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Leadership Spotlight: Nicola Becerra

Updated: Jun 10




Our latest Leadership Spotlight features Nicola Becerra!


Nicola’s 14+ year career in the digital and Ecommerce industry has seen her work with recognisable names in luxury retail and fashion across the United Kingdom.  


Currently the Omnichannel Director at House of Hackney, Nicola’s senior experience doesn’t end there. She has previously held senior positions with a host of top-chain retailers which include the likes of Lightbox Jewelry and Charlotte Tilbury Beauty; where she was eCommerce, CRM & Customer Care Director. In addition to her senior experience with those brands, she has also worked with well-known names which include TOPMAN, NET-A-PORTER GROUP LTD, and Polo Ralph Lauren.


In our Q&A with Nicola, she discusses her “Atypical” career thus far, why she loves the evolving nature of digital, why Channel siloes are a common challenge in digital leadership, the ‘countless pinch-me moments’ in her career journey, the lessons she’s learned in management and retiring on a ranch in California!


Read our Q&A with Nicola below.


Why did you join the Digital Leaders Club?


DLC came highly recommended by a dear friend and ex-colleague. I’ve been so impressed with the collective experience and insight – the group is brimming with knowledge, and a willingness to share and support, which is invaluable.


What's your career journey been like to date?


Atypical, but that’s what I’ve loved about it. Not only have I worked for some amazing businesses, but I have also been fortunate to work alongside some incredibly talented individuals – some of whom are also DLC members.


My career in digital started at Net-a-Porter, which I credit with being my ‘ecom university’ experience. In the early 2000s, selling Chloé boots online was pretty pioneering, and I really wanted to be a part of it. I kept knocking on their door; the recruitment manager at the time gave me his business card and suggested I stay in touch, and eventually, I got my foot in the door.


Most of my career has been in fashion, but I’ve recently added beauty and interiors strings to my bow. However, lab-grown diamond jewellery has been my favourite – I’m a sucker for sparkle!


Tell us about your current position


I am currently the Omnichannel Director for House of Hackney, a luxury interiors brand that’s on an exciting growth trajectory and has a mission to become a regenerative business, rather than a sustainable one. Mother Nature and Future Generations have recently been appointed to the board, which is a fairly new concept. I’m leading the commercial growth strategy but have to carefully balance this with the brand’s long-term vision and impact goals.


Joining an SME means I can be hands-on in driving the business forward. I’m scoping initiatives like Single Customer View and a first-party data strategy, alongside North America expansion and optimising both B2C and B2B ecom capabilities.


What do you love about working in digital?


I love that it is a friendly ecosystem! I also enjoy the pace of the industry and how the evolving capacity to test and learn really supports data-informed decision-making.


What are the common challenges you see in digital leadership?


Channel siloes – after 15 years in ecommerce, it is still a challenge across so many businesses. I love working in digital but I’ve remained channel agnostic. Shopper behaviour will continue to evolve, so I’m always wary of sweeping statements like ‘retail is dead’.

Instead, I advocate for taking a more holistic approach, leveraging customer insights, and keeping tabs on the overall industry. The same logic applies to marketing; I’ve seen better results delivered when teams are taking a big-picture approach to media investment and channel performance.


Have you had any interesting moments in your career so far?


I feel very lucky to have had countless pinch-me moments!


Highlights from my career core memory list are: Lightbox Jewelry being announced at JCK in Las Vegas, watching Bally artisans at work in their Caslano HQ, seeing my Topman in-house studio team’s photoshoot land in store windows, hand-carrying Alexander McQueen’s final collection through Net-a-Porter HQ, and working on shoots and TV appearances for the Black Eyed Peas.


Have you had challenges in your career to date; and how did you overcome them?


Working in retail, I’m no stranger to delayed projects, budget cuts, restructures…


One of my biggest challenges ended up becoming one of my greatest strengths – my management approach. Progression into leadership and managing people was something I always envisioned, but throughout my career, I’ve been told to ‘toughen up’, ‘shout louder’, and not be ‘so nice’ if I wanted to climb the ranks and ‘make it’ in the industry.


With the hindsight I have now, I can see that my approach was just misunderstood. The way we approach the external customer – being curious, understanding them, and ultimately crafting a strategy that speaks to them often yields strong performance. With that being the case, wouldn’t we consider treating our internal ‘customers’ the same? A little kindness and understanding can go a long way.


Tell us about your best success story


Leaving Los Angeles for London was a complete leap of faith. It took a very long time to get hired here; even though I was interviewing at incredible places, the feedback was always that I was lacking in UK experience! Before landing my first permanent role, I was on the London vintage fashion fair circuit – this was before good vintage was so accessible. In between contract roles, I used my LA visits as buying trips to bring back suitcases full of clothes and accessories. Necessity is the mother of invention!


How would your colleagues describe you?


I crowdsourced this and am touched by the responses: approachable, supportive, energetic, fun, commercial, thorough, consumer-obsessed, kind, patient, and human


What are your hobbies away from work?


Family, friends, and food.


What's your plan for the future?


Keep learning, and eventually retire on a ranch in California.


What would you be doing (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?


I often played shop as a kid, so ending up in retail wasn’t that much of a surprise! If I wasn’t on my current path, I imagine I’d have my own store, filled with my favourite things – flowers, jewellery, vintage treasures…


Connect with Nicola on LinkedIn

 

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