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Shipping Management and Customer Marketing

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The Ecwid E-commerce Show hosts Jesse and Richie talk with Josh Williams from Shipping Easy — the shipping solution that doesn’t stop at shipping. They discuss how newbies can utilize a third-party software addition to save money right away.

Show notes

  • Real life examples of customers who solved their issues
  • Customer lifecycle emails after shipping
  • Review requests
  • Amazon integration

Transcript

Jesse: Happy Friday, Rich!

Richard: It’s that day. One more time.

Jesse: It is, it is. Good day. We changed our intros here, so this is going to be a new live-read intro here. I have a request for people who are listening. We don’t ask for much other than your loyalty, I guess. But anyway, here’s the request. If you’re watching this on the website at ecwid.com/podcast, if you watch it on YouTube, pick up your phone, go to your favorite podcast player. Spotify, Stitcher, Apple podcast, search Ecwid E-commerce and then add it to your podcast player. And the reason we do that is so that you can listen to this on your drives and workouts. I get better stats on the website. So that’s great. It gives a nice little big number there, but it’s better for you. It’s better for us if you are listening to this where you listen to your podcast. So, all right, that’s a commercial. Yeah, like a commercial, I guess.

Richard: You didn’t even have to pay for it. (laughing)

Jesse: I know. Free commercial for Ecwid. All right. Ecwid, I’m going to send a bill. All right, back to the show, Rich.

Richard: I’m excited. And I don’t normally get excited about something like this topic that much. But I’m excited about this because this is one of those subjects that is a pain in the butt when it comes to e-commerce or can be, I should say. The tax is pretty straightforward. Marketing can get a little squirrely depending on what you know about it or not. But shipping…

Jesse: Shipping ain’t easy.

Richard: Shipping ain’t easy. There are so many things that can pop up, and it’s one of the reasons why I’m so excited about this guest because that’s what they do. It’s even in the name of their company.

Jesse: Shipping Easy.

Richard: Shipping Easy.

Jesse: All right, let’s bring him on. Josh Williams.

Josh: Hey, guys. Hey, good morning. How are you?

Jesse: Fantastic. We want to make shipping easy today.

Josh: That sounds like a plan. That’s what we do.

Richard: So yeah, this is Josh Williams from Shipping Easy, and he’s an onboarding specialist there. And so what a perfect person to have on the show to let us know from start to finish, what would it be like to make shipping easy? So before we get into your specific software, just shipping in general. What are some tips that you would give merchants that are getting started or have been doing e-commerce for a little while that you think they may not have thought of? Or even if it’s basic, what should they be thinking about when it comes to shipping?

Josh: Shipping is normally the last thing that people think about when they’re starting an online business. It’s about how do I get my brand out there? What should I price my products at and sales, how am I going to get the manufacturing done, all of those things. But then the money starts coming in, and people start wanting your stuff, and then it’s like, “Oh, wow, I guess we’ve got to figure out how to get this stuff to the people.” And that’s where we come in. Shipping by itself, in general, is not easy. There’s a lot that goes into it. There’s a lot that is involved. There’re industry terms that don’t get used anywhere else that make you shake your head if you don’t know what those are. We like to think of ourselves as kind of a silent partner with our customers. We like to come into the equation and say: “Hey, we really know how shipping works. We’re experts in that field. We can also help you with managing your inventory. We’re experts there as well. Then we can help you stay in connection with your customers and drive repeat revenue to your store by using the email marketing tool that we have. And so because we’re experts on all of those things, let us come alongside you and take care of that piece for you.” What I normally talk to new customers, I would say if you’re brand new to the game, don’t wait to try to figure out a shipping solution. Come to us, and we’ll help you learn a whole bunch of stuff of what you need to know. Or if you’ve been doing this for a really long time and now it’s just gotten out of hand, and you need a way to make everything a little bit more streamlined and customized. That’s what we do. And so come to us, we’ll help solve that problem for you as well.

Richard: Yeah. It might as well from the beginning, repeat something that Jesse and I have said over and over again. When it comes to shipping, we recommend pricing your product in such a way that you can give free shipping. There are varying degrees of people. There are some people on Ecwid that are just getting started. And some have million-dollar companies and everywhere in between. And so when you’re listening to this, it’s worth thinking why we might keep bringing this up. There is a huge company that everyone knows. I don’t even need to mention their name; they’re just basically conditioned people to think that they’re supposed to get everything shipped for free anyway. So if possible, and I know certain products, it’s not possible, but if possible, price it in such a way that you can make it free for shipping. Do you concur?

Josh: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Just my personal opinion, if I see that I have to pay for shipping for something, it feels like that’s weird. For exactly the reasons you said, so doing that homework, doing a little bit of the number crunching definitely pays off. In our app, we can give you all of the data that we’ve been able to gather to where you have the numbers to crunch. You can start putting some figures together to say: “What if I maybe just did this and increase this a little bit more, I could offer free shipping.” So yeah, I definitely agree.

Jesse: That’s good. I feel like we did the obligatory free shipping pitch because I’ve done it in a bunch of videos now, and so got that in the way. And so then at that point, shipping just becomes an expense. So for the lowest amount you can pay to get the product to the customer, you make more money. Because now you’ve put that stake in the ground of free shipping, which is annoying. I get it. It’s not fair, too bad. Get over it, and now try to get it as cheap as you can to your customers. So, Josh, a lot of people get started with shipping. That’s like you mentioned, not the first thing they thought about. They’re busy with other stuff, marketing, building sites, whatever. And now, they go to the post office, they go to UPS, FedEx, and they pick one, they get an account and then that’s what they use. Do you guys have the ability to allow people to compare different carriers to ship from your software?

Josh: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Um, we’re what we call a multi-carrier solution. When you sign up for a Shipping Easy account, we give you a free USPS account. Straight out of the box, you can print labels through the post office and ship your stuff right in your living room. As opposed to walking into the post office and buying a shipping label, they’re going to charge you what’s called a retail price. You’re going to pay more for that to ship that package by walking into the post office and getting a label there as opposed to printing a label out of your Shipping Easy account. You’re definitely going to pay more. And part of what we do, we take a very consultative approach with every customer. They’ll come to us and say: “I don’t have a FedEx account. I don’t have a UPS account. How do I get one of those?” And instead of us saying: “Here’s how you do that,” we’ll say: “Why do you think you need one of those?” All of the stuff that you’re sending is under a pound. That’s going to qualify for first-class mail, and that’s going to beat everything across the board for your shipping. So you really don’t need that. Now, if there’s a customer that is shipping heavier stuff, a little bit more bulky things, if it’s going across the country, if it’s going overseas, that’s a different story. But we’ll find out about that. We really like to take a consultative approach with all of our customers, so that we can recommend the things that they need. Our goal is to get them set up to get that most cost-effective label in the easiest way possible.

Richard: So you were mentioning earlier, and I just want to make sure I heard you correctly. So they could just be getting started. It’s worth them talking to you right away. They might not have ever shipped anything yet, and you’re literally willing to help them figure out what plan they should get on and how they should set everything up. And you’ll have some way to direct them through this process. So it’s not daunting because someone might be here in this podcast for the first time that literally just signed up for their Ecwid store. They want to learn more about what’s going on. I did hear you correctly say: “Hey, call us right away or sign up right away in some way, shape or form.” Are you going to be reaching out to them and helping them through the process?

Josh: Yeah, absolutely. If you don’t know anything, great, come to us, sign up for a free account. You don’t even have to pick up the phone. Just click on the chat link up top. If you don’t want to talk to somebody, we’ll reach out to you. We’ll figure out what your business is like. We’ll figure out the best plan for you. We’ll help you set up your printers. Um, we had a customer a while ago, it was an older gentleman, and he sells custom made ducks that he carves out of wood. Simple little business. He does it because he loves to do it. He loves to do that kind of hands on. He called us up because he just searched for shipping and clicked on the link, and we called him up, and he goes: “I don’t know how to do anything, I don’t know how to sell my stuff, and I don’t know how to ship my stuff. Can you help me?” And we said: “Absolutely, we can help you.” We got him to the point and now he doesn’t even have to go to his computer to get a shipping label. He just listens for his printer to start printing a label. And he knows, one, that he’s made some money cause he sold something. And two, he doesn’t have to worry about what to ship, because we’re going to tell him what product it is and it’s already set up, and we’ve got them the cheapest rate to get that product to where it needs to go. So, yeah, if you are interested in running an e-commerce business, talk to us. Go to Ecwid, search the app store, click on Shipping Easy. Somebody is going to reach out and help you out that way.

Jesse: That’s good.

Richard: It’s funny, I love the name by the way. We geek out on all kinds of marketing stuff. From an SEO perspective, I think that demographic you’re just referring to in that last story is pretty funny. He probably was like “how to make shipping easy” and probably found you somewhere.

Josh: It does work. Yeah. We have a good marketing team, that’s for sure.

Jesse: Now this guy doesn’t even have to log into his computer if he’s not a computer savvy person, the printer turns on. That’s the sound of a sale. It’s the sound of money right there.

Josh: Exactly. It’s his cash register ringing. Yeah. Basically, it’s what his account is set up for. Yep.

Jesse: So now Josh, you see a lot of people that are coming to you early on. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see that you could improve? People made mistakes all over. But what are some of the no brainers that we could let people know? “Hey, don’t do this, cause now you’ll spend thousands of dollars in the past years.” What are some of the common mistakes you see when people get to you?

Josh: All different kinds of things actually. We see customers who sell maybe on six different platforms, and they spend their day logging into one platform and printing their shipping labels there. Then they log into their next store, and they print their shipping labels there and so on and so forth. Whereas if they signed up with the Shipping Easy account and just connect all those stores to that one Shipping Easy account, they log in to one place and they have all of their orders from all of their different store platforms right there. Along with that, because we’ve got a lot of learning built into our application, there’s a lot of things that get done for them before the order even comes in. In terms of getting them the right carrier picked out, getting them the right package assigned, selecting the right packing slip template if they have more than one and that sort of thing. Then we also see people who are familiar with e-commerce selling, but maybe their actual workflow and how they ship is not really as effective as they want it to be. Again, as I said, we take a consultative approach. So our support team, they’re the best in the space. And I say that with no hesitation. When you call our support line, an actual human picks up the phone, usually on the first or second ring. And you can just say: “Hey, I’ve heard people say, I have one printer, and I print my packing slips on this paper, and I print my shipping label in a different paper, and I have to switch the trays in between.” And it’s just a multistep process that they’re doing that we can now streamline down to one-click for them, literally.

Jesse: Okay. By multiple platforms you’re talking like, they have maybe it’s an Ecwid store, Etsy, Amazon, eBay, and then, it’s a pain logging into all these places. Now all these different stores, marketplaces go to one location and now the packing slips look the same. It won’t have eBay and Amazon on it. It’ll have the branded name on there. I assume when you go through one platform like that to all the, you’ll control the tracking information so that they’ll get emails with tracking. It won’t be coming from all these different places.

Josh: Exactly. Yeah. So they log into Shipping Easy. No matter where their orders are coming from, what store those orders are coming from. We have all of the order data that’s being sent over from the store, and that data belongs to the customer. Their customer is their customer, and they have a right to see that and be able to do with that what they want. And so that’s why we got to a point where it’s like we have our customer data of what they ordered, how much they spent, when’s the last time they ordered, how often they shop. What can we do with that? We’ve developed a customer marketing tool that we’ve been able to give to our customers to say: “Here’s a tool that you can use to market to the customers that you’ve acquired, that you’ve already earned.” We can help you set up automated email campaigns that go out to customers to either thank them for their sale and to offer them a coupon for the next time they come back. We can offer an abandoned cart email. So a customer, for instance, is shopping at your store. They’ve put some items in their cart, and then they, for some reason, log out or log off. We can set an email to go to that customer an hour after that happens to say: “Hey, you were shopping, you left some stuff in your cart, you might want to come back and check that out.” We’ve given them that too; we’ll be able to drive that repeat revenue and make repeat customers. Along with that, if you have inventory on all these different store platforms, that gets really cumbersome, and that’s really tricky to keep track of what you got and where it is. Whereas if we’ve got all of the orders from your products coming in from all of your stores, let us manage your inventory. When you sell something over on this other store, we’ll tell Ecwid that there’s one less available. And so on and so forth. We can tell you when you’re low on stock, we can give you forecasted reports that say last year you shipped this many, so you’re probably gonna want to reorder more through an online purchase order that you can place through Shipping easy to your manufacturer to get more of this product for the next season.

Jesse: Wow. Okay. That’s awesome. I mean, particularly with Amazon taking a bigger chunk of the e-commerce pie as well, where you might have inventory over there, you might sell ten units in one day, and all of a sudden now your other stores should be out of stock and you didn’t know about it. So yeah. And we work with that platform; we can manage their FBA. They’re fulfilled by Amazon inventory of what Amazon actually has that’s theirs. Maybe they need to shift some of it from what they have on hand and send it over to Amazon because they need to have more over there. So we keep track of all that stuff for you.

Jesse: Got it. So it has full Amazon FBA interoperability, I guess would be the word.

Josh: The best word for it. (laughing)

Richard: Fancy. I have a quick question. When it comes to the email, so again, this could be someone listening for the first time, they just signed up for Ecwid. Do they even need to worry about another email provider? It sounds like you pretty much might have it covered.

Josh: Oh no, please don’t worry about another email provider. I say that for a number of reasons. One, for these email providers, that’s all that they do. They’re going to keep charging you as you scale. So as you grow your business, they’re going to keep charging you for more customers that you acquire to your email list. That can get pretty pricey pretty quickly. Whereas with our solution, we give you a set number of emails on your plan, on a plan type that you can send out in that month. It stays that same price no matter how big your list grows. If you want to buy more emails to send out in a month, great. We can definitely provide that for you, but we’re not going to just because you got more customers that you earn through your business, we’re not going to charge you more in order to get in contact with them. So yeah, we can definitely take care of that, especially, it’s so crucial for new sellers on a platform like Ecwid where they signed up for a store, and they’ve got that all set up through your app. Now it’s like, how do I get my name out there? How do I increase my brand through my social media and that sort of thing? Our tool is designed to help you do just that. So we’ll ship your stuff. Yeah, absolutely. And we’ll automate all of it, so you don’t have to really even touch a keyboard. But we’ll also give you that knowledge as well.

Jesse: Awesome. Do you have some way to magically grab the actual email from Amazon?

Josh: Funny that you should ask. (laughing) Amazon is very tight about the data that they let you see of your customers. However, our engineers have worked with Amazon engineers, and we actually did get permission from Amazon. Amazon designed two specific campaigns through Shipping Easy that they allow you to reach back to your Amazon customers. One is a product feedback request, and the other is a seller feedback request. And the emails are formatted, designed by Amazon, and working with our designers and developers here. They have given it the blessing and seal of approval that you may send these to your customers, and that is okay with us. It’s a pretty special thing in the space for sure.

Jesse: I was actually joking. (laughing)

Josh: I know a lot of people do ask that, and they don’t expect the answer. But when we do let them know that yes, this is available to you, they’re pretty pleased.

Jesse: Got it. No, that’s great. In the Amazon world, getting the reviews is super important, and being in contact with those customers is a little bit harder than it would be a customer from your own store. So definitely, a really nice feature to have that. You don’t want those to be one-off sales that are like a black hole that goes away. You want to sell to them again.

Josh: And that’s specifically what that tool is designed for. You may have customers that say: “I don’t know the first thing about email marketing. I don’t know the first thing about design. How do I do this?” We have an email marketing specialist here, that’s all that they do. All of our support agents know the tool inside and out. There are templates in there that will give you a place to start with. And so we’ll basically hold your hand through that whole thing.

Jesse: Awesome. Can you think of any stories now, like customers that have come to you with maybe just a mess? Like they’re probably should have talked to you year or two prior? Any stories that come to mind of people that you’ve really been able to help out. And specifically, what you did for them that listeners can pull away for their own stores?

Josh: Yeah, for sure. In the email space, fairly recently, we had a customer sign up with us. They came to us for shipping, and then they were told about our email solution, and they’ll say: “Okay, yeah, we’ll try that.” And they said that because we give every customer 30 days to try everything on our platform for free. No risk at all. You can try obviously shipping to the fullest. We’ll give you the email marketing, like not limited, we’ll give it to you full born, do what you want with it, use all the horsepower in it. And then the inventory solution as well. So they came to us, and they said: “Well, if you’re going to give it to me for free, sure, we’ll try it out.” They worked with one of our customer marketing specialists, and they designed a one-time email campaign. It got sent out. They had a list of about a little over 4,000 contacts that it sent out to. Got a pretty good open rate just because it was designed really well. It was a subject line that really grabbed. But they came back with a return of around $9,800 on that one campaign. The campaign ran. They did a one-time email blast, they were signed up with us within a week. And within a week, they brought in almost $10,000 with that one email campaign and repeated recurring revenue. They didn’t even know that they needed that. That was one of the shining spots, to talk about them. They came to us for shipping, we took care of their shipping, obviously. But then they did this, and so they called us up, and they’re like: “You’re not gonna believe what happened.” And we’re like: “No, we saw what happened. We know what happened.” And we give them all the analytics so they can see who bought and from where and what they bought and all of that stuff too. So that’s the kind of stuff when we hear those stories, that’s what gets us excited over here that we’re helping. A person who has a business that they’re trying to make their way and put their mark on stuff that it’s paying off for them literally that way.

Richard: So it’s probably safe to say they signed up and stayed on Shipping Easy.

Josh: They’re still with us. They’re doing really well.

Jesse: Great. Now, you mentioned something that cut in the order management, not really order management. Maybe more in the ERP space really, where you have the ability where okay, a customer’s made this certain amount of sales. You’re tracking inventory. And I think I heard you say you can create a purchase order from Shipping Easy to vendors. Would that mean somebody has 50 different skews, certain skews come from one vendor, certain skews from come from the other. Does it have that intelligence there to say, yeah, we’re ready to make an order for these SKUs because they go to this vendor? Go right from Shipping Easy, or does it need to connect to some sort of QuickBooks accounting software, or how would that work?

Josh: Yeah, great question. So you’re exactly right too. So you have a group of SKUs that come from this particular vendor or this supplier. You have 10,000 products, and within those 10,000, you have probably 50 or 60 different suppliers. Great. Just give us that information. We’ll keep track of all that stuff for you. You can assign all of these products in your inventory to this supplier, and we’ll do a couple of things. One, we will tell you when you’re getting low on a particular product, and alert you to that. And then we give you the option. Do you want to create a purchase order to be sent over to that supplier to place an order for whatever that is? We take care of all of that for you, whether that’s through an email, chain, or other means in order to get it to the supplier and the way that they need it. We take care of all the formatting for that. All we need is basically the contact info, and then once all of that is put in, then to do like a recurring purchase order is really easy. Here’s one that we did in the past and make it look exactly the same. Click and send, and it’s off. And then we’ll also track when the product is coming in. They can receive some of it. They can receive all of it into their inventory that updates all the inventory in Shipping Easy, which then those numbers update to all the stores that are connected.

Jesse: Okay. Yeah. Very cool. It’s definitely some more advanced level stuff, but these are things that you might not be thinking about early on, but as you start to build your store, reordering from vendors becomes kind of a pain.

Josh: Absolutely. Yeah. And I mean this, as you said, this is maybe for customers who have been a little bit more familiar with how e-commerce works, and this is their set. But for newer customers where they’re just like: “I want to be able to know what my shipment is going to cost me in the post office and on UPS and FedEx.” We can show you all of those too. And then you can pick the one that you want and then when you pick that one, we’ll remember what you did for that kind of shipment and that kind of product. And when that product and shipment comes in, in a similar order, next time we’ll recommend that you do the same thing that you did before.

Jesse: Okay. Yeah. Great intelligence built-in. Rich, more questions come from your mind?

Richard: I was going not to say this, but I’m just going to keep it at a super basic level. They’ve heard in the past, Jesse, we made predictions on the percentage of sales and stuff like that. I love the world of voice. So I am going to mention real quick, but at its basic level, I saw the Alexa for shipping you guys have. Can you almost run your business via an app voice app? Is that what you’re basically saying? What can you do with that skill?

Josh: That is basically that is what we’re saying. Yeah, we’re really proud of that. We were first to the market with an Alexa skill for shipping, and I’ll give you the basics, it is as simple as this. If you have an Amazon Alexa, and you have a Shipping Easy account. Let’s put those two together; we just ask you to sign in to your account and connect your Shipping Easy. And then you can ask things like, “What is my postage balance?” I have an Alexa right here that is going off. (laughing) Let me see if I can make her quiet. But you can say: “Alexa, how much balancing postage do I have? Alexa, how many new orders came in today? Alexa, print all of my packing slips. Alexa, print all of my shipping labels.” And, yeah, Rich, you don’t have to touch the keyboard, you don’t have to turn the computer screen on if you don’t want to, that’s fine too. Because as she will return the information to you and then you can say what you want to do, so it is pretty awesome to be able to speak something at that speaker and have your shipping label printed. You can just slip it on the box at that point.

Richard: Awesome, sort of reiterate real quick. They can go to their Ecwid app store to learn more about it. If they want to get even deeper detail, than they should go ShippingEasy.com, but other than that, is there anything they should be looking for? Just looking forward to seeing them sign up.

Josh: Yeah, I look forward to really getting on the phone with new Ecwid customers to see how can we help you, what problem can we solve for you. So go to the Ecwid app store, search Shipping Easy, click on our app, sign up for a free account. Again it’s no risk at all to you. Somebody’s going to get in contact with you; we’re going to help streamline not only your shipping but your customer contact through our customer marketing tool. And if you got of inventory that you just can’t keep a handle on, we’ll take care of that for you as well. Yeah, you can find us, you can google, ShippingEasy.com; on the Partners’ page, there’s the Ecwid logo there. If you click on that, it’ll take you right to the Ecwid app store or and then, you get signed up. And as you guys are excited about talking about shipping, we really excited about shipping and working with customers to help them get that that piece of the puzzle of e-commerce business solved for them.

Richard: Awesome, thanks for coming on the show, Josh. I appreciate you talking.

Josh: Thank you, guys. I appreciate it, thanks so much for the time.

Richard: You’re welcome.

Jesse: Super helpful. Thank you, Josh.

Richard: All right, everybody, get out there, connect it.

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Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.

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