PROFILE

Rick Watson

CEO, RMW Commerce Consulting
Rick Watson is an expert in eCommerce, including Amazon and other online marketplaces, having been in the industry for over 20 years with such companies as Pitney Bowes, Barnes & Noble, Merchantry, and ChannelAdvisor. Through his accomplished career, he sharpened his skills as an operator and is comfortable helping companies of all sizes remove their roadblocks to growth. Most recently, Rick directed the International eCommerce strategy of Pitney Bowes, including goto-market plans for the company’s software products responsible for its $450M Cross-Border eCommerce business (comprised of Borderfree and eBay Global Shipping Program). He directly managed a large, global team of Product professionals and worked throughout the organization to improve software planning and execution processes for on-site and remote teams. He also worked to bring new innovative products to market for large retailers looking to sell on international marketplaces such as TMall Global and Rakuten. Selected as CEO of Merchantry by a Board of Directors comprised of prestigious New York and Silicon Valley venture capital firms such as Greycroft, Kite Ventures and e.ventures, Rick ran the business for over 2 years. During a difficult turnaround situation, Rick refocused the company, hired a completely new management team, reduced expenses, and launched the company into an entirely new market segment. Through these efforts, the company was acquired by Tradeshift for $30MM. Rick gained experience at Barnes & Noble.com inside a top 30 online retailer, helping them expand assortment through the launch of a third-party supplier marketplace that he spearheaded as General Manager with full P&L responsibility. He tackled several difficult challenges there, including: how to attract and onboard third-party suppliers, how to display third-party content alongside first-party data, dealing with buyer and supplier fraud, success metrics and KPIs, supplier marketing, and customer service. At ChannelAdvisor, Rick spent over 10 years helping retailers of all sizes grow their businesses on Amazon and eBay with areas such as product marketing, Buy Box, competition, positioning, customer service, and supply chain. Furthermore, he launched many of the first versions of ChannelAdvisor’s product offerings as a Product Manager, and then later as Director of Product Management and Engineering. Through this role, he gained deep, direct experience working with talented software teams improving agile continuous delivery processes such as Kanban and Scrum. Rick holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Vanderbilt University in Electrical and Computer Engineering, with a minor in Computer Science. During his graduate program, he studied artificial intelligence and robot-human coordination at the Center for Intelligent Systems at Vanderbilt University. Rick is on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/rickwatsonecommerce/ and runs an eCommerce strategic consulting business at https://www.rickwatson.io/.
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  • Posted on: 02/26/2019

    Will a curated marketplace strategy be an online game changer for Target?

    Hi Cynthia, curious on your take on what Target is "reinventing" here. Lots of sites claim that Amazon is too hard to discover and shop and their strategy becomes "we are curated." One way to say that is it's less convenient to shop there. ;-) Would love to hear your take.
  • Posted on: 02/26/2019

    Will a curated marketplace strategy be an online game changer for Target?

    It's very difficult to "curate" a marketplace. Seller upload fees and your labor costs are so high. SKU mismatches occur and things slip through the cracks. Is Target ready for all this? I hope so!
  • Posted on: 02/26/2019

    Will a curated marketplace strategy be an online game changer for Target?

    Color me a little skeptical. They are losing the selection battle to Wayfair and Amazon. More third-party sellers isn't the only answer. I'm surprised they aren't announcing investing a lot more in private-label. They will go right to ChannelAdvisor, Feedvisor, CommerceHub -- just watch. And then what? What's hip and "Tar-jay" about the same prices and products as Amazon but without Prime? "Curated" is not a unique consumer value proposition. It's a market entry approach. Every marketplace starts out as curated until the systems are automated enough to handle what's going on. If this comes with supply chain services, now we are talking.
  • Posted on: 02/25/2019

    What’s holding back end-to-end inventory visibility?

    It's lazy thinking as well as short-term thinking. Which perhaps are the same thing. If Y/Y sales are flat to down, almost every other key technology decision suffers. Very few retailers take a step back to "get back to basics." Really laying out what the ideal customer experience is, and how do my people, processes and systems work together to deliver it.
  • Posted on: 02/25/2019

    What’s holding back end-to-end inventory visibility?

    Of course it's a huge thing. Most commonly, technology and process issues are the biggest reasons for improper inventory visibility. Even if you have a "system" (EDI/etc), do partners on both sides know how to use it? And is the proper data flowing in a timely enough fashion? At this stage, most all retailers have tried to install such systems but often new suppliers are unwilling to integrate because of the "so what" factor. Show me sales before I invest in your platform, and pay money for it.
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