The vision behind Destined Goods came unexpectedly when founder, Mark Brandon, had his destination wedding in Riviera Maya, Mexico. While on his honeymoon, Mark and his wife purchased a handcrafted ceramic tequila decanter as a keepsake to signify their wedding.
With the significance of his purchase in mind, Mark got the idea to create something similar that could help remind others of their own important events, dates, and memories. Shortly after, he began on his journey to handcraft personalized items.
Mark became determined to pick up a hobby in ceramics. Though his only previous background in ceramics was high school art class, he quickly became dedicated to this medium. Attending studio classes and receiving access to tools and resources, Mark quickly grew his passion into an expertise. After a year and a half into developing his craft, Mark was unexpectedly let go from his job and it was Mark’s wife who encouraged him to begin pursuing his passions full-time. Destined Goods came to life in 2018.
Destined Goods is ideated, designed, and manufactured in Philadelphia, PA with the mission to make high-quality, handcrafted items that are customized to provide you with a daily reminder of your favorite memories. But in order to ensure quality craftsmanship, Mark realized early on that he would need to find ways to automate his fulfillment processes so that he could spend more of his focus on product development.
“All of the design, manufacturing, and filming is done by me. That way I can make sure that everything remains as unique as possible.”
The Search For A Seamless Ecommerce Shipping Solution
Similar to most growing ecommerce business owners, Mark wears multiple hats in every sector of Destined Goods — from the production of the product itself to efficiently shipping his ceramic goods to customers.
Having to multitask in order to keep up with his booming business, Mark began to face inefficiencies in his attempt to keep track of everything involved in the lifecycle of an order. As order volumes increased, organizing names, addresses, and product purchases became increasingly difficult.
Wanting to ensure that the order process was easy for both himself and the customer as his business grew, he began his quest in search of an affordable ecommerce shipping solution that would scale with his business.
The ShippingEasy Solution
An ecommerce shipping software that would seamlessly integrate into WordPress and Woocomerce was Mark’s top criteria in his search for a solution. As he started growing his inventory of goods, he knew he also wanted to provide his customers with the best shipping rates.
With the help of a quick Google search, Mark discovered ShippingEasy. After reviewing multiple ShippingEasy user testimonials — combined with a competitive price point, carrier discounts, and compatibility with his WooCommerce store — Mark confidently signed up for a free trial.
The ease of integration with ShippingEasy’s carriers and marketplaces allowed him to efficiently onboard the software into his online store. It eliminated the need for Mark to copy and paste addresses into individual carrier websites and reduced the number of errors.
How ShippingEasy’s Branded Tracking Improved Customer Experience
Utilizing ShippingEasy’s branded tracking feature, Mark was also able to curate a branded post-purchase experience for his customers. Improving his customer support with the real-time tracking page added reputability to his growing small business.
‘With ShippingEasy’s branded tracking, you can put your logo and pick the color scheme. Instead of being sent a tracking link that goes to UPS, it has a branded interface that shows the package location, the package history, and some quick links to suggested products. It actually helps me get repeat sales.”
The ability to customize every step of his customer’s experience — from browsing the website to in-cart, the purchase decision, and tracking their package arrival — the branded tracking page adds a special touch to the Destined Goods ecommerce experience.
Automating Shipping Workflows Free Up Time
Another benefit was the ability to create automation rules specific to the weight, carrier preference, package size. This allowed Mark to significantly cut down on time spent shipping out individual orders.
“With ShippingEasy, I am easily three to four times more efficient than before.”
Since integrating, Mark experienced his best sales season yet. He largely attributes the ability to efficiently track all of his orders, accommodate his customers according to their shipping preferences, and customize the overall purchase experience to his successes.
“With the major increase in sales, ShippingEasy has been a big VIP this holiday season.”
Providing the Best Carrier Rates Saves on Shipping Overhead
With ShippingEasy’s exclusive access to discounts on postage rates, Mark is now able to confidently offer the best shipping rates to his customers while saving time and money. This has allowed him to reduce his shipping overhead and invest more of his time in his business.
“The suggested shipping method feature shows the price of all the different shipping options. It offers me the lowest price for every order. It saves time. Even if it’s three to four minutes for every single order, you’re talking about dozens of orders every few days — that adds up big time.”
Advice For Aspiring Ecommerce Business Owners
Starting his own business was a long-time ambition for Mark, but it didn’t come without a few lessons along the way. Pursuing his dream for two years now, we asked Mark what encouragement or advice he would share with someone aspiring to start their own ecommerce business. Here are his top 3 tips:
“There are so many things I would tell myself two years ago. One thing, it’s a long grind. Don’t think there’s going to be an overnight success. They do happen, but just because it doesn’t mean the business is a failure. It just means that they have to follow the journey a little bit longer, try a little bit harder, be more creative.”
Pave your own way
“Challenge yourself to do what your competitors are not doing. Don’t just jump into something because that’s what everyone is doing. Think outside the box and make sure you have a good support system around you.”
Remember your “why”
“Always remember why you started in the first place. As I try to pivot and mold my business model, I always try to focus back on the honeymoon, which is where I came up with the idea.”
What’s Next for Destined Goods?
With ambitions to eventually hire a team to support the growth of the business, Mark is confident ShippingEasy’s easy-to-learn interface will make it easy to onboard new talent. ShippingEasy is Mark’s shipping solution of choice to enable his business to continue growing and meeting customer expectations.