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Understanding the Significance of Automation with Sean Kopen of Brick

Sean Kopen, eCommerce Manager at The Brick, jumped onto the eCom Ops Podcast to share the significance of automation in eCom, extended version of dealing with customers and how to set up transparent procedures for customers satisfaction.  Check out all the other episodes of the eCom Ops Podcast here. 

Key Resources:

Key Facts:

  • Sean’s LinkedIn
  • The Brick’s website
  • Sean is the eCommerce Manager of The Brick, a home furniture retailer company 
  • The Brick has been operated for 50 years
  • It runs on Shopify+
  • Canada lags in eCommerce penetration

Key Takeaways:

  • Sean Kopen has been with The Brick for five years, which is the same number of years he has been working in E-commerce. Before this, he worked in a digital agency where he helped with content strategy, content marketing, assisting companies to do great things for customers online. On the side, he is a geek when it comes to gaming and music. 
  • As part of one of the first few digital agencies in the city he lived in, he was able to learn in a fun environment about technology, creating websites, Search Engine Optimizations. Being in sales, he was able to understand a complete version of dealing with clients and customers.
  • He wanted to do bigger things in life and sought opportunities accordingly which led him into eCommerce and due to his expanse of experience in this space, he was able to partner with some incredibly talented people, facilitating him to achieve big things as per his dreams. 
  • The Brick is the biggest home furnishing retailer in Canada. Although they have a combination of old and new technology, things are now improving, and online shopping for their products are becoming easier to handle.
  • Running on Shopify, because of the complexity of their operations, the company has to add in a lot of funky things to ensure that their needs are met.
  • Because of the scale of the company, The Brick can benefit from various aspects which may not be available for smaller companies.
  • Instead of plunging into various shopping platforms like many other companies, The Brick is still observing and learning from the mistakes of other companies that have suffered massively. 
  • The Brick has a very strong brand identity which allows them to explore a lot of new things such that customers are prompted to order from them and show interest. This instils a greater need for eCommerce.
  • In operations, The Brick has a designated individual working so that it does not lag in any manner. Sean felt it was important to hire someone with experience worth decades so that client expectations could be met. Along with this dedicated person, others facilitate operational matters.
  • Automation plays a huge role in how the company works, specifically about inventory management which would have been near to impossible without it. With a ton of information coming in, delivery is extremely difficult if done manually. Certainty can only be ensured through automation.
  • For eCommerce, while Sean is aware of the fact that people have suffered, their company did not lay off people, rather adjusted them in a manner that it evolved per the circumstances. But he believes that coronavirus helped lift the eCommerce industry significantly.
  • The focus for The Brick in the coming year is to cater to the shortcomings that popped up, especially insight of the global pandemic. Helping people understand, setting a transparent procedure, customer satisfaction and creating an integration with partners and customers is something the company is focusing on.
  • eCommerce is an ever-evolving industry which is why Sean’s to-do list is never empty but always brimming with new opportunities and responsibilities to help not just the company grow but also meet the expectations he has of himself. 

Who has taught you the most?

  • Sean believes he may need mentors because he is unable to name someone specific. Still, he feels that various people within the organization have taught him a lot, not specific to eCommerce but overall which has helped him create a well-rounded approach to dealing with the things he is responsible for managing.