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Starshipit’s COO on MESHKI’s Global Success Strategy

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By Published On: April 11, 20240 Comments

Abi Bennett, COO at Starshipit sits down with Power Retail to discuss MESHKI’s global expansion strategy and how Starshipit can help retailers achieve their goals.

What kind of issues was MESHKI dealing with before Starshipit stepped in? 

MESHKI have used Starshipit for about 8 years, so that’s a tough question! Looking back, they were facing a number of shipping hurdles. Initially leaning heavily on DHL Express, they needed to offer multiple courier options to meet overseas demand, which would have meant using several different courier logins and dashboards. These dashboards would have been completely separate from each other with no flow of information between them – making tracking and managing shipments really complicated (and time consuming!) for the team.   

Starshipit helped unlock this step of their growth journey by combining all couriers into a single dashboard, streamlining their fulfilment. This was only one of many challenges, and we’ve actually just launched a case study detailing their approach over the last 10 years.  

Are these challenges common with other retailers looking to scale globally? Are there any unique challenges in that? 

Absolutely, the hurdles MESHKI encountered are pretty much par for the course for retailers eyeing global expansion. Navigating a maze of courier options and the manual juggle that comes without automation are common pitfalls. 

Another common challenge for retailers is handling international customs documentation. This layer adds complexity, requiring accurate and timely paperwork to avoid delays and stay compliant. Failing to manage customs documentation accurately can result in extra costs for retailers, as well as a poor customer experience. 

What can make each retailer’s journey somewhat unique are the intricacies that are specific to the markets they sell to, or the products they sell. There are different regulatory requirements – for example, dangerous goods documentation across different verticals.  

It’s all about finding that sweet spot between scalability, efficiency and maintaining that personal touch. 

Tell me how Starshipit stepped in, where did MESHKI benefit the most? 

When Starshipit stepped in to streamline MESHKI’s shipping processes, the transformation was pretty significant. Automating different parts of the process gave the team a lot more flexibility and the freedom to put their own automation rules in place, at the click of a button.  

For example, rules can be used to assign couriers based on criteria like customer location, package weight and size, delivery expectation, and more. The team can also automatically generate and submit customs documentation – something that many retailers can get overwhelmed with. 

The reporting tools in Starshipit also give MESHKI a lot more visibility into how their couriers are performing, with reporting features to track Delivery In Full, On Time (DIFOT) metrics. Keeping each courier’s on-time delivery to a 96% success rate means that MESHKI can keep their customers happy as well.  

With customer expectations of speed and efficiency reaching new heights, how can retailers keep up? Especially on an international scale? 

It can be a real challenge for retailers to keep up with customer expectations around the speed of delivery – especially when retail giants like Amazon are always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with international fulfilment.   

As a retailer, you know your customer base better than anyone else, so take the time to really listen to what they want when it comes to shipping speed and delivery options. Are they willing to pay a premium for express delivery, or are they more budget-conscious and willing to wait a bit longer for standard shipping? Should you offer both? 

Finding the right balance between delivery speed and cost-effectiveness is crucial, especially when you’re operating on an international scale. This can be done by reviewing the post purchase experience, such as choosing the right couriers, estimating and communicating delivery times, and considering your customers’ preferences. Failure to listen to your customers’ needs can result in lost sales, so ensure you provide a range of delivery options at checkout. 

 Or in the words of Damien Park-Neilson, Head of Operations at MESHKI, who says, “Meeting customer expectations in today’s retail climate is far from easy, but with Starshipit we can offer same day, express and standard shipping. We’ve got eight different shipping services across 5 different couriers. This means customers can choose a shipping option that works best for them, which makes our brand really competitive.” 

Pain points such as duties and taxes can be daunting for retailers taking that next step into global expansion – what are your tips or advice for overcoming these challenges? 

Understanding the regulations and requirements for duties and taxes in each country you’re selling to can indeed feel daunting, particularly as what works in one country might not apply elsewhere. For example, some countries have higher de minimis thresholds, meaning orders below a certain value might not incur duties or taxes. 

It’s crucial to understand your customers’ preferences and their willingness to pay these additional costs. Some customers might be fine with paying duties and taxes themselves, while others prefer a seamless, all-inclusive checkout experience. Each approach has its pros and cons, so it’s essential to weigh them carefully based on your business model and customer expectations. 

As for setting up warehouses in other countries, it’s a complex decision that requires careful consideration. While having local warehouses can reduce delivery times and costs, it also comes with additional expenses and logistical challenges. Make sure you understand the threshold at which it makes sense to invest in local warehouses and consider factors like import taxes, shipping times, and customer demand. 

Ultimately, my advice is to lean on your technology partners and your couriers for support. These partners have the expertise and resources to navigate the complexities of global shipping and can help make the process as smooth and painless as possible for you.  

Focus on what you do best—running your business—and let your partners handle the logistics. That way, you can confidently grow into new markets and keep your customers happy by delivering seamless international shipping experiences. Or, why not read our guide on how to expand internationally? The team’s been hard at work collating all their tips into one solid guide for our retailers, so it’s a great place to start. 

 

Find out more about MESHKI’s global success strategy below:

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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