Many small but flourishing eCommerce businesses find themselves in a difficult position as they grow: how to find time to manage increasing sales while also working on business strategy and future growth.
It’s the problem that faced Jane Green, owner of eBay shop Pro Car Mats, who has seen orders increase by 600% in the 12 months since she gave up her manufacturing job to launch the business.
“When we started we were getting around 20 orders a day. I could probably have managed these myself but I had worked with Parcelhub in the past and knew they could offer a solution that would not only simplify the delivery process but also secure me a discount on shipping, even at those relatively low volumes, making it a cost-effective option.
“They provided me with free software that integrated with my eBay shop and allowed me to print all the labels and send a despatch confirmation to customers at the touch of a button. They even provided the labels – all I had to do was fix them to my parcels!”
Since then volumes have grown significantly and Jane now ships an average of 700 orders every week. The increase in numbers meant she was spending longer managing the delivery process, which took her away from preparing and uploading listings.
“As an eBay shop, maintaining and increasing my listings is crucial for the success of Pro Car Mats,” she explained. “However as an eCommerce business I also know how important it is that customers receive good communication and get their goods when they expect. Doing both well was getting harder and harder and then my account manager Nick Dean at Parcelhub told me about the additional support they can offer eCommerce businesses.
“I’m now signed up to the eCommerce Customer Support Service and it’s already made a huge difference in terms of freeing up my time – customers get emailed their tracking details automatically and then the eCommerce team proactively track all the shipments so I no longer have to log on and check tracking details and scan events every morning.
“If they pick up any problems they sort them out and if my customers have any delivery-related questions they call Parcelhub direct. Because the team there has access to all the tracking and delivery data they can respond quickly and accurately. They even track where the calls are coming from and answer the phone as Pro Car Mats so my customers have no idea they’re speaking to a third party.
“At the moment I still manage the labelling process, but the next step is to outsource that too. The Parcelhub team is in the process of writing bespoke software that will integrate with both my eBay platform and our manufacturer’s systems. It will mean that our manufacturer D&M Middleton will be able to pull off a list of my orders, create tracking barcodes and add shipping labels as the goods are packed. They will then go straight onto a pallet and out to the Parcelhub depot where they will be picked up by the carriers.
“Handing over control in this way is a big deal for me, I’ve grown the business from scratch and I’m used to being hands on. But I know that if I want to grow it’s a step I have to take and I have absolute trust in the Parcelhub team. Once all the integrations are in place it will revolutionise things. On a day to day basis I will be able to really concentrate on building the business; at the moment I have around 2,000 listings at any one time – I want to get to 15,000.”
Parcelhub launched the final phase of its eCommerce Support Service earlier this year, following almost two years of development. It allows clients to completely outsource the management of their parcel delivery operation, including customer service, with total transparency.
Managing Director, Mark Rosenberg, said, “I started my own business so I know that whether you’re trying to grow a startup business or expand a more established enterprise there are never enough hours in the day to do everything.
“Our support services and discounted shipping rates are designed to save clients valuable time and money to help them grow their business and provide their customers with the best possible shopping experience at the same time. In fact we know that the two go hand in hand: research shows that shoppers will return time and again to those businesses that deliver great service.
“We work closely with our clients to make sure that we’re giving them what they need, whether that is a different process, new software or a change in reporting, so that they, in turn, can meet their own customers’ needs.”
Parcelhub is a flexible and scalable eCommerce and wholesale parcel shipping solution, which distributes more than 4.5 million parcels annually on behalf of hundreds of start-ups, omnichannel retailers and wholesalers.
Sister company Mail Workshop is one of Europe’s leading Print and eCommerce fulfilment providers, working with brand managers, advertising agencies, publishers and printers to provide product and print matter storage, fulfilment and distribution.