Co Founder, Alex Tomic
two entrepreneurs built a $20m dollar business in just 18 monthsWe interviewed one of the brightest stars of online retailing we’ve seen for a while. Alex Tomic, co-founder of Hi Smile with partner, Nik Mirkovic have built a successful online business with a turnover of over $20m in just 18 months. Alex had some fantastic insights for entrepreneurs and business owners alike. After 6 months of university, Alex knew he wanted to get out there and do something on his own. He and his business partner Nic Mirkovic could see that online and social media were the way forward. Very early on they identified that was where they needed to be. Alex and Nic wanted to enter a market where nothing much was happening. After 6 months of intensive research looking at different industries, they felt that teeth whitening was by far the most boring industry and nobody was making any significant changes. We can see you have 5 sub-domain websites tailored for customers all over the world – what challenges do you face in terms of shipping from Australia? How do you manage logistics? At the start, we were just writing out orders but we were all about finding processes to speed things up. We researched software that could just grab the orders and do the labelling and after searching we found StarShipIT who could all the things we needed. If only we had done that even earlier – although we started using StarShipIT about a month in which is still pretty early on. With any business, try to refine those processes as much as possible as it will free up time to think about the business and grow your business even more. Get an account manager with your preferred carrier and then find a company like StarShipIT who can import all the orders and simplify the shipping process. What made you choose to partner with StarShipIT? StarShipIT offered the easy integration we were looking for, they integrated with Australia Post which was our preferred carrier and it could do all the things we needed it to do like import the orders, create the labels and make it really fast to get orders out the door. What tangible benefits do you enjoy using Australia Post and StarShipIT for your shipping and tracking orders?
We needed something that would just grab orders and do the labelling for us. And that’s where StarshipIT really took Australia Post to the next level. Being able to just grab orders and label automatically – this reduced a substantial number of hours on that side of things. It allowed us to grow even faster by focusing on other areas of the business. We saved at least 15 -20 hours per week by using StarShipIT.I would recommend to any new business starting out, to identify what will allow you to simplify your processes. Identify which are going to take the most time and look for a solution to free up time so you can focus on other things. Get on to that ASAP. And to take it even further, it looks more professional to your customers and this has been a massive benefit for us.
With the StarShipIT integration it is simple to get through all the orders quickly and to make sure all the orders have been input correctly.Read the full story over on the blog.
Miann & Co
With StarShipIT, all we need to do is pack the order and print the labels. In terms of actual time saved, it equates to almost one full time person in busy times doing those processes which saves us over $40,000 a year”.How did you discover StarShipIT? Integration with TradeGecko and Shopify was our primary requirement for a shipping integration, as well as being able to integrate with both Aus Post and DHL to cover both domestic and international shipping. For us it was all about trying to find programs that would integrate with each other, since we needed a more seamless operations system. StarShipIT ticked all the boxes for us. Key benefits since using StarShipIT? One of the biggest headaches we faced with shipping internationally was around the paperwork just for one order. 2 sets of forms for every shipment customs forms, address details, weights, declarations, signed etc – but with StarShipIT we can now do an automatic lodgement – now all we have to do is print the labels. Customs forms are sent to DHL automatically and now we only need one label which has saved us a lot of time in terms of paperwork and the labels etc! Since using StarShipIT, we have reduced the amount of time we spend on admin and shipping dramatically. All the orders are in there, the addresses are there – if a customer has keyed in an incorrect address, we can easily correct it. We no longer have to flick between multiple systems and spreadsheets. And the support is excellent, which was critical for our business.
“Before StarShipIT we used to waste a lot of time by having to manually enter addresses and parcel weights before we could print postage labels for our orders. StarShipIT integrates with TradeGecko where all the customer and order details for our wholesale and online orders are pulled and with a Thermal printer we can now print labels in seconds. All of our orders are on one screen and we don’t have to reference multiple systems, which saves a lot of time. Our peak periods are now a breeze and packing orders takes half the time it used to.””
Fit My Car (2017 ORIAS Best New Online Retailer)
Founder, James Tinsley
"Working with StarShipIT has been a super smart move for our business. Online retail is fast, and as an on-demand manufacturer in this space, it means ease of use, speed, and accuracy in your shipment tracking software become that much more important."We spoke to James Tinsley, Founder of FitMyCar, about his journey to become this year’s StarTrack ORIAS Best New Online Retailer. So how did it all get started, what's the inspiration behind it? I was originally an engineer for the Department of Defence (Land Systems), making sure the vehicles we deployed were well maintained and fit for purpose. Prior to that I worked at Autobarn as sales assistant, so I’ve always had an interest in the automotive industry in one way or another. For me, that interest naturally translated into starting some niche online businesses selling auto parts and I guess FitMyCar is the summary of all the experiences I have had. A couple of products we sell today were the best selling from previous online businesses, so I knew FitMyCar as a platform would work and give us a scalable business model we could grow from. We will always be in the made-to-fit auto accessories space and will look to grow our range of products around this category with a focus on growing our manufacturer to consumer ranges. What is your role/responsibilities? I do a bit of everything – from processing orders, answering phones, doing operational stuff – on a really busy day I will be in the warehouse packing orders. When I have time, I work on strategy, new products and the books etc. I run the business but I am also get involved across the day-to-day operations. Who else in involved (size of team, roles they play etc)? We have 13 staff in Melbourne, 2 in the Philippines working on website full-time and one customer service operator in the US. How did you feel when you heard you were a finalist in the ORIAS for best new online retailer? It was a massive surprise, we were really happy with that result – it was really validating for everything we have been working on and the growth we’ve had so far. Just to get that recognition on its own is a super achievement and we couldn’t be happier with it. What did you and the team do to celebrate your win? Two of the team were there sending me text updates as the night went on, and as soon as they told me, it just felt incredible. They knew they were up against tough competition so to take out the win, we were really really happy. To celebrate, we had a jumping castle setup in the factory and enjoyed a bit of a party. What was life like before StarShipIT? Before StarShipIT we were using eParcel. Which meant there was no barcoding and no auto generation of labels. We would bulk upload our shipments into eParcel, then we would have to bulk print labels and we would have to sort those to orders and then go and pack orders. What that meant for us was the potential for errors and mistakes was a lot higher - it did cause us a lot of grief. Australia Post used to charge us around $1000 bucks a month in manifesting penalties alone. The more orders you do, the more unmanageable that solution is. What were the key factors when you selected a shipping technology solution? We wanted to have a solution that would allow bar-code scanning, instant single scan label generation, centralised tracking, multiple carriers and a solution that would integrate with our website we were building through an API (custom built website so we wanted to control this through the API ourselves) and we got all this from StarShipIT. Tell us about shipping internationally We ship anywhere from 800 to 1200 orders a week to AU, NZ, US and anywhere else in the world from our warehouse in Melbourne. The bulk of our international orders go to the US. The advantage we have is that we can use multiple carriers and preset them in StarShipIT for our requirements. For example, we use AusPost for domestic shipping and DHL Express for international. The advantage we have with DHL is that it is a single label. They take all the paperwork electronically and print a single thermal label. What is life like now using StarShipIT? It’s part of our business system now. Our website generates a manufacturing summary for each order that is used to manufacture the product to the customers specification. That label carries right through to the end process, when the barcode on that label is scanned to mark the order as completed then again to print the post label. Literally no extra processes are required – it is fully ingrained in our business process. What benefits do you experience with StarShipIT? Using StarShipIT saves us considerably more time than 5 minutes an order. For us, it’s not just the time saving, it’s the reliability, the accuracy and cost savings. The goal for us is to get the order right first time. Having systems in place that allow you to make mistakes as you grow just multiplies the problems. We definitely benefit from the time saving that StarShipIT provides but the other benefits that are less measurable are just as important. What's in the future for Fit My Car? We will continue to develop new products, and we have some new ones due to launch end of this year and we will go from there. We want to continue our upwards trajectory and continue the good growth we have seen both here and in the US. What keeps you awake at night? Time! Or lack of! What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who would love to follow in your footsteps and start an online business? My observations of the industry, particularly around eCommerce are that if I was starting again, I would say look for a product that is in a niche and that you can control as much as possible – your margins, your market etc, so that it is a sustainable business. What tips would you give other online retailers that you think they would benefit from? I like to have the control and I like to control the system in house. A lot of people look for perfection, especially in the systems they use. The reality is that a lot of systems are built for the wider market, so be a bit accommodating, understand that you will need to develop your systems around the systems that are available, and if you are willing to do that, you can develop a really good solution. If you do this, you will end up with a really good solution and partner for your business. Rather than disrupt your business every 6 or 12 months as you keep trying to improve the system, find the best fit, work around it and then worry about the hundred percent growth.
"Before StarShipIT, we suffered the pain of bulk upload & print of shipping labels. Understandably, this introduced human error into our fulfilment processes as pick & pack staff matched labels to orders. Not a great situation to be in. This seemingly small process glitch increased the chance of a customer receiving the wrong order… and we hated that possibility! Awesome service is something we strive for with every customer and so we began the search for a better solution. For us, that solution is StarShipIT. Working with the software is a bit like having a staffer who speaks with all your national and international freighters, and feeds tracking information back to customers (and staff) in almost real-time. It’s prints labels on-demand, just like us, and has saved countless hours which can redirected into other areas of the business." James Tinsley, Founder, Fitmycar Keen to try StarShipIT for yourself and get your shipping in shape? Sign up for a FREE 30 day trial and we will be in touch to get you set up and shipping straight away!
Arlo & Co
Gemma Holt, Founder & Co CEO
Yoko process orders 3 times faster and save 15 hours per week with StarShipIT
Hello Molly process 15% more orders per day with StarShipIT
- Needed to integrate with DHL Express & AusPost to automatically produce labels and shipping documentation
- Intuitive and easy to train the warehouse staff to use
- Cost effective
- Integrates with our preferred carriers
- Easy to train the warehouse staff to use it
- Increased efficiency with fast label printing and documentation
- Cost effective
- Enables them to process 15% more orders, per day
It’s Now Cool
It's Now Cool reduced man hours by half!
It’s Now Cool reduces man hours with StarShipIT’s integrated shipping and tracking software.Director of online swimwear store It’s Now Cool, Ryan Stanistreet knew something had to give. The costs and time associated with shipping customer orders was impacting the business with the rapid growth of their online store. Ryan needed a more efficient way to automate their shipping process. As the business grew, the process of booking shipments with multiple carriers and manually entering customer shipping information had become time consuming and expensive, a common issue for online retailers. Ryan identified the need for a shipping technology solution that would reduce costs and the number of hours spent per week on shipping related matters. It’s Now Cool needed to move to a technology solution that ticked the following boxes:
- Easy to use
- The ability to plug in to their existing freight providers
- Automate their shipping process
- Reduce time spent on shipping matters
- Provide a centralised shipping portal
- Efficiency, automation and ease of use for staff
- A central shipping portal
- Great support from the StarShipIT team
- Man-hours needed to book shipments reduced by half!
Keen to try StarShipIT for yourself? Sign up for a free month's trial, we will be in touch to help you get setup so you can start shipping straight away!
Superette were up and running the day after they signed up for StarShipIT
- StarShipIT instantly recognizes and validates addresses ensuring accurate handling and its auto-complete feature remembers details from previous shipments, improving speed.
- Enables you to provide customers with live rates and flexible shipping options at checkout
- Quick and easy installation with fantastic one to one support for customers to ensure you are setup properly and can start shipping immediately
- Users can auto print labels, picking slips and customs documentation
- Customers are sent email and/or text notifications during their order’s transit
- StarShipIT’s branded tracking page means you can create a seamless branded experience and use the opportunity to upsell to your customers while they are back on your website checking the status of their order
The world's largest manufacturer of surfwear and other boardsport-related equipment
HQ: California | Footprint: global | Stockists: global | eStore: Magento
Quiksilver Australia now processes 1000+ orders a day through StarShipIT. At first they began using StarShipIT just for their international orders through DHL, but were so impressed they moved all domestic shipping from their old system too.
StarShipIT has subsequently been involved in migrating Quicksilver from their legacy warehouse management system to their new set-up on the 3 platforms of SAP, Magento and StarShipIT.
“The integrated tracking and the backend updates to Magento help our customer service team respond quickly to customer requests and the address validation tools minimise errors. Being able to use the same tool for multiple carriers for both domestic and international keeps our booking operations streamlined. The team at StarShipIT have been responsive and easy to deal with through the whole implementation process.” GM eCommerce, Quiksilver
Keen to try StarShipIT for yourself? Sign up for a FREE 30 day trial and we will be in touch to help you get setup and shipping straight away!
Fishing & Motobike parts
Spiro Demopoulos has turned his passion for fishing and motorbikes into some serious online businesses. From his four BigCommerce websites and eBay store he sends orders worldwide using Australia Post and CouriersPlease. They were looking at upgrading their shipping to a more automated system using eparcel and found StarShipIT.” Spiro says, “We contacted them, got set up and all I can say is that I am extremely happy. The integration was easy and best of all it works. What used to take us 2 hrs (manually) now takes 20 minutes. It prints the local and international labels and automatically updates tracking on all our web platforms – easy …. 5 stars product – highly recommended” - Spiro Demopoulos, Director. Keen to try StarShipIT for yourself? Sign up for a free month's trial, we will be in touch to help you get setup so you can start shipping straight away!
Luxury hand-made goods
Coast has sent their luxury goods around the world ever since they began. With such expensive items, they wanted traceability and trackability for their customers.
Here’s what we were doing before Star ShipIT (and this is just for local delivery!)
1. pack a box 2. try to figure out where the person lives. You may not know what island or state they are in, so you have to look on googlemaps to see where it is 3. go to NZPOST to work out how many tickets and excess tickets you need 4. Then I’d like to track it so I’ll write this tracking number on a copy of the packing slip. 5. “I didn’t get it” – see if I’ve got your tracking number, your customer records.
StarShipIT streamlines this entire process. All those things can happen in one place and happen automatically, and it happens on a single platform. Without Star ShipIT, things were getting delayed or misdirected 10% of the time because of incomplete or incorrect addresses … the postcode wasn't right. Coast can also do drop-shipping now which it couldn’t before. With average orders from $200-$2000 each, it’s incredibly important to have the correct tracking info. When you switch on the screen and look at all outgoing consignments, it is all colour coded for you: Green – delivered Grey – in transit Red – clearance delay of more than 5 days That’s triage. It answers the “Oh I wonder why that hasn’t been delivered” question – before we get customer complaints. This pre-emptive customer service today is incredibly important. This is people’s expectations now. StarShipIT streamlines this entire process. All those things can happen in one place and happen automatically, and it happens on a single platform.
Premium Fitness Apparel
Pure Limits sells their performance fitness apparel to an international market through their own BigCommerce website and an eBay store. Brent from Pure Limits says, “We found StarShipIT to be the only product that truly links BigCommerce, eBay and eParcel. It’s working so well for us we are going to add our international shipping. The the holy grail is to have all our sales channels in one system no matter where they are going."
Because of StarShipIT we have more time to focus on our business and concentrate on marketing our product and the support is AWESOME!”Keen to try StarShipIT for yourself? Sign up for a FREE 30 day trial, we will be in touch to help you get setup and start shipping straight away!
i love ugly
i love ugly started using StarShipIT in 2012 and instantly were able to deploy their full-time fulfillment staffer to another part of their business. They were so impressed with how it worked domestically they decided to put their international orders through StarShipIT too. By using StarShipIT with DHL they are now selling to a market 100 times larger than if they were only shipping domestically and now most of their orders are international. Before StarShipIT they were only sending 5-10 packages a week, yet by 2015, i love ugly were listed 5th on the Deloitte 50 Fastest Growing Companies. They now have stockists in 13 countries and six of their own stores around the world.
i love ugly credit StarShipIT with this growth because of how it enabled them to access a global market at barely any additional cost!Keen to try StarShipIT for yourself? Signup for a FREE 30 day trial, we will be in touch to get you set up and shipping straight away!