SBS S5 E3
April 7, 2021

[Step by Step] How Can I Get Product to Every Customer in Two Days or Less?

Consumers want instant gratification from their purchases and sometimes it can feel really intimidating to even try to attempt matching the expectation of 2-day shipping. But what if we told you that you can get your products to every customer in 2 days or Less? Babs King, CEO at Fleo and George Wojciechowski join the show to talk about building the process and technology to meet customer expectations. Listen Now!

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this episode sponsored by

Brian: [00:00:36] Hello and welcome to Step by Step, a podcast by Future Commerce presented by Route. I'm Brian.

Phillip: [00:00:42] And I'm Phillip. And this is Season 5 of Step by Step. And you are listening... You're listening is what you're doing. You're listening to Episode 3 of 5. And we are so giddy because we are learning so much in this season of Step by Step. But if you are just jumping into the series midway through, might I suggest, why don't you go back and listen from the very beginning? Because we don't want you to miss anything. And the thing that you don't want to miss is that it is possible for your brand, no matter how big or small, to compete at an Amazon level in delivering customer experience. From the purchase to the return, you can deliver an amazing customer experience. And we're teaching you how in the season of Step by Step,

Brian: [00:01:28] It is a really good point you just brought up there, Phillip, which is in the past, Amazon has innovated so quickly and has been so far ahead of the technology and logistics bar that it's been very difficult to be able to replicate that experience. And what gets me so excited is that we now have the tools. We have the tools. We can do it.

Phillip: [00:01:53] We have the technology, Brian.

Brian: [00:01:56] Exactly. Exactly.

Phillip: [00:01:58] Amazon hasn't been the only thing that's been growing and maturing over the last 20 years. eCommerce infrastructure and technology around Amazon, like the whole eCommerce infrastructure ecosystem, has also been accelerating and maturing as well. And today in particular, we're going to answer the question, how can I get product to every customer in two days or less? And I learned in this episode, Brian, like the difference between like zone one, zone two, zone three...

Brian: [00:02:30] Shipping zones!

Phillip: [00:02:32] Shipping zones. I learned about that. I did. I didn't even know I didn't know about it. That's how important it is. And obviously, I don't know about it because it's not something I think about every day as somebody who doesn't really work in that side of the business anymore. But we actually have sat down with the experts to teach us how to build a third party logistics infrastructure and to partner with the right people to be able to deliver that sort of one and two day shipping guarantee. It can be done. So any last words before I introduce our guests, Brian?

Brian: [00:03:08] I just love the two people you're about to introduce. They're wonderful people. And I learned a lot from them as well.

Phillip: [00:03:18] Yeah, so did I.

Brian: [00:03:19] Let's just get to the content. Let's do it.

Phillip: [00:03:21] Without any further ado, let's get right into the interview with George Wojciechowski, who's the VP of Partnerships that Shipbob and Babs King, Founder and CEO at Fleo, an amazing athletic apparel brand. You're going to love this. Let's get right into it and not wait any longer. Why am I still busking? Why am I talking? I don't know.

Brian: [00:03:41] Stop. Stop.

Phillip: [00:03:42] I'll stop right here. Let's get right into the show. Today, we are continuing our Step by Step series with two guests. And with us today is George Wojciechowski, who's the VP of Partnerships at Shipbob. Say hello, George.

George: [00:03:59] Hello, everyone. Glad to be here, Phillip and Brian, and glad to be on here with Babs, as well.

Phillip: [00:04:05] Yeah. And also with us is the Founder and CEO at Fleo, Babs King. Welcome, Babs.

Babs: [00:04:10] Hey, how's it going? Thanks for having me.

Phillip: [00:04:12] It's so, so good to have you. So good to have you both. And I don't want to take for granted that people know about Fleo. Maybe, Babs, you can start. Tell us about Fleo. What is Fleo?

Babs: [00:04:24] Yeah. Fleo is a women's apparel brand. We specialize in making apparel for mostly women's weightlifting and strength training and strength related sports.

Phillip: [00:04:42] Timely business to be in in the home fitness post COVID era, and if you were to get those to your house, you might be as a consumer, you may be unwittingly using a service like Shiphbob. Tell us about Shipbob, George.

George: [00:04:59] Sure. Great question. So Shipbob is a tech enabled 3PL that fulfills eCommerce orders for eCommerce brands. Our mission is to make online businesses more successful by providing best in class logistics and technology to allow small to medium sized eCommerce businesses compete with the major retailers in eCommerce.

Phillip: [00:05:56] Oh, Brian, that's a great segue into our topic for today. What major retailers might a small to medium sized businesses be competing with Brian?

Brian: [00:06:07] I would say they would probably be competing with Amazon. No, I think that's the topic for this Step by Step series and how to compete with Amazon and the like in this new world. And today one of the things we're really going to focus on is sort of the new normal that we're in right now. And how brands used to sort of go to market prior to to this period and like how they would interact with Amazon prior to the pandemic. And also, you know what we're looking at now that we've been through this for the last 18 months, like what learnings have we taken away? And things seems to have changed quite a bit since we first entered this. So maybe, Babs, let's start with you. Do you compete with Amazon in a post pandemic world? What's your interaction as a brand look like with Amazon in this new world that we're in?

Babs: [00:07:12] Yeah, definitely. I think that consumers want instant gratification from their purchase and they expect reliable and hassle free shopping experience. From a small business perspective, we also really need a platform that is highly flexible but can also scale. So our strategy was to partner with someone who does that, so my team can focus more on product and marketing. And George can speak more to what that means in terms of distributed inventory and scaling. But customers are really looking for that package to be on their doorstep in two to three days.

Phillip: [00:07:57] That's the expectation. Maybe it's reframing, Brian. Is it competing with Amazon or is it competing with customers expectations of your brand as set by their great experiences with Amazon? George, how do small and medium sized businesses do that today?

George: [00:08:15] Yeah, that's a great question and a great point. In some ways we compete with, merchants compete with Amazon, and in some ways they work with Amazon. And just kind of give a little bit of context in the details as to why some of these major retailers have a strategic advantage is that they're able to set modern customer expectations. They normally have a network of distribution centers and fulfillment centers around the country and around the world that allow them to have their products stored close to the customers' homes. But if you're a small to medium size eCommerce brand, you're not going to be able to do that, no matter how successful you are. You're not going to invest the millions of dollars into local distribution centers and fulfillment centers and ideally have three or four or five, six different fulfillment centers that you own and operate around the country. But if you're Dick's Sporting Goods or if you're Amazon, you've got dozens and in some cases like Amazon, hundreds and thousands of fulfillment centers. So your products are very close to your consumers. So it allows you to ship your products at a very scalable, cheaper price because typically these shipments are going out zone one and zone two, and you're able to deliver on customer expectations, which is because these retailers operate at this scale that customers expect that when they order something online, that that product is going to arrive within a day or two and shipping is going to be either free or some nominal amount.

Phillip: [00:09:56] Babs, your reaction to that customer expectation? Because you're on the front line of receiving that expectation.

Babs: [00:10:02] Oh yeah.

Phillip: [00:10:03] How does that impact your relationship with a customer and your ability to retain them and keep them as a customer for life?

Babs: [00:10:09] Yeah, so that's what we want first and foremost is to have a customer for life. And customer service is a big part of that. And we tend to see a lot of times needing to track down packages more from the USPS side of things or UPS side of things. And just staying on top of that to ensure that the customer is getting their delivery in a timely manner, just as they would from Amazon.

Phillip: [00:10:48] That's the expectation is full insight all the time.

Babs: [00:10:54] Yes.

Phillip: [00:10:54] And quick delivery... George, you mentioned something that I just want to click into there. You said zone one, zone two. Can you define what that means from a consumer perspective? That just means get it on my doorstep fast. But I'm sure it takes some logistics to make that work.

George: [00:11:13] Absolutely. So there's eight different shipping zones throughout the United States and they're not fixed. They're based on from the location where you're shipping your products from where you're getting to the shipping services network. So if, for example, I'm in Southern California, my zone one, zone two would be central northern California, maybe parts of Arizona and Nevada. I can confidently deliver within zone one and zone two within one or two days. If my business is based in Los Angeles and I'm shipping to Omaha or Chicago or New York or Miami or South Carolina. The further away it is for me, the higher the shipping zone. So if I'm shipping to Miami from Los Angeles, that's likely zone seven, maybe even zone eight. That's three, four, or five days, sometimes six days to arrive at the customer's doorstep. Lots of customers who've been shopping at major retail eCommerce sites like, for example, Amazon. That's just not going to cut it. If it's going to take four or five, six days for that package to arrive, especially in a COVID world where people don't have the opportunity for that instant gratification by going to their traditional retail stores, they're expecting it from their online merchants who they're buying from. And so one of the ways that we approached this at Shipbob is that we've built out a network of multiple fulfillment centers throughout North America, throughout Europe, and soon perhaps even Australia. And that allows our customers to store inventory closer to where their customers are buying from. So if you have a, say, a cosmetics business in Los Angeles or like Fleo, an apparel company based in Texas, you may use multiple or fulfillment centers, look at your historical data and say, wow, I really shoot a lot of products to the northeast and southwest. I'm going to use a fulfillment center in Southern California or central California and one on the East Coast. Therefore, you're for the large majority of your orders are hitting on that zone one in zone two, which is allowing you to deliver on customer expectations, but also it's a competitive advantage over other merchants in your space because you are essentially lowering the cost of your shipping. The further the package traverses through the shipping zones, the higher the cost of the freight or the postage for that shipment.

Phillip: [00:13:52] From a Fleo perspective, Babs, have you always used Shipbob? Or was there life before that where you had some sort of struggle in getting products to customers in zone four or five, six, seven?

Babs: [00:14:05] Yeah, so we're a true startup. In the beginning, we were shipping out of our house. So everything that we were doing, we were trying to figure out how to use Stamps.com, just like so many start ups in the beginning, are just trying to figure out how the process works and how to get packages to customers. So we were shipping out of our house and kind of learning the zones, as George was talking about. And then life after that was actually a different fulfillment center. And that was based in Houston. And we found that during Hurricane Harvey, everything that was trying to leave here was stuck here for about two weeks. And even with that disaster here, people still wanted their packages on time. And Houston is just a little bit more south and a little bit more east than Dallas. And Dallas is such a great location for us because it's more central and it's a hub for so many distribution centers for shipments. So moving everything to Shipbob has been a wonderful experience and a great partnership to get everything more centralized and quicker to the customer.

Brian: [00:15:32] So powerful and so important, especially doing this in a period where everyone is at home and they need stuff in a timely manner. And we've talked about what Amazon has done to their expectations. It's shipping. Its returns. It's the full stack of basically experience that they have when they come at your brand. Babs, I'd love to hear a little bit more about your customers and what their purchasing path was like going into the pandemic, before the pandemic, and then maybe how their customer purchasing path has changed a little bit since the pandemic.

Babs: [00:16:18] Yeah. So pre, our customers were mostly seeing each other at the gyms, studios, exercise classes. We have a very socially based brand. And so word of mouth was a very organic start of the purchasing path. And I would say post, home gyms have just exploded. Online coaching and programing has also. And so the word of mouth is still very important. It just happens to be more digital now. So instead of maybe two friends seeing each other at the gym and maybe they have this color of leggings and this one has this color of leggings, and now they get to see them in person instead of just online, that still exists, but now it's sort of digital. So our customer base is becoming much more connected through the Internet, even more so.

Brian: [00:17:20] Yeah, that makes complete sense. So basically what I hear you saying is that everyone's moved everything to online communities. All purchasing and referral and the sort of the the ways that people would discover your brand have now moved to social shares and other means of communication on the Web. Is that accurate?

Babs: [00:17:44] Yeah. I mean, we've always been a socially based brand, and that is accurate. But now, as gyms have started to open back up again, I do hope to continue to maintain some of those pre purchasing paths as well. But yes, very, very digital, very connected through the Web.

Brian: [00:18:09] What role do you expect digital to play in in-person discovery paths?

Babs: [00:18:15] Yeah, [00:18:16] I think that digital is going to continue to be extremely important and more emphasized. I think it takes something like 30 days to change behavior, to change a habit. And I think that whatever that number exactly is, but we're there for a lot of people. Maybe women previously were going to Target because they had to run a couple errands, get a couple of items for the house, and they run through, and they pick up something for a workout. Leggings there. But in 2020 they weren't able to do that as much. And so women consumers were and are looking for brands, I guess, to kind of fill that void of what was able to be done so effortlessly before, so kind of pivoting into ads here and influencers. That's very important for us to stay top of mind and in front of the customer. [00:19:20]

Brian: [00:19:20] Thinking about Amazon and its role in that digitally influenced transaction, we think about the fact that Amazon has over 50 percent of US online transactions running through Amazon. And so thinking about Fleo and how you sell to your customers and how you insert yourself into your customers' lives now, as digital is moving its way further and further into physical, and Amazon comes naturally with that because it's a good chunk of purchasing, how do you make sure that you connect directly with your customers and let them know that they should be purchasing directly from you? Or not purchasing directly from you. Maybe you're selling through Amazon? How do you deal with the fact that Amazon is encroaching further and further into our physical lives?

Babs: [00:20:11] Well, I think it for us, it's literally partnering with Shipbob, such a great partner to have because they are so reliable. So [00:20:23] a lot of people look to Amazon because it is reliable, and we look to Shipbob because they're reliable. So it's one way that we're able to stay competitive in that process today. And it's so important to be able to be very close to those delivery times that Amazon has, because that is the expectation of the customer. [00:20:46]

George: [00:20:46] Fleo is, like Babs said earlier, very much a community based product. I personally do start off most mornings doing Crossfit, and I have females in my class and they're absolutely fanatic about Fleo and the different styles and clothing. It's a community. It's definitely something that is built around a community of individuals  who see themselves in that brand. And one of the things that Shipbob is able to provide and differentiate for merchants is when customers utilize us to sell directly to their merchants, it empowers them to build a relationship with their merchants, whether they want to create an unboxing experience or create a certain type of packaging, custom packaging, these are ways that differentiate yourself from your competitors or from other companies in the space and Shipbob is very conducive to that. [00:21:48] We're always in the background, and we're just doing the job of the logistics part of getting the products to your customers' door and giving you the tech to do that in a scalable way. So it's opened the doors for merchants to start creating a relationship with their merchants and building a community around the people who are buying their products. So in regards to how it's different with Amazon, is that with Amazon, it's all about the Amazon marketplace. The package that arrives at your door, no matter what products you're buying, it is an Amazon package. You're not able to put any fliers in there or marketing material or any sort of personal customization to that merchant. That's all the whole purchase is about Amazon and the Amazon marketplace. And here's the product that you're buying on our marketplace. So we've built out a fulfillment network that rivals that of a company like Amazon with multiple distribution centers and fulfillment centers around the country. But we use that same infrastructure to allow our merchants to be the star versus Amazon being the star in this scenario. [00:22:55]

Phillip: [00:25:21] Isn't the expectation, and I'm going to this is what I would call a jump ball question, so anybody pipe in because I don't know. But isn't the expectation that your favorite brand, no matter where you discovered it, is available everywhere you want it to be in 2021. And so at some future state, maybe I want Fleo to be on Amazon. How does Shipbob help meet that expectation? Is there a path to sell or fulfilled Prime or 1P or...? What does that look like and how do you enable merchants to fulfill on that customer expectation?

George: [00:25:55] Yeah. And this is the complicated, and necessarily complicated, but the interesting relationship with Amazon. We're building a forum for merchants directly to have a relationship with their clients, while at the same time a good percentage of our merchants utilize us to ship their products to Amazon, whether it's fulfilled by merchant or FBA. That's something that we're able to provide our eCommerce merchants. While working with Amazon, we're also building out a similar yet distinctively different fulfillment network to them. And so, yeah, seller fulfilled Prime, I can't comment on our product roadmap, but that's something that we've had requests for in the past.

Phillip: [00:26:42] And when you announce a Series F or E, that'll come along with the... I'm just kidding. Yeah. So this is such an interesting thing. Also, by the way, Brian is Slacking me on the side saying I don't know what I'm talking about because 1P is when Amazon buys from you, so somebody can correct that or we'll just leave it in because I don't know what I'm talking about. We're figuring stuff out. George, on that note, too, what is the growth path once you are fulfilling in multiple zones? You mentioned this potential of having a more branded experience and having a tighter brand experience to the actual receipt of the package, what it looks like. How do you partner with merchants to help them mature in that aspect? Is that something that you've worked with Fleo on? What's that look like?

George: [00:27:42] Yeah, in a lot of ways, most of our merchants, a lot of our merchants like Fleo, who have created a strong brand following and have gotten their orders, their monthly order volume up to a certain level, work directly with an account manager who is their de facto ambassador from Shipbob for all their needs. And so part of our job is to learn about our customers' businesses and find out what's important to them. And we do this regularly through the account management aspect that we've built out to have a relationship with our merchants and to stay on top of an ongoing or potential issues. But then we also do things like hold a product advisory council where we invite our merchants to, well, pre COVID, they would come to Shipbob and spend a day or two in Chicago. But now we do it totally, virtually as we did in 2020, and we hear from them. How do you like our product? What can we do better? What type of integrations would make our platform stronger for you? What solutions do you hope to see in the next year? How important is seller fulfilled Prime for you? These are questions that we build most of the time. We build it not just based on gut instinct because we're hearing it from merchants over and over and over and over again. And that's been the story of how we've built out our entire platform from the get go. It's literally not us having this creative inspiration to go in that direction or the other direction. It's this is what merchants are telling us they want to see and we go out and build it.

Phillip: [00:29:19] I'm old enough to remember when Amazon was a plane box and had no branded tape. And Brian's like, well, all millennials are that old, Phillip.

Brian: [00:29:32] {laughter} It's true.

Phillip: [00:29:32] Yeah.

Brian: [00:29:33] I've got a direction I'd kind of like to take this. So, Babs, as you look out across the merchant landscape, who are some of the merchants that you're looking to for inspiration that you feel like you're doing a really good job and our new world and then who's struggling to respond? And you don't have to name names here, but maybe point out some characteristics of brands that you see that you feel like are struggling to to deal with the new world that we're in.

Babs: [00:30:04] Yeah, I love this question because I love the study of brands and how they make a customer feel and sort of touching on all those really intimate and minute points. So some of the merchants that I think are doing extremely well right now are skincare and loungewear, and it's probably much more of a function of behavior changing with 2020 and COVID, people going out less, so women are kind of gravitating more towards skin care, and less towards makeup. People still really want to be involved in self care. Women really want to be involved in self care. And so loungewear, I think brands have done an extremely good job at capturing that. I can name specific brands if...

Phillip: [00:31:01] Oh, yeah, please. Yeah.

Babs: [00:31:04] SKIMS has done a really great job with loungewear. I'm loving, I'm loving everything that they're putting out. It's super relevant and women are really after that. And for skin care, they have also done a really wonderful job at capturing the climate right now and acting on the things that they need to do in order to grow. And Tatcha has done a wonderful job. Drunk Elephant has done a wonderful job. And those have been really exciting brands to watch.

Phillip: [00:31:44] SKIMS just barely missed our Nine by Nine, Brian. I believe it was another Kim Kardashian brand, I believe.

Brian: [00:31:50] Correct.

Phillip: [00:31:52] Which are Nine by Nine report, little shout out for Nine by Nine, which is our brand rating report we put out last year. Had a lot of press. Go get it at FutureCommerce.fm/NinebyNine.

George: [00:32:04] Babs really pointed out some fantastic brands. And in regards to what goods are shipping, we wanted to share information early on when COVID first hit. So I thought I might mention that at Shipbob we created a website called Trends.Shipbob.com.

Phillip: [00:32:21] Oh, yeah.

George: [00:32:22] Actually allows you to see what products are leaving our fulfillment centers, what categories of products. So we have over five thousand clients at this point. So it's a good, fairly good mix of merchants. And it was pretty stunning to see like when everything first hit a year ago or so, like things like baby formula jumped eight hundred percent and usual lists like fashion and cosmetics dropped off. Now obviously things have kind of reverted back to the mean, but some of the sectors that you still see that are very strong are workout and health products and vitamins, nutraceuticals. People are taking this time to try to better themselves and to get fit and to hit goals. And that's really evident in numbers. So if you go to Trends.Shipbob.com and play around with it a little bit, you might find some fascinating information. I still check it at least a couple of times a week just to see how things are evolving.

Babs: [00:33:16] Yeah, absolutely. I think the self care aspect that emerged out of 2020 was great and wonderful and active activewear definitely, I think fell into that as well. In terms of home gyms popping up, I recall at one point last year with so many like makeshift homemade squat racks we saw with just cement into buckets with two by fours to make a squat rack at home and just sort of more comfortable clothing and self care.

Phillip: [00:33:55] People are so innovative when it comes to trying to cope with the uncertainty of the outside world, and like you said, Babs, we've all now created new habits. As we're now more aware of new brands than ever before, I'm curious if that thirst or that search for new brands continues or if we can build loyalty on the back of it. So I'm curious, what are some ways that you are working at Fleo to retain your customer and continue to impress her over and over again? And maybe as some of that might be related to post purchase or even reverse logistics and getting products back to you and exchanging them, give me a little bit of an insight into how you think about what happens after the sale.

Babs: [00:34:51] So after the sale, we're pretty much all ears. We want to hear everything about your experience with the product. What did you use the product for? Were you going on a hike? We're using it in your home gym. Did you take it to a yoga studio? We want to know how you're using it, so we can do better if we need to do better. We love suggestions. We love feedback. We're very connected to our customer in terms of just learning what we can do to improve their overall experience. That also plays out in our customer loyalty program, which we have a customer loyalty point system that we consider like a store within a store. So then they can shop exclusive items that we don't put for sale on the website. Those items can be exclusive colorways or exclusive prints. We're just starting to get into the more digital side of that. So that would be having webinars to bring on some of our accomplished athletes to do like a Q and A, and those are the things that really create a customer experience that you can't replicate because it's directly through the Fleo branded side of things.

Phillip: [00:36:20] Hmm.

Brian: [00:36:22] That's super interesting, and I think that's such a... Understanding your customers, as I'm hearing, as a really important part of this whole narrative, because if you don't understand your customers, you don't know what's going to be valuable to them on an ongoing basis.

Babs: [00:36:39] Oh, absolutely. And it doesn't stop after the sale, that's for sure. I would say literally that's the starting point. So even if it's a new customer, that's the starting point, is to "Thank you for choosing us. We're honored that you that you're shopping with us. And now let's hear how the product is working for you. And if we have the opportunity to do better, please let us know. And we're happy to do whatever we need to to make your experience the most enjoyable experience, because we want to have a customer for life."

George: [00:37:13]  [00:37:13]Yup. In my experience, the brands that I've seen succeed the most are ones that really take the time to invest in that process of finding out how happy their customers are with the product that they've received and do the follow ups. And it also kind of circles back to what we were talking about earlier, that if you're using a high powered 3PL network like Shipbob that allows you to customize an experience to merchants and own that customer data, that is a unique advantage. When an order comes through on a marketplace such as Amazon, that customer data, that customer name, you never get to see it. So how are you going to form a relationship and do a follow up with that customer? It's not possible. [00:38:00]

Phillip: [00:38:02] That's I think, the key here. And when you have a direct relationship with the customer, when you're talking to them, when you know who they are and you can anticipate their needs. Otherwise you're just reading tea leaves. And I think that's such an astute point, George. Just let's touch on resiliency before we run out of time here. This has been so good so far. When we're thinking about building a resilient business, you mentioned loyalty, Babs, and I love this. In our guests guide, we had this phrase, loyalty isn't just the frequency of repurchase. It has so much to do with, like, how apt you are to or how prone you are to sharing those great experiences with other people. How does resiliency in logistics play into building that loyalty? We've seen so many things that have interrupted logistics in the past year. How is Shipbob adapting to those so that you can keep that great customer experience happening for brands just like Fleo?

George: [00:39:08] Yeah, we've had to be resilient in 2020 to execute on that. When things started to go haywire last March, we needed to really change how we were doing fulfillment and invest in components of the fulfillment process that we never even had on our radar. So, you know, it was very important for us to keep our obligations to our merchants and keep the products moving and keep them moving out of our fulfillment centers. And so we had to invest in things like take precautions when people entered the facility, we started taking temperatures early on. We started deep cleaning our fulfillment centers every single day with cleaning crews around the clock. So there were some variables thrown at us that we never anticipated would be true in regards to our business. And the resilience is there have been a lot of challenges in the supply chain over the last year, not only from the fulfillment end with carriers like FedEx and UPS and USPS and DHL. Another quick plug on one of our websites. But if you go to Carriers.Shipbob.com, you can actually see carrier performance going back to pre COVID levels and how they're currently executing in a COVID world and beyond. So you can check out that site. It's also another data site. But there have been a lot of starts and stops in the supply chain. Right now, the port outside of Long Beach is backed up for days. Customers that were expecting inventory to arrive at the port of Long Beach a week ago are still waiting for it to get off the ship.

Phillip: [00:40:50] Wow.

George: [00:40:50] Yeah, absolutely. And it's like that around many ports around the world. So the best thing that we can do is keep up our end of the bargain when merchants rely on us to receive their inventory, get it into stock within the SLEs that we provide for them, and then to accurately pick, pack, and ship that order out and on its way to their customers. There's only so much of the process that we can fully own and control, but for that part that we do control, we have to have a continued commitment to meeting those SLEs and keeping our merchants happy, so that they can keep their customers happy and keep growing their business and building their following.

Brian: [00:41:37] So good. Well, we're just about out of time here. It's been such a great conversation. Thank you both so much for coming on the show and relaying your wisdom to us. Babs, maybe some final thoughts here. What are some goals that you have for 2021, and how do you hope to achieve them?

Babs: [00:41:57] For 2021 we're really looking at expanding our portfolio in terms of different styles to offer to customers. So goals for us include getting those styles into customers' hands as quickly as possible. And the best way that we can do that is continuing to partner with Shipbob as they are extremely reliable and help get the new styles into customers' hands as quickly as possible.

Phillip: [00:42:27] Well there it is. So good, and that is how a brand is going to compete with Amazon in the modern day and age, right, Brian?

Brian: [00:42:37] Yes.

Phillip: [00:42:39] And it's a tall order, but one that is more possible today now than ever before. So thank you so much, George. Thank you so much, Babs. And thank you for being so transparent and authentic with us. And thank you listeners for tuning in to another series of Step by Step. Thanks for joining us.

Phillip: [00:43:01] Hey, thank you so much for listening to this episode of Season 5 of Step by Step, and it was brought to you by the fine folks at Route and all of their partners who actually made this possible. And just remember, Route is the premiere post purchase experience platform. And that means that anything that you need from the click of the checkout button all the way to the package arriving safely inside the home, Route can have you covered. That's live package tracking updates. That's order protection that covers things from missing packages and broken items and poor carrier communication and customer service automation. All of those things save you time and money, but it puts money back into your pockets because customers are going to come back and purchase again. You should check out Route. I'm a big fan and 8,000 other retailers all over the world are too. It's completely free for you. And even better, it could put money in your pocket today if you take a hundred dollar gift card when you sit down and take a demo and that's all you got to do. You can go get that demo. Go get it right now at Go.Route.com/FutureCommerce. Go get the demo today at Go.Route.com/FutureCommerce. Other episodes can be found at FutureCommerce.fm. Drop us a line and email us. Tell us what you think at hello@FutureCommerce.fm, and subscribe to our Insiders and The Senses newsletter that come out every Tuesday and every Friday. You can get that at FutureCommerce.fm/Subscribe. Thank you so much for listening to Step by Step.

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