Liht Organics is a Singapore-based organic makeup brand that launched in April 2019. Its organic makeup range – that nourishes and helps the skin to repair – put Liht Organics right at the intersection of two key trends during COVID-19 lockdowns this year, supercharging their growth. As General Manager Stephanie Lee explains, “Conference call culture means people suddenly care more about wearing makeup even at home. Lipstick is the fastest way to look put-together.”
But it could have gone very differently. When Singapore’s circuit breaker lockdown was announced earlier this year, Liht Organics was suddenly unable to fulfil customer orders. Read on to find out how Stephanie turned what could have been a crisis for her nascent business into an opportunity.
Crisis-proofing your eCommerce business
Prior to the global pandemic, Stephanie’s team was fulfilling orders manually – with daily trips to the post office. But when the team weren’t able to physically go to the post office due to Singapore’s COVID-19 lockdown, they were unable to fulfil customer orders.
Stephanie immediately started looking for an alternative. And she wasn’t just planning for the problem immediately before her. She wanted to ensure the business would be as crisis-proof and flexible as possible – going as far as to ask “could we manage this from home if we went into another lockdown?”
As well as crisis planning, Stephanie recognised the opportunity to streamline her fulfilment processes and deliver a better customer experience. With a high volume of overseas orders and a liquid product to ship, Stephanie’s team was spending up to half a day at the post office dealing with customs declarations. On top of which, they were having to manually process all the tracking numbers and emails to customers afterwards.
“The post office would give me a docket with all the tracking numbers then I had to manually key in the tracking numbers and send them to customers. A lot of customers then weren’t actually getting the emails with tracking numbers because they were going into their junk mail.”
I just wanted a friendly, one-stop solution. Compared with other providers, Shippit was really simple and straightforward.
How Liht Organics came to their decision
With all the pressures of running a business that is scaling up, Stephanie knew neither she nor her team would have time to learn about a new piece of software.
“I just wanted a friendly, one-stop solution. Compared with other providers, Shippit was really simple and straightforward”.
Previously the fulfilment process for Liht Oganics was very manual. As well as cutting down the time spent fulfilling orders, Stephanie also wanted to reduce the risk of human error.
“I liked that you could integrate Shippit with our website and it takes care of printing labels. And Shippit is intelligent enough to recognise when customers have entered an incorrect address. You’d be surprised how many customers forget their unit number and I was having to google it before to make sure orders would get to customers.”
With up to 50% orders being sent overseas, Stephanie also wanted something that would help her to fulfil overseas packages in a timely and cost-effective manner. To make the business scalable, she knew it would be crucial to reduce the time spent dealing with customs requirements.
Shipping is tricky. You get what you give. You don’t want to spend too much but you don’t want to spend too little either. Ecommerce is really competitive and shipping is something that actually gives us a competitive advantage.
Efficiency rules: how a streamlined workflow is enabling Liht Organics to scale
Liht Organics has linked Shippit to the website and is using the platform to generate pick and pack lists, print labels, book couriers and send branded tracking notifications to customers.
By streamlining fulfilment processes, Stephanie cut the time it takes to fulfil orders by 25%, freeing her up to focus on customer experience and developing the product range (from 26 SKUs to 42).
Simple integration with WooCommerce
Liht Organics use WooCommerce for their website and say the main benefit for them was the ease of getting set up. Stephanie says: “Set up in general has been really easy because it’s all drag and drop. It’s great having a one-stop solution so I don’t have to worry about how the invoices or labels look. Just upload your logo and it’s done.”
Reducing shipping costs
Using Shippit has enabled Liht Organics to reduce domestic shipping costs from around $6 to $3.50 per order – a 40% saving on shipping costs for half of their orders.
Shipping as a source of competitive advantage
But it’s not all about cost. Stephanie says that although she hasn’t had the same cost savings on overseas orders, the benefits of reliability and a more efficient workflow outweigh any cost saving. When it comes to growing an ecommerce business, Stephanie’s advice is to think of shipping as a competitive advantage.
“Shipping is tricky. You get what you give. You don’t want to spend too much but you don’t want to spend too little either. Ecommerce is really competitive and shipping is something that actually gives us a competitive advantage.”
Delivering a better customer experience as you scale
Having cut the time spent on the shipping process by 25%, Stephanie says she can now put a lot more effort into packaging and how the goods are presented. She also no longer has to worry about what emails have been sent and whether the customer got the tracking number.
“There has been a noticeable decrease in complaints relating to deliveries and enquiries from customers wanting to know where their parcel is.
Sometimes not hearing from customers is a good thing!”
“For someone that’s a startup and running their own business, efficiency is absolutely critical. I think companies need to get better at leveraging the services and technology that other businesses can offer, rather than trying to do everything in-house”