From complete gibberish to technical know-how: ‘a fast-paced innovation culture is great’ Behind the Screens with Manon den Dekker

In the series ‘Behind the Screens’, we’re diving into the world of Who are the people behind the platform and what does their daily work exactly consist in? How do they collaborate, which challenges do they run into and what makes their role at so exciting? Whether they work within IT, Logistics, Product or Sales, one thing is for sure; everyone adds something of their own and together people let ideas grow. That’s the way we make sure that can be the shop for us all.

Behind the Screens with Manon den Dekker

How do you end up in a tech team as a business analyst when you have a background in marketing and fashion? Well, that’s simple, by simply doing it, explains Manon den Dekker. By being open to learning, asking questions and trying things out. By jumping in at the deep end. Manon: ‘actually, I am a kind of innovation project manager in my team. Exactly because I don’t have an IT background, I can make a good connection between tech and business. Also, I make sure that the organisation’s requirements are feasible from a technical point of view. Not everything is as simple as it sometimes seems!’

Tackling technical terms

When Manon started at a year ago, it was one of the first times that she worked in a tech-driven organisation. ‘It was all very new to me. I knew for example what an API was, but how building such a connection exactly worked? That was complete gibberish to me’, laughs Manon. ‘Meanwhile, I know much more. I enjoy broadening my horizons. I have a background in international business and I used to work for fashion brands. This is a totally different side of retail that I’m discovering here and I really like it. The world of e-commerce is so much faster and more innovative.’

‘I work in one of the innovation teams that enables the technical side of promotions. always has a lot of deals running; from dagdeals to bol 7-daagse to Black Friday. My team makes sure that our thousands of partners, entrepreneurs who sell via, can take part in promotions. Conceiving the promotions is up to the promotion specialists, we take care of the technical execution. My job as a business analyst is to gather the demands and preferences of our colleagues or partners regarding promotions. I do a lot of research into partners’ needs and engage with them. What is useful for them in terms of creating or managing promotions and participating in certain deals? I then translate that into projects for my team.’

Connecting sales partners to promotions

‘Developing the Promotion API was one of the first projects I was involved in. It’s a technically complex project and I was thrown straight into the deep end. It was extremely instructive. I not only gained a lot of technical know-how, but also got to know the organisation and the platform well. After all, the Promotion API impacts various parts of and is important for major sales partners.’

‘Many of our partners use the sales account, the platform where they enter and manage their products. The larger partners prefer to link their own systems to’s through the retail API. This is suitable for products, content and stock, but not yet for promotional data. Partners can only view this date when they log in to their account. The aim of the project was to connect promotional data to the already existing retailer API to better serve our major partners.’

Not successful, but satisfied

‘We have worked on this project for a long time, but the ‘go/no go’ moment came a little too early to go live. This was quite a tense moment and difficult decision to make. But with the coming months beings the busiest time of the year, something like this had to work flawlessly.’ What about next time? ‘With the next release, we can just go ahead with it.’

Even though the project is not yet live, Manon is pleased with the result so far. ‘I might learn more from this. I came here to experience innovation up close. Innovating, coming up with solutions, together with a good team. The fact that something doesn’t succeed all at once is also part of it.’ is never 100% finished

‘Everyone knows that things can always be better. is never finished. Right now, for example, I’m working on internal tooling for promotions to help the promotion specialists. The current way of working is tedious, and together we look at what the ultimate dream is, and what is feasible for now. There is a lot of room for personal input. For this, we spar with IT architects as well as with people from sales and operations. We’re all putting our shoulder to the wheel together.’

‘When I talk to former classmates about this, I notice that the technical side can sometimes put people off. This is also a bit how I felt at first. Now I can safely say that you have no idea what you are missing out on if you have never done it. This fast-paced innovation culture is great. No two days are alike. And the fact that there are so many ambitious and diverse colleagues to work with only drives me more.’

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An open culture with different nationalities

‘A friend from my football team already worked at Also as a business analyst, but for a different department. What she told me about the work, the atmosphere and how everyone encourages each other to learn really appealed to me. I really notice this at the office as well.’

‘I also work in an international team with people from Lebanon, Greece, China, India and the Netherlands. A true melting pot. Everyone lives in the Netherlands, but brings their own culture and perspective. That gives a certain dynamic that I really like. You meet people with very different views on life, but who want to learn from each other. That is essential at’