July 11, 2006, 12:00 AM

Web-based shipping tool cuts costs at KazooToys.com

Replacing a manual system of re-keying web orders into KazooToys.com’s shipping application, an integrated system from Yahoo and UPS has reduced overall costs while increasing customer satisfaction, Kazoo & Co. president Diana Nelson says.

Replacing a manual system of re-keying web orders into KazooToys.com’s shipping application, an integrated system from Yahoo and UPS has reduced overall costs while increasing customer satisfaction, Kazoo & Co. president Diana Nelson tells Internet Retailer.

Kazoo, which specializes in selling unusual items not typically found in toy stores, has been growing at an average annual clip of about 210% for the past few years, Nelson says. But the Denver-based retailer, which operates one store but does nearly all of its sales on the web, had struggled like many retailers with the chore of re-keying customer data, resulting in extra labor costs and order inaccuracies.

Kazoo formerly handled shipping duties with a shipping manager and three shift crews of 5-6 employees each, but since deploying the Yahoo-UPS system early last year has been able to cut the size of each of its crews to only 2-3 employees. Operating on a Yahoo Stores platform, which integrates with the UPS World Ship shipping management application, Kazoo now can electronically transfer its online customer orders directly into World Ship, Nelson says. “We don’t have to re-enter names and addresses, and it saves us a lot of time,” she says.

The system has also increased the accuracy of order shipments to about 99% from 95%, resulting in lower shipping costs and a higher level of customer satisfaction. Customers have voluntary commented on the reliability of the improved shipping services through e-mail and calls with Nelson and other employees, she says.

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