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Tommaso Tamburnotti is co-founder of Easyship, a platform that helps eCommerce stores confidently go global by simplifying domestic and international shipping. Tamburnotti comes with a wealth of banking and global eCommerce experience. Before Easyship, he began his career at Nomura in London, then relocated to Asia to become the Marketplace Director at Rocket Internet for both the Malaysia and Hong Kong offices. Tamburnotti was born and raised in Italy and holds a Bachelor and Master of Science from Bocconi University in Milan. He also studied at the University of Richmond and Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Santiago, Chile. He is a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Class of 2018, where he is an active contributor.
Welcome back to the e-commerce marketing podcast everyone. I am your host Arlen Robinson. And today we've got a very special guest tommaso Timber naughty who is the co-founder of easy ship a platform that helps e-commerce. Stores confidently Go Global by simplifying domestic and international shipping Timber naughty comes with a wealth of banking and Global e-commerce experience before easy ship.
He began his career at nomura, which was an investment Bank in London then relocated to Asia to become the marketplace director at Rocket internet. For both the Malaysia and Hong Kong offices Timber Nettie was born and raised in Italy and holds a bachelor and Master's of science from bocconi University and Milan.
He also studied at the University of Richmond and pontificia Universidad católica in Santiago Chile. He is a member of the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia class of 2018 where he is an active contributor. Welcome to the. Podcast am I so I Alan Hansen offer a powerful introduction? Yes, it's great to be here.
Thanks a lot. No problem. Not a problem. I mean really excited to talk to you about a shipping e-commerce shipping because it's actually one subject that we haven't covered. Fully on a podcast and I know there's a lot of intricacies when it comes to shipping More Than People realize and I know you're going to shed a lot of light on that for our listeners today.
But before we get into all of that, why don't you tell us a little bit? More about your background and specifically how you actually got into what you're doing today. Sure. So you're ready cover most of the information you are in your introduction. But yeah, basically it was pristine and investment banking for a little less than a year and I started it was not the right path for me.
I wanted to get involved into e-commerce because. I always been very interested in that and I think that is very exciting. What is happening on the on the global scene? So I quit my job and I got hired by rocket internet a big conglomerate of e-commerce companies around the world and my job was to be the director of marketplace for a company called Lazada in Malaysia and Singapore and Hong Kong.
There is basically an Amazon copycat for Southeast Asia, basically. Job, there was to make sure to important this Asian sellers to sell more platform and sell worldwide. And when I was working there we were looking for a platform like like he's a shape. So basically a platform at food served as a shifting Gateway, so sort of like PayPal stripe, but for shipping so something that we could use for all our thousands of merchants standing on the platform and we couldn't find anything that was at its naturally back then.
And we were really surprised because you know shifting is such a big space and there are plenty of companies that help you to sell. Internet exists online like, you know, I mean, of course it is very famous eBay Amazon Shopify. I mentioned this one a lot of companies that help you to collect payments like PayPal and stripe many others and a lot of companies help you to promote your store doing online marketing tools like Facebook Google and other monthly marketing provider, but when it comes to shipping is.
You can't think of any platform that LP to ship from anywhere to anywhere, right? There. Are there of course like many platform and helping ship in the states. But when you have to look about it on dick on the group is sinner, they don't discover the presence of intonation in the nomination intermission.
So we decided to quit that stuff is on this own project. And this was almost five years ago. And then since then is it should be as true to the theme of around 50 to 60 people with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New York. Okay, great. That's that's awesome to my so yeah, you've really grown considerably in just you know, five years or so.
That's so that speaks volumes to you guys identifying a major need in the industry because I know from what you saw shipping globally is it was a pain point and I guess for out of business is it still is a pain point and so your whole goal was to you know, you identify that and came up with a solution to ease that pain and that's that's how a lot of major businesses are successful.
Businesses do start they identify particular pain point in an industry where area and then they hone in find a solution for that and and and then Market that to the masses. So that's definitely impressive and I definitely laud you guys for that and doing well with that speaking of shipping, you know, any e-commerce business that is dealing with.
Physical products that have to be shipped, you know know that shipping can definitely be a pain point for sure because there's a lot of logistics and it's specifically if you're talking about shipping internationally now one of the things that I know. The companies that actually ship whether it's just domestically here in the US or internationally one of the things that is always a big struggle is how do you stay competitive in the world of free shipping?
You know, when you have all of these companies big Major Brands, you know offering the free shipping the Amazon and the other companies that are offering the free shipping I had do you stay competitive and do you think. It's possible for you know, an average e-commerce business to be competitive without offering free shipping.
What is your take on that? So I think again is I mean, it's a zero-sum game right? There are people that offer free shipping, but of course the brands have to have to pay for it. It's not free. So they they're going to probably like him better in bed shipping costs in the in the item price other other story.
I prefer to have an item price. It is cheaper and charge on the shipping. So at the end of the day that the total selling price is the same. So whatever the customer pay the same you don't create value for free shipping. It is a marketing thing. I think it's free shipping on the other hand in terms of marketing is a powerful tool every store should be should offer a free shipping option A lot of customer ask us.
Okay. It's okay we can offer. Shipping what's the name of basket size above which you can offer it for me? There is not there is not a matter of free bus has a defensive end of the shipping cost depends on the item dimensions and weight. Of course if I'm shipping a t-shirt, we know that the the shipping cost of a teacher Nationwide is quite cheap.
So, you know, probably if you if you sellable. $20 less you can really afford to offer free shipping. But if I'm selling let's say a table is different story. Right? I mean she because it's so much more expensive than need to create the basket size. What we always address is to offer free shipping for the cheapest option that you find even if it's very slow and then give the customers the opportunity to upgrade their shipping.
So you're doing enough for you say, okay, we do free shipping me. If you want answers tomorrow, and we need to choose an overnight solution. Then there is going to be an additional ten bucks. Whatever. Yeah, that's that's good. I'm glad you identify that in essence. The really is no such thing as free shipping because somebody's paying for it, you know, the shipping companies aren't providing their services for free.
It's just the costs like you said are being absorbed by the company or not necessarily absorb their rolling that into the price of the product. It's just you don't really know what their breakdown is. So, you know most consumers don't know the breakdown of their, you know, the product that they're purchasing the margin the shipping.
Do you know there's a lot that goes into the pricing they're paying for it somehow it's just they don't really realize it. It's all in there. So I'm glad you identify that because you know, it's something that almost any business can do any e-commerce business is selling a product can do is adjust their pricing in such a way.
So like you said, even on some small products you can offer the free shipping and what you said earlier as well as it's really a marketing tool. It's a kind of a psychological thing I've ever. Listen to many podcasts and webinars about the psychology of the consumer and the fact that someone sees free shipping.
It just kind of does something in the mind of a consumer that gives them a little bit of ease even though. Let's say the price could be comparable to the price of the same product that the purchasing from another seller where they do charge for shipping even though those when it comes down to it, there's a similar price just the fact that they see that in their minds.
They feel like getting something free. It's a little bit more appealing. So I think that's kind of what it what it really comes down to as far as. Increasing conversions because that's really the bottom line for e-commerce sellers is they want to increase their conversion rate. What do you think are some best practices to increase conversion at checkout and have a competitive shipping policy?
Yeah. Sure. So first, I think it's important to give as many option to the customer. As possible, right? So usually it's just customer to get brand Suki free option and cheapest and fastest and the best way for money shipping solution so that the car every customer can be satisfied, right? You know, you're going to find this customer this a very similar price sensitive and I don't mind to wait one week to receive their item as long as you can save a couple of dollars.
There are other costs and therefore they're gonna ask for a very cheap solution. But you know, if you only offer a cheap solution you're on the wrist to not convert your clients that they are. We're going to rush and they don't mind they couple of dollars more because who knows like a birthday party or something and they need to get the key.
Very quick or you know, they're about to they're traveling so they want to receive their items before they leave the country. So it's a matter of choice right the same thing when you buy a flight. You don't want to be shown one flight only you you like to go to a greater and see all the facts available and choose the best that you according to your schedule.
Another point is dresses to work with asthma to achieve this to me to work with as many shipping provider as possible. Right if you fly only with one Airlines is. Find the best flights, right you need to basically compare all of them because some are very good at something and so on. So if you we see that our clients that are operating the mower and the most and are actually saving more money are those that are working with 15 20 different shipping companies on the other end.
We know that. Working me 15 20 different shipping companies can be very time consuming. You have to go through a lot of paperwork signed out of contract state of deposits of courses. He has one advantage but it's very difficult to set it up and that's the reason why I threw his ship you can access more than 250 different shipping solution without just with one account, right?
So you can use all these Solutions without having an account directly with them. And and that's that's the that's the best part right? I'm right. Yeah. Yeah, that's that's awesome. Yeah, it seems like as we stated earlier that it's really a pain point. I mean you want to be able to offer as many.
Shipping options as possible through as many providers that do the shipping and Logistics as possible, but it is a process of front like you said, there's paperwork this contractors deposits and small e-commerce businesses typically aren't in a position to especially if they're a start-up are just getting started.
They're probably not in a position to go through that upfront. They may only be able to to offer shipping through just a few providers. And so I'm yeah, I definitely see the value in the solution that you guys have for sure. Of course with global Shipping we talked about earlier that consumers know typically especially let's say if you're shipping a table versus a t-shirt, you know, the customer I automatically especially if they know it's going to be shipped globally can pretty much understand that they're going to have to pay for some shipping for that because that's all you know, that's a large item.
So they understand that but at the same time you always want to make people have. Then idea that they're you know, they're saving money, you know that you want them to have that knowledge there so that they can you know can kind of pull the trigger. So what are some ways that you can give customers the perception that they are saving on shipping costs.
If you do have to offer shipping. Yeah, that's a really difficult question to answer. I'm not sure whether you can communicate their saving on shipping. What I believe is that is this is more like the other way around like it. Figures to markup shipping rates and show them that you are actually easy money out of it.
You know what? I mean? So buyers buyers buy your line from different stores and sometimes from some store data. Like let's say more honest and transparent they're going to list their shipping costs. They want to see a low shipping carton or let's say $10, then they go to another store and they buy something of similar size and select the same solution the same career, but this time the stored charge $20.
Right. So now it's a buyer. I feel a bit betrayed because if you like that store is kind of like charging me a lot on the shipping price and he waited to show me this until I arrive at the last step. So after I fill it with my address and so on so I always suggest a client clients never overcharge on shipping if you want to make margin make margin on the product not on the shipping because now.
Buyers they buy from different stores and the admissibility of what is the market shipping cost? Yeah, but that totally makes sense and especially because like you said the shipping typically comes going to come up at the end towards the end of the checkout and if somebody is, you know, generally has an idea of what they can probably expect for the shipping if they go all the way through and get to that end point where they have to select their shipping and they see it's a an unusually high amount that can definitely turn off a buyer.
And have them wonder if they really should move forward in abandon the cart possibly. So yeah, I see it makes total sense that you really shouldn't try to make money on the on the shipping. You know the gold I think really always has to be is to offers low shipping costs as possible. And then you know, of course you'll make your money as a seller up on the pricing of your of your actual products and other things if you have other ancillary, maybe upsell items.
You can try to make your money up on. That's definitely common wears. A lot of upsell items that are done on e-commerce stores these days at the very end to try to to increase the per sale value. So those are ways I think you should really look at as a seller. So with shipping because you know shipping a lot of times it's not necessarily.
The first thing somebody thinks about when they're when they're shopping for something so we'll go back to the example of a table. It's I wanted to buy a dining room table if I'm looking for one. I'm not necessarily thinking about shipping off hand immediately. I'm just trying to find the right particular table.
So as a business, what are some ways and what are some of the best ways actually to promote, you know, attractive shipping offers. Yeah. So I think your differences between International and domestic buyers, right? If for domestic buyers I think is important for delivery time. So, you know you show multiple of 2 to your customer with with like different names, you know, it can be USPS Host Club twister with me FedEx Ground FedEx overnight or many others is that just an example.
Usually we usually. So first thing should they call your name this very ugly thing check out of people show Express or economy shipping. What does it mean? Like we ship it something like are not $15. It says press is it just yes, or is it a FedEx UPS, you know, people are people valued record your name your value The Courier.
And if they pay for something they need to know what they're buying, right? So this is point while this decoder name Point rule is the delivery time but back to the point of before like showing a Express solution or economic solution. What does it call me? I mean quantify economy and I'm going to wait a week or a month, right?
So people need to know right especially because they compare price. Wait delivery time. This is mostly a for me for the basic ones. If you go to the bit more advanced one, for example with us. You can show a check out also the rating of the career. So, you know one for every shipment we do we send a survey to the buyers asking hours experience with the quarter right and then we collect all this data and do rankings.
So people can see. Satisfaction score of each quarter of before they buy. Right. That is the think is very valuable. Then if you go to the international buyers one additional point on top of the free at least four is about accessing duty. If you are in let's say the UK and you buy something from overseas fulfill visitors not from the UK.
There are probably gonna have to pay taxes when the goods reach the custom right and more specifically these taxes are divided into deity. So sales taxes or. Import Duty so custom taxes, you know, if I broke a in the UK and I want to buy something from the states and I don't need to pay taxes. I don't know much tasks.
I'm gonna pay this can be scary. Right? I mean I run the risk to pay $100 for an order and then when I arrived at when I when it gets the river at home, I need to paint under $50 and this can be a really annoying right. So I think to make your shitty more attractive, it's always good to show a full and good cause.
So give you the ability to the buyers are much they can expect to pay in taxes. So once they buy they already know exactly how much it is or even better like even the option to prepay those taxes and guarantee them. That's true. Yeah, because like you said for certain things when taxes are involved that's that's something else in addition to shipping which can be in kind of an unknown.
You know, you really don't know depending on. You know where the business is located what type of taxes have to be assessed? And so yeah those different types of options if you're prepaying is something that I know can you know can definitely be useful to kind of alleviate that pain and that worried that the that the consumers have me and you probably know a lot about this when we're dealing with all of these different.
Shipping providers these different careers. They all have I would imagine, you know kind of set pricing the pin. It's really kind of all based on location. I know that you're sending it to and from the size of the shipment package the weight and all that. A lot of that I know is standard. So they're pricing with respect to that I know is pretty fixed.
But on a business owners side, what are some things that they can actually do to. The time that they're spending preparing shipping as well as their overall cost there. Is there anything that the business owner can do outside of what these couriers and shipping providers are charging. I think that the best way to save money is his claim to what I said before is to have options.
If you only work with one career your kind of tied to what they offer right? So the best way to try the best deal is to have options so you should work with as many. Courier is as you can or if you are maybe not the right size to hire a professional team to manage those relationships is to work with the consolidator.
Like for example easy shape right. Now. What we do is with you access to all these Solutions without any commitment. You don't need to hire two people operation and pay deposit or before this couriers and you can find always the best the best rates another one is. It's to find the right balance between between time and money, you know, a lot of people sometimes say, oh I'm saving I'm Gonna Save $1,000 in my shipping cost a month, but then this involves using like.
Maybe like must slower or we terrible performance couriers. It is sitting $1,000 but on the on the shipping bill, but they are going to spend so much time in operation to follow up with the Courier's in case there are orders lost or not deliver and your customer satisfaction will be much lower. So you're me you're basically you're setting cost but you're also gonna have less revenues.
So this is an important trade off that I think all store brands up to. Either, you know sometimes cheaper doesn't necessarily present a good deal. Right? Right. Definitely. Yeah, and that's that's something you have to you have to consider. It could be. And I think that's where you mentioned as far as putting the ratings for the different carriers can definitely help exactly.
I hope the customers make that decision because like you said they can they can kind of see the okay. Maybe you'll have a there's a cheaper option but their ratings may not be as good as the one that has the higher ratings. And so that's definitely something that I think can help one of the things I was also wanted to ask you though is.
Doesn't even make sense as far as to try to save costs and shipping. Does it make sense? And is it even worth the trouble to come up with different types of or even Explore research different types of shipping and packing materials or even the method that business is using to package their products if the let's say they're doing this in house where if or at least if they're in control of that process, is that worth the while on a per.
Order basis. Will they save money over time or is it not even worth the time to try to you know go with a cheaper material or different packaging style? Would it what's your take on that? It depends on the kind of item you sell if you sell a brand if your brain is yours the packaging. I think it should be a very good quality packaging because he's part of the products right good packaging experience represent the brand if you're selling something extremely cheap and commoditize like a no below $5 point maybe doesn't make sense to spend.
So much money packaging because any weight about here is just expecting to receive something really cheap in terms of the packaging material. Another thing that I think is very important is the package Dimension. So, you know, when you shift with certain coders they charge to be simple metric wait, so that means that they base the shipping cost not only on the weight of the items from the sides.
So if you're going to have the perfectly fit box, you're basically should be here. It is and you're going to your charged for the area to ship. So it's important to have packages that defeat your items in that case. Also, if you have your own brand and therefore, you're the one designing your packaging the maybe some situation in which the volumetric dimension the dimension of the box.
At stake is just couple of Interest bigger and what they could be and these Mets Mets leading. Like I don't know maybe I increase the shipping cost by like 30% right? Because the Courier's will buy pounds, right? So. You should probably do the computation of the of the dimension. Maybe we come to one point zero five pound, right?
So if you would have to select cut it by one inch or two inches, then we would have been below the 1 pound and maybe say you see three dollars. Yeah, that's that makes sense. So yeah, it definitely sounds like it's worth going through those iterations. Absolutely, you know sitting down with your.
Your product team and then figuring out. Okay, what's going to be the absolute best size of for the package where we're not compromising the quality of the actual overall package is still representative of the brand but making sure that you know, you don't have so much wasted space and like you said you're essentially these companies are going to be charging you for air and for space and so I would say over time if you if you cut.
The size down per purchase per product purchase, you can definitely save save over time. So that totally makes sense. And I'm glad you you Enlighten this on that great. Well, that's that's awesome. Well, you've definitely enlighten me on this podcast with regards to shipping because I didn't know a lot about the different options and different things Ecommerce businesses have to look at when.
Considering you know shipping because it's something when you're selling a product naturally you there's got to be a lot of thought spent with regards to your policies and the companies that you're going to be using for it. Yeah, we really appreciate having you on tommaso in the e-commerce marketing podcast.
I think you've definitely not only invited me but our audience as well, hopefully and I know this recording is going to go a long way for e-commerce sellers worldwide, finally and if any of our listeners. To get in touch with you. What is the best way for them to do it if they like to pick your brain a little bit more about all things e-commerce shipping?
Yeah, Mandy it can reach out to me. If you have any questions. My email is tomato such a Comm ASO at easy ship.com. I'm very very very happy to play some casual conversation and see how we can share some of the material guides on shipping that the field of battle Alex you can also go to our blog.
So on is to the column. We have a block where we list a lot of articles about. The most diverse is shipping topics and also resources like tools like taxes teammate or shift in policy generators shipping rates estimate or so. These tools are all Dynamic and can be or assess for free from our website.
Okay, great. Great. Yeah, that sounds awesome. Those sound like some great resources that I know our listeners will will take advantage of well. Thanks again Tomaso for being on the e-commerce marketing podcast. We appreciate your time and your expert opinion and we look forward to our listeners digesting it and improving their shipping policies.
Thanks a lot. It's really exciting. All right. Thank you. Thank you for listening to the e-commerce marketing podcast. Do you need to get more feedback and reviews from your customers and improve your customer retention? We have made it easy to do all this with our customer feedback software. Just visit OSI feedback.com and sign up for a free trial today.
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Co-founder of Easyship