Salvos Stores Delivers on its Promise with ShipStation

Power Retail By Power Retail | 20 May 2021

Find out how Salvos Store more than tripled its online sales in 2020, supercharging its fulfilment strategy with ShipStation.

For most retailers, a solid e-commerce strategy with a scalable fulfilment model is obviously vital. But for Salvos Stores, there is more at stake. Why? Because the Australian community relies on its success.

“Salvos Stores is a grassroots organisation that has been providing care for communities for over 150 years now. Our products come from the community from donations and our workforce comes from the community from volunteers,” explains Edwina Morgan, GM Customer & Strategy, Salvos Store. “The profits we generate go back to the community to provide care for those that are really in need in Australia.”

With the growing popularity of e-commerce generally and the acceleration of online shopping driven by the pandemic, Salvos Stores knew that it had to boost its digital growth. Salvos Stores chose ShipStation as its fulfilment partner. It needed e-commerce solutions that could help it scale while managing the complexities of its business model (shipping second-hand items from individual stores across the country) and to be able to keep up with the demand from both a listing and fulfilment perspective. In fact, Salvos Stores’ online sales more than tripled (+212 percent) in 2020!

“ShipStation was the logical solution due to the API integrations available and easy-to-use user interface,” explains Lucas Ferrier, E-Commerce Manager, Salvos Stores.

“From the outset we wanted our in-store teams to be engaged with our e-commerce offering. We didn’t want it to be something that the ‘e-commerce team’ did,” adds Ferrier. “We had to find a fulfilment solution that would allow us to fulfil from hundreds of ‘mini-DCs’—our physical stores.”

Being easy to use was vital because many of the volunteers and employees had no prior e-commerce experience. “Listing online was completely new for me and the team, but it made complete sense to us,” says Deb Patrickson, Store Manager, Salvos Stores Mornington. “Our customers love shopping for second hand gems with us in-store, and it was exciting that we could offer a taste of this experience online, especially during 2020 when we had to close. It was really easy to set up to list online and we got into the swing of it within a day. The orders started coming in almost straight away and we were able to quickly start shipping them out using ShipStation.”

For Patrickson, having the certainty that everything could run smoothly was imperative, even when she wasn’t physically there. This is where the ShipStation Mobile app has really helped. “I cannot always oversee our online sales, so it’s important that I can leave it with other team members to look after. ShipStation is very easy to use and I have complete confidence in the team. I can always check on the ShipStation Mobile app if I am away to make sure nothing has been missed or overlooked.”

Speed is also something that’s vital to make sure the business runs smoothly. “It takes just a few seconds to create a label in ShipStation. We simply jump in, see what items are in the order and print the label. We then package the items, attach the shipping label and the rest (tracking and confirmation emails) is automatically sent off by ShipStation.” This fast process means that Salvos Stores is able to send orders off within 24-hours (enhancing the positive customer experience).

“Since using ShipStation, we’ve seen massive improvements to efficiency and accuracy,” Ferrier adds. ShipStation also allows Salvos Stores to monitor KPI compliance across all sites and follow up where needed.

Salvos Stores now has over 300 stores across Australia processing orders and over 300 team members trained and using ShipStation. Parcel volumes more than quadrupled in 2020. The retail stores now hand-pack and send more than 5,000 individual parcels every month and these figures are only set to increase, with 12,000 individually listed items available online (and thousands of new items added every week).

Find out more about how ShipStation has supported Salvos Stores transition online here.

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