Get to Know Us: Chris Eckland
by Sarah Brown
Recently, we sat down with Chris Eckland, the product manager of Auctiva Commerce, to learn about the man behind the product.
For more than three years, Chris has been delivering business services to online sellers and has, essentially, been the voice of Auctiva Commerce merchants. Eckland’s job is to be an expert on the product he leads, and to know what customers want. He tries to deliver improvements to sellers’ experiences and listens to ideas that come from their needs. That’s perhaps the main reason why he loves his job.
“It’s fun to see something come to fruition, when I can resolve issues and deliver features our customers want,” he says.
One such feature that came from a seller’s suggestion is the Store Designer, which lets merchants customize their storefronts with a simple drag-and-drop interface. By being a sort of middleman between customers and Auctiva Commerce developers, Eckland feels he’s helping customers grow their businesses, and that’s exactly what Auctiva Commerce is about.
“In our opinion, it’s one of the most robust e-commerce platforms, and is the easiest shopping cart to use,” he says.
It also has a very simple, attractive pricing plan. What you see is what you get, and there are no add-on fees, he says.
Family man, sportsman, online shopper
But Eckland is more than a face for Auctiva Commerce. He’s also a family man who likes to spend his free time with his kids and participate in outdoor activities like golf, mountain biking and snow skiing.
Golf seems to be pretty important to Eckland. In fact, his most recent online purchase was a golf driver, which he bought directly from a golf store, rather than from marketplace like eBay. In general, eBay is Eckland’s go-to for used-product bargains, but he likes direct sources when he wants to buy new.
“Part of the appeal for direct purchasing is the cross-selling of related items,” he says. “My perception is that there is also more information and customer reviews on direct sites.”
He’ll buy practically everything online because of its convenience… everything, except food, that is.
For that, he stays local, and Chico, CA, where Eckland lives, has a great farmer’s market every Saturday, where he regularly shops. He also enjoys the mosaic benches created by local artists and the nearby park for family fun. On occasion, he’ll go with his family to music events or other entertainment presentations.
Enjoying a slice of life
Aside from being amused by such artists as Keb’ Mo’, or diversions like the Luma light show, Eckland finds crime-drama shows interesting. Shows like “The Sopranos” and “Breaking Bad” present a slice of life people are generally not familiar with. It also helps that the acting is really good, he says.
“It’s a subject matter you know is out there, and you don’t want to deal with, but you want to watch it,” he says.
His own slice of life is pretty good, though, and that includes what he gets to do every week at Auctiva Commerce. Eckland genuinely enjoys his job and is happy to hear from his clients. So if you have any ideas you think would help an online business succeed, feel free to pass the idea along to Eckland.