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Hello again, e-comm peeps! It’s your pen pal, Melissa, back to share another What’s in Store adventure! For issue 7 of our 10-part marketing automation series, we visited Phil Moldavski and Ricky Choi, co-founders of online sock and underwear company Nice Laundry, to find out how these guys make the most of MailChimp’s Abandoned Cart automation.

Phil and Ricky are just a couple of guys with a passion for socks who recognized an e-commerce opportunity. While researching the industry, they learned that socks were sold in brick-and-mortar retail more often than any other apparel category.

“We found that odd,” Phil says, “because socks are the clothing item you need to try on the least.” Hence, they decided to launch an online store where customers can refresh their entire sock drawer with just a few clicks.

Phil and Ricky are savvy entrepreneurs who think big, but with a 7-person team, they have their share of small-business challenges. “Our greatest has been understanding what to outsource, what to keep in-house, and how to delegate,” Phil says.

Fortunately, after running their business for 4 years, they’ve learned a few tips and tricks. Here’s what’s at the top of their list.

“We test everything and never build out until we have to,” Phil says. “We always try to validate our ideas in the most scrappy way possible.”

Testing has been part of Nice Laundry’s DNA since day 1. Phil tells me they didn’t even start the company without first running Google Adwords to a simple landing page that described their value proposition. Once they saw people signing up to be notified, they knew there was genuine interest in the concept. Then, instead of immediately launching a company, they started a Kickstarter project to see if people would actually pay for the concept. Pretty clever!

“Everything you do can be tested in these small incremental ways to ensure you’re creating things that people actually want,” Phil advises. “Do that, and selling these becomes easier.”

As any business owner knows, hiring the right people can be crucial to your success. Phil and Ricky’s strategy is to prioritize hiring resource people over those with deep experience and expertise. For them, it’s a scrappy-yet-effective strategy.

“When the team around you is resourceful, delegating and dividing duties becomes a wholly organic process,” Phil says. “Knowing how and when to delegate becomes infinitely easier with a good team around you.”

“We have a deep understanding of our tech, but we also know when we need to outsource things to the experts,” Ricky says. “MailChimp’s automation tools are a perfect example.”

The Abandoned Cart automation is especially integral to Nice Laundry’s e-commerce business. When a customer leaves an item in their shopping cart, MailChimp triggers an Abandoned Cart email as a reminder to encourage the customer to complete their purchase.

“It brings a meaningful percentage lift to our site conversion rate, but it’s more than just that,” Phil says. “We learned over time that it 1) builds trust, and 2) shows our customers that there are real, live humans behind this business who are easily accessible to answer any last-minute questions.”

As part of the messaging in their Abandoned Cart email, Nice Laundry encourages customers to respond with questions or feedback, so the automation serves an additional function of providing Ricky and Phil with customer insights. As a bonus, they then apply that qualitative data to improve the overall shopping experience.