Wednesday, 11 October 2017 16:01

Interview: Shippit ships it good, Devo would be proud

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Shippit powers delivery for "hundreds of retailers across Australia sending tens of thousands of deliveries every single month", and with volumes growing 50% every month, they ship it good.

Shipping. It can be the bane of our 21st century lives, because with online shopping powering so much of today's commerce, no-one wants packages to go missing, or end up delivered late – no one wants to end up in Ship Creek, do they?

So, with Shippit having built its business on the very modern-day philosophy of "happy shipping", it would warm the cockles of every consumer's heart to know Shippit are "determined to put an end to the anxiety faced by online shoppers and the frustration endured by growing online retailers".

I mean, in the old days, you had Peter picking a peck of picked peppers, but in today's world, you want Peter packing his pick of proper packages so Simon successfully sends your shopping via Shippit.

Of course, Peter and Simon are but fictional characters in this situation, but play along, we get to have more fun at the end of this article.

Now, it's clear that, since 2015, Shippit has come a long, long way.

Not only has it since done a deal with Australia Post, giving Shippit "access to over 11,000 delivery vehicles Australia-wide – making it one of Australia’s largest delivery platforms". Other snippets of Shippit success include a major deal with Harvey Norman last year, and just last month, a big deal with Big Commerce

All of that came from those humble 2015 beginnings, where Shippit originally worked with but a handful of fashion and homeware boutiques in Sydney’s Surry Hills.

That has now morphed into powering the delivery for "thousands of retailers across Australia, servicing hundreds of thousands of deliveries each month".

Shippit’s software and delivery services are also ship-shape, and "are trusted by retailers of all sizes and formats and is seeing an increasing demand from international retailers".

As you'd expect, Shippit's software has to be up to the task to manage all of this, and "seamlessly connects retailers to leading logistics carriers, selecting the best carrier for every shipment and allows shoppers to track deliveries in real time".

And, not only did Shippit secure that aforementioned milestone partnership with Australia Post in March 2016, it is also "a trusted partner of CouriersPlease, Fastway, TNT, DHL, Bonds Express and many others".

The company even secured a solid A$2.2 million in Series A funding back in May this year, which is driving the company’s expansion into APAC within the next 12 months and scale its growth.

Clearly, the South East Asian market "presents a lucrative opportunity for the business as one of the world's fastest-growing regions for e-commerce revenue, poised to be worth US$25 billion by 2020 (according to Frost and Sullivan)", so it's clear why Shippit would like to ship its business model into the region and help ensure its own smooth delivery.

So, on top of ALL of that, Shippit currently services over 750 merchants including Sephora, Topshop, Thankyou, Pet Circle, and ships over 250,000 parcels via its platform each month – and it surely makes us all reading wonder we all didn't have the smarts to come up with this kind of company!!

Here's Shippit's corporate video – the article and more continues below.

So, with all the recent retailer worry about Amazon coming in and supposedly stealing all their business, I asked Shippit's co-founder and director, Robert Hango-Zada, about his thoughts on Amazon's impending arrival.

Hango-Zada said: "We're are excited by the announcement of Amazon's impending entry as logistics players and retailers alike will now have no choice but to focus on customer centricity or perish.

"The thousands of retailers we work with already understand the importance of the customer experience during the delivery process. We are helping our retailers lower costs and save time, thereby enabling them to compete more effectively with larger players.

"Amazon will be operating with a cost base not seen by any other retailer before and its important that Aussie retailers, particularly those with brick and mortar stores, start making changes now to compete effectively upon their arrival. It's a great sign for Aussie consumers and for boosting local online sales.

"It remains to be seen however whether Australia will follow in the steps of the US where 52% of all product searches now start on Amazon (beating Google) or Canada where it has made a decent but conservative impact

"It's evident that when it comes to cost-effective delivery solutions, SMBs in the Australian market are under-served which puts them at a competitive disadvantage. Higher delivery costs, sourcing and storage costs also mean that the cost base of a small, local player is going to be astronomical compared to Amazon and this is where there is significant opportunity to improve.

"Amazon should take note of the Australian consumer sentiment which is different to that of the UK. Or the US. We are a market more similar to Canada and in that space Amazon's market share has not quite dominated (sales at about $2.4bn CAD as of last year, total retail market in Canada is about $25bn).

"That sentiment means duopolies are more common and whilst there will be significant disruption Aussies will undoubtedly back a local player alongside Amazon. I think businesses like the Catch Group, Kogan, PetCircle and Booktopia have had a head start in building robust and efficient supply chains and they would be best placed to stand up to the entry of Amazon."

Asked about Shippit's competitors, including Temando (which I had written about at the time) Hango-Zada replied:

"Logistics is a hotly contested space as there's a huge market opportunity, locally and globally.

"Retailers have a proliferation in choice across logistics and fulfilment platforms, third party logistics providers and solutions offered directly by carriers. Temando's done a great job educating the market on the benefit of multi-carrier shipping capabilities, but now the market has evolved.

"Whilst there are several shipping platforms emerging to automate the process of generating shipping labels, we believe that the long unaddressed issue of who owns the delivery experience requires a robust solution that better enables retailers. Online shoppers undoubtedly hold retailers responsible for their delivery experience – a philosophy which Shippit embraces. Our focus is to empower retailers to take charge of the delivery process like never before."

So, with Shippit's mission to "kill the anxiety and overhead caused by the 'Sorry We Missed You' calling card", here's why the company says retailers should care:

"Many business owners underestimate the impact of the last mile which can negatively affect customer loyalty – unfortunately, the accountability of a good delivery sits outside of their control as couriers don't have the same passion and care that a business owner may have.

"From the online retailer side, by streamlining the booking, tracking and delivery management process, it ensures business owners can focus less on logistics and complaints (customers calling the store and asking where their package is) and more on business development and operations. Shippit’s delivery management system integrates automation, flexibility and communication for retailers which leads to better shipping experiences for retailers and their customers.

"From the recipient’s point of view, the service will allow them to track their package with a unique hyperlink, and be updated in real-time through email and SMS notifications to enhance their overall experience. They are also encouraged to provide feedback and ratings for their delivery."

Here are some interesting statistics about Shippit and the market that its playing in:

  • The latest market research report from IBISWorld revealed that postal services in Australia had a revenue of $7 billion – this is a huge market in Australia

Bad shipping experiences are bad for business, according to Shippit:

  • Forty-eight percent of deliveries will fail first go.
  • It takes 20 minutes for a retailer to resolve a delivery complaint.
  • Sixty-six percent of customers won't buy from the retailer again because of this experience.
  • Seventy-eight percent will then tell their friends to not buy from the retailer.
  • Ninety-two percent of all online purchases in Australia are fulfilled by standard mail or standard courier delivery services (Attitudes towards online shopping and knowledge about shopping online securely. NSW Fair Trading, 2012).

Also, Shippit's "The Real Hustle" campaign is here

So, now it's time to have some fun. Here's my rendition of "Shippit Good" – with apologies to Shippit and Devo.

Lyrics below this embedded video, you'll have more fun if you open the video in a separate browser and read the lyrics below as Devo sing:

Track that ship
Get the packing slip
Picked off a rack
Ship your momma's pack
When an order comes along
You must ship it
Before the post sits out too long
You must ship it
When orders are going strong
You must ship it

Now ship it
Into shape
Ship it up
Get straight
Go forward
Move ahead
Try now to track it
It's not too late
To ship it
Ship it good

With a good time turn around
You must ship it
You will never live it down
Unless you ship it
No one gets their goods
Until you've shipped it

I say ship it
Ship it good
I say ship it
Ship it good

Track that ship
Get the packing slip
Picked off a rack
Ship your momma's pack
When an order comes along
You must ship it
Before the post sits out too long
You must ship it
When orders are going strong
You must ship it!

Now ship it
Into shape
Ship it up
Get straight
Go forward
Move ahead
Try now to track it
It's not too late

Now ship it
Into shape
Ship it up
Get straight
Go forward
Move ahead
Try now to track it
It's not too late

To ship it
Ship it good!​


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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