Main Takeaways:

  • Brian and Phillip are joined in today's episode by Andy Zuro, the President at ZLINE Kitchen and Bath.
  • ZLINE has grown over the years to be a brand focused on innovation and providing customers with unique products that they cannot get anywhere else.
  • With so many channels available today in which to acquire and convert customers, how do you know where to focus your efforts to get the most substantial returns?
  • How do you decide what tools to add to your technology stack?

What is ZLINE?: A 15-Year History:

  • About 15 years ago, Andy started ZLINE in Columbus, Ohio, around the time when he was building his own home.
  • During the process of selecting appliances, Andy was shocked by how expensive some of the appliances were and knew that there had to be a better way.
  • On a trip overseas, Andy scoped out some factories and started manufacturing a basic ventilation line.
  • Over the years, Andy saw where peoples' were when it came to kitchen remodeling and expanded to cover the entire line of items necessary when completing your kitchen.

Who Shops at ZLINE?: A Customer Breakdown:

  • The customer path has evolved over the years but started at identifying with customers who had price-driven shopping and saving money in mind.
  • As ZLINE found there was a demand for specific aesthetic options of products, they expanded their options and innovated for people who were looking for more customized options.
  • ZLINE started as a direct-to-consumer brand, and its low prices in comparison to large brands in the space are what grew their customer base.
  • As the ZLINE brand has grown, the direct-to-consumer portion of the business is still there, and they don't distinguish between their sales or sales made through a partner.

Shifting Strategies: From Value to Innovation:

  • Andy has always wanted to be innovative and do things that no other brand has done before.
  • With the push for innovation and allowing customers to customize their purchases, the SKU count starts to get very high.
  • Variety brings brand value back to the ZLINE name and shows its customers that the brand is trying to do something unique and not just be a cookie-cutter company.
  • Acquiring and obtaining customers is attributed to ZLINE's product innovations and by differentiated itself from competitors in the space.

Differentiating from Competitors: Marketing Necessities:

  • Galen Bradford, the CMO at ZLine, joins in to give some more details on the marketing effort.
  • Having a great and unique product is critical from a marketing perspective because it makes your job of promoting your product much more straightforward.
  • ZLINE has noticed a unique avenue of storytelling that they have discovered through Pinterest marketing.
  • What is the feeling the customer feels when they interact with your brand?
  • Once ZLINE established an online presence, they were then able to put their product in big box stores like Home Depot, Lowe's, and Best Buy.
  • If you have the best product and the best content, then you are going to have the best brand.

Growing From Zero: Challenges Along the Way:

  • As you become more segmented in your channel strategy, how does that change you as a business?
  • ZLINE doesn't differentiate between its channels when it comes to gauging for success, but there are different operational requirements per channel.
  • Fundamentally, a brand should be asking what value add they are bringing to the table when it comes to delivering your product to a customer or a retailer.
  • A lot of big-box retailers are always looking to expand their offerings, so finding your unique value add can help you get your foot in the door.

A Channel Breakdown: Where is ZLINE Selling Its Products?:

  • On the direct-to-consumer side, ZLINE is using Google Shopping, PPC, and social media advertising to reach its customers directly.
  • The direct-to-consumer strategy is a mix of old school paper advertisements and then more modern targeted digital advertising.
  • PPC has become exponentially more expensive in recent years, and when a channel no longer proves to be cost-effective, then people begin to search elsewhere for channels that are a better value.
  • Consumers change their shopping habits, so you have to be prepared to change your channel strategies to go where customers are.

The eCommerce Marketing Toolkit: How To Exceed In Today's Saturated Market:

  • From a PPC standpoint, SEMrush allows you detailed online visibility of how your customers are interacting with your site.
  • ZLINE is pushing YouTube and Pinterest when it comes to getting their content in front of the right consumers to reach their ideal prospective customers.
  • Director of Content Development Drew Pearson joins in to point out the value of data and how it allows you to identify new customer segments.
  • What can you do to make your content more relevant?
  • Understanding the Google Ads environment is an essential first step to knowing your best PPC strategies.

How to Convert Customers: Going Past the Traffic:

  • There is a whole separate set of tools available to you to get a customer you have brought to your site to convert and make a purchase.
  • Adding reviews has been one of the things that has generated the most conversions for ZLINE, and some companies that do this are Trustpilot and Bazaarvoice.
  • Creating legitimacy for your brand is imperative, and any tools that you can find that do this can prove its value when it comes to boosting conversions.
  • What are some ways you can boost your brand's legitimacy?

Choosing Your Toolkit: Supporting New Technologies:

  • There is no use in having an excellent toolkit unless you have a brand that resonates with the customer.
  • Your brand needs to be able to support any channel that you add, and if it can't, then you shouldn't purchase a piece of software that implements that channel.
  • Technology additions can be a powerful boon to your brand, but there are questions you need to answer before making the leap and purchasing them.
  • It's not just about what a tool can do but more about how it affects your organization and growth.

Brands Mentioned in this Episode:

As always: We want to hear what our listeners think! What is a channel that you currently do not use to acquire or convert customers, and what are some tools you could employ to make use of that channel?

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