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Unconventional eCommerce Operations with Chris White of Shinesty

Chris White, Cofounder and CEO of Shinesty, jumped onto the eCom Ops Podcast to share his unconventional approach towards eCom operations, his market segmentation and significance of automation for future success.  Check out other episodes here.

  • Chris’s Linkedin
  • Shinesty website
  • Shinesty started 6 years ago
  • Chris previously worked for SendGrid where he joined with 50 employees and saw the company grow to 250
  • Shinesty has 30 pieces of software in total
  • Shinesty started using Shopify 6 years ago
  • Shinesty designs and manufactures 95% of its products
  • 99.%% of their sales comes directly from their website
  • Shinesty ships 2000 to 3000 parcels daily excluding the holiday season when the sales spike
  • Automation saves 10 cents on the WPS system per click
  • The First 1000 customers of Shinesty came from Facebook ads
  • Shinesty has a 25,000 sq. ft. distribution centre in Denver, Colorado 
  • Shinesty’s warehouse is managed by RFSmart
  • ShipHawk manages Shinesty’s shipping ratings
  • Slack manages 
  • Shinesty’s internal ops 
  • Shinesty’s project management is looked into by Monday.com
  • Namely checks Shinesty’s payroll 
  • Currently, Shinesty ships to US, Europe, Canada, and Australia

Key Takeaways:

  • Chris has experience in the digital sector as he has previously worked for SendGrid, which is a software company. His role there started as a sales representative shifting to business involvement then corporate involvement.
  • Despite being a highly functional product; SendGrid wasn’t Chris’s personal favourite as he is more inclined to consumer-facing. This incline drew him to eCommerce and launching a brand.
  • For software, they have Shopify, NetSuite (looks into Shinesty’s ERP), and a custom RMA. While choosing an eCommerce partner Bigcommerce, Woocommerce, and Magento were some other options out of which Chris chose Shopify.
  • Chris is extremely pleased with Shopify as it handles a lot of technology, allowing the decision-makers to do their job and focus on the important pieces of the brand, such as building a community.
  • They have in house design teams, and their product is produced worldwide (Asia, Eastern Europe, Los Angeles, and Central America)
  • Automates play a huge role in the technology section
  • At the moment all the shipment is made directly from the US, which is why they are thinking to expand in means of warehouses.
  • Shinesty has not tried any market place apart from an amazon experiment. However, they are looking into expanding in terms of exploring different market-places
  • In online marketing, Facebook and Instagram have been a success 
  • Operations of business are broken down into 4 main teams: distribution, internal ops, merchandising team, and logistics. Each group has a leader or director.
  • The Internal ops team works on data integrity and making sure everything is accurate. 
  • The merchandising team looks into inventory planning and choosing the right product positioning and procurement
  • Chris is a big supporter of automation and continues to invest in it. He believes the more you automate, the more you can focus on the main issues instead of manual data entry type roles/responsibilities.
  • Currently, Chirs is planning to invest in an inventory planning software system that would put inventory planning directly into the ERP which would automate purchase orders from the vendors when they need restocks based on days of supply, turn times, etc.
  • Automation is also good for the employees; it makes them more valuable.
  • Chris also plans on having multiple distribution centres at different locations, closer to their overseas customers. This would streamline the shipment process.
  • Shinesty started by selling vintage clothing and did not have its products. It only had one unit for each product. It was to test out the market if it’s something the customers are interested in. 
  • To retain their customers updated in the CRM, they make sure to nurture high-quality content which gives the customers a reason to open their emails besides just buying.

Chris’s biggest influences

In this segment, Chris named a very common yet unique mentor that was – Google. Chris, being very honest with his answer, admitted to having learned a lot from this well-known search engine praising the accessibility it provides to good outlets (such as Reddit and Quora) that encapsulate valuable technical information. He is currently a member of a society called ‘eCommerceFuel’ which has been valuable to their company’s growth.

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