As eBay Head of Fashion, Australia & New Zealand, Jo-Ann Hicks (pictured) spends her day working on the things she loves: fashion, shopping and online.
The launch of Fashion Gallery at eBay is cited by Jo-Ann as her most exciting project to date. As part of a global focus on the fashion business, she oversaw the development of the Fashion Gallery from concept to launch in October 2011.
Jo-Ann is currently working on the final stages of Fashion Gallery’s first birthday project, which will remain a closely guarded secret until the big unveiling at fashiongallery.ebay.com.au later this month.
“This has been one of the most exciting projects I have ever been involved with and will be a real first for eBay in Australia,” Jo-Ann told Australian Women Online.
“Online is growing, dynamic, innovative and exciting. The industry attracts bright motivated people and I’m constantly inspired by the team at eBay. The pace is exhilarating!”
Originally from Victoria where she completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, Jo-Ann got her start as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, where she worked on strategy projects across multiple industries for some of Australia’s biggest corporations.
Recognising the future was in the online space, Jo-Ann joined seek.com.au, where she helped the company develop international and domestic partnerships and expand into markets such as Brazil, China and Malaysia.
“While I was working at Seek I decided to study again and did my MBA part time. It was definitely very challenging to juggle work and study but at the same time very rewarding,” said Jo-Ann.
Jo-Ann has been working in the online space for the past seven years and has gained extensive experience and knowledge in e-commerce and online classifieds. ”My background is certainly diverse but the focus has been online for a long time now. I’m really passionate about ecommerce,” says Jo-Ann.
In 2009 Jo-Ann moved from Melbourne to Sydney to join eBay where she became the driving force behind eBay’s entire fashion sector and specifically, the online style portal, Fashion Gallery at eBay.
In her current role Jo-Ann oversees the entire fashion category at eBay in Australia which comprises of three key areas: Clothing, Shoes and Accessories; Jewellery and Watches; and Health and Beauty. She directs and shapes strategy and planning for the fashion category and oversees all aspects across acquisitions, merchants, user experience, merchandising, social media, marketing and PR.
“I consistently put the customer at the heart of everything we do. I need to pay really close attention to what our users tell us they want because the way we respond with site upgrades and changes is critical to the future of eBay,” Jo-Ann said.
“I say this because fashion is the largest category on eBay. That’s pretty amazing and a big responsibility for me! To give you an idea of just how popular fashion on eBay is with shoppers, we know that a fashion item is bought every 8 seconds – which I think is just an incredible number.”
Jo-Ann lists her favourite fashion labels as Lisa Ho, Michael Lo Sordo, Burberry, Marc Jacobs, Fleur Wood, Derek Lam and Farage.
“You can’t go wrong with a unique but classic designer piece that will take you from season to season. Derek Lam’s eBay exclusive range in 2011 has been my favourite purchase so far. I loved it so much that I bought the same dress in two colours.”
Outside of her love of fashion, Jo-Ann is an avid coffee drinker, loves a good book and is a bit of a sci-fi geek.
Although she loves her job, her current position at eBay does demand a lot of energy. To maintain work life balance, Jo-Ann says she tries to relax and unwind on a daily basis.
“I do lots of different things to mix it up but I have 3 favourite activities. Spending time with my godson Xander who is just delightful. He melts my heart. If I’m having a stressful day, spending 5 minutes with Xander is the best therapy!”
She also likes to unwind in front of the TV. “I’m current addicted to Smash and I’m also a huge sci-fi fan.”
Jo-Ann says exercise is also important and she loves a good Body Jam or Zumba class.