E-Commerce businesses are growing at an astonishing rate. This is the second of three stories talking about Loveland, CO E-Commerce businesses who are thriving with their online sales.
Loveland business owners have found clever ways to turn the online shopping trend into profitable business ventures.
Three such businesses—Aroma Outfitters that provides accessories for doTerra essential oils, Beau and Belle Littles that makes swim diapers and Wild Zora Foods that manufacturers meat and vegetable bars—have the appearance of instant success with high sales numbers. But getting there took trial and error, fine tuning business and marketing plans and keying in on what works and doesn’t work with e-commerce to thrive in the world of online sales.
Story #2 – Wild Zora’s Story
Like the DeVries, Josh and Zora Tabin of Fort Collins created a product when they found a market gap. Zora wanted to be able to hike and engage in outdoor activities with a non-sugary, food-based bar that was healthy and had a great taste. She and Josh developed Wild Zora Meat & Veggie Bars, a shelf-stable, high-protein snack bar made with free-range meat and organic vegetables.
The Tabins call their business Wild Zora Foods, which has a manufacturing plant in downtown Loveland and a staff of 14. They started distributing their product in retail outlets in early 2015
“The American palette is very sweet. We don’t think it’s very healthy to eat so much sugar. The alternative is jerky, but it’s salty and tough,” said Josh, who manages the administrative side of the business, while Zora create the products.
About a year ago, the Tabins saw they had grown in their retail spread to 1,000 stores but still were not making a profit—retail stores struggle to compete with e-commerce and are expecting vendors to pay more and more in fees, Josh said. The Tabins shifted their focus to online sales through their website at wildzora.com and Amazon, engaging in digital marketing through social media and email outlets and pay-per-click advertising.
“Last year, our retail sales were relatively flat, but our online sales grew 600 percent. So now we have a nice profitable business, but it’s because of the online sales,” Josh said. “The old retail distribution model is extremely difficult to make money at now.”
The Tabins found success through a comprehensive approach to digital marketing instead of focusing on one approach and not getting a lot of results. They use three main social media channels, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to generate interest in their product. They also get interest on Amazon, because customers might buy their products on the Wild Zora website and recorder on Amazon.
“Just having a website and Amazon is not enough for online sales,” Josh said.
The Tabins found that traditional media doesn’t bring much in sales, because potential customers may see or hear their ads but be buying later and not remember specifics about their product or company, Josh said.
“Online marketing is what’s building our sales. That’s what’s allowing our business to survive,” Josh said.