Q&A: Christa DePoe, general manager of 
e-commerce, Keen Footwear

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Q&A: Christa DePoe, general manager of ?e-commerce, Keen Footwear
Q&A: Christa DePoe, general manager of ?e-commerce, Keen Footwear

Christa DePoe, the general manager of e-commerce at Keen Footwear, explains  its mobile and e-commerce site tactics.

Q: Is your company's e-commerce platform geared more toward branding or selling?

A: Brand experience is number one. However, a better way to describe it is opening access to our consumers to purchase. Our brand has so much more going on than just selling products. Our main purpose is to be an inclusive e-commerce site. 

We go through painstaking efforts to make sure our retailers are included. We don't promote just selling out of our warehouse. We let our consumer decide where they want to buy. Our company is only eight years old, so we value the partnerships that built our brand to what it is today. 

Q: What does Keen's marketing mix look like, particularly with regards to direct marketing?

A: Since we're so young, and we just launched our e-commerce site a little over two years ago, we deliberately don't do much search engine marketing. Our retailers spend so much on that already. We run social campaigns, product banner ads with like-minded companies, and we send two emails per month that are product-focused to our house file. We don't buy email lists. We engage only those people who have engaged and opted-in. 

Our company launched a mobile site last year and we're going to roll out mobile internationally this year.

Q: Your company seems deeply invested in activism. Do you think there is an overlap between marketing, e-commerce and the activism strategy? 

A: Everything we do, we do with the mindset of doing the best you can with what you can. How do things impact the environment and people? Everything is rooted in that. We wouldn't describe ourselves as activists. Our owner would cringe. We try to do the right thing. We're not fanatical. 

Q: If you could add one feature to your e-commerce site, what would it be? Why?

A: We just opened our first retail store in Portland. If I could add one thing, it'd be the emotion our brand evokes that happens in-person in our store. Our fans are passionate. They're feeling a lot of happiness, hope, comfort, warmth and motivation to do better. 

We try to spend a lot of time evoking that feeling online. I have four people full-time responding to every email we get from customers. 

We're trying to stay small as we grow. We're better off if we can develop relationships. Oftentimes, it's hard to be simple and do a lot of things. 


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