RevZilla is gonna need customer service and personalization to beat the giants

Ten years in, the Navy Yard–based ecommerce company will rely on data insights and personalization to differentiate itself from the Amazons of the world.

CTO Nick Auger (center) and CEO Matt Kull at the company's Renaissance-style "Zillapalooza" celebration. (Courtesy photo)

Navy Yard–based ecommerce company RevZilla held a Reinassance-style bash last week, complete with fortune tellers, caricaturists and a whole roast pig. It was the company’s sixth “Zillapalooza” — an annual, weeklong celebration based on a surprise theme — but it also gave employees the time to reflect on how far the company has come in its 10 years of selling biker gear and threads through the internet.

Cofounder Matt Kull, who oversees both RevZilla and sister company Cycle Gear as CEO of Comoto Holdings, joined the celebration donned in a mail coif, even squaring off against CTO Nick Auger in a joust.

And though the theme of the celebration was the Reinassance, Kull said the roadmap to the company’s next decade in existence will stick to the principles that helped it grow from a three-person startup to 337 employees.

“A lot of the core tenets of the business that have made us successful remain true,” Kull said. “Early on we focused on differentiating ourselves by focusing on customer experience. If anything, that’s more important now.”

Kull said that to square off against ecommerce giants like Amazon, the company will use data to have “a strong understanding” of the company’s customers.

“Motorcycling is comprised of a a very diverse cross-section of society,” said Kull, a rider himself who started the business alongside Auger and long-time CEO Anthony Bucci. “You get people of all ages, ethnicities and styles of riding, so understanding the different types of riders is super important.”

Currently, Kull said, RevZilla is using small scale personalization to target prospective customers, but there’s a lot of room to grow. Content marketing will continue to be key: The company’s YouTube channel, frequently featuring former CEO and board director Anthony Bucci, educates customers on the RevZilla product line, Kull said.

As for the company’s current structure – which has RevZilla and Cycle Gear using a centralized logistics operation – Kull declined to go into detail, but said Comoto Holdings will look to “evolve the structure over time as the needs of the business evolves.”

One thing that will remain unchanged at RevZilla, Kull said, is its Philly location, where 181 work out of the company’s Navy Yard HQ.

“Certainly don’t see that changing any time soon,” Kull said.


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