With the plethora of emails I receive on a daily basis, I never paid much attention to my invitations to Zulily. The concept was strange to me. Why did I need to be invited to shop this website with the obscure name? What are events? It all seemed a bit peculiar and quite frankly a bit too complicated for my busy lifestyle. I work full time, am enrolled in grad school, and I have an active family. I want – I need – shopping to be easy and Zulily seemed to make me think too hard.
These Boots Were Made For Walking … Eventually
After some time the frequent emails and attractive deals got the better of me and I took the plunge and bought some boots. But, satisfaction (and the fundamentals of Zulily’s business model) still eluded me as it seemed to take a L-O-N-G time for those boots to arrive on my doorstep. What I didn’t fully realize and what you may not know if you haven’t shopped Zulily before is that they don’t run a storage warehouse. For their flow through business, they don’t place a bulk order for something until its event (otherwise known as sale) ends and they know how many people have ordered it. Then they receive in the merchandise, process it for shipping, and send it on its merry way. From a business sense it is a very interesting concept, but frustrating for someone who wants to wear her new boots right away!
After that lackluster experience with my boots, I wasn’t sure I was sold on Zulily. My opinion changed along with the balance on my credit card the day I downloaded the Zulily app on my iPad. Now THIS was the easy shopping I was waiting for! While I still have to wait longer than industry standard to receive my shipments, everything else was so easy and so alluring that I don’t think I ever made it to the mall this holiday season. Just what makes the Zulily app so smart?
Let’s Start From The Very Beginning
In the beginning there were the emails, inviting me to shop, reminding me to shop, and sharing sweet deals. After I downloaded the app, I still receive the emails, but in addition my iPad and iPhone send me the friendly little *ding* reminding me that it’s time to shop Zulily. As someone who lives by my Outlook message reminders telling me where to be at what time, this simple little audible and visual reminder is embedded into my psyche as a necessary task rather than an email I can overlook. Then once I’ve opened the app, it is very easy to navigate the events that are available on that particular day. If I’m tempted enough to add an item to my cart, the app has already stored all of my billing and shipping information so I don’t have to enter it again. Lastly, once I’ve made the commitment for one item I’m informed that I can continue shopping on that same order until midnight and only pay one shipping fee. Easy peasy lemon squeezy and all I have to do is wait for the packages to arrive.
The Price of Convenience? About $5 Billion
While there is certainly more to Zulily than its app, providing an easy to use mobile commerce site absolutely helped push Zulily into a very successful IPO last November where they raised about $140 million for a current market value of about $5 billion. They also announced plans earlier this year for a new fulfillment center, double in size of their current Nevada facility. Bringing shopping to the busy consumer in an interesting, and easy to navigate way certainly converted me. Oops, gotta go, it’s time to shop Zulily!
Want to learn more about Zulily? Check out these links and let me know what you think!