When Beautyvice began using ShipStation in 2012, the ecommerce landscape looked a lot different than today, as did their company. Beautyvice began using ShipStation shortly after setting up shop, and since then, the company has moved from a storage unit to a massive warehouse.
The business, which sells wholesale beauty products directly to customers for a fraction of the cost, was one of the first to adopt ShipStation almost a decade ago. As they continue to scale their company in an ever-shifting ecommerce landscape, ShipStation is along for the ride with them — just as it has been for the past 10 years.
Robert Roque, CEO of Beautyvice, describes his company’s journey with ShipStation in 10 questions:
When did you begin using ShipStation?
About 10 years ago! The cumbersome way shipping was done was extremely time-consuming. Using label features from Amazon, eBay, PayPal, etc., rather than one platform to do it all, was a huge challenge.
Back then, there really wasn’t a solution that was robust enough for our shipping needs. So we kept looking until we stumbled across ShipStation.
At first, it wasn’t the solution at the time that had everything, but the speed at which they were adding features was great. They were addressing the needs of the user a lot quicker than everybody else. We would say that we need something and then, sure enough, within a week or two…boom! There it is. And that really was what kept us with ShipStation through the years.
What was your company like when you started using ShipStation a decade ago?
We had some experience back then. We started out of a public storage warehouse in the Miami area. We rented one small warehouse and then another and did that for a few years until we had to move to a larger location. Today, we operate out of a 10,000 sq ft climate-controlled, state-of-the-art company-owned facility.
What volume was Beautivice shipping at that time, and what growth have you seen since then?
We were doing 20-30 orders a day when we started. We ramped up pretty quickly because we were 100% Amazon-driven. But it became difficult for us to depend on them at the level we were. So we regrouped and adapted, and today we are handling about 200,000 packages a year from the 10,000 back then.
What was your shipping process like before you started using ShipStation? What is it like now?
Our process was very manual back then. We tried a couple of shipping platforms but they did not address all our needs so we kept trying to find others. Integrating with other software we were using at the time was a big challenge too.
As the years have passed, have you maintained the same shipping workflow since using ShipStation?
Now, with ShipStation, it’s seamless. The workflow for us has two parts: manual flow (which has changed quite a bit) and the electronic flow (ShipStation and other software we use). The electronic flow has changed as we have added software to complement our needs.
What ShipStation feature have you found most useful throughout all these years?
The most useful aspect for us is that we’re able to connect all of our different carriers and, through API, get all of the negotiated rates with all the different carriers. It seamlessly happens when we’re populating the orders in the morning. Boom, there it is! We just have to click on it. You can see the prices and compare them for different services, then you can select it at that time. And it’s very quick.
What element of the fulfillment and shipping process used to fill you with dread, but now you no longer worry about?
Way back when, we used to print labels one at a time. We would use PayPal or Amazon, for example. There was no integration. We tried a few solutions as they came out, and if it was not an integration issue it was lacking in features. When ShipStation launched, we were one of the first to join. It was not perfect, but it sure had the right basic features to take us to the next level. As the platform matured and features were added, shipping became a breeze.
What can ShipStation do to help you continue to scale and adapt?
ShipStation is a robust solution for us. The huge amount of data ShipStation captures from sellers lends itself to be not only a postage and shipping solution but also a data resource for users. We find ourselves running hard all day with time being in short supply.
What are some benefits of ecommerce that you could never enjoy with a brick and mortar operation?
You can change very quickly with ecommerce, whereas with brick and mortar, you’re kind of saddled with all that overhead and with a lot of things that you don’t allow you to move as quickly as you can with the online business. Adding products for us is fairly simple to do. We already have a system to do that. So when we get offers from vendors, it’s easy to analyze. I just put it up online, buy it, and we’re set. It’s a lot easier to navigate the online business when you’re not saddled with that long-term lease or rent of a brick and mortar.
What sets ShipStation apart from the many other shipping softwares on the market?
With ShipStation customer support, the response is very quick. You get on a chat and they might have a queue with 20 people ahead of you, but within 10-15 minutes, you’ve got somebody there addressing the issue because it is mission-critical. ShipStation is very cognizant of the fact that time is of the essence.