“Since 2006, Vita Activate sells natural health products, including supplements, hemp protein, natural balms, massage devices and more on a variety of eCommerce sales channels such as Amazon, Google, eBay, and Shopify.”
Vita Activate Graphic Design Internship
It was Summer 2018, schools out, and I had to find an internship to occupy 2 months of my time. While browsing indeed.com, I found a posting for a graphic design and marketing position at the eCommerce company, Vita Activate.
I met most of the requirements for the job except that I wasn’t enrolled in a design program. In my cover letter, I explained how I self-taught myself graphic design and had lots of experience designing. I applied to the job with my design portfolio website and received an email for an onsite skills test for the vita activate graphic design internship.
The skills test required me to design a couple product advertisement banners and shoot+edit a product picture in a tight timeframe of 1 and a half hours. I didn’t have any experience shooting product pictures besides taking pictures for Craigslist & Facebook Marketplace, but I did my best.
After the skills test, I got invited for a behavioural interview with the founder. I got an offer a few days after.
My Experience & the Ecommerce Industry
Vita Activate Graphic Design Internship
Overall I would describe the setting at Vita Active to be friendly and fast-paced. Most of the time, I found myself either absorbed in my own work or having lighthearted chats with my co-workers. Tim, my manager, was quite demanding, although within reason. He set design targets for me, such as “finish these 10 product pages this week” and gave adequate direction in the specific types of designs he wanted.
The most challenging part was calibrating the level of quality and time spent on each of my designs. In the beginning, I would spend a couple of hours working on a single product page. I spent the majority of my time thinking of creative and clever ways to advertise the product. Through direction from Tim, I realized the Amazon eCommerce business revolved around speed, profits, competition, and systematic product page designs.
Because Vita Activate sold hundreds of products on Amazon, I had to try and finish as much as possible, starting from their best selling products. Soon, I developed a rhythm and system to quickly design pages and shoot product pictures — without sacrificing quality. Near the end, I felt like a design machine pumping out efficient and creative designs. Resulting from this fast pace demand, I felt that my designs did not reach their creative potential. I overcame these feelings by taking pride in the large number of completed product pages and the satisfaction expressed by Tim.
The banner that I redesigned for a Vita Activate beauty supplement Amazon listing. Made with creative freedom (Tim gave little instruction)
The banner that I had to design again because conversion rates were decreasing from my original design. This time, I had direction from Tim.
My internship experience at Vita Active was made a lot better due to my co-workers. They were all between their 20s – 30s, so I was able to make meaningful connections and have memorable times. I had fun carpooling to McDonald’s during lunchtime, playing board games during break, testing back stretcher products, and borrowing Felipe’s race bike to go order sushi.
- Shoot and edit Vita Activate product pictures to be used on Amazon and Shopify listings (Using Canon DSLR & Photoshop)
- Design Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) for Amazon product listings (Using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop)
- Adapted product page copywriting for Amazon and Google SEO
- Redesigned product pages on Shopify
- Design product banners for Google Ads
Some Designs for Vita Activate
With access to Vita Activate’s Amazon buyer’s account, I was able to track statistics on my redesigned product listings and compare the before and after conversion rates. Overall, the pages I designed saw a positive increase in conversion rates. Conversion rates on certain pages increased by 15% while some only increased by 3 – 5%
- I really enjoy Designing. It does not feel like a job to me.
- Ecommerce on Amazon is extremely competitive and fast-paced.
- At a new job, it’s normal to start off slow then pick up pace after you have developed a system.
- Product photography and Photoshop skills
- Amazon EBC and product picture requirements
- Listen to your boss -> even if they don’t have an eye for design, they have been in the industry longer than you therefore they know what works and what doesn’t. Integrate their feedback with your unique insights.
- Design work can become repetitive and tiring once you are in a system. Entertain yourself by taking on design work in different domains.