Customer Stories › Whiplash

Customer Experience Matters

Leveling up via Passport’s landed cost solution and high-touch customer service

Founded
2009
Headquarters
Oakland, CA
Industry
Modern e-commerce fulfillment

Whiplash is one of the first of a new breed of tech-enabled third- party logistics partners (3PLs). Founded in 2009, Whiplash has a global network of facilities, hundreds of clients and a custom tech stack that is both flexible (integrating with retailers’ diverse systems) and extremely useful (offering order logic automation, real-time rate selection, and more).

How Passport Helped

Given their scale, it is no surprise that Whiplash has strong partnerships and enviable rates with all of the major carriers. But low costs weren’t enough for their customers. Great brands like Betabrand choose Whiplash because they believe in Whiplash’s ability to augment the great experience that Betabrand delivers to its clients.

In the world of international shipping, great logistics is not enough.

Passport has delivered two unique solutions for Whiplash’s clients: high-touch customer service and an end-to-end landed cost solution.

High-Touch Customer Service

When you ask a brand what they think about international shipping, they’ll say, “it stinks”. When you really dig in, what you learn is that the logistics is great, but the experience is lacking. Bad information design, dead tracking numbers, missed “door tags”. Those and other issues create considerable cost for retailers, as well as cost and blame bestowed upon 3PLs.

Passport takes over customer support for international shipping. Each Whiplash retailer gets a branded tracking experience which helps them with remarketing. More importantly, on that page is a big “Contact Us” button. Now, all “Where is my order?” questions route directly to Passport, saving brands and 3PLs meaningful cost and headaches.

Of course, when brands trust that international shipping will just work, they are more apt to invest in opening new markets, and spending to acquire global consumers.

1

Accurate timelines from your carrier

2

Last-mile delivery partner and tracking number surfaced

3

On-page support lets Passport handle shipping questions

End-to-end Landed Cost Solution

Plenty of Whiplash’s retailers have products that are over $30, which is the delineation point between brands that have customs issues, and those that don’t. Having a package stuck in customs creates three major issues

  1. The consumer has an unexpected cost of duties and taxes and a pick-up fee in the range of $8, which is often more expensive than the original duty!
  2. The consumer has to physically go to the post office; they’re not going on Twitter to say, “Yay! I bought from @Brand and I loved taking time to pick it up!”
  3. Refusals happen. In a big way. And a shipment returned to the U.S. means lost revenue, re-importing fees, and often another brand hit.

When you ship with Passport, all software and customer support are bundled into your postage price

Within Whiplash’s tech stack, Passport functions the same as any other listed carrier. We’re integrated into their TMS; their clients can create the logic for all DDP shipments to get our label; and we pick up parcels daily. There is no integration work needed.

As far as their clients are concerned, Passport offers a similarly lightweight solution. Branded tracking pages are hosted on our site (a parcel’s tracking link will be brand.passportshipping.com/12345). And if they want a duty and tax solution in their cart, we’ve built custom apps to make integration seamless.

Within 3 months of launching, Whiplash proactively introduced Passport to existing clients, and is now training their team in how to offer the Passport solution to their entire customer base.

Passport Impact

Passport enhanced the international experience for Whiplash and its clients.

  • Increased margin: Whiplash’s margin increased by more than 3% while saving their clients money, because of an increased willingness to pay for Passport’s solutions
  • Landed cost solution: Whiplash can offer its clients an end-to-end landed cost solution, inclusive of in-cart calculator, high-touch customer service, and great logistics and customs clearance
  • Lower total cost of shipping: When Passport takes on customer service, it lowers a brand’s cost by more than $2 per ticket
International shipping is hard. Passport makes it easy. With a small team that cares, we can switch a customer’s international volume to their programs with confidence. Because, as challenges inevitably arise, we know they’ll get handled. With a full spectrum of international programs and competitive pricing, it’s been a no-brainer for us.
James Marks
CEO, WHIPLASH
Clear
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− Passport Shipping team