Some of the products that never go out of style are the ones that keep us in style. Take beauty creams, for example. Rarely is there a lack of interest in keeping skin looking fresh and youthful, making beauty creams as timeliness as a basic white tee.
No one knows this better than one Midwest company, which has been developing beauty products since 1995. Over its 30 years in business, the company has made a name for itself across a variety of products spanning everything from anti-aging serums to foot creams, which are now sold in stores like Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and other brick-and-mortar retailers across the country. (Note: the company has chosen to remain unnamed in this case study).
The team has long valued innovation in both its products and business, having committed to a hybrid D2C-and-wholesaling approach before it became popular. The idea was to test various markets and see if products “could have a life online.” Little did they know that influencers like Khloe Kardarshian would pick up their products, helping to shatter their online goals. Their $100-million-dollar-wholesale business would soon be bolstered by another multimillion-dollar side hustle, as they hurled themselves into the world of multichannel ecommerce.
Amazon first came into the picture in 2015—an opportune time to join, according to National Sales Manager Josh, who can still recall the days when the marketplace was far less competitive.
“But by no means was it easy. It was a lot of work to get products up and listed,” Josh says, adding that pricing and order management were a hassle and required his team to log into multiple systems. “We were struggling with managing all that from an operational side. On top of that, we were looking at overall ecommerce sales and 99.9% sales were going through Amazon, which we were not comfortable with.”
To reduce their reliance on Amazon, his team onboarded to Shopify and eBay in 2017. Both platforms provided a chance at brand expansion. And yet, the team couldn’t work fast enough.
“Before we started working with Zentail, it was just a huge pain in the butt trying to copy and paste products from Amazon to eBay to Shopify,” says Josh. Creating a variation listing or multipack was a tedious process, and many items never made it to eBay because there simply wasn’t enough time to list them.
By 2018, the team had sacrificed enough; it was time to invest in their first-ever software partner. Their main criteria? A platform that was nimble, attentive and didn’t treat their customers like a number.
By the time the team came across Zentail, they had already demoed at least five other platforms. Zentail’s biggest selling point, according to Josh, was its ability to take products straight from Amazon and upload them to other channels. Listing was, as promised, simple.
Today, Zentail’s listing automation has helped to cut listing time down by more than 50%. In just 10 minutes or less, the team can list a single product to six channels, including Walmart, eBay, Shopify and Wish. The power behind the magic—Zentail’s SMART Types tech—translates the data according to each channel’s requirements and taxonomy, preventing errors or downtime.
QuickEdit and virtual kitting tools have also been instrumental. The ability to list a two-pack or bundle without having to physically create the bundle itself has saved precious time and money. Overall, the flexibility of Zentail’s system allows the team to jump on new trends. No two channels behave exactly the same, so it has always been important for the platform to support custom listings, manage multiple fulfillment methods and keep inventory synced across all channels.
Ecommerce Coordinator Adam S. adds that onboarding to Zentail was remarkably easy. Prior to joining the company, Adam had experience working with ChannelAdvisor, which required tons of spreadsheets to set up. Aside from its superior automation, Zentail assisted with critical tasks like catalog cleanup prior to launching to new channels.
"With ChannelAdvisor, you just felt you were another customer and thrown into the software. After they get your business, they’ll go chase another customer,” says Adam. “With Zentail, you get the sense that the team is trying to grow with you. It’s easy to use and the support team, which is available through live chat, is unmatched.”
Upwards and Forwards into the Future
An Even More Radiant Future
The beauty company has set its eyes on an even more promising future. Having gone from a few million to over $12 million in annual GMV in just two years (a 249% jump) and seen YoY growth across nearly every channel that’s managed through Zentail, it expects to hit another sales record this year.
The team’s plan involves continuing to diversify and upload more of their catalog online, potentially even creating a new DTC line specifically for ecommerce. With AOV having increased YoY every year over the last five years, there is also a clear opportunity to use Zentail’s tools to offer more kits, bundles and variations that can bring that value even higher.
“In general, Zentail has helped propel our online growth,” sums up Josh. “They’ve been a true partner for us. Without Zentail, our YoY growth would not be what it is today.”