Entrepreneur Profile: Tom Lianza, Light in the Box

Light in a Box is a China-based online retailer pursuing a cut of the US market share. They buy products direct from the factory floor, prior to branding and sell for a much lower price. They are, admittedly, disrupting the existing brand-centric US market. They recently purchased a US-based company, Ador, to help them localize their content and design to attract a US market base. The former Ador management team is also tasked with bringing in their social media and customer retention expertise.

Light in a Box is currently positioned as a bargain retailer. US customers have a deep seeded attachment to branding (either positive or negative) and Light in the Box is the “anti-brand”. Their current challenge is to use familiar social channels as well as enhancing the customer experience to get around the emotional ties we have with brand names. Tom Lianza, one of the former Ador executives has assumed the role of Chief Technology Officer at Light in the Box and has proven expertise in using customer input to influence how users interact with the products from initial acquisition through to post-purchase experience.

They reach their customers via online ads and paid and organic search. This is another area Tom and the rest of the Ador team will likely influence. Prior to joining Light in the Box, they had success targeting potential customers via targeted blogs and social media. I’m excited to see what happens with Light in the Box. They have an extremely compelling value proposition and an amazing opportunity to disrupt our brand-obsessed market.


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