60: How ShipBob Is Helping Retailers Offer an Amazon Prime Like Service
Dhruv Saxena from ShipBob is on the show. ShipBob is fully committed to relieving the pain of shipping for small businesses by handling the pickup, packaging, and shipment on their behalf. Businesses need to meet these new demands from their customers but here in 2016 people still find themselves queuing up in post offices and this is where the guys at ShipBob come in.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself and your role at ShipBob?
I’m one of the co-founders and the CEO of the company. I started the company along with my co-founder approximately two years ago. Before this, we had an e-commerce business and both of us being engineers we had everything automated except for the final portion of packaging and shipping. That was the biggest pain point and something we could not figure out how to outsource or automate. That became the premise of starting a company like ShipBob.
For anyone listening who has never heard of ShipBob can you explain what it is?
What we do is complete end to end back end logistic solutions for e-commerce websites. If you have an e-commerce website and it is built on top of these platforms like Shopify or Magenta or eBay what you can do is integrate your shopping cart with ShipBob and as soon as somebody places an order on your website that order gets funneled into the ShipBob system and we go about fulfilling that order.
The way we do that is we have two ways. We have ship captains in Chicago and in Brooklyn who will come to your physical location, pick up the items you have sold and bring it back to our warehouse to be packaged and shipped out. The other alternative is you can send us your inventory and we will hold your inventory at our two locations and ship it out from there.
We’re in the age of instant gratification. Users are paying good money for the convenience of having items delivered the same day from Amazon. Do you think ShipBob can help deliver that prime like service that was previously unavailable to businesses?
Absolutely. What we love to do is contrast the shipping page for our clients before and after they start using ShipBob. A typical small business that does not have the infrastructure and logistics of ShipBob on their shipping policy can usually ship in 5-10 business days (which is what makes sense for the small business owner because they have so many other things going on). Using ShipBob they can outsource the back end infrastructure logistic to ShipBob. We create a disciplined way of managing their shipping which allows them to revise the shipping policy to two days.
Haven’t you recently secured four million dollars in Series A funding? With this latest investment are you planning to expand and what is your expected growth over the next few years?
A lot of the financing is for expansion. The way to think about expansion is how do we create this prime like service for our clients across the country? With that in mind, we are planning to expand to new cities. We haven’t released the names of the cities we’re targeting but we should be able to come out with that shortly. We’ve been growing more than 20 percent now for the past 18-24 months and with this new round of financing, we should be able to keep that growth curve.
Did the idea of ShipBob arise from having your own business and feeling frustrated by long lines at the post office?
That was how the idea came about. We had an e-commerce business and being engineers we could figure out everything but the shipping. For us to ship out our orders meant standing in lines at the post office and going to the post office several hours a day to make sure our orders got out in time. To solve that pain point we started looking at other alternatives in the market and we didn’t really find a good solution.
How many warehouses do you have in the U.S at the moment and how quickly do you think you will be able to expand?
Right now we have two warehouses in Chicago and New York. We are expanding to several other cities this year, the names of which we will release shortly. To think about how do we expand globally right now we have several clients in Europe who are using ShipBob for their U.S and Canadian operations. So this model scales pretty universally and once we have enough traction in U.S we should be able to easily expand the service to Europe.
Can you explain in a nutshell how easy it is to get set up with ShipBob?
To get started is as simple as going to our website and signing up. There is no subscription cost or contract, you pay as you ship.
Where do you expect ShipBob to be in 12 months?
One of the key strategies we have is expanding to other cities and that includes three in the next 12 months or so. That allows us to have warehouses in key geographical areas to service clients in the U.S.
What is the best method of reaching out to you?
The best method is to go to our website at www.shipbob.com and fill out your information. You can also email me at email@example.com.