Reinventing an industry with a new website

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Today, we are excited to share the launch of our new Zonos dot com website! There were three main challenges we faced with this project:

  • How do we explain landed cost when many don’t fully understand its complexities?
  • By what means can we show we’re different? Any other company claiming they calculate landed cost isn’t doing it right.
  • Can we describe an offering that’s not a commodity to the general public?
Zonos decodes the complications of cross-border trade and seeks to reinvent the global commerce industry by creating transparency for anyone doing business overseas without any costly surprises or confusion.

Below, we’ll cover the 6 key takeaways we learned from redesigning our company website.

1. Envision the story for your company.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking a website redesign means just simply throwing up whatever is recently trending in UI/UX design. The first step to a successful website is to understand the story you want to tell about your company and what makes it different.

What did Zonos do?

Before we simply decided to sit down and start looking at aesthetic elements, we first decided to be strategic about our messaging. The confusing yet wonderful thing about Zonos? What we do is unique. We’re not a logistics business or shipping consolidator; we’re an innovative software company with a focus on international commerce. Zonos is only as successful as our customers are, and we don’t profit from hidden fees or lack of transparency. We also work with any company to integrate our solution however they want.

We were pretty much faced with the challenge to not only define why we’re different but position ourselves in a new category, e.g. cross-border technology. We were even being mistakenly categorized on the review site, G2 as simply an “ecommerce tool” so they ended up creating a new category on their site called “cross-border ecommerce”. Once we came up with our new story, we made sure the copy was clear and simple. Immediately, website visitors get what we do and how we can help.

2. Be strategic with the look and feel.

There is more to design than just the website’s look and feel. A clear, strategic direction must be defined to create alignment with web design elements, from copywriting and typography to layout and illustrations. Your organization’s values and goals should be reflected on your company’s website.

What did Zonos do

Zonos Design Director, Craig Kubie, spent months conceptualizing the new look and feel for a tech company that is niche and thriving. But most of that time involved sitting in strategic meetings simply to “talk it out” with the executive team, marketing, and customer success managers to get into the mind of prospects and current customers when they land on our website. It was necessary for us to understand how we wanted to convey the story on each fold and page before we created the content. “The process for designing a website is so important,” says Craig, “there was a lot of iteration involved.”

As you can see on our homepage for example, we wanted visitors to know that we understand the pains of selling and doing business internationally just by looking at the headers and the graphics. We also wanted to emphasize that we are a global business by creating images with an international flair and to convey that our core focus is on landed cost and we are the leaders of our industry.

3. Focus on your customers

So here’s the bad news about working in marketing or advertising in today’s world… only 4% of consumers will believe you and people generally trust strangers over advertisements (70% of consumers believe other consumer opinions). Traditional marketing is broken, and the key to regain that trust with your website content is to analyze your customer data and gain a better understanding of VoC (Voice of the Customer).

What did Zonos do

As the marketing team sat down to craft the site copy, we realized the best way to relate to our audience was simply to use the VoC throughout our website. We did our research and dug through dozens of reviews to find patterns with keywords and phrases that our customers used to define our business and how our products helped them. Because the majority of people don’t trust Marketing and Sales in this world of constant pop-up notifications on our mobile devices, we decided to let our current customers tell the story of their experience working with us to give increased authenticity and credibility to our business. We aren’t just simply “claiming” we’re the most accurate and best solution out there; we’re proving this through the voice of our customers.

4. Highlight workplace culture.

To grow and scale your business, you’re not just targeting potential customers but also prospective employees. Your website is a great place to showcase your company culture other than just outlining core values and mission statements. It’s about showing real-world examples of how employees interact with each other and follow the company vision.

What did Zonos do

Part of the culture at Zonos is that we are responsible for customer success and strive to reach everyone. We value team effort and open communication. We strive to keep everyone aligned and bought into the company vision. Our about us page is dedicated to the people at Zonos. We are both Decoders and Zonuts, defining what that means is important to helping us recruit amazing people who will fit in with our company culture.

5. Recognize your partners.

Acknowledge your collaborators and any trusted partners that contribute to the success of your company on your website. Give recognition where it’s due, and attract any new potential business relationships that can be cultivated.

What did Zonos do

Yes, we are a company based in the US, but at the end of the day, we work with any size or type of business from anywhere in the world and we will partner with anyone who wants to work with us. This is why we have a whole global partners page dedicated to the variety of businesses we work with.

6. Remember, the website is living.

Don’t make the mistake of saying, “Ok, we’re done with the website.” Think of the company website as a living, breathing entity that needs to constantly be updated, checked for any issues, A/B tested, and refreshed as new events, announcements, and changes happen within your company.

What did Zonos do

The work we do on our website never ceases. This is a reminder of that fact as we get feedback internally and externally. Now that we’ve put a ton of time and effort into strategy, copy, design, development, and more, we know we still need to work on the website regularly to be successful. We already have a laundry list of things to do next with our website. Check back regularly, or feel free to email us suggestions or comments at marketing@zonos.com.

References

  • Ewing, M. 71% More Likely to Purchase Based on Social Media Referrals [Infographic]. Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30239/71-More-Likely-to-Purchase-Based-on-Social-Media-Referrals-Infographic.aspx
  • G2. Best Cross Border E-Commerce Software in 2020 | G2. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.g2.com/categories/cross-border-e-commerce
  • Shane, D. (2019, May 31). 96 Percent of Consumers Don’t Trust Ads. Here’s How to Sell Your Product Without Coming Off Sleazy. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/dakota-shane/96-percent-of-consumers-dont-trust-ads-heres-how-to-sell-your-product-without-coming-off-sleazy.html
  • SimilarTech. Cross Border Technologies Market Share and Web Usage Statistics. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.similartech.com/categories/cross-border

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Christina Trocco

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