Digital Insider

Digital Insider: Ekta Chopra on digital-first ecommerce

Lalo Aguilar
Lalo Aguilar December 15, 2021
Digital Insider: Ekta Chopra on digital-first ecommerce

Ecommerce is as competitive a space as it has ever been. There’s an open battle between websites and marketplaces trying to attract bigger audiences and larger customer bases. In this battle, digital-first companies have the upper hand, especially if they are nimble enough and know how to listen to their customers and take action on feedback. Ekta Chopra is here to give us a peek behind the curtains of such a company.

Ready to hear what she has to say? Welcome to this episode of Digital Insider, a podcast series about the digitalization of retail, featuring Ekta Chopra, Chief Digital Officer at E.L.F. Beauty.

Meet the guest

Ekta Chopra started her career in an aerospace manufacturing company before making the jump to private equity. She’s been involved in several sectors raging from medical devices, to steel, to baby products. 

Currently, she is the Chief Digital Officer at E.L.F. Beauty, where she oversees engineering, security, data, direct business and customer services. She’s leading the company’s efforts to grow its global digital presence through engineering, consumer technologies and enterprise applications. Ekta is known for keeping fast-growing enterprises agile by adopting new technologies, recruiting exceptional talent and developing high impact strategies.

The evolution of digital

The history of E.L.F. Beauty itself pushed the company to the digital era and made it chase new technologies to keep providing for its consumers. Ekta thinks this digital-first approach puts the business in a unique position to talk about how that term has changed. 

“Many years ago, ‘digital’ meant just being able to buy and sell stuff online, but it has evolved from a direct site to an ecosystem that you need to be supporting with the right marketing, tactics, engagement and data. Now it’s become all these pieces coming together.” 

Ekta Chopra, Chief Digital Officer at E.L.F. Beauty

The current consumer profile also means that clients are constantly looking for companies that are fun and engaging, but also companies that offer a fair value for their money, which is what E.L.F. is trying to build through constant feedback from its buyers.

To make sure that the customer’s voice influences every touchpoint, the company is structured in such a way that 80% of employees report to the Chief Marketing Officer. The rest of the organization works as a support system for the part of the company that’s keeping the clients at the very center of the strategy. 

Positioning to succeed

E.L.F. knows that not most consumers are searching Amazon or Google with an intention to buy or to compare offers before buying. So the marketing strategy would have to be centered around the best ways of maximizing the client-acquisition funnel and directly influencing sales. 

“Everything that we do — from direct marketing to paid media — impacts the brick-and-mortar stores’ business overall. That’s one of the fundamental mind-shifts that we had to have. The other one is that we don’t care if our consumers buy online or through physical stores, we want to give them options and we need to show up consistently by engaging them the way they want to be engaged.” 

Ekta Chopra, Chief Digital Officer at E.L.F. Beauty

According to Chopra, many companies say that consumers are at the center of their strategies, but few actually operate with this rule as a guiding principle. This means that there are fewer changes to the actual shopping experience.

“The evolution that people are seeing in the post-pandemic market is that before there was much focus on non digital-related stuff, and now everyone is digital, so how do you make that shift in your digital strategies?”.

Ekta Chopra, Chief Digital Officer at E.L.F. Beauty

To find out the answer to that question and several others, don’t forget to tune in.

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