69. North Star in E-commerce: Chris Hallisey of AW Chang Explains

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It is my pleasure to introduce our guest, Chris Hallisey, who leads the e-commerce division at AW Chang Corporation, a men’s apparel and accessories company known for its sustainable practices and innovative digital printing technology. Chris brings a wealth of experience in managing both direct-to-consumer and business-to-business channels.

This episode explores the concept of the “North Star” in e-commerce. Chris shares how this guiding principle helps his team maintain focus and authenticity across AW Chang’s diverse brand portfolio. We explore the significance of understanding and communicating a brand’s unique selling points, navigating the complexities of omni-channel strategies, and leveraging customer feedback to enhance the shopping experience.

Key takeaways from our conversation include the importance of sustainability in modern apparel, the shift towards more casual business attire, and the challenges and opportunities within the apparel industry. Chris also provides valuable insights into the role of technology in e-commerce, from platform choices to the integration of advanced features that improve customer engagement.

Stay tuned as Chris shares his expertise on balancing B2B and D2C operations, optimizing marketing strategies, and the ever-evolving landscape of digital commerce.

In this episode, digital commerce leaders will gain practical advice to help them stay competitive in the marketplace.

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Guest: Chris Hallisey, Head of e-commerce at AW Chang Corporation

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-hallisey-1ab36830/

AW Chang Corporation: https://www.awchang.com/


  • Having a North Star is crucial in e-commerce, as it helps define the brand’s unique selling points and guides marketing efforts.
  • Authenticity and differentiation are key in storytelling and marketing to stand out in a crowded market.
  • AW Chang is a vertically integrated company with a focus on sustainability, owning the mill, factory, distribution center, and DTC website.
  • Managing an omni-channel approach requires balancing D2C and B2B sales, with a focus on maintaining control and prioritizing product assortment.
  • Customer-centricity is essential in creating seamless website experiences and driving conversions on mobile devices.
  • Ongoing experimentation and learning are necessary to adapt to changing customer preferences and optimize performance.
  • Working with external agencies requires clear communication, detailed instructions, and trust in their expertise.
  • Chris broke his neck while playing rugby, but has since recovered and continues to enjoy sports from the sidelines.


00:00 Introduction and Importance of a North Star

03:21 AW Chang: A Vertically Integrated and Sustainable Brand

06:11 Balancing D2C and B2B in an Omni-Channel Strategy

11:09 Customer-Centricity and Gathering Feedback

15:44 Creating Seamless Website Experiences and Organic Activities

23:33 Tips for Working with External Agencies

26:48 The Importance of Authenticity and Staying True to Your Brand

30:10 Conclusion and Fun Fact

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