Director of product, Zoe Ghani about her role, her story and her advice.
So, what does Zoe do day-to-day?
That question is way too big to answer here, but as a starting point Zoe could be:
- Assessing the validity and feasibility of product opportunities.
- Meaning, Zoe may want to add elements of augmented reality into the buying process so that you could see what the item would look like on you before you buying it. (Maybe in 2030!)
- Making sure the right product is delivered at the right time,
- Meaning, Zoe ensures that each shopper is shown the most relevant items of clothing for them.
- Developing a product strategy and road map for development,
- Meaning, Zoe will construct the strategy behind digital process changes and develop a map for her team to follow in building it.
- Representing customers through the product development process.
- Finally, and maybe the most important – Zoe will make sure that everything she does represents the wants and feedback of The Iconic customers.
What are the characteristics of a good Product Manager?
To be successful in this role you’ll need to have your feet firmly planted in the practical world, and yet be able to stretch far enough to stick your head in the clouds when you need to. Meaning… you to be logical and innovative – A systems orientated person and problem solver.
You need to be a leader who can look into the future and think strategically about your customer. You need to be able to develop a vision of where a product should go, and you need to be able to communicate that vision effectively to your team.
Just as important is your attention to detail, and you’ll need to know your product inside out.
Sound like you? Well, what do you need to study to land the role?
Traditionally a Director of Product will come from a background in software engineering, UX design or digital marketing combined with a lot of digital experience. Technical skills are critical for product managers in the tech and e-commerce industry however, business expertise and design skills are as important as technical knowledge when it comes to product management.
If you want to move into product management, here’s how to do it:
- Move within your organisation because you have credibility that will enable you to get
“stuff”“the right stuff” done which ultimately is how you become a successful product manager.
- Start an internship
- Start in another role like sales engineering or in online support to build the transferable skills (this is what Zoe did)
- Enrol in a Digital Marketing Course (if you want to know our recommendations – shoot us an email!)
- Apply at The Iconic – they are hiring.
Product management is fast becoming one of the most popular (and high paying) roles around, so lucky for you, The Iconic are expanding EXCEPTIONALLY quickly and are looking for the right people to help build Australia’s favourite online shopping destination.
If this sounds like it could be for you, find the course you need.
Or land yourself the dream internship.