Can your customers rely on your shipping processes? How often do you miss a date or ship the wrong item?
A negative shipping experience can have an irreparable impact on your relationship with customers. 84% of consumers say that they won’t return to a brand after just one poor delivery experience. It’s evident that a good shipping experience is vital for customer retention.
If you haven’t already, consider improving your online fulfillment processes. You can start by learning from EasyCare Inc and how they instituted same-day shipping for their equine business.
Founded in 1970, EasyCare pioneered a new category in the equine industry known as the hoof boot. Designed by Dr. Neel Glass, EasyCare’s first comfortable, padded shoe was named the “Easyboot.” Unlike a traditional iron shoe, hoof boots allow a horse to naturally flex its hoof with each step, aiding in circulation, while still providing protection from rocks or damaging hard surfaces.
Beyond their innovative array of products, EasyCare has spent the last few years automating their internal operations to optimize their eCommerce and shipping experiences for customers. With the stage set by Amazon, EasyCare recognizes that today’s customers want timely and accurate shipping even when it came to their hoof boots.
How EasyCare Implemented Same-day Shipping for Online Orders
Here’s the initial steps EasyCare took to improve their processes:
1. Outsourcing Fulfillment to a 3PL
EasyCare initially did all their own warehouse management. After almost 50 years in business though, EasyCare felt inefficient compared to the market and decided to outsource their warehousing and fulfillment to a third-party logistics (3PL) partner. Operating their own warehouse wasn’t worth the financial costs or time to perfect. Instead, they wanted to focus their business on creating products, marketing, and supporting customers.
After some trial and error, EasyCare landed a partnership with Dallas-based 3PL Warehouse-Pro. They appreciated their dedicated team trained to handle their unique shipping requirements like:
- Equine equipment terminology on packing slips and other shipping materials
- 30-day rental program for users to ship back test size boots
- Shipping products that contain glue, a hazardous material
- Shipping to international customers
- 45-day returns guarantee, no questions asked
2. Implement Shipping Software
When working with Warehouse-Pro, EasyCare learned they primarly used ShipStation as their shipping software and implemented it themselves. With ShipStation’s order tagging and shipping rule features, EasyCare can easily notify WarehousePro’s team when an order needs something special such as:
- Include a pre-printed return label for any rental program hoof boot
- Attach special paperwork for products that contain hazardous materials like glue
- Quickly generate a return label for guaranteed returns program
3. Integrating their ERP Software
With their 3PL in place, along with ShipStation, EasyCare saw an opportunity to automate their entire fulfillment workflow – from an order placed on the web to that product being picked and shipped from the warehouse. They turned to nChannel to integrate their ERP Sage 100 with ShipStation.
Before integrating their systems, EasyCare was only syncing online orders in two or three waves a day. This was slowing down the rest of the fulfillment process and didn’t always allow for same-day shipping. Delayed shipping times lead to their customer service and sales reps receiving calls from their customers asking where their orders were.
With the nChannel integration in place between Sage 100 and ShipStation, EasyCare no longer waits to sync online orders in batches throughout the day. Instead, the process from beginning to end is automated.
- Customer place online orders
- Online orders sync to Sage 100 with all the necessary data fields
- nChannel syncs sales orders to ShipStation to start the shipping process
- Warehouse-Pro fulfills the orders
Now, new orders make it to the warehouse within minutes of being placed online. This timeliness is crucial for giving their 3PL Warehouse-Pro enough time to ship as many orders as possible same-day for customers.
“If you can streamline the process with less human interaction, then the orders gets out the door faster and that’s what people want.”Jessica Kahn, Operations Manager and Special Project Leads at EasyCare
With their 3PL partner and an automated shipping workflow in place, EasyCare can already tell a difference.
1. They’re shipping more orders same-day. With an automated process, they even rely on orders to ship same-day when employees aren’t in the office because of their four-day work week.
2. Customer service teams spend less time answering customers asking when their order shipped or why the tracking info hasn’t updated.
3. EasyCare also simplified their rental program and returns process for customers. As a horse’s hoof can vary in size just like a human, EasyCare ships multiple sizes of their hoof boots to ensure customers choose the best fit. Within 30 days, customers can try on the different sizes for their horse and return those that didn’t work. EasyCare includes that return label right in the packing box to make returns hassle-free.
EasyCare’s automated fulfillment processes are made possible through an integrated solution between their partners and software. Even though EasyCare was founded in 1970, they’ve evolved their eCommere and shipping experience to meet the demands of today’s consumers.