Smooth-sailing for SMEs when it comes to shipping

start-up-profile-Mark-HelvadjianAlmost 50% of online purchases are abandoned at checkout due to a lack of shipping options, research shows, so being able to offer customers a range of delivery choices has become a key part of the eCommerce boom.

 

Enter ShippingEasy.com, an online fulfillment company that does the hard work for SMEs by negotiating with carrier partners to receive heavily discounted rates, which it passes on.

 

Launched in 2011, ShippingEasy.com is fast becoming one of Australia’s leading shipping platforms servicing eCommerce, with offices in Sydney and San Francisco.

 

Founder Mark Helvadjian talks to StartupSmart about how ShippingEasy.com is looking to take advantage of the great migration online.

 

What prompted you to launch ShippingEasy.com? What niche did you identify?

 

I created ShippingEasy.com after I discovered firsthand the complexities small to medium businesses face when it comes to shipping.

 

While looking to sell products online, I was unable to find a cloud-based solution that was able to help me fulfil my sold items.

 

This was the number one concern for me, as putting in place a cost-effective and automated fulfilment process can often represent the biggest headache for SMEs, and often the largest cost.

 

I started to ask where I could find a solution that provided discounted shipping without requiring a carrier account and one that provides domestic and international shipping support, automated management of inventory, consolidated shipment tracking across multiple carriers, and a platform that could plug directly into my eCommerce site.

 

Out of these questions, ShippingEasy.com was born.

 

How many staff do you have?

 

We have a team of 16.

 

How do you promote the business?

 

We continue to trial different marketing methods, including SEM, PR, display, events and more. We’re constantly testing and learning.

 

We also have a presence in the app galleries of our eCommerce platform partners. And, of course, word of mouth is also hugely important to us.

 

How do you stand out in the market? What’s your point/s of difference?

 

One increasing challenge for retailers is managing orders and shipping across multiple sales channels.

 

For example, retailers may sell on eBay, have their own eCommerce website and deliver from their bricks and mortar store.

 

The need to maintain a simple and easy connection between these three locations can require a lot of time and effort, and even then you may find yourself with an inefficient and overly complicated system.

 

ShippingEasy.com is Australia’s first multichannel fulfilment solution, allowing users to centrally manage fulfilment irrespective of which sales channels they use.

 

We offer free integrations in over 12 eCommerce platforms and an extensive API gallery, meaning online retailers can ensure they have a seamless fulfillment process from the point of order through to final delivery.

 

As well as a seamless purchasing experience, customers expect their goods to be delivered according to their individual schedule, and at a competitive rate.

 

Given that 48% of online purchases are abandoned at checkout due to lack of shipping options, being able to offer customers a range of shipping choices is essential.

 

ShippingEasy.com does the hard work for SMEs by negotiating with domestic and international carrier partners to get heavily discounted rates, which we pass on.

 

We also provide consolidated management, allowing retailers to keep track of all their shipments in one place, irrespective of which channel and which courier they’ve used.

 

Online retail is changing at such a fast pace. How do you keep up?

 

We have definitely seen a shift in retail, from traditional bricks-and-mortar retail to a stronger online focus over the past year.

 

Australians’ appetite for buying online – fuelled by a love of niche offerings, quality, convenience and value – means that there is a huge opportunity for online retail.

 

Couple this with easy-to-use eCommerce platforms and ShippingEasy.com to fulfil purchasing needs, and we’re about to see a marked increase in online retail.

 

An area that has been boosted by the increased online focus is international trade, which helps retailers open up a world of possibilities to extend customer base and reach.

 

ShippingEasy.com’s partnerships with international carriers mean that we can help retailers ship to anywhere in the world without requiring a carrier account, and at discounted rates.

 

We take this a step further by automatically generating all the necessary customs invoices and highlighting any specific custom requirements.

 

What’s the biggest risk you face?

 

Lack of focus. There’s a clear customer pain-point, a growing market and a solution we’ve built that solves this pain-point.

 

These elements provide all the key ingredients for success – we just need to ensure we continually focus on providing a best-of-breed solution and delighting our customers.

 

Is there anything you would have done differently?

 

In the early days we spent a lot of time thinking through additional features and what I’d call, “nice to haves”.

 

The truth is we could have run quicker if we had focused on the core elements of our offering and “proving them up” first.

 

Having said that, even the things you would have done differently provide for some great learnings along the way to refine how you run the business.

 

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

 

Dream big about solving big problems.

 

There are many great ideas out there that are unable to be commercialised because it doesn’t meet a real need that people are willing to pay for, or it’s not one people are willing to change an existing behaviour or process for.

 

The best ideas and businesses are those that solve a pain point and do it in a new and innovative way.

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