Teddy Giard and Kyle Self, founders of Kanga Coolers jumped onto The eCom Ops Podcast to share their knowledge and experience in eCommerce operations, how they transformed a college project into a successful eCom venture and the impact of COVID-19 on their business.
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A class project that transformed lives
Logan Lamance, the founder and CEO of Kanga Coolers observed that one of the most significant issues for beer lovers was the presence of warm beer. Yes, they had coolers, but they found it tiresome to drag around the ice for their tailgate parties – and instead made peace with warm beers.
For their class project, the team of boys created ‘canned insulators’ that held a whole case of beer – and other beverages, without ice or any additional hassle. The project got them a ‘B’ grade at the Clemson University of South Carolina. Still, the guys walked away with a ‘cool’ business initiative – appreciated by beer lovers all over the world.
Shark Tank – a milestone
In 2019, the Kanga Cooler’s team of appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. The guys recall the memory as one of the key milestones for their company. They also said that they were very young at that time.
However, their enthusiasm and, of course, the innovative idea won, and the Kanga Coolers team sealed the deal within 15 – 20 minutes. It was one of the fastest deals in the history of the show.
An overview of the Kanga Coolers operation
The team comprises eight young guys, along with a few interns who have different responsibilities across the company.
Kyle plays an essential role in the eCommerce operation of the company. His brother introduced him to the sector during his internship days. Ultimately, Kyle taught all he knew about eCommerce to Teddy during their get-togethers in college.
Their main eCommerce stack is Shopify. However, they have two websites set up to cater to the consumers and wholesale partners individually. Their inventories are managed on the front end, while shipments are handled manually by a team of interns.
What about customer service and automation?
Teddy manages the customer service side. The process is to combine responses from social channels and their websites to Hootsuite and track the consumer’s experience with the aim ‘not to piss off people’.
For them, automation is a huge deal. Jiard and Kyle, are automating a good part of advertising and customer service. They are also hoping to reach the Shopify Plus status soon – with only one tier left. Reaching the Shopify Plus goal would help them automate their e-store and eliminate much of manual work.
Is Amazon in their bucket list?
Amazon is definitely in Kanga Coolers bucket list for the future. However, the team thinks that moving on towards a bigger platform requires them to be equipped with more resources and a bigger workforce. They are now a small team with a limited workforce, which provides Kanga team with limitation to scale at Amazon, and they may need some time.
The impact of COVID-19
Despite their target audience being youngsters going to parties, events, and festivals, Kanga Coolers is, fortunately, seeing good sales during COVID-19.
Teddy Giard and Kyle Self’s biggest Influences:
Teddy mentions that he learnt the most about eCommerce and business from Kyle, whereas Kyle’s primary source of inspiration was his elder brother.