July 11, 2012
Wow. What a ride so far. We’re slowly but surely growing our customer base. Got this awesome email from one our loyal customers this morning that made our day.
SO ONTO THE BUSINESS.
One of the things that we didn’t fully comprehend early on is how much shipping and logistics impact a business’s bottom line. Right now we charge five dollars a tub shipping via Priority mail…and we typically take a loss on shipping. We’re working with UPS/FedEx/USPS to negotiate lower rates based upon our current and future volume. We like Priority mail because it gets stuff to the West Coast in two days but we’d like to offer cheaper options or even free shipping eventually.
We’ve heard pretty often that one of the things holding back some customers from purchasing Tier 1 is that they like to purchase a bunch of supplements in a one stop shop and pay a flat shipping cost. Since we only have one product it gives them limited options. From one of our customers below:
WE SEE THREE POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS:
1) Lower shipping costs. Do this in conjunction with bringing additional products to market and charge a flat rate for shipping. That way people could buy all their products at one time, pay a flat fee, and boom headshot. New products are in development but it’s taking us some time because we apply obsessive-compulsive rigor during product formulation/creation. We also debate factors such as practical benefit, quality, and economics endlessly.
2) Stock at online retailers. We were not originally planning on doing this but we’ve put it on the table due to a strong response from our customers and those interested alike. We might run a poll later this week to get additional feedback. Below is from some of the reviews on Supplement Reviews of Tier 1 so far.
3. Brick and Mortar stores. The strategy for this is on the table as well. After talking to customers we’ve received lots of feedback that they’d like to see this. The challenge will be figuring out how to preserve the customer service aspect of CN but also scale and provide greater accessibility to our products. We’re seeing that convenience is a big part of the value proposition.
INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS AND SHIPPING
Right now our International shipping cost is $10.00. We’ve built a small but awesome group of International customers that really believe in what we’re doing and we’re very grateful. The shipping process could be more efficient however and we believe we could really expand our reach and get the word out there if there was broader access to our products internationally.
The same package shipped to Australia or Norway could take anywhere from one to three weeks. For this reason we are seriously considering finding retailers overseas to not only lower the cost of shipping but provide our customers a quicker turnaround. In the majority of cases there are no issues and our products arrive in 7-10 days but we’d really like to lower that shipping cost. In terms of turnaround time the case below particularly upset us:
That was our man Justice and his tub of Tier 1 took right over three weeks to arrive in Canada. Interestingly – another package we sent to Canada only took a week. In the next coming weeks a big focus of ours will be to see what options we have to take the variability out of turnaround times.
IN THE COMING WEEKS WE ARE GOING TO:
Work on lowering shipping costs
Investigate the strategy of using online retailers for increased convenience for our customers.
Discuss ideas that will make our products more accessible Internationally. Try to lower shipping costs and turnaround times.
Investigate brick and mortar store strategy.
If you guys have any particular suggestions that you think might help please reach out to us!
Also in Citadel Nutrition Blog