Kaohs Swim: An eCommerce Success Story

No one could have expected the emergence of a swimwear powerhouse when two clothing store employees, Ali Hoffmann and Tess Hamilton, met in late 2012. The Los Angeles-based duo shared similar drive, passion, and knowledge that enabled the January 2014 launch of “Kaohs Swim.”

“We are a full swimwear company,” said co-founder Ali Hoffmann, “and we design our collections based on three themes: the skater girl, the bohemian (boho) girl, and the surfer girl.” Kaohs’ sales are mainly eCommerce driven, but their swimwear line can also be found in retailers throughout the nation.

Keys to Success

Kaohs Swim has seen incredible growth through the last few years. Ali cited several keys to Kaohs’ success; “A strong social media presence has been key for us. Also, communicating our brand effectively, supplying on-time deliveries, and providing exceptional customer service has been huge for us.” In just over three years, Kaohs has attained over 125 thousand followers on their Instagram page.

With manufacturing, Ali and Tess initially went the international route but later opted for the benefits of local, domestic production. “All our products are produced right here in LA, so we can check the production of our merchandise and ensure great quality,” Ali added. Ali says this has helped them deliver the brand experience they envisioned for their now-thriving business.

Overcoming Challenges

Though Kaohs has exploded in the last few years, the company has had to overcome its unique set of problems. As you might imagine, swimwear companies’ months and quarters can vary greatly due to weather and seasonal restrictions. “It is very challenging to grow from the ground up,” stated Ali. “Some months we would sell hundreds of items, then only sell 13 the next. We’ve really had to learn to be consistent, which has really helped us overcome our growth challenges.”

The swimwear company is currently experiencing 33% month-over-month growth in 2017, and is ready for the annual summertime boom as temperatures continue to rise. Of course, these explosions must be handled with operational prowess.

Operational Readiness

Mainly operating through eCommerce, Ali shares insights to the challenges of shipping their products. “We needed to find the right carrier and a good rate for our customers. This meant figuring out the advantages of the various carriers and knowing what our customers want to see in terms of fast, cheap shipping.” Ali explained.

Ali and Tess fulfill their shipments through ShipCaddie. “[ShipCaddie] is super easy to use and navigate,” says Ali. “The launch of our Shopify-based website will make things even smoother because of ShipCaddie’s API connection with Shopify. Having our orders automatically populate into ShipCaddie will save us a lot time as we fulfill orders. The discounted shipping rates don’t hurt either,” Ali quipped.

Ali, Tess, and Kaohs have been with ShipCaddie since its launch, and they continue to be a big part of what makes ShipCaddie successful. Kaohs has been very active in providing customer experience feedback which has led to several software improvements and enhancements for all ShipCaddie customers. “Kaohs is great to work with,” says ShipCaddie VP of Marketing, Matt Simmons. “And our shared values of providing top-notch customer experiences is something that has really strengthened our relationship. I really can’t say enough about our partnership with them.”

Kaohs Swim has shown unprecedented growth for a company that recently celebrated its 3rd birthday. Kaohs has blossomed into a thriving eCommerce business through a stellar social media presence, exceptional customer service and efficient shipping combined with quality, domestically-produced merchandise. Ali and Tess have grown from challenges to fulfill their passion of designing and creating fun and fashionable girl’s swimwear.


To see the collections of Kaohs Swim, click here

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