Episode 35 - The Evolving Ecommerce Landscape: Where Does Amazon Fit?




Jay Nikolich is on the show today! He has had many years of experience in e-commerce leadership positions with branded manufacturers. Today, he brings us his unique perspective about the way that Amazon fits into the e-commerce environment. Due to his vast experience, Jay really understands what it's like to be a leader of an e-commerce division, within a large, branded manufacturer.

Jay has experienced e-commerce through many brands, many channels, and many different retailers and he has found it really fascinating to watch. Tune in today to find out about the intriguing changes that Jay has seen with e-commerce over the last decade, and the changes that he still sees coming.

The two channels, online and offline, they don’t compete - they compliment each other.
— Jay Nikolich

Most recently in his career history, Jay was the VP of e-commerce at Pharmavite, which is a house of brands in the nutrition category. (This category includes the brand Nature Made.) Prior to that, Jay was in a number of different positions in sales, e-commerce, and Amazon related roles at branded manufacturers like Black and Decker, Philips, and Reckitt Benckiser.

Black and Decker provided Jay with an excellent platform for the rest of his career as he was able to do a variety of different jobs there, working as a Field Marketing Manager, doing training, sales operations, and then becoming a Key Account Manager for Amazon before online retail had really taken off.

His stint with Philips was in consumer lifestyle on the Norelco brand, doing trade marketing. It involved every class of trade and retailer who carried their products, so it was neither Amazon nor e-commerce specific.

When Jay worked at Reckitt Benckiser in 2012, CPGs were not yet in the field of e-commerce. He was brought into the company to start their Amazon business, which was very successful. Then, a few years ago, he joined Pharmavite when they decided to start out in the e-commerce business.


  • Jay explains how he became acquainted with e-commerce, specifically with Amazon.

  • Working for Philips, Jay got to understand a lot about channel equity and brand equity, and channel management also became very relevant at the time.

  • Back in the early days of Jay's career, there was no focus on or acknowledgment of the different e-commerce channels.

  • It has become necessary for people to understand the relationship between brick-and-mortar retailers and online retailers.

  • Jay talks about some of the changes he has seen with e-commerce over the past ten years.

  • Changes that are becoming evident in the marketplace.

  • Jay's thoughts on whether or not Amazon is ripe for disruption in the next few years.

  • It's all still retail, just with a different platform and a different medium.

  • How disruption can actually be a positive thing.

  • Opportunities for supplements and nutritional categories.

  • Jay talks about his recent experience at Pharmavite.

  • Jay's simple and effective strategy for marketing in the supplement and the nutritional categories.

  • The online and offline channels don't compete- they compliment each other.

  • Choosing the right strategies in the online world.