Having a good idea for a new iPhone product is often only part of the battle in the marketplace. You can have a solid ecommerce site, but if you canâ€™t get the iPhone add-on into consumersâ€™ hands quickly and painlessly, that good idea sinks as fast as a winter sun.
Designers Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost knew they had a winner when they created the Glif, an iPhone 4 add-on that can be used as a tripod mount for shooting photos or movies and as an iPhone stand for hands-free video conferencing or viewing.
But their shipping experience stopped at sending a few gifts now and then. Nothing that prepared them to handle the explosive demand for their iPhone 4 gadget generated by enthusiastic reviews on blogs and tech sites.
When Shipwire first received our inventory from the manufacturers, they shipped out over 7,000 orders within 24 hours. Awesome.
â€œWe shipped 500 ourselves and it was a nightmare,â€ said Gerhardt, who with Provost formed Studio Neat to sell the Glif. â€œWe had to hand-fill-in everything. It was a taste that told us we couldnâ€™t do it ourselves.â€ Especially when both have full-time jobs.
â€œThe great thing about Shipwire is they tie directly to the online store we built using Shopify, so orders are sent from the store to the warehouse seamlessly.â€ Gerhardt said. They also learned that using Shipwire puts everything from orders to delivery tracking in one convenient place. Plus, the entire arrangement is scalable; you pay only for what you use.
â€œWe could see how useful and easy it was. Shipwire is Web 2.0,â€ Gerhardt said.
Gerhardt and Provost started with one Shipwire fulfillment center, in Los Angeles, but quickly recognized that 70 percent of their sales were overseas. Good thing Shipwire also has warehouses in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Asia.
â€œWe could potentially have inventory in every warehouse and not really add that much complexity to how we are doing things â€“ which is awesome,â€ Provost said.
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