Top 10 Retail & Ecommerce Marketers You Should Follow

  • UPDATED: 25 April 2024
  • 8 min read

Reading Time: 8 minutes

In the realm of ecommerce and retail marketing, the terrain is ever-evolving, with technological advancements and consumer behavior changes shaping the landscape.

Recently, we’ve seen remarkable strides in customer engagement and digital marketing strategies, led by influential leaders who are redefining the industry’s boundaries. 

Our latest article delves into the careers of 10 remarkable marketers whose strategies have significantly impacted customer engagement and brand growth.

Let’s dive into the stories of these trailblazers and the innovative solutions that have propelled their companies to new heights.


Top 10 Retail & Ecommerce Marketers List

1. Emily Essner: Redefining Luxury Ecommerce

Emily Essner, as Chief Marketing Officer at Saks, has steered the brand’s evolution in the luxury ecommerce landscape, focusing on customer acquisition and retention through innovative marketing channels like video and podcasts. 

Her strategy has successfully driven customer growth, acquiring 3.5 million new customers and shifting focus to retaining high lifetime value customers. Essner emphasizes the importance of data analytics in delivering personalized customer experiences and has led notable campaigns, such as the partnership with Dior for the Saks Fifth Avenue holiday experience

This collaboration underscores the brand’s commitment to providing unique and memorable experiences, reflecting the company’s heritage while embracing digital innovation.  

In the 2024 Top Women in Retail report, Essner discusses the transformation of Saks into a luxury ecommerce powerhouse, highlighting the importance of customer retention through innovative and strategic marketing initiatives that engage customers in the ever-evolving landscape of luxury retail.

“Today and going forward, being open to new ideas and change will continue to be a requirement for any leader. Reaching a level of comfort with today’s pace of change in the marketing world is helpful in continuing to evolve along with your customer and their expectations.”

2. Katie Lay: Personalized Engagement at Scale

Katie Lay, former Sr. Director of Retention at Poshmark, has been instrumental in driving the company’s customer engagement strategy. Her efforts have contributed to Poshmark’s position as a leading social marketplace with a vast community across the globe​. 

As an influential marketing leader, Lay has steered the company through the complex terrain of online resale markets. Poshmark’s challenge was managing its multifaceted business model, which serves both buyers and sellers, while fostering a community where entrepreneurs thrive. 

The solution? An investment in technology to tailor cross-channel communications and enhance customer journeys. The result was a staggering number of emails sent monthly where impacted campaigns saw a 60% open rate and 30% increase in converting listings to sales.


3. Dhananjayan Sekar: Mastering Customer Segmentation

Dhananjayan Sekar, as the Head of Digital Marketing at FoodHub, has played a pivotal role in the company’s successful adoption of AI-powered customer engagement solutions. His strategic initiatives have led to remarkable outcomes.

FoodHub achieved an 86% increase in basket conversions and a 25% rise in new user activation, demonstrating the effectiveness of the implemented strategies in improving customer engagement and business performance.

Also, under Sekar’s leadership, FoodHub adopted MoEngage’s RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary) model, which allowed for precise customer segmentation and personalized promotions, contributing to a 10% increase in average order value and a 38% reduction in basket abandonment.

These accomplishments reflect FoodHub’s ability to leverage technology for strategic advantage, improving both top and bottom-of-funnel metrics significantly. Their efforts in personalizing the customer experience and enhancing customer insight have been central to driving these impressive results​. 


4. Alexa Ritacco: Innovating in a Crowded Space

Alexa Ritacco, recently nominated as a Forbes 30 under 30, and who is currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Digital at Rhode, has had a significant impact in the digital marketing and ecommerce spaces, particularly noted during her tenure as the Chief Marketing Officer at Jenni Kayne. 

At Jenni Kayne, she played a crucial role in the brand’s growth, driving the company’s revenue from $8 million to over $140 million. Ritacco’s approach combined strategic content creation with performance marketing, social media, and influencer marketing strategy to captivate customers and drive conversions, demonstrating her expertise in marrying brand aesthetics with ecommerce efficiency​.

Her experience in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) sector is impressive – in a recent edition of The Direct 60, she highlights the company’s adaptation to AI advancements and the evolving digital landscape:

“Over the last 5 years, each year has felt wildly different than the last, which has been both exciting and challenging. I’m eager to see what these next few years bring to the DTC space. Whether it be the crazy advances in AI, combatting the cookie-less world or the ever-changing landscape of Meta, we continue to have our work cut out for us and I’m excited to tackle it all alongside the wider DTC community.” 


5. Kyndra Russell: Cultivating Loyalty through Innovative Campaigns

Kyndra Russell serves as Senior Vice President of Marketing at Starbucks, where she oversees brand, product, loyalty, partnerships, and licensed store marketing. 

She joined Starbucks in 2017, and since then, Starbucks has elevated its loyalty program, demonstrating the company’s ability as a marketer to integrate and enhance customer engagement and brand loyalty. 

Starbucks’ marketing strategy focuses on delivering personalized customer experiences like the “Birthday Treat” program, where app users receive tailored birthday rewards based on their purchase history. 

This strategy, which also gathers valuable location data, and strengthens customer relationships and brand preference, reflects a deep understanding of consumer behavior and the importance of personalized promotions to drive repeat business.


6. Katie Mullen: Customer-Obsessed Retail Marketing

Katie Mullen has made significant strides in her role as the Chief Customer Officer at JCPenney, focusing on enhancing the customer experience through strategic ecommerce and omnichannel development. 

Since being promoted into her role as CCO in April 2023, she has significantly revamped the retailer’s loyalty program, aligning it with the brand’s “Make It Count” strategy. This new program, aimed at enhancing customer engagement and value through more efficient reward accruals and innovative promotional events, showcases her commitment to leveraging first-party data for more targeted, effective marketing. 

Prior to this, she played a role as the Chief Digital Officer at JCPenney, where she was instrumental in leading growth and digital transformation initiatives. Mullen’s background includes serving as the Chief Digital Officer at Neiman Marcus Group, where she managed a $1 billion ecommerce business and was deeply involved in various aspects of digital marketing and ecommerce operations.

Her career is marked by a strong emphasis on using technology and digital channels to improve customer interaction and satisfaction. At JCPenney, Mullen is known for driving innovation that integrates physical and digital shopping experiences, aiming to create a seamless customer journey that leverages the strengths of both platforms​​.

Mullen’s strategies have focused on integrating digital and physical marketing tools to reach diverse customer segments, thereby driving both inclusion and accessibility in fashion. Her efforts in leading these transformative marketing initiatives exemplify why she is a noteworthy figure in the retail industry.


7. Kofi Amoo-Gottfried: Customizing Consumer Interactions

Kofi Amoo-Gottfried, the Chief Marketing Officer at DoorDash, has made significant strides in the marketing world, particularly through his innovative approaches at DoorDash. He has been instrumental in transforming the brand’s reach and influence, focusing on customer-centric strategies including personalization.

For example, DoorDash utilizes customer location and previous purchases to provide relevant recommendations. They dynamically adapt suggestions based on the user’s current location and preferences, enhancing the search experience with automatic filters for quick meals or new local dishes when traveling. This personalized approach not only improves the customer experience but also boosts conversion rates and product retention.

Before joining DoorDash, Amoo-Gottfried held prominent roles at major companies such as Facebook and Bacardi, where he developed his expertise in brand revitalization and creative marketing strategies.

His career is marked by several accolades, including being named to Ad Age’s “40 under 40” list, winning the ADCOLOR “Rockstar” Award, and recognition as one of Business Insider’s “25 CMOs To Watch” and receiving AdWeek’s “Brand Genius” award.

Amoo-Gottfried’s marketing philosophy integrates deep consumer understanding with data-driven strategies to ensure brand growth and customer engagement. His leadership extends beyond professional accomplishments, reflecting a commitment to innovation and cultural understanding, which has been central to his success in navigating the complex landscape of modern marketing.


8. Raina Moskowitz: Overseeing A Marketplace of Diverse Campaigns

Raina Moskowitz, as Chief Operating and Marketing Officer at Etsy, plays an important role in driving the company’s global growth, expanding brand consideration, and enhancing customer trust and loyalty. 

Since joining Etsy in 2018, she has played a critical role in leading its Strategy and Operations, Marketing, Member Services, Trust & Safety, International, and Impact teams. 

Moskowitz’s leadership has been acknowledged as motivating and inspiring, with a focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences and cementing Etsy as a trusted global brand.

In a recent press release, she noted that their mission to Keep Commerce Human has remained their North Star objective through a period of significant transformation and growth.

“I am excited to bring together the teams that contribute to a truly differentiated e-commerce experience to better support our community and create meaningful new growth opportunities.”

Etsy’s marketing mirrors its marketplace: diverse and ever-evolving. The company excels in informing customers about new and similar products, with a keen ability to engage through tailored promotional campaigns.


9. Esi Eggleston Bracey: Human-Centric Marketing Leader

Esi Eggleston Bracey, Chief Growth and Marketing Officer at Unilever, emphasizes a human-centric approach in her marketing strategy, focusing on the company’s top brands and leveraging digital platforms to meet future challenges and opportunities. 

In the 2024 Top Women in Retail report, Eggleston Bracey emphasizes a strategic focus on growth marketing, aiming to accelerate growth and value creation across Unilever’s top brands.  

She comments, “Marketers are in the business of serving people’s needs. You have to be human-centric; think of a person, not just someone you want to sell something to.”

As a marketing leader who prioritizes familiarization with internal and market dynamics, her strategy centers on enhancing the company’s key brands and leveraging digital and AI ecommerce and retail technologies to deepen market impact.

Her prior achievements in the U.S. sector, including leading initiatives for brand innovation and societal contributions, underscore their effectiveness in driving growth and societal change. 

Notably, the CROWN Act campaign reflects a commitment to purpose-driven marketing, aligning business objectives with social values. This approach, coupled with an emphasis on diversity and meeting the evolving needs of a diverse global population, highlights a customer-centric and inclusive marketing strategy that drives both brand loyalty and social progress.


10. Carly Mansfield: Leveraging AI for Marketing Excellence

Carly Mansfield, as the Fractional CMO at A Bar Above, has effectively integrated AI to revolutionize their marketing efforts. With her rich background in DTC ecommerce marketing, she led the initiative to gamify AI adoption, encouraging the team to embrace AI through a competitive yet educational approach.

The impact of AI at A Bar Above has been significant, streamlining content creation and enhancing email marketing strategies. The team used AI to generate engaging content and visuals, reducing the need for traditional photoshoots. This approach not only improved productivity but also enriched the brand’s marketing content.

Carly’s vision extends to leveraging AI for personalized customer interactions, aiming to provide tailored advice and product recommendations. Her leadership demonstrates the potent role of AI in crafting innovative marketing strategies and delivering personalized ecommerce experiences.


Top 10 Marketers in Retail and Ecommerce: Concluding Thoughts

As we’ve seen these narratives play out, it becomes clear that the future of retail and ecommerce marketing lies in the hands of innovative leaders who are not just adjusting but actually defining the standards themselves. 

These are the trailblazers who are shaping the new trajectory for business growth and the way consumers interact. They design attractive customer experiences using data insights while opening up possibilities for marketing tactics that have not been seen before. 

Their stories are a testament to the power of marketing in the digital age and provide valuable lessons for aspiring B2C marketers everywhere.