An opportunity to combine passion and professional expertise at Europe’s fastest growing tech company – that’s about as rare and beautiful as an 18th century, 18-karat gold necklace in mint condition. Incidentally, both can be found at Catawiki. Catawiki is currently hiring a new Category Manager Jewelry. The Category Manager Jewelry will take the lead in transforming the Jewelry category and the way this business is managed.
Catawiki’s mission is to make special objects available to everyone through global, digital auctions. A mission that it is succeeding in. “At Catawiki, you can buy objects in the price range of €75 up to €1 million,” CEO Ilse Kamps explains. “We also auction off a lot of art made by unknown or upcoming artists. This allows people to buy unique pieces by artists whose works might be priceless soon. And this makes Catawiki fun for everybody.”
In 2008, Catawiki started out as an online platform for comic book collectors from around the world. They used the platform to keep track of their collections together, hence the suffix “wiki”. It soon turned out to be useful for a plethora of collectors, whether it’s coins, watches, art, jewelry, fashion or classic cars that makes them tick.
The auction functionality was added in 2011 and turned out to be a strong means of monetization. Catawiki has a unique business model, because the online auctions are curated by an international team of passionate auctioneers. Fast forward to 2018 and Catawiki is a successful alternative to renowned auction houses such as Christie’s and marketplace websites such as eBay. Catawiki’s auctions attract over 14 million visitors a month. The company has been proclaimed as the fastest growing company in Europe by Deloitte three times in a row.
According to CEO Ilse Kamps, the growth is linked to hiring the right people. “We’re pioneers, doing things that haven’t been done before. That means relevant experience is hard to come by. That’s why we focus on more than experience alone. We hire people who get a kick out of learning new things and driving innovation. In the last two years, we hired 400 people like that.” At the moment, the company has more than 40 vacancies in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Sweden.
Just as the differences between jewelry and classic cars are vast, so too is the way each category is managed. Robbert Huisman, Head of Category Management: “It’s almost as if we’re running 25 separate shops at Catawiki. Each category is unique because of its own market dynamics.” That means Category Manager is a highly influential role within Catawiki, combining vision, strategy, leadership and P&L responsibility.
Together with the Head of Category Management, Category Managers create a strong value proposition for their category, clearing the way for Catawiki to become a serious player in the mid-market and upper segment. They have a holistic view on the end-to-end customer journey and work with Product, Sales, Marketing, Customer Support and Fulfillment to optimize conversion along the funnel. Based on deep insights in their category and the market conditions, they develop the quarterly auction planning & forecasting and define KPIs related to productivity, quality & profitability and customer experience. They report directly to the Head of Category Management.
Each Category Manager is in charge of a team of 15 to 25 specialist auctioneers, based in different locations, to help them build and maintain the network of suppliers around the world. The goal is to make the team of remotely located auctioneers work in the most efficient, scalable and consistent way possible. The Category Manager is responsible for the curation quality and ensures consistency across teams through quality reviews, calibrations and sharing the ‘voice of the customer’. A clear vision and strong leadership skills are essential.
“My reason to join Catawiki? Because it’s an opportunity to play a pivotal role in the exciting story of this global scale-up. It’s the right size and the right time – now is the time to make an impact.” – Robbert Huisman, Head of Category Management
The Jewelry category was added to the Catawiki platform relatively recently, and immediately took off like a rocket. Partnerships with mass-suppliers were formed, which helped create volume, which attracted buyers, which in turn attracted more sellers. The jewelry category has now reached a tipping point, where a strong positioning of the platform trumps scale. That new Category Manager Jewelry will define the vision for the category, focusing on collectibles: exclusive vintage and high-end brand jewelry in mint condition. They will develop a clear strategy to make the transition, translate the vision into clear guidelines for the Auctioneers and help them communicate the shift to their suppliers. Moving forward, consistency is key.
“If all goes well, a year from now Catawiki will have made the news with several jewelry-related headlines. I’m thinking Marilyn Monroe’s pearls or Lady Di’s tiara.” – Robbert Huisman, Head of Category Management
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