May 13, 2010, 3:17 PM

Crafts software e-retailer finds a better way to ship to overseas customers

Even with most of its business in markets like the U.K. and Canada, California-based software retailer ThoughtFish Media hated shipping there—until it found an outsourcing provider.

Internet Retailer


ThoughtFish Media makes and sells software online that customers in 77 countries use to design things like mosaic tile murals for their bathrooms and beadwork for customized purses. Business is booming, says owner Andrew Simmons, but only since it found the right shipping and warehousing provider to smooth out fulfillment hassles that had made overseas delivery hardly worth the effort.

“I hated shipping to Canada,” Simmons says. “Shipping via FedEx or UPS often cost more than the software, and while the U.S. mail was cheaper, sometimes packages didn’t arrive and I’d have to re-ship.”

“We had the same problems going over the pond to the U.K.,” he adds. “It was a crap shoot. I’d ship orders out and pray that they’d get there. A third to a half of orders would have some issue, and then there’d be chargebacks by customers who claimed they didn’t receive an order.”

But Simmons, who runs his business in a rural area outside of San Diego, CA, now leaves the shipping and warehousing to Shipwire Inc., which maintains his software CDs and manuals in warehouses in Chicago, Toronto and London for shipment to customers in the U.S., Canada, Europe and other markets.

Shipwire provides shipping labels for sending bulk shipments of software materials from ThoughtFish Media’s California packaging facility to one of Shipwire’s warehouses. As orders come into, they’re transmitted to Shipwire’s warehouse management system, which includes a shipping module that automatically chooses the best parcel carrier and route to expedite delivery at the lowest cost, Simmons says.

Now, even though most of his sales are to overseas customers, Simmons says he rarely if ever deals with shipping problems or chargebacks.







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