Employee Spotlight: Darin Archer
Meet Darin Archer, VP of Product Strategy at YOTTAA
Darin Archer is a leader at YOTTAA who loves eCommerce and team work. He’s passionate about the YOTTAA platform because he’s seen first hand how much it contributes to the success of eCommerce brands. Read on to learn more about Darin Archer and his role at YOTTAA.
What is your role at YOTTAA?
I’m the Vice President of Product Strategy. I oversee our product direction with a focus on identifying market problems our company is ideally positioned to address and driving the capabilities, packaging and go-to-market strategy to solve them. Additionally, I focus on ways to evolve what YOTTAA offers and look for opportunities to partner with or acquire other software companies that will allow us to bring more functionality to our customers. We’re always looking for ways to offer more so that our customers can improve site performance and the user experience for their own customers.
How do you contribute to YOTTAA’s mission of helping eCommerce brands?
A lot of eCommerce veterans find it hard to believe that YOTTAA can provide a 30% performance lift by simply adding a tag to their eCommerce site. (Even though we have tons of data to prove it!) So, I focus on explaining what we do in a way that quickly establishes credibility so we can bring our acceleration solution to the larger market. This includes considering partnerships with some of the gurus in web performance optimization.
For example, there are many boutique agencies whose sole focus is fine-tuning eCommerce sites to improve page load times. These agencies don’t necessarily take on the issues associated with 3rd parties, but instead concentrate on site-specific areas where they can help their customers’ performance the most. YOTTAA can help these agencies give their customers even better performance, but we need to gain their trust first. My goal is to help them understand how YOTTAA works and prove to them that we can do what we say we can. I work with them, through our partner team, until they trust our product. Often that trust is acquired through a reference from another partner or industry veteran who is already using YOTTAA and experiencing the benefits we provide.
I also tactically help with anything from product marketing to sales enablement. A lot of it is looking at segments in the market where we’re doing well (e.g., Shopify ecosystem) and then taking those learnings to other market segments to get the word out and get people excited and fired up.
What is your favorite part about working with YOTTAA employees?
The Star Wars connection obviously, and everyone talking about Yoda! 🙂
In all seriousness, I’ve been here about 3 months, and what I’m most impressed with is the overall knowledge of how the web works and how it connects to business outcomes. It’s cool to be around people that love the web and all it has to offer. We all love to shop online of course, and it’s fun to be around other eCommerce fans.
Beyond that, my favorite part about working with the other employees is that we’re striving together to improve the online experience for shoppers. It’s great to have so many colleagues that understand that the customer just wants a faster shopping experience. The company-wide expert level of understanding and overall expertise stands out to me.
Will you share your career path with us? What brought you to the eCommerce space?
I’ve always had a desire to make things faster and easier. For me, the holy grail was when Uber solved a problem I had experienced firsthand in San Francisco where it was nearly impossible to get a taxi. The idea that we can now just summon a ride with our phone is really cool, and the fact that it has turned into a whole industry with Lift and Door Dash is even better.
The first half of my career was in consulting at Accenture where I was proactive about being placed on eCommerce related projects. When I left Accenture, I went to a small software company called ISCS in the property and casualty insurance space. Their platform helped smaller insurance brokers and agents sell online so they could compete against the big providers like Geico and Progressive. From there I went to Adobe to help transform Adobe.com into a sales juggernaut. At the time Photoshop and Lightroom were sold in-store as discs in a box. The idea that you would go to a store to buy software seems crazy now, but there was a time where that was the primary distribution channel.
At the heart of it, I think my interest in eCommerce probably started back to when I was a kid growing up in rural Montana and had to order all the cool stuff I wanted online because it wasn’t available in local stores.
How is your work at YOTTAA different from your previous jobs?
I’ve played two different sides of the eCommerce coin. I’ve been on the brand side where I’ve needed software to improve the online shopper experience and I’ve been on the software side where I’m providing the tools to make the user experience great.
I’ve gone back and forth because when I was on the brand side, I wondered why no one was providing the solutions I needed, so I switched to the software side to solve the problem. Once I was on the software side helping to bring capabilities and solutions to market, I wondered why more brands weren’t taking advantage of all the new technology. This yin and yang inspired me to gain experience on both sides.
My role at YOTTAA gives me the opportunity to use my skills and experience to take something that is already great and make it even better, and I thrive on that.
What do you like most about your job at YOTTAA?
The thing that I like the most is that we offer a product that feels like a superpower. It’s this genie in a bottle feeling that gets me excited every day. Each time I see the crazy large results provided by YOTTAA, I am in awe. This stuff doesn’t happen easily in the market. Most people in eCommerce roles are grinding it out week to week, month to month, quarter to quarter, trying to make small improvements in conversion rates and revenue per visit. I realize that for a large company small improvements can add up to a lot of revenue. But to have a superpower that helps brands in a big way is truly exciting.
What makes YOTTAA a great place to work?
I think it’s the level of expertise among employees and that it’s a small company. I love that we can all easily interact and engage with each other and that we’re not lost in a giant wave of people. There really is something to our core values around being ONE team. We don’t have a lot of rigid organizational barriers, and if you message someone for help, they will drop what they are doing to assist you. I think that’s a unique cultural thing specific to YOTTAA.
What do you do when you’re not at the office?
I have a four-year old and a seven-year-old, so most of my non-working time is spent hanging out with them, teaching them how to be smart, and kind, and making sure they are having fun and are learning about the world. My four-year-old loves riding around on the lawn mower and my seven-year-old is quite an artist, so we’ve been trying out different mediums for her to use in her artwork. If I had some real personal time, then I would love to be on a creek fly-fishing or on an open body of water sailing.
If you’d like to talk to a YOTTAA expert like Darin and learn what our eCommerce acceleration technology could do for your brand, let us know!