Experimenting is an integral part of product development process at BackerKit. It helps us figure out ways to improve our services for creators and backers, and sheds light on which processes work and which don’t.
Recently, customer success manager Thomas Sleeth decided to see what in-house fulfillment would look like – that is, packing and shipping rewards for a project creator on their behalf using BackerKit Postage.
Almost 400 projects have used BackerKit Postage to date. It’s designed specifically for DIY crowdfunded projects. It’s tailored to smaller projects with approximately up to 4,000 backers and serves as a low-cost alternative to working with fulfillment centers, which often prefer to work with projects that can promise ongoing repeat business.
“Fulfillment centers are great if you don’t want to send things out yourself, have a lot of backers or are shipping orders across multiple e-commerce platforms,” he says. That said, for creators of smaller-scale projects, it generally makes more sense to send products out directly rather than enlisting outside help.
Enter BackerKit Postage. It automatically groups together all your orders which have the same items, and lets you purchase postage and print packing slips for each of these groups in bulk. This makes it easy to pack your items, affix a label, and ship them. It suits US-based creators that like rolling up their sleeves and have access to a decent-sized space for the packing of items.
Sleeth’s experiment with in-house fulfillment builds on this service. “It makes a lot of sense for a project creator to print postage labels from BackerKit and use our organization tools to go directly into fulfillment,” Sleeth says. “But there are some people who might not want to ship things themselves, so we wanted to experiment and see what it would look like if it was done in-house.”
Sleeth says he considered suitable projects with smaller-sized backer base – between 400 and 4,000 backers – and relatively small-sized rewards. He decided to work with the creators of Pon, a circular, coiled pin that lets you hang pictures on your walls without puncturing them.
Initially, the Pon team had planned to use BackerKit Postage and hire external help to physically pack and ship rewards, so the match made sense.
Sleeth and two other members of the Success team packed and shipped 1,000 orders of Pon over three days – the entire process took 28 hours. The process ran smoothly, but it took a little bit longer than expected.
More experiments are in the pipeline! If you have a project of a similar size (400-4,000) with under 10 items and are interested in enlisting BackerKit’s help in getting rewards shipped out, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.