October 7, 2021
Gopuff has assembled an entrepreneurial and award-winning team of experts across engineering and technology, supply, growth, marketing, business development, finance, and more. With experience working at leading organizations like Airbnb, Amazon, Anheuser-Busch, Comcast, Target, Uber, and Walmart, the Gopuff team brings decades of experience across multiple industries. Today, we’ll get to know one of those individuals: Aimee Ross, a Category Manager on the Merchandising team.
As the category manager of innovation on Gopuff’s merchandising team, Aimee is passionate about finding fresh and trendy items that our customers will love. Whitney Johnson, our Senior Director of Merchandising, recently interviewed Aimee to learn more about her background and experience at Gopuff – read on for their discussion!
Interested in joining our team? Check out our careers page here!
Whitney: Tell us a little bit about your career history – how did you get to where you are today?
Aimee: My first job was at Urban Outfitters, working in their merchandising department. Though I really enjoyed that space and the work that I did there, I eventually felt like I needed a change. I knew I wanted to work with new products and a new customer base, and then I discovered the instant needs industry and Gopuff. It all seemed so interesting and fresh; I liked the idea of being a part of something that was in its earlier stages and growing. Once I started, I quickly realized that there were – and still are – so many opportunities for growth, innovation, and expansion in merchandising. I’m just really happy to be a part of it.
Whitney: Now that you’ve been here for about two years, what excites you about working at Gopuff? What’s your favorite part?
Aimee: We’re building a new kind of business in a new industry, and as a result, we’re constantly evolving. As individuals, this means we’re often pushed to grow, tackle challenges and problem solve. I’ve learned so much in a short amount of time as a result of that environment and the many talented people I get to work with. Another thing I find really exciting is the freedom to build at Gopuff. In some of my past work, there were so many strict guardrails around what I could do as a merchant, but at Gopuff, I have the ability to bring on new and exciting products, innovate and bring new ideas to the table. It’s also a fun challenge because our micro-fulfillment centers are relatively limited in space, so we have to think critically about what we want to be available for our customers, and often leverage data to make those decisions.
Whitney: Can you tell us about a memorable project you’ve worked on?
Aimee: One of my favorite projects was actually a bit heartbreaking at first but really rewarding. Last year, when COVID-19 started and was really hitting hard, I helped onboard some local businesses that couldn’t afford to keep their doors open or couldn’t accept in-store customers. This was before our local partnerships team was formed, so a lot of people on the merchandising team were switching lanes and jumping in to help these small local businesses. We were the first online or delivery partner for some of those local businesses and I’m really proud to be able to say we helped them stay in business during the pandemic.
Whitney: As you of course know, we’re a customer-first business here at Gopuff. How do you put the customer first in your own role?
Aimee: I’m always thinking about the customer and how to put them first because it’s my job to choose the products that are available to them. Gopuff is so valuable because we offer our customers what they need, when they need it, and I love having the responsibility of making sure that the items they need are available to them.
Whitney: What do you look for in new team members? What advice do you have for others just starting out in their career?
Aimee: When looking for a new team member, I would say a curiosity and willingness to learn are super important. A general interest in products and a creativity for assortment are also crucial. But most of all, we look for people who have a passion for helping our customers because that’s what this job is all about: improving our customers’ experience constantly.
I have two pieces of advice for those just starting out. Number one is to remain open and flexible. Every day is different and you really need to be able to adapt and adjust, because that’s how you learn. Number two is to find your voice and point-of-view, and be able to communicate that confidently. On the merchandising team, we decide what products are on the platform, so you need to be a decision-maker who’s able to articulate why something should be added and what impact that product will have on the business and for the customers.
Whitney: Are you involved with any of Gopuff’s Employee Resource Groups (ERG)?
Aimee: I’m a member of the women’s ERG, empowerHER. This is the first company I’ve worked at that has ERG’s and it’s very cool. I was immediately interested when they were introduced and they’ve become a great resource for people across the organization. With empowerHER, I really wanted to be educated on the issues women face, and learn how to be an ally and a resource to others. It’s also been a great opportunity to bond with others; I’m excited to be a part of a community within Gopuff.
Whitney: To start off, can you tell us a little bit about what you like to do in your free time, what hobbies you have?
Aimee: I love to be active. You can often find me outside, taking my dog for a walk, at the gym, or at the beach. I have a wheaten terrier named Ellie and I love to take her out and about when we have the time.
Whitney: What’s your favorite or most frequently ordered product on Gopuff?
Aimee: As a local Philadelphian, I love La Colombe ground coffee. I’ll also admit I love Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy pints – they’re so good!