Leane Tilley is a qualified tea sommelier and master herbalist and founder of Kineta. Pre-pandemic sales were evenly split selling whole sale to retailers in the UK, exporting, and selling DTC via their website ilovematchatea.co.uk. Over the last year, they’ve embraced the direct customer relationship and grown the DTC sales to 80% of sales. Leane founded the business in 2015 and they now do 1,500 orders per month.
Listen now for free:
Leane says eCommerce has always been in her blood.
She sold various things on eBay growing up, and was always interested in direct to consumer selling.
She also wanted to work for herself, and looked at different opportunities until she decided on tea and tying it in with wellness. That’s how Kineta was born and Leane’s eCommerce journey started.
- Based in Devon, Southwest England
- Sells across the UK, and to the rest of Europe and the United States as well
- Uses WooCommerce platform for their website
Kineta also has several plugins on their site including CusRev for driving customer reviews, building social credibility, and social proofing, and an email plugin.
Kineta has a lean team, and has outsourced the following positions:
- Content writer
- Ads manager
- Admin support
- Fulfilment staff
What remains inhouse are the direction of the content, brand proposition, and innovation which Leane considers as critical to the growth and success of the business.
All About Matcha Green Tea
Kineta is one of the largest importers of matcha green tea in the UK.
They sell a range of matcha tea products, including authentic tea accessories and gift sets that lend to the whole experience of preparing matcha green tea.
And because the product itself and the various components that come with it require a bit of education, Leane has also covered that with different programs to make her customers more informed.
Educating The Customers
As a matcha tea drinker herself, Leane knows first-hand the benefits of the product. And the foundation of why she launched Kineta was to share how matcha tea can help someone live a healthier life.
Leane considers the business as something that goes beyond just selling tea; it is also about educating consumers, and eCommerce has become a platform for her to reach her audience and have a direct conversation with them.
On Masterclasses And 12-Week Courses
Leane has developed masterclasses and courses to teach her customers how matcha green tea can actually make a huge difference if they want to live healthier lifestyles.
She launched her programs about three years ago with the intention of making sure the customer is educated and the whole buying experience is good. The fact that existing customers recommend Kineta to other people and have become loyal buyers over the years makes Leane see the added value these courses bring.
Even with the ongoing pandemic, Leane continues to hold these classes which she says are opportunities to build lasting relationships with her customers.
Improving Customer Relationships
For Leane, two things have contributed to better relationships with their customers.
One is having courses to educate their customers. Second is email, which she does personally. Communication comes from Leane’s email address and she responds to customer inquiries, too if there are any.
Email has also become an important part of pushing out informational and marketing content that Leane believes supports repeat purchases.
eCommerce Book Top Tip
- Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
- It’s PR for Leane because it has allowed them to tell their brand story in an authentic and credible way.
Tool Top Tip
- Klaviyo email marketing platform for both retail and wholesale communications.
Growth Top Tip
- Focus on why you started, and make sure the business is profitable so you can keep going.
- 342: Embracing Movement Marketing with bestselling author Chip Walker
- 211: Passion, customer service & the Oscars in subscription eCommerce Pat Callwood, True Serenity Tea
- 137: Subscription eCommerce – Jon Butt runs a 7-figure eCommerce business, and launched a seperate subscription site in 2017
Without the sponsors the podcast wouldn’t be possible – please do check them out:
Ready to turn your small eCommerce business into the next big thing? Klaviyo can help. It’s the easy-to-use email and SMS platform that gives you everything you need to build genuine relationships with your customers. And even if you’re new to marketing, Klaviyo can help you become an email expert with drag-and-drop design templates, simple insights, and made-for-eCommerce reports and recommendations.
Give it a try today – get your free account
Gorgias is a leading helpdesk for Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce merchants where retailers can manage all of their customer communication & tickets in one platform (email, social media, SMS, live chat and phone). It’s powered with machine learning to automate up to 20% of commonly asked questions and seamlessly integrates into your existing tech stack to deliver better customer support.
Mention the eCommerce Masterplan podcast when you sign up for 2 months free
Full transcript to read & download:
Like to be a guest? Apply Here