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Spreadsheets for everything you can imagine: the story of LUZ

Published on 06/25/2020

If you open the Excel program today and research the available spreadsheet models, you’re unlikely to find a template dedicated to, let’s say, spending control for agribusiness. It will also be a challenge to find a document that helps in the management of tithes and offerings for churches. Further, it won’t be easy to find something that helps manage gas stations.

But if you visit LUZ Planilhas’ marketplace, you will certainly find a template that fits your need to manage your business effectively, regardless of its model.

More similar to software programs than to mere Excel documents, each one of the hundreds of spreadsheets available in the online store can help business owners to manage their companies with efficiency. We spoke to Leandro Borges, partner of LUZ Planilhas, to learn more about this business model that revolves around info products of value-added content.


How it began

Before turning into a marketplace, LUZ was born from a consultancy agency for small businesses, founded in 2007 by partner Daniel Pereira. The partnership grew in 2009 with the entry of Leandro, focusing on expanding and gaining scale. In 2011, the first consultancy website was launched. But it was only with the arrival of the third partner, Rafael Ávila, that the first info products were developed: Excel spreadsheets, sold at BRL 30.00.

Later, with the entry of the last partner, Filippo Ghermandi, online sales boomed, and LUZ drifted away from being a consultancy agency and became an e-commerce for business spreadsheets. But life is not always smooth sailing, and a problem with spam that almost led the company to bankruptcy required the four partners to reinvent themselves, leading to the development of an educational chatbot, the Fala Clara – a project that required a year and a half of dedication but was shut down due to lack of capital.


“With the failure of this project, we went back to the spreadsheet business and decided to take it to another level. We opened the website up to be a marketplace, that is, accept other spreadsheet developers. We started a stronger internationalization process, and, finally, in 2019, we transformed the sale to a licensing system,” Leandro says.


The light at the end of the tunnel

LUZ Planilhas was reborn with a new business model, applying the best product development practices to the spreadsheets, such as screen mockups and usability tests. Today, the products contain navigation menus, autofill, notification colors, and other elements that make them much closer to software programs than to ordinary spreadsheets.


“This way, we were able to increase conversions and product price, which now can reach up to BRL 400.00 for a single spreadsheet,” comments Leandro.


Besides the spreadsheets, LUZ has extended its portfolio and now offers presentations and Excel and PowerPoint courses.


Reaching for results with content marketing

Content marketing has a fundamental role in LUZ results. As it is an atypical product, it did not generate organic traffic. “Nobody knew it was possible to buy professional spreadsheets,” explains Leandro. The solution was to attract customers through related terms, with content focused on the needs of their consumers.


“Nobody searched for ‘SWOT Analysis Spreadsheets,’ but instead for the theory around SWOT analysis. This way, we generated all possible content around this subject to attract clients, and, later on, presented the product. Our blog is a gigantic subscription channel for clients, always with new and qualified posts,” explains Leandro.


Lead nurturing is another part of the content marketing strategy that helps with conversion, by sending segmented content dedicated to business management. “After registering, we send educational content via e-mail rules that show the customer the importance of improving their business management and the possibilities that a well-done spreadsheet allows in terms of time savings. Our motto is: Save time, do more,” he comments.


LUZ Planilhas today

Today, LUZ uses the Shopify platform and relies on PagBrasil’s solutions to expand its portfolio offering of payment methods. In addition to offering the traditional credit card, options like Boleto Flash®, the only boleto on the market with payment confirmation in less than an hour, allow the user to buy and receive their info product quickly and safely without compromising the card limit or needing a bank account. For Leandro, service and technology are essential factors for a successful operation.


“We have received answers, whether positive or negative, to all our questions in a quick and transparent way, which gives us the confidence that we are receiving exactly everything that PagBrasil has to offer,” concludes Leandro.

Paula Martins is a journalist specializing in Marketing. Her areas of expertise include payment methods, digital payments, and e-commerce. Currently, ... View profile

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