Deborah Kinney founded DeBra’s 21 years ago to help Australian women with a fuller bust find their perfect fit.
The brand began selling online eight years ago but really ramped up its online presence after a storm destroyed DeBra’s second store in 2019. The team decided not to reopen the damaged store, but to direct in-store customers to their other physical store location in Sydney and double down on ecommerce.
The business overhauled its tech stack, replacing its aging ecommerce platform with a new BigCommerce online store, adopted new email platforms, and invested more energy into social and engaging with customers online.
That groundwork set the company up to continue to serve customers throughout COVID-19 disruptions and online sales have grown massively over the last two and a half years.
Today DeBra’s has one “very busy store” in western Sydney with 16 staff, who make sure women are fitted correctly and also pack and dispatch online orders from the on-site storeroom.
But the growth in ecommerce sales created extra administrative work for the team, who were slowed down by manual processes required to ship parcels and needed to field customer calls about their online orders.
DeBra’s needed a shipping solution to help them scale. The business selected ShipStation because it allows their staff to track orders from the store to a customer’s door, and was quick and easy to implement.
The brand had originally selected a different shipping vendor that had been recommended by their point of sale provider. However, after running into integration problems, the team made a snap decision to switch to ShipStation and had it up and running the next day.
“We needed a solution because the growth was so rapid and so fast. It’s almost like we didn’t even have that time to stop and actually implement something to fix that problem. So the fact it didn’t take us a lot of time was the best part of it,” said Deborah Kinney, Founder of DeBra’s.
“It was very, very easy for us to implement ShipStation. Our account manager Mascha and Alex from customer service were a huge help. They were always available on the end of the phone.”
The ongoing customer service and support from the ShipStation team has allowed DeBra’s to easily troubleshoot any problems that may arise and get back to work quickly.
When replacing its old ecommerce platform, DeBra’s selected BigCommerce for its ease of use and modern integration capabilities. ShipStation is embedded into BigCommerce’s platform making it quick and easy to connect the two systems and start using it straight away.
“With more businesses online than ever before, the retail landscape has become an incredibly competitive space in which user experience and satisfaction has become a defining factor in success. Customer expectations are sky-high, which means that businesses need to have the technology and infrastructure in place to deliver on their promises and to seamlessly support their online presence,” said Shannon Ingrey, Vice President and General Manager of APAC at Big Commerce.
“In this case, the integration of ShipStation within DeBra’s BigCommerce platform meant that the company could deliver on their promise and offer customers a highly-functional, intuitive user experience.”Shannon Ingrey, Vice President & General Manager, APAC at BigCommerce
Since implementing ShipStation in 2020, manual labour has decreased, reducing labour costs and allowing the team to focus on serving in-store customers and successfully manage increased volumes during peak seasons.
“Despite the recent Boxing Day sales increase, we were able to seamlessly process and dispatch orders within the first 24 hours of receipt — subject to stock availability.”Anita Demetriou, Business Manager, DeBra’s
Orders are imported from BigCommerce and, through customised setup and automation, automatically tagged and allocated to certain carriers in order to quickly print labels and get the orders out the door. Through these efforts DeBra’s was able to:
In addition, ShipStation’s Branded Tracking feature has automatically kept DeBra’s customers up-to-date with where their parcel is, reducing their anxiety and the number of calls the customer service team needs to respond to.
These features also extend DeBra’s branded presence post-purchase as automated notifications are sent to customers with DeBra’s logo rather than the carrier’s, providing a consistent brand experience.
The new shipping strategy through ShipStation played an important role in improving the overall customer experience. This is critical in a world where end-to-end delivery experience directly impacts consumer satisfaction and their decision to purchase again in the future.
Developing an efficient shipping process has allowed the business to focus on serving more women in-store and online.
“We have a relatively small team and a team full of fitters who are either out on the floor working directly with customers, or on live chat or doing virtual fittings, so they have their hands full with their day-to-day jobs,” said Kinney.
“ShipStation really took away a lot of that manual labour that’s been created as a result of successfully growing the business and given time back to improve the experience for customers.”Deborah Kinney, Founder, DeBra’s
For any ecommerce business struggling to process a surge in online orders, Deborah recommends taking the time out to implement a solution that will address those pain points.
“Make the time to implement those changes because we honestly didn’t have the time to implement it but we found the time. ShipStation has saved us so much time in the long run,” said Kinney.
Another top tip? Look for partnerships to help drive growth.
“Outsource to the experts where there’s a partnership available. ShipStation has done that for us by removing all that manual labour and removed some of the confusion about areas that we’re not experts in. That has helped us scale our business in-store and online,” she said.
The growth in online sales from around the country has given DeBra’s important data about where their customers are. In April, the brand plans to open a store on the Gold Coast, as part of its mission to cater to more Australian women.
The business is also broadening its online range and growing the online channel to allow women who don’t have access to a store like DeBra’s with highly experienced fitters, to have a similar experience with expert guidance in order to find the right products for their body.