NatchBytes: Wild Zora Went All-In on e-Commerce and It's Paying Off
Read Food for Real Life.
Josh and Zora Tabin hold a high standard for the snacks they provide their family, and they refused to lower the bar! Fed up with the unsatisfying snacks that were either high in grains and sugar, heavily salted, or overloaded with preservatives, antibiotics and hormones, Zora dreamed up this good-for-you meat and veggie snack.
While Wild Zora started by going into brick and mortar, they quickly learned they lacked the cashflow to effectively promote in stores. So, they went all-in on e-commerce and, today, it accounts for 80% of their business. What’s the secret to their success? Keep reading to find out!
Q: Where did you start selling your product first - online or brick and mortar? Why? Would you do it the same way today?
A: We started in brick and mortar retail because that’s what the “experts” told us to do. We would absolutely do it differently if were doing it all over again. As a shelf-stable, non-breakable, CPG company without the cash or investors to pay for criminally-high retail placement and promotional costs, e-commerce would have been a much better first choice for us.
Q: What % of your business is e-commerce?
A: Online is our primary sales & marketing channel! As of last month, e-commerce accounted for 80% of our business. Up from only 20% just a year earlier!
Q: How important is digital advertising to your company’s strategy?
A: Very important! We’re relying less and less on advertising as we grow. We used to spend 20% of our budget on online advertising and sales; now it’s about 10%. We target a specific RoAS (Return on Ad Spend) of at least 2x in short-term, measurable return on every marketing dollar spent.
Q: What channel has had the biggest impact on your online growth in sales and community building?
A: Amazon, by far. While we still explore all avenues of digital marketing, from email, content, and affiliate to search engine (SEM) and social media (SMM), Amazon accounts for nearly 50% of our total sales.
Q: The digital landscape is constantly changing for natural/organic products. What do you think is going to happen next?
A: There are constantly newly-evolving and developing platforms and tools. I believe you must stay on top of it ALL if you want to succeed.
Q: If you were advising a new natural products company on where to invest their time and energy for online sales and community growth, what would you tell them?
A: Gosh… where to start? Here’s a short list:
Stay out of brick and mortar retail until you’re profitable.
Create genuine relationships with your customers, one at a time.
Learn how to do it yourself until you can afford experts better than you. Experts are those who have done what you want to do, and succeeded, AND failed -- so they can teach you what to do and NOT to do.
Don’t fall in love with your product -- a better idea might be just around the corner.
Run your business like an operating system, not by the seat-of-your-pants -- your pants’ seat provides the passion, but nothing happens without a sufficiently capitalized and experienced team running a profitable business model.
No matter how great the product is, if the business doesn’t make money, it won’t work.