Think about your favorite snack from childhood. You may seem to forget about it as time passes, but it’ll always live in the back of your mind. Now imagine sharing your favorite snack with customers around the world. That’s what the son and mother duo, Jai and Asha Farswani, of AshaPops strive to do every day.
AshaPops is not only sharing a snack from Asha’s childhood with the world, but their mission is philanthropic in nature. Selling a meaningful and plant-based alternative for healthier snacking options understandably took off in the LA farmers’ markets, and in a matter of two years, Ashapops was placed in retailers around the country. In order to help fulfill these new wholesale orders, they turned to ShippingEasy to automate batch shipping and compare shipping rates across carriers in real time.
AshaPops’ expansion to wholesale meant finding a reliable shipping solution
AshaPops was founded in January 2018 in Los Angeles, California after Jai’s mother, Asha, began searching for a new, healthy midnight snack. But, Asha hadn’t been able to find any that satisfied the cravings she had for the childhood snacks she grew up with in India. After trying out several options, Asha found a winner in popped lily water seeds and made Jai try them as well.
They realized the plant-based snack didn’t leave them with the same heavy feelings as chips and other snacks, and Jai began to share them with friends. After his friends tried the snacks, they encouraged the pair to consider starting a business. AshaPops launched its first product in March 2018 at the Marina Del Rey farmer’s market, and now, you can find AshaPops in major retailers such as Whole Foods, Erewhon, Walmart, and Amazon. With this expansion, Jai and Asha needed to find a shipping solution that could handle the influx of wholesale orders to replace their previously manual process of fulfillment.
Batching shipments streamlines the shipping process
The main issue was that their previous shipping solution had limitations on the number of orders they could batch at one time; it was slowing down their shipping process because of system delays and website timeouts.
ShippingEasy enabled Jai and his team to be able to batch up to 200 labels at a time — 10 times faster than their previous solution.
“It was a tremendous amount of savings in terms of time. 40% savings is probably a fair number if I have to put a number on it.”
Once batched, these shipping labels were printed in a matter of seconds and sent to the fulfillment team to prepare orders. As a business that sells wholesale orders to major retailers across the globe, being able to batch hundreds of orders at a time was a game changer.
“What really helped again was the ability to batch print all of these versus having to email one label at a time…So it minimizes the chances of a label being missed or sort of duplication and so on and so forth.”
Shipping rate comparison and consolidation lead to big savings for AshaPops
In addition to speed, Ashapops has also reduced its overhead on shipping thanks to ShippingEasy. With the built-in rate calculator, Jai and his team can now compare shipping rates across carriers to find the best service for each order.
Also, ShippingEasy gives merchants USPS and UPS accounts when opening their accounts with negotiated rates, and merchants can connect their own accounts with carriers like FedEx. Having all of your carrier accounts in one place keeps everything organized and saves merchants like AshaPop time.
“It was important that we had a central portal that would be able to create labels for us, not just for one carrier, but for multiple carriers, depending on what was the most cost-efficient option.”
Prior to ShippingEasy, AshaPops had to individually visit carrier websites to compare rates. Going forth between each website to find the best rate for their shipments was tedious and time-consuming, especially for a small business.
“ShippingEasy helped us by allowing us to have that reliability and consistency of process.”
Address verification helps merchants avoid order mistakes
An increase in orders leads to an increase in the potential for mistakes. Incorrect customer addresses can be costly, and if they aren’t caught before an order is shipped out, it can delay products hitting the shelves. With AshaPops working with major retailers, it was important to find a shipping solution that would help ensure a seamless delivery.
“Frankly, we’re not shipping experts ourselves, so we were learning as we went. Having a software that sort of had those checks and balances in place has helped us.”
ShippingEasy’s Address Verification tool notifies Jai’s team anytime an address is incomplete or incorrect, minimizing the risk of an order being lost or returned.
Repeated addresses without repeated input
Sending consistent wholesale orders to the same retailers also means repeatedly creating labels with the same addresses. ShippingEasy allows AshaPops to quickly select addresses for their repeat customers to avoid having to type in the address every single time.
“Using ShippingEasy helped us just expedite this entire process and save on time, which definitely meant less labor. We were able to have someone [work part-time] on this versus needing somebody to do this full-time. It’s a significant amount of time savings, which then translates into cost savings.”
The future of AshaPops
After being voted Whole Foods’ Supplier of the Year in 2021, Jai and Asha want to continue to expand AshaPops across the country, with the dream being to eventually supply them globally in Asha’s hometown of Mumbai. AshaPops also continues to support the Sankara Eye Foundation, which provides quality eye care services to the impoverished and economically-disadvantaged sections of India. Wherever AshaPops continues to expand, ShippingEasy will be there to help Jai and Asha share their beloved snacks with the world.
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“So the question is, would I recommend ShippingEasy? And my answer’s absolutely yes. Because it completely helped us when we were doing everything in house and we had to, we’re a small business…we needed something to set up quickly, allow us access to different carriers, and be able to…do things in a repeatable process that sort of minimizes the errors.”