Thus far in our "Powering the holidays" series, we've looked at companies providing the speed, data, monitoring and privacy protection that enable e-commerce businesses to thrive at the busiest time of the year.
Even if merchants somehow master all of that, none of it matters much if deliveries show up after Christmas. All of their hard work can be easily overshadowed by grumpy consumers, especially if the malcontents take to public forums to express their frustrations.
For Poshmark—an online retailer that lets people shop from each other's closets—straightening out its shipping system ahead of this holiday season was doubly critical. Not only did the company need to ensure the timely arrival of packages, but it had to do so without going broke. Poshmark is among the rapidly growing marketplace retailers, meaning the company itself doesn't have merchandise, but instead facilitates transactions between buyers and sellers.
The company lets women turn their closets into storefronts, selling their denim pants, vintage dresses and leather heels to second-hand shoppers.
Manish Chandra, who started the Menlo Park, California-based company in 2011, knew he'd tapped into a market opportunity by looking at the sales trajectory in the first couple of years in business. The company grew 10-fold last year.
Still, sending all that stuff was a massive headache. Any deliveries up to two pounds were covered in the $6.99 shipping fee that was charged to buyers, but for packages that weighed more, sellers would have to cover the added cost and deal with the added hassle.