A few months ago, we launched our first ever 8 Week Challenge. The aim was to inspire all of our retailers to ramp up their shipping efforts – during the busiest time of year, no less! The battle, which ran in the two-month lead-up to Christmas, gave participants a deeper look at their end-to-end fulfilment and shipping, as well as ways for them to improve their overall ShipFit score.
Participant performance was benchmarked according to our scoring system, AKA the ShipFit Index, thanks to data analytics and industry smarts. The four focus areas of the challenge were: fulfilment practices; cost optimisation; carrier performance; and customer satisfaction. We created custom reports on each of these areas at the beginning, halfway and end of the challenge to ascertain which stores had improved the most.
The top three winners were as follows: independent fashion store The Bronze Snake Shop (TBSS) in first place, minimalist fashion brand Assembly Label came second, and wine and spirits merchant DifferentDrop finished third. Here, the three winners share their biggest takeaways from completing the 8 Week Challenge.
1. Many hands make light work
David Strangis and his fellow directors at TBSS are highly involved in the company and made it a point to get their hands dirty during the holiday season. Every single member of the team was picking and packing orders to get them out the door on time, as they were dealing with an order volume increase of ~500%, which is an immense challenge during such a critical period.
David’s team also uses an integrated pack slip and label in their process, meaning that orders are confirmed quickly and the team simultaneously prints their label and packing instructions. He says this helps them to prevent fumbling around with printing multiple items per package, as well as helps keep his team organised. If you wish to do the same, you can get integrated pack slips and labels from our recently launched Shippit Supply Store.
2. The details count
Despite an increase in order volumes, eCommerce manager Harry Kavanagh and the team at Assembly Label actually saw a 5-point increase in their customer experience rating on the ShipFit Index. Harry’s team recently moved to a new warehouse, which also allowed them to re-evaluate their processes. The warehouse team leverages state-of-the-art warehouse management tools and follow a well thought-out process in picking, packing and booking their parcels to get orders to their customers as quickly as possible. (To make your own pick-and-pack process more efficient, check out our ebook on the topic.)
The warehouse team also excels in giving the Assembly Label touch to the last step of their customer experience. In addition to branded packaging, each customer receives neatly wrapped items with a thank you note from their team and their order receipt packed neatly into Assembly Label envelopes. It’s the little things!
3. Process = speed
Director Brett Ketelbey and the Different Drop team run a tight ship with a well-organised warehouse, but their 2.7-hour pick-and-pack times blew all other challenge competitors away. Different Drop specialises in high-quality wines, so it’s no surprise they protect their quality reputation with great packaging.
Brett’s team keeps products packed in boxes and ensures their warehouse is well-organised. In addition to using an inventory management tool so there are no discrepancies (which can create issues), the team also uses standardised boxes in order to pack orders as quickly as possible, rather than trying to figure out what type of packaging suits each order.
We recommend retailers simplify their workflow by using parcel presets on Shippit. You can save customer parcel sizes for repeat use, and Shippit will recommend the best option for whatever you’re shipping. It really is as simple as clicking and shipping.
How ShipFit is your business?
The real value of the 8 Week Challenge is seeing how your business has performed in a particularly busy period and to benchmark yourself against your industry peers. As a side note, during the challenge, we saw order volumes increase by an incredible 80% across all retailers that took part. The personalised digital report generated at the conclusion of the challenge contains key data that will highlight opportunities for your business to focus on and improve moving forward. Not only that, first prize receives $2,500 in shipping credit ($1,000 for second place, and $500 software credit for third).
So stay tuned for details on our next 8 Week Challenge! Signing up will reveal the precise ways to take your online store to loftier places.