At Clyde, we chat with retail and eCommerce leaders everyday about how they are growing their businesses and improving the customer experience. We recently spoke with Kate Albers, eCommerce Manager at sleep tech company Chili, about her priorities and initiatives, as well as her advice to retailers looking to make the move into eCommerce.

1. Hi Kate. We’re interested to hear how you got into e-commerce.

I actually entered e-commerce from the agency, not brand, side. Though my background was originally in public relations and publishing, I knew the future was in the immediate consumer satisfaction of digital marketing. I worked for a digital marketing and ad agency working with many clients across all verticals. After managing social paid media, I needed to see what happens “under-the-car-hood.” Therefore, I moved to the brand side in 2017 and have been with Kryo Inc.’s Chili brand ever since.

2. Tell us a bit about Chili. What projects or initiatives are you focused on at Chili right now? What are some of the most impactful things you've implemented over the last year that's best prepared you for today's retail environment?

Chili, a brand of Kryo Inc., is all about changing the way the world sleeps. For years, we’ve been told it’s all about getting the right number of hours of sleep or even about mattress comfort. But at Chili, we’re instead focused on delivering science-backed sleep solutions specifically tied to sleep quality. The way we do that is through effectively managing sleep temperature. 

In all things, we strive to meet our customers where they are. That’s why in the past year, we’ve rolled out text-message marketing, a sleep-solution quiz, cross-sells in the cart and even our own front-facing philanthropic program called Kryo Cares.

3. What tools or strategies do you find most meaningful for improving the e-commerce customer experience?

We’re always striving to turn our customers into our biggest supporters. It’s cliché, but there truly is nothing more powerful that delivering an amazing customer experience. That effort will always result in the best return in investment. We’ve achieved this strategy in many ways, from providing personalization on our website to product attachments in the cart to fun giveaways.  

4. When you were evaluating Clyde, what other projects were you considering putting on your plate, and what made you prioritize Clyde? 

At a small company or start up there are always a lot of projects, but Clyde became a clear priority 1) because it improved our customer’s buying experience and 2) because it has had real revenue impacts for us as a start-up. While we always put our customers number one, and number two also helps drive our mission forward.   

5. We’re inspired to see how many retailers have contributed to COVID-19 relief efforts. Tell us about Chili’s “Kryo Cares one-for-one program”.

Absolutely. So I mentioned about meeting your customers where they are, and unfortunately in 2020 this has meant in a COVID-19 pandemic. While we as a business had already worked with veteran’s groups and local charities for years, we were determined to use those initial efforts as a launchpad to help even more essential workers and healthcare responders this year.

That’s why we launched our Kryo Cares one-for-one program this past March. When customers purchased one of our dual-zone sleep systems, we’ve been able to donate a single-zone system to a first responder or health professional in need of a great night’s sleep. It essentially means our customers are able to shop for good and allow us the support to give to those who need help. We’ve donated over $300,000 worth of sleep systems to date and plan to donate up to one million dollars worth of sleep systems to our current applicant pool.

6. Any advice for brick-and-mortar retailers looking to transition into e-commerce?

You can do it. Read that again.

It will seem tough and overwhelming at first, and there will be a lot of new technology to learn but keep driving forward. E-commerce was built to be “easy” for both the brand and consumer. Start by simply setting up your online storefront. Then, start driving traffic to your site. Once you have that foundation, you can take it from there.

7. One last question. We assume you know a little something about unwinding, working at a sleep tech company. Any tips for staying sane during this work from home time?

 A lot of people smarter than me have said, “Make a list of five to ten things that matter to you about whatever you’re trying to do. If it’s not on that list, don’t give it all of your energy.” When I want to fall asleep, I make my fall asleep list, which may mean I read instead of binge watching Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s tough but it works.

 I’ve found this idea works for other areas of life too, like I’m recently learning to surf, but worrying about sharks isn’t on that list — and thank goodness.