Shipping 101

[Rob:] absolutely there’s there’s a lot more emphasis on shipping it was it was growing already but there people are really seeing the need. So I am going to turn over the controls to Sharon in just one second. Just briefly I’ll introduce the Enterprise Center and how the province funds and is involved. So the Enterprise Center is part of the city of St. Catharines and we’re part of a network of 47 offices that receive some funding from the province and we deliver programming like this. Normally we do it in person in our office. Right now we’re adapting we’re using zoom to do some webinars and we’re inviting people in the community who are willing to volunteer their time and expertise like Sharon so that’s that’s how we all came together today Sharon I’ll invite you to try to share your screen and take it over from there [Sharon:] Let me just make sure there’s nothing like bad open. No I’m just kidding [laughter] [Rob:] haha, right? [Rob:] yeah I’m always like “which of my which of my emails is open behind-the-scenes” right now [Sharon:] That’s, yeah so I’m gonna make sure. So we’re good. Okay so I’m gonna share screen. this did not funny enough, I was on a Google hangout call yesterday and it just would not let me share my screen Can you see it? [Rob:] Mission accomplished [Sharon:] Yay! Okay I’ve made it so much further than yesterday [laughter] [Rob:] yeah like we were saying the tech person is expected to know everything just just [Sharon:] oh 100% if you need anything handled I got you. I don’t got you [Rob:] I’m going to mute myself and let you let you take it away. I’ll interject if if I have a question or if I see a question from our our live studio audience and we’ll go from there so thanks again Sharon. [Sharon:] You’re so welcome and so as Rob so kindly introduced me I’m Sharon Reeds the co-founder and CEO of Intuitive Shipping. Um so we’re a software company that helps online merchants to control what their customers pay for shipping at checkout and our motto is that if you can control your shipping you can control your success so this presentation goes through a lot but it’s also very high-level so the thing with shipping is you’ll see in a few slides that really there’s a few variables that everything that you do will depend on and you need to make sure that you’re not kind of copycatting other people so it’s very realistic that everyone watching right now will have a completely different way that they actually structure their shipping. And also if there’s any questions I may not answer throughout they will likely be coming up in the presentation so there’s any I ignore I’m sorry, not sorry so welcome to shipping 101 so today what you’re going to learn are the three stages of e-commerce shipping. The variables that you need to consider. How to price your shipping, and how to pick your pack. And then how to go the extra mile. So the three stages of e-commerce shipping and this is super important you really really get right so I’ve noticed that unless somebody works particularly in shipping specifically they all kind of lump it together like oh yeah like shipping Canada Post but there’s actually three stages of it so we actually have the calculation the customer cost and then the merchant cost and these are all three completely separate entities and stages and they also require different tools for each job. So your calculation this occurs before and also during checkout so it’s also the last shipping step to implement in your store so even though it’s technically the first stage of your customer shipping journey it would be one of the last steps of your shipping journey while setting up the whole process. And if done right you won’t lose money on shipping. Um and it’s important to note actually the difference between the cart calculator and then the checkout calculator and so a cart calculator will actually happen when your customer adds some items to the cart and they’re like well how much is your thing going to be for these and they can actually go and just put their postal code in and then it’ll kind of spit up rates that they’ll be paying once they get to checkout and so we don’t operate in that area. Can you still hear me Rob? Shake your head cuz this one just fell out of my ear so I’m still going. Just fine. Okay excellent So the calculators they’re gonna operate completely differently then where we operate even and they’re great for giving your customers the idea of what to expect without actually having to put their information and their email in and it also lets you know that if someone hits your cart calculator and you have a lot of abandon in there you know there’s an issue with your shipping price when

it happens at checkout it could be a multitude of reasons some people just go to checkout just because they especially right now it’s the whole window shopping because no one can actually go to a store so it’s just it’s kind of interesting how that can really impact your sales. And your customer cost this occurs during checkout if your calculations are done correctly in your first stage the correct shipping costs will be charged here and they should also provide as much detail as possible for your actual customers coming in the more contacts and information you can provide the better so this could be something as simple as having…if you hand make your item which I know a lot of Niagara merchants do you can have a quick note saying “oh please give us four days to hand make your order just for you” so you’re identifying there’s going to be a bit of a delay for you to actually fulfill an order but the customer has the contacts and they’re like “oh my god it’s just for me” and they feel very special about it so they’re it’s a lot easier to kind of sell the shipping delay when it’s actually handmade. And then the merchants cost this actually occurs after checkout and if you’re doing any more than about I would say 20 orders a day you want to look into fulfillment software such as shipstation a lot of platforms ecommerce platforms they do include the actual fulfillment portion in there it just depends on really what your core shipping needs are and you want to strive to at least break even here and we like to think of Shipping as a profit center. So many people tend to just lose money on it they don’t invest into it and they’re like okay I don’t really understand this but I have to ship so I’m just gonna charge this and hope it works. Rob I can’t see questions. Have there been any questions? [Rob:] not yet you’re doing good so yeah I’ll be sure to prompt you if I think you should come through and as you maybe as you get to a natural point to transition feel free to ask me [Sharon:] I’m trying to…let me just see if I can get this zoom window up with the question thing. Just give me one second. I’m so sorry everybody [Rob:] no you just want to make sure it’s it’s strange when you’re talking without that feedback right? [Sharon:] Rob just alert me please cuz I cannot seem to get it up [Rob:] yeah 100% that’s why I’m here [Sharon:] Awesome also cuz you’re great and that’s another reason [Rob:] and, well and to show off my lovely hair so…[laughter] [Sharon:] everyone’s looking great right now I swear. And then I have again I just wanted to put this slide here just to reiterate how important it is to really understand these three sections and we will also be sending out this slide deck after the presentation so that if you want to kind of brush up on it or there’s a section you’re like I want to kind of go over that again you’ll have access to this so the variables that will guide the way so one thing that I really love about shipping is that there really isn’t a lot of choice it’s not the whole choose-your-own-adventure and there’s actually a yogurt aisle analogy where people have difficulty in the yogurt aisle of the grocery store because there’s so many different options you’re like what is this mean there’s like french vanilla and then like sweet but other than vanilla bean like what is the difference so by having a lot of these areas really out of your control you’re able to make better decisions and be more strategic with them because you’re really guided along the way for these and the only things really within your control are gonna be your ship from location and then what’s being shipped so your shipping location this could either be your own home I know a lot of people do self fulfill and this could be literally your own house this could be a warehouse this could be even a third party who fulfills orders from you and the shipping location, like ship from location will impact a lot of your shipping cost because then it goes to your customers location. And your customers location is pretty much what is gonna drive the highest cost for it it’s part of the biggest impact on cost and because if you think about it if you’re driving just down the street it doesn’t cost you a lot of money and gas but if you’re driving to like British Columbia that’s a lot more costly whether it be a plane ticket or even just gas and driving. So your customers location plays a large part in how much shipping will be, like how much it’ll cost um what’s being shipped this is the other area that’s within your control I mean if you decide to ship bowling balls you’re gonna realize very quickly that it’s a very bad idea because they’re so gigantic and heavy to ship and people will just go to someone more local to them just to really not spend a ridiculous amount to ship them but if

you’re shipping bars of soap it’s gonna be cheaper shipping, it’s gonna be faster as well typically so what’s being shipped is well within your control but once you actually add those items into your your catalog for your store it’s within your customers control what they actually want to pick from that and that decision will influence how much shipping costs and same with on your packing materials these will have a large impact as well and only not only for the actual cost to acquire the materials but also to actually ship your parcel away so an envelope will actually be cheaper financially for you to actually purchase because envelopes are smaller they’re very easy to produce where a box, especially the larger it gets it’s going to cost more money and because boxes are naturally going to be larger than an envelope it’s going to cost you more to ship especially the larger the Box gets because it takes up more space in your shipping carriers truck or car whatever they’re using to actually move your parcels. And your handling cost is also it’s something that you might not be thinking about right now especially if you’re self fulfilling which there’s no problem with not charging for it right now to kind of get yourself off the ground but make sure you’re actually seeing how long it takes you from start to finish so this goes from when you’re actually going and taking the items and putting them in the box and packaging it up printing the label and everything like that that is a time-based process and time is money and if you plan on scaling your business which I really hope you guys do um you’ll want to hire probably people in the warehouse relatively quickly because much like I hate bookkeeping so we don’t do it ourselves because like it’s no offense anyone who loves it I just numbers or not fun for me so we kind of shove that off as soon as we could’ve So just plan for that cost because it should not be coming out of your pocket it should be coming out of your customers pocket at the very end of the day shipping should always be a profit Center [Rob:] it’s a good point on point five here is the handling cost I only thought of it as my Canada Post or UPS or FedEx cost but that time of packaging [Sharon:] I’m actually gonna go into that a bit deeper too later on about the whole “time is money” thing because it’s something that I think a lot of people especially with the whole pandemic they’re not really thinking about it they’re really just trying to make sales without thinking of the repercussion of just offering free shipping no matter what. [Rob:] gotcha okay I look forward to that [Sharon:] yeah me too [Rob:] we’re doing good so far no no questions just yet [Sharon:] oh my gosh, yay. Is that good? Haha. So, let me go into it how to price your shipping [Rob:] sure there will be some [Sharon:] so well at the end there will be a Q, there’s a prompt ask questions at the end so you’re always free to ask that as well or I’m also going to be sharing an email link if you want to just connect with us and after just to ask any more deeper questions that you’re really unsure of so now we get into how to price your shipping so shipping is always calculated on this base formula but depending on what you sell there can be other variables so if you sell something that’s perishable, time of day will also impact your shipping cost because you have to move it from point A to point B really quickly whereas a t-shirt can sit in a warehouse for a week and not spoil hopefully because that’d be weird so your dimensions those play a big factor and your shipping carrier and your shipping carrier is gonna be Canada Post UPS FedEx purolator those are shipping carriers so those guys will actually take the higher value of either the dimensional way which is the theoretical weight of a large box or the actual physical weight so if you actually come by visualize it if you think of shipping like a lip gloss so I have suction one on the desk right now so it’s like a it’s small like my hand it fits it’s very tiny but if I decided to put this into like a fridge size box I’ve wanted to pull on Amazon and put it in a ridiculously big box I think everyone’s had that happen or you get like a smell item and this just giant thing you’re like why but it’s gonna cost you way more money because the physical space you’re actually taking in you’re shipping carriers vehicle is so much more so they can’t fit as many Percel so they have to charge for it as if you were actually having heavier items and it took up the full box and so actually a brick in this case would probably cost less to ship it was just wrapped in like a you know plastic then it would be for a giant box that like weighs nothing Um your shipping destination again that’s gonna play a huge factor because again the further it travels the further the actual fuel costs that are incurred

as well as the labor cost of actually moving it further and then your handling costs which we just went over in the last slide and this is something even if you’re not charging for it now because you are self fulfilling you do want to make sure you’re tracking how much the cost actually is and there are three main ways to charge for shipping and so live rates being one we recommend for a lot of newer merchants especially if you make your own products so this is actually good for stores with large large catalogues that there is really no consistency in your product sizes or you might sell even like coffee and coffee accessories mugs and such and you’re like “I’m gonna sell coffee makers as well” and those are larger and those are gonna be more costly to ships you’ll want to do even migrate on just that one item because there’s really no way to accurately determine what the shipping cost will be because you’re not really controlling where your customers located at the end of the day you’re open worldwide or even if you ship within Canada or even Ontario -Thunder Bay is very far away and very costly to ship to for example I mean for small makers especially I know there’s a lot of them in Niagara there’s a lot of in a lot of places which I love and but you should never ever ever lose money on shipping for this so if you’re spending your own time and your using your your unique skills to actually produce a beautiful item you shouldn’t spend like three hours making it and then go to ship it and realize you charged way too little for shipping and now you’re out twenty dollars and either you have not even broken even or you’ve lost a ton of money because that’s just it’s heartbreaking for me because I think my parents are actually there’s small makers so I just I never want the top into anybody um the great thing about live rates is that it’s transparent and it’s also fair for the merchants and the buyer because your buyer is paying the shipping cost that you’re gonna be charged when you actually go to ship it and it also ensures predictable profits so you know if you sell seventeen lip balms you know for a fact that you’re gonna make this much profit but if you’re kind of like guessing on shipping you might actually just break even or you might lose money and that’s something you never want you want to be able to really predict what your finances will look like month two months to really have confidence in your business so flat rates these are where your customers will pay a fixed predetermined rate for shipping think of it like pretty much most large retailers will do this method where it’s like Oh $8 flate rate or there’s like free shipping over like $75. So this is good for store to offer a small or consistently sized product line so think of clothing accessories anything or like even you make one item and you’re or you’re an artist and you make just one thing because I know a lot of people do that there’s consistency among the size you always know the shipping will be within a certain threshold. This is also what we’ve noticed but most new online stores attempt to start with and I say attempt because a lot of people look to others for guidance and they’re like “okay I’m selling dresses. Okay Banana Republic sells dresses. Okay their shipping’s flat $8.00 or free shipping over $50. I’ll do the same thing” without realizing that Banana Republic has such high order volumes that their shipping cost is so so so low and especially if you’re just starting out you do not have those those volumes those volume discounts. So a lot of people come to us after their first I would say five or fewer shipments and they’re freaking out because they’re like “oh my god like I just lost 40 bucks because I charge way under for shipping” and but also it’s important to note here though if you ever realize you’ve severely under charged for shipping, you don’t have to fulfill the order. There’s nothing saying you have to actually do that. In this case I would just connect with your your customer explain the situation ask if they’d like to pay the extra for the shipping because otherwise you’re actually losing a significant amount of money or they can just cancel the order Because regardless this isn’t a customer you can sell to again because they’re not gonna pay the full shipping price next time. Um, this is also going to also be usually based on weight, quantity or price Weight and quantity are completely fine ways to base this on Price, there’s no logical correlation between this. Think about jewelry if you have like a gold necklace and you’re gonna charge a lot of money for shipping because it’s a $500 necklace there’s no correlation between the price and the actual shipping because it’s the weight of the product that they really care about And in this case its gonna sometimes favour the merchant and sometimes favour the buyer The idea behind flat-rate shipping is that you’re gonna want to average it out

so you’ll be losing some for some customers but also gaining some shipping cost from others and at the end of the day it should always just kind of even itself out. This also offers more control than a free shipping option and because you can’t add some of or offset sorry some of your product price into your product prices but also shipping price into product prices and also charge for shipping at Checkout to make up that difference and free shipping this is I think this is everyone that’s a consumer or everyone’s like “I love free shipping” um but there’s no such thing as free shipping so you’re actually paying for shipping without knowing you’ve done it Um the only example I can think of that doesn’t do this is Amazon where they lose about 7 billion dollars in shipping in a year and I don’t think anyone listening has that much money to lose. If you do like we should hang out when it’s pandemics over because that’d be amazing your customers will pay for shipping without knowing they have. Um this again much like flat rate shipping is good for stores who offer a small or consistently sized product line because you have more predictability in your shipping cost and there’s really a high threshold and a low threshold for your shipping um however free shipping can actually destroy your units per transaction if there’s no minimum spend defined. So if you don’t have the “free shipping over $40” you’re gonna actually make it so customers have no reason to buy any more than one item and the idea usually is to use your time effectively and to sell as much as possible per order and this is also unfair to the buyer if no minimum spend is required because you’re actually offsetting your shipping costs into your products so for every extra product I order I’m paying for shipping for every single one. So keep that in mind the next time you actually shop somewhere that always offers free shipping is that for every extra product you’re paying for shipping again and again and again. And this should also be phrased as “shipping included” and I’m not a lawyer but we’ve heard of, love the disclaimer: “I’m like nope”. But we’ve heard of some merchants who have received notices to actually phrase it as “shipping included” because it’s not free shipping if you’re actually charging for it just in a different line item and this is how you’re gonna determine your shipping price if you’re trying to do your flat rates or doing your free shipping because again it’s never free, ever you can’t just like be like “I charged no dollars” and Canada Post be like “Ya no worries” they’re gonna still charge the full price. Although that’d be kind of cool if they’re like “oh yeah cool” I’d be like hmm, that’d be amazing. Um so you’re gonna determine your actual shipping spend by combining the cost of all of your shipped orders so you can either do this in a spreadsheet so your actual like e-commerce platform may have this capability built in where you can export this into a CSV or if you’re using fulfillment software you’ll have this data already right there for you. You actually want to add these all together and then remove any shipping costs that are kind of really high compared to the others. This actually reminds me of back in college where it was a statistics class and you want to remove the outliers because it’s like saying “okay college graduates they make this but let’s just say in my class someone went on to the NHL we’re making like 20 million dollars a year” all of a sudden college graduates make like you know, a freak ton of money but the reality is they’re not it’s just this person happened to go get a ridiculously well-paying job. So just remove any outliers just to remain accurate Rob: so when I shipped up to Tuktoyaktuk I should take out that shipment? Sharon: yes so you should you should really just you should kind of offset it like move it on its own. Because it’s just one of those things it unless it’s a frequent error you ship to right so but if somewhere like you see it a lot and you’re like okay there’s one location that even a tenth of the time people are ordering from you do to account that but these are costs that are one-offs and you’re like okay there everything’s within like 15 dollars this one’s randomly 80 that’s not going to be in your shipping reality typically so after step one you have the total of the amount you actually spent on shipping you want to just divide that by the amount of orders that you actually shipped. So just finding the average it’s like I think simple math like oh but it gives you your average shipping cost and then you take your average shipping cost and again consider removing the outliers for more accuracy and then to actually account for those outliers as well as any kind of weird places people might be living, you can always add one or two dollars to your average shipping cost just to account for any of those edge cases and almost kind of goes into a

piggy bank in a sense you don’t want to use this money as profit you want to use this money almost as your rainy day fund for that off chance someone lives in some weird off shoot place And this is also gonna take some trial and error to determine the actual amount to charge for shipping at checkout and so we actually met a merchant at our first shop by meet-up and he sells meat marinade and it just comes in a glass bottle, like a typical glass bottle and through his research he identified he should be charging no more than $8 but his problem was that it costs $13 to ship this bottle of marinade and most people have a huge issue with paying more for shipping than the actual thing they’re actually going to get. So in this case we recommended to actually take the $5 difference and move that into his product cost and then reduce his shipping cost. And this way you can also offer discounts for more bottles ordered because for him it was three bottles were the same price to ship as one So he created a promotion of like okay get one bottle for $13 or three for $30 and you’re like “oh that’s pretty cool I want three bottles of it” so it’s just figuring out what works and your your demographic will also really have a huge role in this as well so someone buying car parts they don’t really care about like frilly like cute things and like a cute tissue paper they just want their break and they just want to move on and go get them installed but somebody buying something like makeup beauty products and stuff they like that kind of unboxing experience so it really it just depends on your customer base as well. One thing you can do is actually just ask your friends and family “which option would you prefer?” just move the shipping cost differently and kind of have different arrangements and be like “which one is most palatable to you?” and then kind of go from there and you can adjust your shipping strategy that’s what’s so nice you’re not putting a billboard out being like “we charge this for shipping” it’s super easy to change you just change on your shipping page you should change your calculator and then you’re good to go and this is my PSA so DIY shipping costs money especially um I’m in Niagara and Niagara is a very large area, um like my parents live in Fort Erie and it’s a 40-minute drive to get there so if I’m saying okay I’m offering free shipping in Niagara that also includes Fort Erie and vice versa so wherever you’re located you have to think “okay I have to get from this point to this customer” so you want to actually think about the actual cost that happens which regardless fuel is an expense so these are averages, um the source is at the bottom, some it’s from CAA and so we actually have sedans, SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks the average cost per kilometer for fuel and this is at a cost of $1 per liter for gas just for everyone’s knowledge so if you think about even going to Fort Erie that’s gonna be over $10 for me just to go drive there and drop it off when I’d be much better off just using a shipping carrier because it’s the same cost regardless and I’m not using my own time the other costs you do need to consider are insurance. Insurance can be 10% more if you use your vehicle for business Maintenance of wear and tear I always kind of cry when we have to get new tires or brakes or something I’m kind of blissfully unaware that they exist even though I use my brakes to stop I guess but all of a sudden you’re like “a thousand dollars?!” it’s it’s an expense you have to you have to do that to keep your car going and every extra kilometer you drive there’s more wear and tear as well as time our most precious resource you don’t want to be spending time in the car if you don’t have to be shipping carriers exist for a reason And also think about your opportunity cost so this is the actual definition so it’s loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen. So let’s just say you’re a small maker and you make beautiful jewelry. If you’re spending an hour going and driving an order somewhere that is time that you’re not able to actually go and be an artisan and do what you’re really great at and even it’s a time you can’t even just relax so make sure you’re you’re paying attention to your opportunity costs and figuring out which which brings you more value so it’s like with me I could do bookkeeping myself but I’m not going to it’s not fun but there are ways you can offer local delivery to still incentivize local customers. Bring their orders to you then, because obviously it makes the most sense to bring orders to

people and have one person going to locations then to have all of your customers come to you just for the contact. Cause you want to reduce contact especially right now If we don’t have to actually leave our homes don’t leave it So if you establish a minimum order value before local deliveries offered free it’s it’s a good idea because again if you sold like lip balm and someone ordered one you’re you not gonna be driving to Fort Erie and spending over ten dollars for three dollars a profit and then you just you actually just lost money on it Free isn’t always the answer either and so one thing we recommend and we’ve recommending for a lot of merchants who’ve been onboarding is to actually offer free shipping within a specified postal code zone, city or an actually kilometer radius around where you’re located have free shipping within that zone and then anywhere outside of that you can actually just have a per kilometer charge and this way you’re still encouraging sales but you’re also making sure you’re you’re making money from it Um also track your kilometres this is actually something that I learned to really pay attention to through one of the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre’s seminars so make sure to track your kilometres literally say where you like where you left and where you went to because if you get audited and you don’t have that information you cannot use that for taxes and that’s unfortunate Um also you can offer contactless curbside pickup. So it’s not ideal we prefer for people to not be leaving their homes and coming to you so again it’s having one person deliver to a hundred people as opposed to a hundred people driving to one location. It’s risk for the environment and of course for also the contact of COVID So how to pick your pack So this is again something that will be determined based on the variables of what you’re shipping and where it’s going to so if you’re offering even local delivery you don’t have to package it up in a box because the box cost you more money and also like I don’t need a box if something’s just coming from down the street you can use like a cute little gift bag think of those craft paper bags and so put a sticker on it and you’re good So you can pick your pack but it also picks you it’s kind of like a dog that it’s like “oh hey I want you” and then it’s your dog now um so envelopes, that was such a weird analogy but I’ve heard it happens! [Rob:] anything with dogs in it is good with me [Sharon:] to be fair you and your wife do own a dog, pet store so you might be biased the benefits of envelopes though they offer predictable and low shipping cost there’s I think it’s Canada Post actually has a theme where if it fits it ships so if it fits within, some people also call the dreaded mail slot or the slot of death because if it doesn’t fit they’re like “no no no your shipping cost just went up” and I’ve heard in some cases depending on the postal office you go to the workers can sometimes just be really moody and just say it doesn’t fit without even trying so be nice to your posties because it’ll work out for you um the letter may also envelopes will also it goes with with letter mail because it’s the size of a letter so it gives you also faster shipping times and the disadvantages are it’s gonna damage easily um there are padded envelopes but depending what you’re selling it may not be warranted, um this also offers you a very basic unboxing experience because you’re like “did I just get a bill for something? like oh my god it’s the earrings I ordered” and it’s not as nice of an experience but you can use a print house to have nice envelopes made in poly bags um these are aside from the dirtiness factor these are my favorite option for shipping because they actually take the shape of the item inside of it because it’s essentially like a plastic bag so it’s really great as well for if you have high returns which it happens more for in clothing especially because who knows what a medium is anymore so let’s just say Rob ordered six dresses don’t know what you’re doing Rob but he ordered six and there for your wife it’s wonderful of you so nice so Rob oredred six dresses and his wife keeps four. He has to return the two regardless of who is actually paying that return shipping cost you’re gonna want to have this in a poly bag because now the dimensions instead of going from the six that fit in there originally now its putting two and the dimensions are smaller and the smaller dimension gets you the cheaper shipping cost. These are also robust and hard to rip but the disadvantage is the always arrive quite

dirty. I don’t know why but they always have that kind of grunge on them um this usually shows up more on white ones but you can go to something like sticker mule there’s a ton of places to get bags printed like custom ones and some places are actually quite inexpensive and this way it can be like a bright colour, and this way it’s like “oh this is cute I don’t see dirt” so it’s really how much you want to invest into the experience for people another disadvantage though is they don’t offer protection of the item inside aside from keeping it inside the confines of the bag so if you’re selling like a ceramic bowl don’t use a poly bag because it will break immediately um it’s also very basic unboxing experience so I do love poly bags from just a standpoint of how much more efficient they are for shipping but from the customer experience I find those tare things half the time just don’t work and I pull the plastic and I have to get scissors and then I’m like I have to return this and I’m kind of like wrapping it up in tape and it’s just I feel like they know me when I return things now they’re like oh that’s this this Sharon girl she uses a lot of tape but just the unboxing experience isn’t as good and then for boxes of course these are going to be robust and difficult to damage but they also allow for a beautiful unboxing experience where you have it’s cute and it comes you’re like “oh my god it feels so special. it’s a gift to myself.” and then I’m gonna go on later on and actually just say ways you can you can really kind of expand on the experience to make your buyers feel a lot happier and more like it’s a gift to them the disadvantage though as I noted for the poly bags is that boxes always remain the same size regardless of the contents so if Rob’s wife is returning two dresses the box is the same size the shipping cost is just as much going back as it was going there so whether it’s the customer returning the payment cost or your paying the cost it’s gonna be more costly than it has to be. These also cost more to ship because they’re larger and they’re also more expensive to purchase because it’s just the box is it’s more expensive it’s more material and they take up significantly more inventory space and this is because people usually have a few sizes of them boxes are folded down they’re like kind of big so you create a box so where do you store them and then especially as you scale your your store you’re gonna need a larger warehouse but it can be beneficial depending if you want to do the unboxing experience and really just create that really streamlined experience for customers so [Rob:] Sorry Sharon I apologize. I I was unmuted for a second. I was typing during your last slide so I apologize [Sharon:] oh I didn’t hear you. I wouldn’t have known [Rob:] oh good okay. I didn’t mean to be rude I’ve been I’ve been polling some of the… I did the sent out in a very informal poll everybody says they’re doing good so far [Sharon:] oh good [Rob:] yeah so I was typing back a comment to somebody there is one question that just filtered through is if you have any recommendations on where to buy poly bags? [Sharon:] um yes so if you’re getting plain ones Uline. It’s just literally U, like the letter U and then their shipping is very fast but keep in mind when you order cuz at first I was like this is weird you have to pay for shipping through them and it the shipping can be a bit costly but it’s like they’re actually shipping you’re shipping materials so it makes sense but Uline has great prices for them um I think they’re actually the most competitive price they offer tons of sizes and when you’re ordering boxes make sure they’re as close to the dimensions of what you ship as possible and then sticker mule I believe has boxes and really they come up all the time I find companies especially right now because ecommerce is booming and print houses like “what do we do? People aren’t getting promo air anymore” so I can see a lot of them actually starting to switch to boxes possibly um so again just Google search customized shipping boxes and go through the first few pages because sometimes people just pay for ads or they’re not the best option. Um but I wouldn’t recommend really custom boxes unless you’re selling something with a very high margins and you can actually build that in just fine um or you scaled more but you can actually use tape and stuff, a custom tape and it’s pretty cute [Rob:] Sorry you said sticker mule? [Sharon:] yeah it’s actually, it’s called sticker mule I don’t know why it’s named that. It’s really honestly, there’s also like a fulfillment app called Shippo and I think their, their um logo is a hippo and i’m like okay. [Rob:] fair enough yeah [Sharon:] I don’t get it’s. It’s very abstract [Rob:] right. I’ll mention to Uline I think a couple people have mentioned they’re familiar with them. They have a competitor for some of their products

called Eddie’s Hang-up Display Eddie’s has a location in Toronto and two others, yeah two others across Canada so Eddie’s might be a place to compare pricing with for anybody out there. [Sharon:] oh ya, always compare pricing. Like 100% is it Eddie’s? like E-D-D-I-E-S? [Rob:] yeah I think it’s Eddie’s Hang-up Display or but it’s if you googled Eddie’s retail you’d find it they serve mainly retailers but they sell all those things we’ve been talking about [Sharon:] perfect thank you so much it actually helps me too cuz now I have something else to send people to there it’s perfect. Um so using shipping Are we good? Is there more questions? [Rob:] there is one here so Jason’s asked “my item is usually small items such as clothing by envelope not volume so for example if he ships one shirt at $10 per 1 kilogram Delivery is almost $11 to the GTA and ended up about $22 for shipping one shirt Any other better option for saving on delivery cost? [Sharon:] okay, this is Jason? [Rob:] yes [Sharon:] I don’t you listed. is this Jason Jason if you want to actually shoot us an email at the end for this type of question if we have more context about who you’re shipping with, the size of your item and stuff it’s gonna help me to give you a much better answer so at the end you’ll see an email. Just shoot us an email with the question with a bit more details and then we can help you out [Rob:] that’s very kind of Sharon thank you [Sharon:] oh you’re welcome! Um so, shipping as a sales tool. So shipping is an area that most of your buyers will actually pay attention to. These people want to know how much is shipping? How long does it take to get me. To me, not get me. How long does it take to understand me as a person? [laughter] But if you think about it most people think of a sales funnel like “okay I’m getting my customers come to my site come by. Oh like this dress? Check it out. Oh yeah we’re having a sale on it. Oh my goodness five left by one!” and the person’s like okay I bought this dress and they’re in the checkout and then they’re just have the basic experience. Like okay, I’m paying for shipping and then oh I got my order it’s a generic order confirmation email and then they might get a shipment information email and then it’s on my doorstep. There’s this huge gap in between there that really you can take advantage of especially because right now virtually every single retailer is online so you’re competing against everybody and really really paying attention to and massaging of this process will do you so well. Um, so you want to make sure you’re actually attentive post-sale and to send customers regular order updates So you want your delivery ASAP because you’re going from an experience where you’re like okay I want to order the shirt to the moment I have given you my money I’m like “where’s my shirt?” and I’m like this with like skip the dishes too – I’m like why is he taking that Street? Like I am I’m psychotic about it because it’s mine like it’s my food I’m hungry. I want this shirt because I want to wear it and it’s just you want to make sure that people know when it’s coming. If there’s an order delay, let them know. I actually had one experience and I forget who it was but I loved it ’cause I’m again, I’m very I wonder where my stuff is, and they sent an email being like “oh we received your order and for confirmation” Yay, and then I’m like “oh cool!”. And they sent an email being like “oh hey we actually just shipped your order. It’s gonna be sent off this afternoon” and I’m like “oh my god that’s so cool”. And then I got another confirmation when the carrier actually had it, and then I had tracking information. So every point of that journey, I knew or the order was and I loved it because I, I love knowing where my stuff is Um, also fulfill orders quickly so back to what I said earlier in some cases it’s not possible. You actually make an item yourself or it has to cure there’s so many different things especially for artisans so just have a note during the shipping process. And like our app actually allows you should do this, um but I’m not sure if depending on your platform you may be able to even customize your order confirmation page saying “oh just a reminder we’re custom making your order just for you” so people understand you’re not fulfilling as quickly because you you can’t. Because for me there’s any more than like a two day delay I start getting a bit antsy especially right now keep in mind you’re competing against every other store that your customers are ordering from. So if I made five online orders today and three of those shipped out by tomorrow morning the next one ships out tomorrow afternoon and the other one is like on Tuesday of next week I’m like “whoa!”

So they’re actually held to a standard they’re not even aware of because some people can fulfill very quickly. Um so showing shipping notes at checkout Setting expectations. Um another great example of setting this expectation is if you fulfill some items yourself but use like a print-on-demand supplier you’re gonna have the order coming in two separate shipments. Um I remember a time where I I wasn’t aware this was a thing yet and I ordered some stuff and there was one item missing and I feel like everyone’s like “is this is she okay?” I got pretty angry because I’m like “where is it? where’s where’s this one thing?” and then it turns out that it was just coming from a different store they’re out of stock in their warehouse and it’s actually shipping from a store Had they given me that context at checkout out I would have been happy. I’d be like okay that makes sense. I’m just waiting for the other one. Um so just make sure to really streamline that process and really set those expectations for whatever may be out of the ordinary or even for things within the ordinary Um, also adding thank you notes, this is so great for small makers because people just love supporting you. Like I love it So many people just love it and they get that note and it’s like “oh my god it’s so cool!” Throw in candy, not anything that will melt or something, because that’s just not a good idea Um, coupons I love when I get a coupon exclusively because I actually made an order and it doesn’t just come via email I’m like “Oh I feel so special”. Um even put in cheerful jokes. Right now people are who have never experienced mental issues are actually going through them because of the pandemic. So just put a cheerful joke in there. Just a silly one nothing bad, just like put something funny and just to make somebody’s day. Um even like hair ties like oh my god I lose them all the time throwing something like that or let’s say you actually are really attentive to your customers and have more of a relationship with them and you know one of them is home with their two kids and you’re like “oh my god like poor Mary. She’s probably so stressed right now. What can I do to make her day?” get some like dollar store colouring books pop two in there and be like “I hope you enjoy your half hour alone”. That person will order from you forever and ever because they’re gonna like “oh my god they actually gave me the gift of half an hour away from my children” so stuff like that is so so so good and it’s stuff that again most people don’t think of but it really really sets you apart And also back to like psychotic Sharon always up for tracking, and I feel like everyone I think it was actually statistic it was on average people check seven times for like where their order is and it’s so silly I like I’ll know it’s in Columbus Ohio at 3 p.m And I’m still checking at 6 p.m. to be like where is it now? Is it in Canada? it’s not in Canada but I still want to know because it’s my item. And as well to keep in mind that if you think about e-commerce and the actual full kind of journey of it you’re moving from a digital experience because online I have no idea what this fabric feels like. Does it have a funky dive smell? Like what is the actual texture of the fabric? How does it flow? I have no idea until it’s actually in my hands so you’re moving from a fully online experience through to an actual physical experience. So just making sure to bridge that gap and that’s the whole shipping section is that bridge and just making sure you really really tighten it and charge the right price and make sure you’re fulfilling quickly. Just making sure you can do whatever you can to make your customers come back and make them happy. It’s just something that like we but we’re super caution about shipping we’ve been in this industry for nearly a decade now which is kind of insane to me. We were in it back when everyone’s like “what’s online shopping? I would never do that”. And something that’s super interesting is by 2025 the logistics, and logistics is the actual shipping industry so supply chains moving stuff from point A to point B, it was supposed to expected to, sorry to double in size Looking like 13 billion to like 25 billion just due to e-commerce growth. So this was already gonna be happening this is a study that was done last year. This is already expected to happen. The pandemic has actually really rapidly expedited this. And one thing is like, I think this is actually the last slide before questions. Yes, it is. One thing that I really want people to identify right now is that you actually have your best chance at beating Amazon right now because they’re taking like up to a month to fulfill like generic non-essential items. This gives you guys

the opportunity to actually get these items and to fill them quickly and get them to people and make people love your brand. So there’s never actually been a better opportunity to be an online store So just really take it to, just use your advantage ask your customers how they feel about things. Always ask them. Make them happy. And also you can follow us on social media by the way because we’re gonna start posting way more, don’t worry [Rob:] Those were some excellent points. And I’m actually seeing some some some really thoughtful questions. [Sharon:] Oh Awesome! [Rob:] Yeah, yeah so I’m tempted to try to just bring the person on live but I think I think I’ll stick to the original plan and just read them to you if that’s okay? The first question I don’t know if you see them, but “currently there are, currently are there any small companies in Niagara region specializing in packaging, labeling, and shipping on behalf of small crafters? [Sharon:] I am not aware of this yet Joel, are you away of any? Sorry my co-founder is like over there, so he’s not aware of any either but what’s funny I love this question so much because as I’m driving around, because I’m still going for drives just to like not be in this weird cocoon, so I’m just like “I’m safe in my car” and I keep driving like “oh my god all this is effected. Look at, my god this is effected.” That would be such a smart thing and I really hope that someone or some people kind of group and band together to do this because it would be so so so smart. All you really need is even some basically a room doesn’t have to be cute and then just have like a few vans. Like oh my god it’d be so great. If anyone finds out about, one please let me know because I want to know too. [Rob:] right yeah. I feel like I feel like it is a really good opportunity for somebody to offer packaging and labeling and shipping on behalf of some of collectively for a group of small crafters. I think that ah” [Sharon:] it’d be so smart [Rob:] right right. [Sharon:] Can you imagine right? [Rob:] I can’t think of one either a second question is, if you can comment or provide any tips on shipping USA bound items? [Sharon:] Yes um so right now I’m gonna start by saying there are some delays um but they’re not as long, and depending where you are on the border, because the board is quite long, um but I think the shipping tip is probably more cost wise um so something that my dad actually was doing before the pandemic happened because he’s in Fort Erie so he would actually, again he’s five minutes from the border, so he would just drive over and ship them from USPS. So he’d make sure he has a lot of orders first and then just literally drive them over the border and ship them there. Um, but if you’re closer to the Hamilton kind of area and there’s a service called Chit Chats Express Again another really weird name. that has no context of what they do. I don’t know why they name them but they’ll actually you go and bring your your parcels to them and then they actually will take them over the border for you and ship them from USPS. So your shipping costs are so much cheaper and they’re also much faster because it’s usually customs that holds everything up because even if you don’t have to pay duty it still gets held up in that truck [Rob:] Right. I hadn’t heard of them before so I worked in Hamilton for a period of time [Sharon:] oh really? Really I think they’re from Toronto but they’ve been expanding down And then they’re also across kind of border cities. I love how Canada goes like this apparently. [laughter] [Rob:] And then, ah question here is if if there’s any comments or tips about insurance on shipping goods and packages? [Sharon:] Um so I would…it depends on the value of your item. Us, so parcel theft is happening more also carriers especially right now they’re they’re having issues of backlogs because there’s so many people shipping it’s almost like the holiday season happening right now um so if you sell anything that is a higher value I would even say higher than like $30 I would just always have insurance into that shipping price and I wouldn’t even give your customers the option really I would just do it because I see horror stories all the time every day I see at least two of them where customers will be like “oh my order never arrived” and the merchants like “well what do? Like what do I do here?” because now you have somebody, do you believe them? You have a total stranger they can be doing packaged stuff just by themselves like you have no idea and then if you don’t pay for the insurance for it then you’re out of luck and it’s up to you. Do you want to take a horrible horrible review and this person bashing

you everywhere online? Or do you now lose money because they’re not gonna pay the shipping cost again I promise you that they’re gonna be so against that they’re not gonna pay for the products again they want that product again for free, and now what do you do? You get horrible reviews or you lose money to fulfill it. And this happens a lot more than a lot of people actually think but I would definitely You can also actually look into using insurance through a source outside of your carrier in some cases that is possible. Also do you offer customer as an option or automatically include? Your shipping carrier will they determine what the insurance cost is so depending who you go with it’s gonna it’s gonna vary um I wouldn’t put as a separate line item I’m just because psychologically people are still having difficulty with paying for shipping even though as we know shipping is never free you’re always paying for it’s just seeing that extra line item. It’s actually a good example – I did instacart the grocery delivery so I did that and I’m like okay there’s like a delivery fee that’s fine and all of a sudden there’s a delivery fee and then a service fee and then the tip and I’m like wait like what’s? I’d rather just seen the delivery fee like just shoved in with that um that service fee it’s just the extra. I’m like “what the heck it should be done already” so having the insurance just blended in there’s gonna keep people happier and also just reduce your headaches because headaches cost money [Rob:] Perfect. I don’t know, it looks like you found the questions but the next one was about if you could just say the cross border shipping company again? [Sharon:] So it’s Chit so C-H-I-T, Chats C-H-A-T-S It is a very silly name. I don’t know why So I see one here So what exactly does our company do? so um what we do is we promote. We work with Shopify right now, although we are moving to different platforms as well to service more merchants just so everyone can control their costs because we’re kind of one the only people doing what we’re doing um so with our platform you can actually create what your fulfillment process looks like but in the actual apps so if you think back to the slide with the calculation, the customer cost and the merchant cost were in the middle so we’re the customer cost so we actually do a calculation but that calculation is what’s shown to the customer and gives them the selection they actually choose at checkout. So we ensure that whatever your actual cost to fulfill is going to be you can match it. Um you can also add rules in like postcode zones, location, location sorry. Rules if it’s like you know what, if they order of more than six of these the order ships free because I make so much money on these. Um Carter’s the children’s store what they do is they actually they always do it like I think this time of year might be happening right now but they’ll actually use swimwear as because it’s such high but the margin is ridiculous, like a baby swim suit is like $35 and I’m like seriously, it’s so tiny? Especially for newborns, you’re like “this makes no sense” but they have the promotion if you order any children swim wear your order ships free. And most people especially because you’re going into a new season you’re like “well I’m gonna be ordering with little Tommy some more shorts” so it actually is really great way to increase sales. Um but really we just help you to control your costs to really just use shipping as a marketing tool and to control your customers shipping journey [Rob:] Great. a couple a couple comments have come through One is a suggestion from Adriann who works in the office with me. Well yeah once upon a time we worked together in the office haven’t seen each other in five or six weeks now but yeah Adriann is is somebody and many people on the call are familiar with and I’ll quickly say thank you to Adriann for everything you’ve done to put this together Adriann commented on Prima Wrap in Niagara so they’re located, their address might be niagara-on-the-lake but their right on the highway on the service road at Glen Ridge and QEW there’s an industrial plaza and Prima Wrap has some really nice packaging Yeah my wife has gotten some really cute packaging with paw prints on it and those sorts of things so that’s a great suggestion Adriann [Sharon:] Thank you so much Adriann [Rob:] And then and then there’s a comment here too about preventing package theft and and potentially selecting signature required [Sharon:] So right now the problem is that signature required is obsolete

due to COVID so it’s a really weird one because typically you want to do that but then the problem is like for me I get really peeved when there’s the signature required because I typically am not home like right now I am obviously but typically I’m not home I’m in the office so if something that’s like lower value but they still have “signature required” comes in and I have to then go to the post office and God help me if it’s UPS or Purolator because Purolator is in Niagara-on-the-Lake in that wierd…you’re like why am I going all the way here um so I would do it on higher higher volume items or higher value sorry and then also potentially if you are shipping to an area where you can kind of identify it within your own notes “okay whenever we ship to Thorold” I’m so I love Thorold I’m so sorry I’m picking on Thorold this is so mean but look every time I ship to Thorold there’s package theft so you can actually make sure that there’s always a signature required, but signature required also has an extra cost this is where actually to Vern’s question, our app would come in handy because if it’s going to Thorold you can actually have an extra um kind of tack on to your shipping cost just to make up that difference [Rob:] Yeah great points. I don’t know if there’s any other questions at all? Sharon’s email is here and Sharon or our team I know are happy to answer answer some questions that come through you’ll get an email from the Enterprise Center later today with a copy of these slides and I’ll CC this address as well so you can reach out to Sharon. So Sharon primarily you’re on Shopify but Shopify right now? [Sharon:] Yes, but we can…in the next six months or so we will be on multiple platforms. But if someone has like, so I can’t answer platform specific questions so like if you’re on Wix and you’re like well how do I do this I will not have the answer because unfortunately I don’t work with them but I can help guide what you should and shouldn’t do if that makes sense if you are on Shopify though um feel free to connect with our team because we can really either help you with the actual built in options in Shopify because you can manipulate them kind of and then also we are offering a special we didn’t know what to call this, gonna call it a COVID plan but I’m like that sounds kind of bad but just due to COVID, making people rapidly move to online we do have a starter plan available as well um it’s not like something you can actually select a new install you just have to connect with our team to get that set up for you but yeah [Rob:] Cool just looking. I don’t see other questions looks like everybody’s hung on for the full hour [Sharon:] Oh that’s so fun! [Rob:] when I was rude and was typing I did an informal poll and we had about a dozen people reply saying everything’s great and I see it I see a couple thank-yous coming through excellent presentation thank you very thorough including things they hadn’t thought of so thank you Sharon [Sharon:] that’s so fun! Oh my goodness [Rob:] and I really love that you incorporated some advice from our office so thank you. Together we’re all better right? Like we could all learn from each other and now more than, now more than ever here in Niagara we need to pull together and support each other much as possible, so yeah a lot of thank yous coming through [Sharon:] so if someone can find like honestly if someone like establishes it I don’t care if it’s two months from now but they’re like oh my god there’s actually this like local thing for like packing things and stuff please let me know because that is like if I had more time I would do it because I’m like it’s so smart like it’s just ecommerce is gonna be growing so it’s like just do it it’s yeah, it’s exciting [Rob:] Absolutely. Okay well I think I think our work here is done this will be shared out. The slides will be shared out we’ve recorded this as well and we’ll probably post it to the YouTube channel unless some yeah unless some, there’s some reason not to but I think [Sharon:] unless technology happens, right? [Rob:] right exactly exactly All right so I’m gonna hit end to the meeting now and Sharon thanks again so much [Sharon:] oh you’re so welcome it was nice like I would say meeting everybody um I wish we’re actually supposed to do this in person I think in May? It was supposed to be an in person one but I’m so happy that you guys joined me today to talk about shipping and I really hope that you guys learned some stuff that you guys can take to your business and really just succeed right now [Rob:] Absolutely. Beautiful. Cheers have a great day everybody