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Former Smith & Hawken CEO joins CleverSet board

CleverSet Jan. 24 announced that Barry Gilbert, former CEO of garden products retailer Smith & Hawken and former chief operating officer of The Sharper Image, will join the company’s board of directors.

The news comes soon after CleverSet recently raised $2 million in funding to total $3.8 million in its nearly seven years of existence. CleverSet will use the funds to extend the reach of its online retail personalized recommendations software to online retailers.

“Customers are beginning to expect that their online shopping experience rival their offline experience,” said Todd Humphrey, CEO of CleverSet, Seattle, WA. “They want retailers to understand what they are looking for in real-time.”

By using statistical and relational models that incorporate data from multiple sources, such as clickstream data, stored customer information, product catalog details and purchase history, CleverSet’s analytic platform generates relevant product recommendations for customers of more than 60 e-commerce companies including Alpineer and Overstock.com.

“Overstock.com is a good example of the type of online retailers we are looking to reach more of in the future,” Mr. Humphrey said.

He said that Mr. Gilbert’s 30-plus years of experience in retail would help the company work with the top-tier online retailers.

In addition to his tenures at Smith & Hawken and Sharper Image, Mr. Gilbert served as CEO of luxury products retailer Miadora Inc. and held prior executive merchandising and operational positions at both Federated Department Stores and May Co. In 1990, he launched the first Warner Bros. Studio Store and opened more than 100 stores in the United States and internationally.

CleverSet has an advisory board that also i ncludes Peter Norvig, director of search quality for Google, and Andreas Weigend, former chief scientist of Amazon.com.

“As a CEO, I would have bought this product in a heart beat” Mr. Gilbert said of CleverSet’s software. “It’s tough to get people on your site and once they are there you want to convert them. Here’s a product that has proven to increase a person’s likelihood to buy.”

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