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Shiprocket's Supply Chain Solution for SMBs

Success strategies | Supply Chain PM Roles & more!

Top Takeaways for Product Managers

  • Understanding the Pain Point: For e-commerce SMBs, managing deliveries is a complex and expensive hassle.

  • The Power of Partnerships: Strong relationships with couriers unlock better rates and wider options for SMBs.

  • Technology is King: A user-friendly platform streamlines order management, tracking, and label generation.

  • Data Drives Decisions: Analyzing data helps optimize the platform and develop features that meet evolving needs.

Source: WareIQ

Hey there 👋📦️!

Okay, so I finally decided to write on a supply chain product for all those of who have been requesting! I am sorry I pushed this on the back burner for quite some time now. I was just making sure I sent out the commonly important ones first.

Back to the post now.

Well, I’d like to share a small bit of my experience with a modern supply chain/logistics solution. So, my mom’s a doc. She’s got patients from across the globe (touch wood 🪵).

She prefers sending medicines to her patients, both in India and across the globe. When she first started, we had a tough time. We struggled to find a good logistics solution, that would ship medicines for us internationally.

Shipping within India wasn’t an issue for us. We found really good and cheaper services, even Indian Post! But no one would ship them internationally for us. If they ever did, it came with a ton of paperwork, delivery time, and whatnot, lord!

After lots of searching and calling, Mom found that Aramex does ship medicines internationally from India🤦.

Well, unfortunately, that’s a similar case for many small and medium businesses in India. Shiprocket, touched this very pain point.

Let’s learn about its strategies in depth.

Also, if you’re curious, no, Shiprocket didn’t ship to our destinations so we couldn’t use it :).

Shiprocket’s Founding Tale

In the early days of India's e-commerce boom, Sahil Goel, Gautam Kapoor, and Vishesh Khurana, the future founders of Shiprocket, were witnessing a common frustration.

Co-founders of Shiprocket (L-R): Akshay Ghulati, Vishesh Khurana, Saahil Goel and Gautam Kapoor, Source: Business Today

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) were struggling to navigate the complexities and high costs of e-commerce shipping. This critical aspect of online sales was hindering their growth and competitiveness.

Recognizing this as a significant barrier, the trio decided to turn this challenge into an opportunity. In 2017, after honing their understanding of the e-commerce landscape through their initial venture (BigFoot Retail Solutions), they launched Shiprocket.

Shiprocket's mission was clear: to empower SMBs by simplifying and streamlining their e-commerce supply chain. They envisioned a platform that would eliminate the logistical headaches associated with shipping.

Their approach was multifaceted. Shiprocket established partnerships with a diverse network of courier companies, leveraging their combined volume to secure discounted shipping rates for their clients.

This not only reduced costs for sellers but also provided them with a wider range of delivery options to cater to different customer needs.

Furthermore, Shiprocket prioritized user experience.

They developed a user-friendly platform that served as a one-stop shop for all shipping needs. Sellers could manage orders, track shipments, and generate shipping labels – all within a single, intuitive interface.

This focus on cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency resonated with the target market. Shiprocket became a game-changer for SMBs in the Indian e-commerce ecosystem.

Challenges SMBs faced; Shiprocket addressed

Let’s take a deeper dive into the problems that SMBs face and that Shiprocket touched.

For small and medium e-commerce businesses (SMBs), the dream of online sales can quickly turn into a logistical nightmare when it comes to deliveries.

Unlike large corporations with dedicated resources, SMBs face a multitude of challenges in managing this crucial aspect of their business.

Here's a closer look at the specific hurdles they encounter:

  • Unavailability of reliable couriers: Finding reliable courier partners is a significant task. SMBs often lack the brand recognition or volume to attract top-tier courier companies. This translates to limited options and potentially unreliable services.

  • Pricing & negotiation hurdles: Negotiating competitive shipping rates is another major obstacle. Without the leverage of bulk shipping volumes, SMBs often end up paying higher prices per shipment, impacting their profit margins significantly.

  • Unreliable/non-realtime tracking: Manually tracking individual shipments across various couriers is a time-consuming and error-prone process. This lack of real-time visibility into delivery status creates anxiety for both sellers and customers.

The Domino Effect: These challenges have a cascading effect on the entire e-commerce operation for SMBs.

  • Wasted Time and Resources: The struggle to secure reliable couriers, negotiate rates, and track shipments diverts valuable time and resources away from core activities like marketing, product development, and customer service.

  • Reduced Profitability: High shipping costs can eat into already thin margins for SMBs. This can force them to either raise product prices (potentially deterring customers) or absorb the cost, impacting their bottom line.

  • Negative Customer Experience: Delayed deliveries, lack of tracking information, and damaged goods due to unreliable couriers can significantly damage customer satisfaction and brand reputation.

    In the competitive e-commerce world, negative customer experiences can translate into lost sales and hinder future growth.

Shiprocket’s Value Proposition

Shiprocket came with solutions that has further changed how couriers happen today for SMBs.

Wide Courier Network

Shiprocket breaks down the 'courier maze' by establishing partnerships with a diverse network of courier companies. This provides SMBs with several advantages:

  • Choice and Flexibility: Sellers are no longer limited to a single courier or a handful of options. Shiprocket's platform offers a vast selection, allowing sellers to choose the most suitable courier based on factors like price, delivery speed, and service area.

    This caters to various customer needs, from speedy express deliveries to cost-effective budget options for non-urgent items.

  • Increased Reliability: By partnering with multiple reputable couriers, Shiprocket mitigates the risk associated with relying on a single provider.

    In case of unforeseen circumstances with one courier, sellers can seamlessly switch to another, ensuring deliveries are not disrupted.

Discounted Rates

Shiprocket tackles the 'price puzzle' by leveraging their combined shipping volume.

As they manage a large pool of shipments for their clients, Shiprocket has the bargaining power to negotiate significantly lower rates with courier companies compared to what individual SMBs could achieve.

Source: Customer Support - Shiprocket

These discounted rates are then passed on to their customers, resulting in substantial cost savings for SMBs and improved profit margins.

Seamless Order Management

Shiprocket eliminates the 'tracking tango' with its user-friendly, centralized dashboard. This dashboard acts as a command center for all things shipping-related:

Source: Shiprocket | YouTube

  • Unified Order Management: Sellers can view and manage all their orders from different e-commerce platforms in one place. This eliminates the need to log in to multiple portals, saving time and simplifying order fulfillment.

  • Real-time Tracking: Gone are the days of manually tracking individual shipments across various courier websites. Shiprocket provides real-time tracking information within the platform, offering complete visibility into the delivery status of each shipment.

    This not only reduces anxiety for sellers but also empowers them to proactively address any potential delivery issues and keep customers informed.

  • Effortless Label Generation: No more juggling different courier websites or manual form filling.

    Shiprocket's platform allows sellers to generate shipping labels for all their orders within the dashboard, with all the necessary details pre-populated. This streamlines the packing and dispatch process significantly.

What a Supply Chain Product is Responsible for?

While Shiprocket's success hinges on its user-friendly platform and strategic partnerships, there's a crucial role behind the scenes that often goes unnoticed: the Supply Chain Product Manager.

This individual plays a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth flow of information and goods within the entire Shiprocket network.

Here's a detailed breakdown of their responsibilities and how they contribute to Shiprocket's success:

Building Strong Partnerships:

  • Courier Collaboration: The Supply Chain Product Manager is the bridge between Shiprocket and its network of courier companies. They are responsible for:

    • Negotiating Contracts: They secure agreements with couriers that provide competitive rates and service levels that benefit Shiprocket's SMB clientele.

    • Maintaining Relationships: They foster strong, collaborative relationships with courier partners, ensuring open communication and a commitment to continuous improvement.

    • Staying Updated: They keep abreast of the latest trends and developments within the courier industry, identifying new partnerships and opportunities to enhance Shiprocket's offerings.

Technology Integration is Key:

  • Platform Development: They work hand-in-hand with developers to ensure seamless integration of Shiprocket's platform with various e-commerce marketplaces and seller tools.

    This creates a frictionless user experience for SMBs, allowing them to manage their online stores and deliveries effortlessly within a single ecosystem.

  • Data Analytics Expertise: They are data wizards! They analyze vast amounts of data on shipping trends, costs, and customer behavior. These insights are used to:

    • Identify Areas for Improvement: They pinpoint inefficiencies within the platform or courier partnerships and recommend solutions for optimization.

    • Develop New Features: Their analysis guides the development of new functionalities that address evolving customer needs and industry trends.

      For instance, data might reveal a demand for specialized delivery options like cash-on-delivery (COD) or same-day deliveries, prompting the development of features to cater to these needs.

The Customer-Centric Approach:

  • Understanding SMB Needs: They constantly strive to understand the specific challenges and pain points faced by Shiprocket's SMB customers.

    Through user research, feedback analysis, and market research, they stay in tune with the evolving needs of this segment.

  • Product Innovation: Armed with this customer understanding, they champion product innovation that directly addresses those needs.

    This could involve developing features that simplify order fulfillment for bulk orders, automating tasks like shipment routing, or integrating cost-comparison tools to help SMBs select the most economical courier option.

The Impactful Outcomes

The Supply Chain Product Manager's efforts translate into several key benefits for Shiprocket:

  • Enhanced Value Proposition: Their work strengthens Shiprocket's value proposition for SMBs. By securing competitive rates, fostering strong courier partnerships, and developing innovative features, they make Shiprocket an even more attractive solution for e-commerce businesses.

  • Improved Customer Experience: Their focus on data-driven insights and customer needs leads to a more efficient and user-friendly platform. This translates into a smoother delivery experience for both SMB sellers and their customers, ultimately fostering loyalty and repeat business.

  • Market Differentiation: By staying ahead of the curve and developing innovative solutions, the Supply Chain Product Manager plays a vital role in differentiating Shiprocket from competitors in the e-commerce logistics space.

In conclusion, the Supply Chain Product Manager is a strategic asset for Shiprocket. Their expertise in building partnerships, leveraging technology, and understanding customer needs ensures the platform continues to evolve and empower SMBs to navigate the e-commerce delivery landscape with greater ease and efficiency.

Quick Tip 💡

Now that you are aware of the typical roles and responsibilites of a SC Product Manager, here’s a quick task for you.

Review the current Shiprocket application, understand Shiprocket’s user problems/needs, and identify a better solution. Create a PRD or PPT to showcase your in-depth analysis. Post it on your LinkedIn, and tag Shiprocket and its PMs, DPMs.

This will help you get noticed! If this works, do tag me too, I’d be there to celebrate!

Thank U Reaction GIF by Mauro Gatti

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