Why a growing team means a great company to grow with
My journey in Digital at Coles – by Tess Papadopoulos, Product Manager
I’ve been with Coles for over seven years, having started as an intern while I was studying Marketing at University. From my first role in the eCommerce team supporting supplier content campaigns, to my current job as Product Manager and through numerous roles in-between, I can honestly say there’s never been a more exciting time to be working in Digital at Coles.
When I started, the team was still relatively small, but the focus has definitely shifted and there’s a real push to not only grow, but to be best in class too. There’s definitely more importance placed on eCommerce and the role we play in Digital from across the business, which has no doubt been heightened through COVID.
Our customer focused transformation
What’s brought on a lot of the recent change is our digital transformation, which means now more than ever we are focused on being customer led.
“Coles has always had a lot of customer data, but now we’re working with it in smarter ways that enables us to answer our customers’ needs.”
The whole company knows that the right idea is the right idea for the customer and the right idea for the experience. Our transition to agile ways of working has been the best thing in terms of getting us to a place where we can respond to customers quickly and improve their experiences with us. Here, you have a lot of control of your area, and you can make it your own. And because it’s such a big platform, website and experience we’re building, there’s heaps to do.
But it’s not just our customers who are benefitting. We have a shared vision to be the best Digital team in retail by the end of 2023, and from a career and development perspective that’s exciting. My background isn’t in Product, but I’ve found it such a huge learning opportunity to grow alongside the team members we’re bringing in who have that experience. We have also just completed Product School, an internal training program that was created by two of our senior managers in product. Both help you understand what being a great Product Manager looks like and what it looks like at Coles.
Creating connected omnichannel experiences
Within the website journey, I look after the basket build. I look at how we categorise our products, what the product page looks like amongst other things. We look at the kind of experiences our customers want based on research, testing, analytics etc, and then work out what we can do to meet those expectations. Then we go to different teams and work with them to build the best solution for the customer.
One of the things I find rewarding, which has been especially relevant in recent times is the importance of accessing the products we sell, and our work in creating connected omnichannel experiences to reach all customers. So what we do online has to cater for multiple demographics. Accessibility is obviously a massive part of this and needs to be top of mind for our online experience.
Becoming the owner of your own destiny
I feel really lucky to have joined our eCommerce team when I did because I’ve got to go through this whole growth and transformation journey.
“The culture means you feel you can be the owner of your own destiny. Yes, it’s the kind of place where you need to get stuck in, be willing to have a go, but you do so knowing that you’ll be supported along the way.”
There’s so much opportunity working in eCommerce at Coles right now. You can come up with ideas and make things your own. It’s great to be able to grow with the company and be part of a company that is growing.