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My Experience: Insights about an Interview with Ralph Niebles, VP of IT and Ecommerce at Invicta Stores

Ralph Niebles, Invicta Stores

The first interview I conducted for HealthyMarketing.net was an enlightening experience. I was excited to speak to a business professional who could give me genuine insights into E-commerce. Ralph Niebles has over 25 years of experience in retail and was present at the dawn of the digital age and E-commerce. His candid responses to my questions were educational and refreshing. It was fulfilling to hear him cover topics that I had studied during my time in grad school.

The experience itself was a little nerve-wracking. Making a list of marketers who I admire was challenging because I contacted several big-name marketing stars. Giants like Gary Vaynerchuck and Joanne Wiebe were on my wish list. Fortunately, Ralph Niebles responded immediately, and I withdrew my requests from all the other big names on my list. Finding time in Ralph’s busy schedule was a challenge, but we secured a Friday evening that made the interview relaxed and informal.

I prepared an intro and a list of questions and asked Ralph to review them. To my surprise, he was okay with everything I wanted to ask, and didn’t ask for special questions or to plug his company. He was generous with his time, and I really felt that he wanted to make it a good interview.

What I liked about Ralph was that he was able to mention other companies that he admired and had no qualms about pointing out what he saw as their competitive advantages. He expressed that he was also a consumer and that a lot of his business decisions were based on both professional and personal experiences.

Invicta Stores

The main theme that kept coming up was the importance of giving consumers what they want. Excellent customer experiences are paramount to success and one of the main goals of E-commerce and omnichannel marketing. Give informed customers what they expect, and they will reward you with conversions —and loyalty. These positive experiences include technology, ease of use, quality, and payment flexibility.

Ralph spoke about the importance of loyal customers and the acquisition costs incurred in finding new ones. Again, excellent customer experiences proved to be a major factor in extending customer lifetime value.

We wrapped up the interview talking about AI and how machine learning was creating so much data that companies are having a hard time making sense of it and implementing the data in practical ways. He feels that those companies that can apply crucial data effectively will have a competitive advantage in their markets.

Ralph Niebles is an expert in E-commerce and technology. I was fortunate to have an easy, comfortable conversation with him. The audience should come away with the fact that aside from conversions, the customer experience is one of the most vital aspects of E-commerce.

When conducting business interviews, I would advise others to be prepared, listen carefully, ask open-ended questions, and contribute to the subject’s responses with short, affirming statements of their own. Creating a conversation makes it much more interesting than simply having a one-way monologue. In addition, listening to someone with expertise in a subject that interests you makes for engaging and educational video content.

—Robert Vergara

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