When Mark Helvadjian created an online watch store, it was relatively easy to install an ecommerce platform and a payment system (Shopify satisfied the former, while PayPal took care of the latter). But, despite his best efforts, he couldn’t find an equivalent for shipping.
Compelled to end his predicament, Helvadjian developed ShippingEasy, an application for online sellers to process shipments. The Austin startup, which migrated from Sydney, Australia, integrates with major online marketplaces, shopping cart software, and delivery services to facilitate the process of preparing a shipment in a fraction of the time normally spent.
“Our goal is to automate tedious processes to save time, but never eliminate or hide the full range of services available. It’s kind of like setting up defaults that will automatically apply unless the merchant wants to override. The time savings are significant – not to mention the reduction in errors,” said CEO Katie May.
A user with an online store (using a compatible ecommerce service such as eBay, Etsy, or Volusion) can install the app, which then connects with all of her stores (the original, plus any listings she may have posted on other marketplaces) and automatically downloads order details. The merchant inputs shipping and insurance preferences for different types of orders, which can be applied to future shipments. ShippingEasy updates the orders with automated package tracking, including tracking numbers and email confirmations for customers.
ShippingEasy also presents online sellers with options for shipping providers (USPS, as well as UPS and FedEx for paying subscribers) and rates, usually offering discounts. “The merchant has full visibility of shipping options across all major carriers and can easily browse rates based on zone, weight and dimensions,” said May. “We aggregate volume across thousands of ecommerce sellers and absorb the cost of serving those customers.”
But the 40-person company believes there’s even more room for software-powered expediency. ShippingEasy is in the process of automating the steps between order download and label printing, and has even developed algorithms to predict the shipping choices a seller will make in the form of AutoShip, a predictive analytics feature that prints labels based on a customer’s shipping preference patterns. “We’re no longer automating what used to be manual but rather teaching a machine to do what online sellers were traditionally taxed with doing,” May said.
While May has encountered formidable competition, she’s confident ShippingEasy’s ability to innovatively fulfill Helvadjian's ambitions. “It’s no longer about carving out a position in the industry. It’s about changing the industry.”