9: John McCoy: Integrating Ecommerce and Wholesale for Multi-Channel Success pt. 2

“Be prepared to play hard with Amazon if you are going to go on there.”

– John McCoy


In part two of a special, two-part episode (see also Episode #8), Kristin and John explore marketplaces in depth, as well as how to ensure all points of entry for your business (your channels and platform) are aligned. NOTE: It’s partially a mindset shift, and very well could include a restructuring of your team. Culturally, your company must also support and encourage experimenting and failing forward. The only sure thing is that we must take action in our businesses – the glory days are irrelevant and inconsequential today. Waiting and seeing is akin to dying on the vine.

While so many of us are hoping to get more of a map or a blueprint on how to be successful with a multi-channel business, we ALL have one place to look for guidance. It’s always reliable and always should be the North Star for where we’re going in our multi-channel evolution: Know your “king and queen” consumers inside and out. Employ grit, creativity and a relentlessness for creating and implementing new ideas to deliver what those consumers will value most. Even though he is a tech guru, John cautions that technology is just a tool, not the driver, in terms of how we serve our kings and queens.


John Mccoy

John McCoy is a seasoned e-commerce and marketing leader. Currently, he’s a retail industry value engineer is SAP Hybris, a digital commerce software company. Before moving to SAP Hybris, he was the e-Commerce director of The Sports Authority (TSA). He had insider access to how a more traditional retail brand responded – effectively and less effectively – to the changing power dynamics of the new economy and to the ever-changing complexion of consumer preference.

His work for large corporations and across many industries has given McCoy unique insight into: e-commerce strategy, omni-channel strategy, digital merchandising, digital audience building and business development, social media, video marketing, lead generation, Search Engine Optimization and Marketing (SEO/SEM), and email marketing.


Online marketplace conflict, Amazon as hardware developer, Amazon Alexa, segmenting e-comm distribution, how brand size and identity should influence distribution, identifying “golden” customers, the importance of vision, technology as tool not an end solution, “get inventive; do new sh*t; try stuff.” According to John, being nimble isn’t as hard as you think it is. … And yes, “market for the now,” as Gary Vee would say.


“You have these different parts of the organizations trying to solve and figure everything out. In the end, there’s so much in-fighting and cultural struggles and strife, you forget the customer’s there in the middle just wanting to find some great cleats for their kids.”

“A lot of retailers and brands have to answer to the Street and that gets tough. It’s hard not to lose your soul sometimes.”

“Amazon is now forcing those people that have invested in Alexa – a number that continues to rise and continues to grow – to become dependent upon Amazon.”

“Then, in addition to that, according to Scott (Galloway), Amazon is trying to destroy your brands by offering their (own) basic batteries, and having you decide at that moment (when you order through Alexa), how much more value is there to a Duracell and Energizer versus an Amazon Basic product?”

“Be prepared to play hard with Amazon if you are going to go on there.”

(On selling through Amazon) “It takes a lot of soul-searching deciding what your plan is, and who you are, and what you’re trying to do as an organization to really make the right call there.”

“I don’t like it when brands sell their soul. I really hate it. It’s crushing.”

“Don’t lose sight of who you are just to chase the dollar. It’s easy for me to say, I guess, but I think that that short-term win is going to result in some long-term pain. Before you know it, your brand isn’t what you had created and what you had always wanted it to be.”

“Figure out who your customers are. Don’t do the analysis-paralysis thing, figure out who they are, and do shit.”

“Once you see something begin to be successful and you still can keep your soul, invest in that and invest in it fast. Then, continue to do different things and try and poke around to figure out where the next thing is.”

“Sometimes you do have to get completely out of the standard operating procedures of a larger organization or corporation and create those (opportunities for innovation).”


SAP Hybris: http://www.hybris.com/

Connect with John on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/therealmccoy1/

Digital Giants Vlog: http://www.bedigitalgiants.com/


Have questions or ideas for Kristin and the Channel Mastery podcast? Email: podcast@channelmastery.com

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