Swedish webshop sells ties: The party continues
Tieroom started as a business selling ties from a car, but today it is a successful webshop that sells accessories for men in nine countries.
The Swedish-owned webshop Tieroom sells ties, butterflies, handkerchiefs, and accessories for men. The webshop opened in 2013 on the Swedish market - and has since grown to Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany, France, Spain, the UK, and the USA.
Read about the webshop’s journey, challenges and victories here.
From a business on wheels to a successful webshop
In 2005, Nicklas Andersson drove around Sweden in a car with his small business selling ties. On the sidelines was his brother, Christian Andersson, who has a background as a software developer. Christian could see potential in his brother’s business, but instead of selling ties from the trunk of the car, he suggested to his brother starting a webshop - why drive all around Sweden in a car, when you can sell from home? And, with Nicklas’s wife, Louise, that is exactly what they started doing.
That was the beginning of Tieroom. The business went smoothly and, with sales in nine different countries and 700 different products, Tieroom grew into a company of seven employees.
Because there are many competitors when it comes to selling ties, butterflies, and other accessories for men, it has been important for Tieroom to stand out:
We differ by having a huge selection. Not many have the same selection as us. In a physical store, you might sell 50 - max. 100 - ties, while we have 700 different designs. At the same time, we're extremely focused on good customer service and fast delivery. Everything about the purchase that makes the customer happy, says Christian.
It is precisely the delivery and the order process that Tieroom has speeded up through Shipmondo, allowing them to process the orders quickly and so provide fast delivery to their customers. How they do it more accurately, we will return to later.
In the picture below you can see a section of the webshop’s warehouse with their huge selection of products:
Coronavirus puts an end to the party
Just as everything seemed perfect, Tieroom, like everyone else, was hit by the global corona crisis in early 2020. But, while many other online businesses flourished during the crisis, it was different for Tieroom.
Coronavirus put an end to the party. Literally. Due to closures and restrictions, no large parties were held anymore, which meant that the need for ties, butterflies, etc. disappeared:
We had a pretty decent business before the corona hit us. But then, no one was holding weddings or other parties anymore. We felt like we lost half of our revenue overnight, Christian says.
So what do you do when a crisis hits your business? According to Christian, in times of crisis, you should take a look at the business. And that was exactly what they did. Tieroom laid off its employees, and the webshop went from having seven employees to only the three founders being left. It also meant that they now had tasks that had previously been left to others:
With us three founders left, we had to deal with the pick-and-pack process, the shipments, etc. That is, all that we did not do before. With our new work assignments, we realized that we couldn't sit and manually enter shipping information for each order that we made - and so we started looking for a smarter solution, and here we found Shipmondo, Christian explains.
For Tieroom, the solution needed to be both easily accessible and free of charge:
I'm a technical person, but my colleagues are not, and they are doing fine. Shipmondo was extremely easy to set up and get started with. Then, it's a huge plus that there are no high start-up costs.
In Shipmondo you do not have to pay a subscription. You only pay per shipping label. That makes it easy to start without any financial risk. You can create an account free of charge.
An efficient and automatic order and freight management
Efficiency and optimization have been a major focus at Tieroom over the past year and, with Shipmondo, the webshop has facilitated its workflow in the warehouse:
Shipmondo already had an integration with Magento, which we use, so it was really simple for us to start. Shipmondo automatically retrieves our orders from the webshop, and all we have to do is select them and click a button. It is an extreme improvement on what we had before, says Christian.
Shipmondo’s integrations are free and, in addition to Magento, we support a wide range of integrations for webshops and accounting systems. You can find them here.
In Shipmondo, you have several options for picking and packing your orders efficiently. Tieroom pick their orders with Shipmondo’s pick lists, where one pick list per order is printed. But with the level of trade that Tieroom expects soon, they are already considering implementing Shipmondo’s digital pick paths. The digital pick paths will allow Tieroom to pick many orders at once - in a completely paperless way.
Like Tieroom, you can choose which picking solution you want. All the solutions are free. See the differences here.
Get a small insight into Tieroom’s order- and freight management here:
Delivery and shipping options
Tieroom offer free delivery to all their customers, and Christian says that, from day one, the webshop has placed a great focus on delivery, because the delivery experience plays a central role in the overall shopping experience - and, thus, the customer’s desire to place an order with the shop again. Therefore, Tieroom have spent a long time finding carriers that can offer the right products at the right prices. At present, Tieroom send packages with PostNord in Scandinavia, while using Deustche Post in Germany and the UK, and DHL Express in the remaining countries - and all three agreements are set up in their Shipmondo account. In this way, they can easily and quickly book freight in one place without going back and forth between different systems. See all your shipping options in Shipmondo here.
Christian also explains that, with Shipmondo, it’s incredibly easy for the webshop to send packages internationally. Where in the past it has been a time-consuming process, with Shipmondo, Tieroom do not have to think about which country the order should be sent to. Shipmondo automatically assigns the correct shipping template and thus the correct carrier product. In addition, Tieroom use automatic customs, which has been a massive time-saver.
To provide a satisfying delivery experience and good customer service, Tieroom send messages with track & trace links to their customers. You also have this option in Shipmondo, where, with personalized messages, you can keep your customers updated and add tracking number and/or link so the customer can follow the package.
It is important to us that our customers can track their orders. This is something we have set up recently, and now it's even easier with Shipmondo, because all tracking data is automatically sent back to our system - so we don't have to do anything ourselves, Christian explains.
A bright future
A lot has happened since the coronavirus hit Tieroom. The world has opened up and the events and parties have returned.
The good thing is that the business is back. Suddenly, everyone has to get married, and it's going better than ever - even though we're only three people plus a few part-time employees. We also work our asses off, but it has become easier after we optimized our workflow with, among others, Shipmondo. We can handle it, but we will soon hire more employees, says Christian.
At the same time, he says that they expect that next year will be an extremely good year for the webshop, where they will get even busier. Anyone who has postponed big parties can now have them - and that also means that the company is already working hard to have enough products in stock and keep everything updated.
After this, the ambition is to expand to even more countries and to enlarge the webshop with even more product types.
One good piece of advice for other webshops
If you ask Christian for good advice for other webshop owners, the answer is simple - and in fact, it is a piece of advice he wishes they had been given when Tieroom was created:
Start automating early. The later you do it, the more you are stuck in the various processes. It is much easier if you start with an automated workflow from day one. We discovered that we should automate when we had hundreds of products in our warehouse. Even though you may think that you are too small and that it is too early in the process to spend time on automation, I think you should, Christian concludes.
If you are curious about Shipmondo, you can read much more. For instance, you can read about how the Norwegian bookstore chain Notabene streamlined their otherwise manual order process with Shipmondo. You can also read about how the Danish webshop Curvii have designed their very own solution with Shipmondo’s API. See all our cases here.
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