Consider this – by 2017, online retail sales in the United States are predicted to top $370 billion, up from $231 billion in 2012. As satisfaction with online shopping remains high and additional tech platforms emerge, modern consumers are redefining the way people shop. At Nike, Inc., Victoria Boutan ’10 works to ensure that the cart-to-home experience is as seamless as possible. Based in Portland, Ore., Boutan is a global process manager in the direct-to-consumer supply chain. She is involved with initiatives ranging from package delivery and returns to member services to the overall customer journey to purchase.
As technology advances, customers are engaging with multiple avenues to buy, receive, and exchange their purchases. With Nike, Boutan oversees what is known as omnichannel retailing, or a customer’s mixed use of online, mobile, or in-store options. To maintain the fierce brand loyalty that customers have traditionally had for Nike, Boutan closely monitors the latest trends in the retail landscape.
“I manage a variety of global programs across the ‘direct-to-consumer’ supply chain; examples include the cart-to-home portfolio, member services offerings, and high-heat product launches such as Jordan shoes,” Boutan says. “All of this involves heavy collaboration across multiple stakeholders in the business.”
One of the latest projects Boutan has worked on is the new Nike+ app that will be launched in North America in August 2016. The app provides users with access to cutting-edge Nike products and events. With one sign-on, the app connects members to a personal store with product recommendations, reserved invites to the hottest shoes, and stories about Nike athletes and the most recent Nike releases. Boutan helped develop the user experience, was involved in beta testing, and leads global fulfillment planning and execution. She ensures that the product arrives in the distribution centers on-time and in-full.
Time management is essential for Boutan, who interacts daily with colleagues in China, Japan, and Europe. Fluent in English, Spanish, and French, Boutan says her language proficiency has definitely come in handy on the job. She has satisfied a thirst for travel by teaching English in South Korea and through graduate study as an MBA student at the University of London. An international perspective has shown her that everyone’s style is “a little bit different” and that it is important to be versatile in such a fast-paced industry.
“My travel experiences have taught me to be more patient and more self-aware,” Boutan says. “Living in Korea was a unique, challenging experience that gave me a lot of confidence that I draw upon today.”
Originally from Houston, Boutan grew up in an athletic family, playing soccer and running track, but says that she never imagined that she would one day be working for Nike. Boutan majored in business administration at Trinity with a focus in finance and marketing. As the daughter of two Chevron executives, Boutan says she was exposed to business at an early age and found a strong female role model in her mother.
Boutan comes to Nike after a stretch with Forrester Research, a global research and advisory firm headquartered in Boston. Trading the harsh New England winters for the Pacific Northwest was a simple decision for Boutan, who says she learned a lot about project management and interpersonal communication from her days in consulting. Today at Nike, Boutan is energized by the rapidly transforming apparel industry and the way that technology has transfigured shopping. When she is not in the office, Boutan spends her days hiking, exploring Portland, and coaching a youth soccer team of nine-year-old girls.
Settling into what she calls her “dream job,” Boutan encourages Trinity students not to worry so heavily about what happens post-graduation. She says to keep an open mind about job possibilities and to learn more about fields that feed your passions.
“Eventually you will find a role that feels right,” Boutan says. “Or maybe, it will find you.”