We received a really wonderful Thank You card from one of our clients recently and decided to run a case study on their brand and strategy. They have asked to retain anonymity.
This article contains an introduction to their brand, their unique space in our growing eCommerce community, and their struggles and triumphs. At the end we describe how and why Ships-A-Lot was able to suit their unique needs.
Anyone in the eCommerce space interested in hearing about a success story in the highly competitive jewelry market.
High-level overview of our work together
Their typical sales, fulfillment, and returns/exchange process.
Q&A with John, the client
Below is a conversation I had with John, discussing their business, market space, challenges, and general strategy.
Could you start by introducing yourself, your brand, and your customers?
Sure thing! My name is John and about 6 months ago, my wife Michelle and I launched our first jewelry brand using the Shopify platform. We've built a brand specializes in fine jewelry at a reasonable price. Our customers are mostly females in the millennial crowd between ages 20-30 years old.
You deal in some very precious merchandise, both in the monetary value of the product and the sentimental value to your customers: what are some of the hurdles you’ve had to overcome selling such products in an eCommerce setting?
I think the largest hurdle we've had to overcome is having multiple sizes of the same product. When we started out in our garage with only a few products and sizes, we didn't think we'd need to offer a full line of sizes per product, but as we grew, so did the demand. We now have over 700 SKUs for only 25 products. It can be absolutely overwhelming at times. Not to mention totally take up every square inch of your garage!
I couldn’t help but notice your involvement with charity, specifically your recent donation to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. This is a refreshing and novel sight on an eCommerce store. Could you tell us about how this started?
Absolutely! One thing we're very passionate about is helping other people in need. If we're able to succeed, I believe we should give back to our community. Each month, we give a portion of our profits to a charity. We used to live in Los Angeles and we've worked with St. Jude Children's Hospital before. They are an amazing organization working with incredibly courageous children who need our help.
This sort of question is always of interest to other business owners in the eCommerce space: could you give us a high-level overview of your advertising strategy? Any interesting or funny stories about unexpected advertising wins or outcomes?
Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. Its effective and it works great. Social is where people are and if you want to get in front of them, Facebook has the most comprehensive targeting you can currently find. We also diversify with search and Pinterest, but Facebook seems to be the best marketing channel right now.
One funny thing about Facebook is reading the comments that people can leave on your ads. It's really amazing the types of people that leave messages. We've seen everything from "Check this out!" to "The guy in their ad looks like a jerk, I'll never buy from this company", it's pretty funny how different people perceive your ad images and copy.
What attracted you to work with us here at Ships-A-Lot?
Growing pains are great, but they are still painful! We had grown rapidly and knew we needed help with fulfillment. We were already using a fulfillment company at the time, but they were dropping the ball consistently and their customer service was terrible. When you're in a fast growing ecommerce company, you need reliable and responsive fulfillment center, that's where Ships-A-Lot truly shines.
We reached out to them after a particularly bad week at our old fulfillment company and within 5 days, they had us up and running. We hadn't even paid them to get setup and they were shipping out our orders a lightning speed. Seriously.
We were attracted to how efficient they claimed to be, their amazing pricing and the fact that they were working 24/7. They also help handle our exchanges and returns. This has been a game changer.
A week after we started we had customers who placed orders at 9pm on a Friday had a tracking number by 11pm. Who does that?! Ships-A-Lot, that's who. That's why we'll continue to be loyal customers and recommend them to everyone we know.
How have we performed? Is there anything in particular that stands out?
Zach and his team at Ships-A-Lot have been remarkable. We are in contact with them nearly every business day and they get back to us within minutes, not hours. Questions are answered, technical problems resolved and they even take the time to help us with our system or inventory when needed.
Ships-A-Lot provides the level of customer service we strive to provide to our customers and they do it in a way that feels more like an extension of our team than a outside company. They have a passion for shipping and fulfillment and have absolutely changed the way we do business. I highly recommend them to everyone who needs a reliable, friendly and professional fulfillment center to help them grow their business. They will not be disappointed.
Why Ships-A-Lot ?
1. Customer service
2. Fulfillment speed
3. Returns & Exchanges
When you understand your skills, you can identify who you'll help the most and why. Our relationship with this client is a prime example of just how well knowing and listening to your customer can go. When we stick close to who we serve well, everyone has an excellent experience!
To put it briefly: Ships-A-Lot is focused keenly on providing an unforgettable customer experience to eCommerce companies shipping lots of packages. Companies that require this high standard in customer service won't get this kind of service anywhere else; least of all Amazon.
This client has high customer service standards and demand an equally excellent experience for their end customers. Given that returns and exchanges are a vital part of the high-stakes market that is fitted jewelry, we really had to nail this for them.
Receiving 25+ returns & exchange parcels per day, this process needed to be very streamlined
These packages need to have their contents confirmed, RMA reviewed, item inspected, and if necessary an exchange is dispatched. This involves a lot of detail-oriented work. With this client receiving 25+ returns & exchange parcels per day, this process needed to be very streamlined in order to meet the stringent expectations of their customers.
We were able to deliver on this and more: with refunds being turned over within an hour of receiving the package and exchanges being sent out in the same time-frame. We even have plans to help increase the level of automation in their already smooth returns & exchanges program.