clothes rack

Global Ecommerce and International Expansion | Pitney Bowes

DSTLD

LA fashion leader delivers in style with Pitney Bowes.

Client profile

  • Designs and delivers premium denim and luxury essentials without retail markup
  • Offers premium products for about 1/3 the traditional price thanks to its direct-to-consumer business model
  • Many products are made with eco-friendly and fully sustainable materials and dyes
  • Based in Los Angeles, CA

Business Goals

  • Eliminate inventory management challenges
  • Lower shipping costs and optimize logistics
  • Simplify and speed up customer returns process

Benefits

  • Physical inventory matches what customers see online
  • Improved shipping costs and customer delivery times
  • Faster, free returns with improved customer tracking ability

Technology Used

Complete Fulfillment™

Our high- touch fulfillment operations are engineered to consistently enable you to deliver on a critical part of your brand promise —an order filled accurately and delivered on time, in optimal condition.

Learn more

Complete Returns™

Complete Returns™ is a suite of returns management solutions that empower retailers to exceed those expectations—and accomplish much more.

Learn more

Overview

With a goal of disrupting the fashion industry with its direct-to-consumer model, LA-based startup DSTLD (pronounced ‘Distilled’) is an online retailer that offers premium denim, luxury apparel and accessories at about 1/3 of the traditional retail price.

Due to its rapid growth, the company was facing inventory management challenges that were driving up operational costs, delaying order fulfillment, and impacting customer satisfaction.

Business challenge

DSTLD discovered that its ever-changing inventory didn’t always match what customers saw online, leading to shipping delays and customer frustration.

The company also struggled with logistics issues. Despite negotiated contracts with the US Postal Service designed to balance delivery speed with costs, deliveries could sometimes take up to two weeks to reach the customer. Returns were also a challenge, as the process was slow and the company had limited visibility to the customer throughout the process.

“The last thing we wanted to do was have to worry about fulfillment and inventory management,” says Kevin Morris, CFO and COO of DSTLD. “We wanted to focus on product marketing and building the brand.”

Solution

Faced with higher customer service expectations, DSTLD engaged Pitney Bowes® as a third-party logistics provider (3PL) to manage everything from warehousing and fulfillment to shipping and returns with its Complete Fulfillment™ solution.

All DSTLD inventory was subsequently housed at a Pitney Bowes facility in Commerce, California, where the Pitney Bowes team now picks, packs and ships sold items from inventory and also receives and inspects returns.

DSTLD also worked with Pitney Bowes to implement a diversified shipping strategy employing multiple carriers. Given the large volume of DSTLD transactions, Pitney Bowes was able to negotiate favorable terms with a range of regional and national carriers to ensure fast, cost-effective deliveries to customers anywhere in the country.

The company was also able to address its returns challenge by implementing Complete Returns software. Leveraging Complete Returns Label technology, it speeds and simplifies returns for customers while providing them with email confirmations once returns are in transit. Complete Returns Label technology also notifies the retailer when a customer mails their return package, so DSTLD can immediately issue a credit or ship replacement items.

“It was a great decision to bring in Pitney Bowes to help support us. They’ve scaled along with us as we’ve grown rapidly over the past year.” Kevin Morris,
CFO and COO of DSTLD

Benefits

Since transitioning the fulfillment process from its warehouse to the Pitney Bowes facility, the DSTLD operation has become much more efficient. Despite an increase in order volumes of almost 200% over nine months, physical inventory now matches what customers see online, and orders received by 9am are shipped to customers the same day.

By diversifying shipping, DSTLD can deliver anywhere in the country within two to four business days. With its optimized shipping cost structure, DSTLD now offers free shipping and returns for all US-based customers, and $10 shipping for international clients.

This cost structure allows the company to compete more effectively with the brick and mortar shopping experience. Many customers will purchase several pairs of jeans to try on at home, knowing they can return or exchange items at no cost.

Customers are also pleased with the improved returns experience. They can easily provide return information online, complete their returns much faster, and Complete Returns Label technology allows them to track their return throughout the entire process. For DSTLD, this means lower call volumes to customer service representatives, and advance visibility into what is returning and when it will arrive.

“It was a great decision to bring in Pitney Bowes to help support us,” says Morris. “They’ve scaled along with us as we’ve grown rapidly over the past year, and the efficiencies they’ve provided have helped us offset the costs of offering free shipping and returns to our new customer base. Plus, outsourcing logistics and relying on the expertise of Pitney Bowes has freed up our team to focus on other priorities that will help the business grow.”