RevZilla can hardly meet demand after segmenting and interacting with its customers - Technical.ly Philly

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Mar. 9, 2009 5:29 pm

RevZilla can hardly meet demand after segmenting and interacting with its customers

Like many small businesses, RevZilla had humble beginnings. The company’s original “business plan” was written on the back of a napkin and discussed among three friends who were between jobs. Two years later, RevZilla.com is a premiere online destination for motorcycle and dirt bike gear and the company is racing to scale with the increase […]

Like many small businesses, RevZilla had humble beginnings. The company’s original “business plan” was written on the back of a napkin and discussed among three friends who were between jobs.

Two years later, RevZilla.com is a premiere online destination for motorcycle and dirt bike gear and the company is racing to scale with the increase in orders. Recently, the company has redesigned its Web site, implemented what it learned from the past behavior of customers, and incorporated social media tools into its marketing; all from a warehouse in South Philly where it’s located.

“Philly is an interesting town to start a start up in,” said co-founder Anthony Bucci. Bucci believes that the entrepreneurial culture in the city has taken off in the past few years, crediting First Round Capitol and Philly Startup Leaders as examples.

After the jump, learn how RevZilla finds its best customers through Twitter and discover why shoe retailer Zappos has more to do with dirt bikes than you may think.

“We’re encouraging people to interact with us in the ways that they are comfortable with,” said Bucci. Those methods include an active Twitter account, regular Flickr postings, and making itself available on industry forums. The company has also advertised on blogs, and is considering sponsoring podcasts.

“The trust element is huge,” Bucci said. “When someone comes in from a site that is not Google, there’s a certain level of trust there.”

Many people may not peg the dirt biking enthusiast as a die-hard Twitter user, but RevZilla has found that the same geekiness that many people would associate with using the latest web application is what makes certain customers obsess over the latest biking equipment. In fact, those engaged with the company through Twitter often end of being a high-end costumer.

The customer base served by Revzilla is easy to divide into active communities. A first time visitor to RevZilla.com is given a choice: “Street,” “ADV/Touring,” or “Off Road.” Each kind of rider has subtle differences and each has its own community that the company tries to tap. In fact, once someone selects what riding niche they are a part of, the site will default to that section. Products may be cross-niche, but the customer will see more relevant items to purchase, and that translates into more sales.

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Bucci said the company uses Zappos.com as a model for prioritizing personalized customer interaction. Zappos is best known throughout the business world for using unconventional tactics, such as paying new hires to quit and making sure every new employee does a stint in the lowly call center. RevZilla does its best to duplicate Zappos’ dedication to customer service, dedicating an unusually high amount of Web site real estate to customer policies and promises.

The extra effort has paid off, as the company’s biggest problem to date is meeting demand. “Its a good problem to have,” admits Bucci.

Every Monday, Technically Not Tech will feature people, projects, and businesses that are involved with Philly’s tech scene, but aren’t necessarily technology focused. See others here.

Organizations: RevZilla
People: Anthony Bucci
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