Editor’s note: We’re checking in with pet supplier Thadeu Diz of Zee.Dog to talk about his exciting accomplishments. If you want to learn more about his business, read the original post and follow Zee.Dog on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Vimeo.
Since we last spoke, we had just launched our U.S. online store. We knew we had a lot of work ahead of us in terms of customer acquisition and general brand awareness, as well as being able to logistically ship to all the countries where we opened.
It’s been amazing. The website tripled in traffic, and we have grown our user base from almost zero to more than 25,000. We’ve shipped orders to 62 countries and even revamped the entire website’s UX twice.
We currently run several A/B tests, and we are regularly improving conversion. Apart from that, the online store helped us make big moves offline, too. We opened a Zee.Dog store in SoHo, New York and one in Las Vegas.
I think the biggest challenge was gaining momentum. Word of mouth had always been our main form of marketing, but for word of mouth to really work, you need people talking about you — and that comes from building momentum. We worked on several fronts, partnering with other brands that have a huge following, and tapped into the power of influencers. We even created the Zee.Dog Mafia, a group of famous Instagram dogs, and worked influencer marketing to boost awareness.
3. Any hints, tips or tricks you’ve discovered that boosted an aspect of your business (i.e., sales, engagement, social media, etc.)?
I think the biggest discovery no doubt is how effective influencer marketing can be for any startup. Obviously, you need it to be organic, so having a good product people are willing to use and promote (for free) is key.
That has been incremental to our increase in sales, engagement, social media following, etc.
4. What new technology or business practices are you looking to learn? What skills do you want to further develop?
We have been testing several new gadgets and ideas to increase conversion and lower cart abandonment. We launched something we call “The Titanic,” which is a super-easy widget the client sees once they land on the homepage of our site. It asks what breed of dog they have, and we suggest the appropriate sizes for all the products. That has lowered friction considerably.
5. What are your upcoming plans for 2017?
We’re aiming to have 15 new storefronts and focus on growing our Zee.Dog Mafia.
Best of luck to you in 2017. Thanks again for catching up with us, Thadeu!