SendSuite® Live helps drive Shelby American’s online and retail growth at a rapid speed.
Manufactures and markets performance vehicles and related products
Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, builds authentic continuation Cobras
Hosts an online store selling automobile parts and branded merchandise
Augment car-building revenue by selling branded merchandise
Streamline shipping process so as not to lose money
Maintain customer loyalty by offering more transparent shipping services
Turns shipping scenario into a profit-making part of the business
Enables the company to be competitive in the marketplace
Shelby American celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012 by looking forward, not back. Putting on a high-tech face, the company took two trucks on a national tour encompassing 375 shows. Since then, the company has increased its presence from small online and retail stores to include a new main facility, a museum double the size of the previous, and a retail location five times the size of the original. Recognizing how logo merchandise could significantly augment the revenue brought in by building cars, Shelby American diversified its online portfolio and targeted a broader reach.
The company knew immediately that such ambitious growth would require improving its shipping processes. Not only was the existing process unwieldy, it actually cost the company money. “Our primary goal,” said Richard Sparkman, IT Director for Shelby American, “was not to lose money on the shipping.” The company also wanted to integrate the new shipping solution with its existing e-commerce platform to retrieve order information and provide tracking and shipping status, and to provide visibility of shipping options to customers.
The Pitney Bowes SendSuite Live solution integrates directly with Volusion. The solution enables the company and customers to review the different carriers (USPS, FedEx, and UPS) and choose the best level of delivery service and most cost-effective method of shipping. SendSuite Live software also captures and reconciles the shipping costs. The solution provides real-time visibility and control of operations.
“SendSuite Live is carrier-agnostic,” Sparkman said, “so we can choose the fastest and most cost-effective way to send a parcel. We’ve turned our shipping scenario into an actual profit-making part of the business. It was a significant step, because we used to spend quite a bit on shipping and we never really knew whether we were profiting. We are definitely profiting from it now because of the way we’ve got the Pitney Bowes software integrated with our online store.”
Ironically, the integration was so successful that after reviewing the initial reports, Shelby American felt they were almost too profitable in shipping (for example, selling a $5 keychain that might require a $15 shipping fee), so “we had to reel it back a little bit, by fine-tuning the rates we charged,” said Sparkman. By reviewing the orders and rates generated by SendSuite reports, the company could easily make comparisons order-by-order. “Within two weeks, we were able to fine-tune shipping charges to where they should be, so we’re not taking too much of our customers’ money just on shipping and making them abandon their shopping cart. We pretty quickly fixed it so they will get charged the appropriate amount. We’re competitive with the marketplace.”
Calling Shelby American “a small company with a big name,” Sparkman cites return on investment (ROI) as a benefit, one the company carefully evaluated before investing in SendSuite Live. “The integration was a significant expense that we didn’t take lightly. So we looked at the ROI and tried to see if we would make our money back far down the line. It just made business sense to do it.” Shelby American recouped its investment within the first year of the integration.
Finally, Sparkman attributes a surge in repeat customers to the effectiveness of SendSuite. A Team Shelby Club consists of 15,000 to 16,000 members. “Before we had the Pitney Bowes integration,” observes Sparkman, “people would shop with us once, they’d pay too much for the shipping, or have some kind of bad experience. We weren’t able to offer second-day air or any other fast turn-around services, because we didn’t have a good handle internally on the shipping process. But our repeat business has gone way, way up, and our customer satisfaction has gone way, way up because we can ship in a timely manner. And we are able to offer much faster shipping because we have a much better handle on the shipping process with SendSuite.”