Six years after launching StoreBound, company CEO Evan Dash continues to navigate his company through the constantly changing small electrics marketplace by building an appliance assortment that he said targets a younger consumer base that is looking for products that differ from their parents.
Recently, Dash spoke with HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® about the company’s social media strategy, the successes of 2015 and offered a glimpse into the future of StoreBound.
HomeWorld Business: As you look back at 2015, how did the company perform from a sales perspective?
Evan Dash: This past year was our best so far, and we’ve been fortunate to say that at the end of every year. Our retail placements and sell through are the biggest indicators as is our explosive growth on social media.
HWB: What have been some keys to StoreBound’s success?
ED: We are able to deliver a lot of innovation and bring a lot of incremental business to retailers. We have brought a number of new products to the business including spiralizers, egg cookers and indoor cooking products. We want to give our retail customers opportunities not to cannibalize their existing business while delivering incremental sales opportunities with products that appeal to the Millennial customer.
HWB: When developing new products not commonly seen in the market, is it a challenge to get retailers to buy in?
ED: It’s never been more challenging to get retailers to jump on a new product. Some retailers have become so big that they don’t want to take a risk. When I first started in this business, there were more than 100 department store companies, and it was a must that we had to be first with new products. The trend now is that most retailers want to be fast followers and fewer buyers merchandise by gut feel.
HWB: StoreBound’s presence on social media continues to grow. How has that impacted the company’s business?
ED: It’s something that I never expected to become as important as it has been. We are constantly creating a great deal of content and also understand how to engage with those who are following us.
HWB: How has the company’s strong social media presence translated to product development and sales?
ED: We mine our network for useful information from the end user. We essentially have a built-in 24-hour, seven day a week authentic focus group and are able to gauge the amount of likes we get and the types of engagement we get from our social community. There is a lot of information there that we use to make meaningful decisions on which categories to focus on and where to make our investments.
HWB: How does your analytics and insight from social media help when working with retailers?
ED: The information we share with retailers shows them the type of consumers they need to make greater inroads with, such as Millennials. With our social following, we are much more in tune with consumers in terms of what they are looking for and we share that information with upper management with retailers.
HWB: What types of products are Millennials looking for at retail?
ED: They are looking for products that offer a cool factor and some unique elements. We have also seen that brand is way down in terms of what is important to Millennials when they are shopping for kitchen electrics. Basically, they don’t want the same type of products their parents have.
HWB: What can retailers expect to see from StoreBound in 2016?
ED: We are focused on all points of innovation around the home and will continue to develop products that are simple and less cumbersome. This will include food preparation products, countertop appliances, 3-D printing and home fragrance.