Since 2011, Shokz (formerly branded as AfterShokz) has been enhancing lives and changing the way people listen with its unique use of bone conduction technology. Through a suite of proprietary audio technologies and a signature open-ear design, the company’s award-winning audio products deliver premium sound and a promise of safety and comfort that is second to none.
Despite the pandemic, the company grew by 40% YOY in 2020, through the launch of new products and pivoting to engage with their customers in ways that embraced a focus on DTC service. In 2021 Shokz was able to reduce their small parcel freight spend by 20%, and offer customers specialized gift packaging for the 2020 holiday season.
They are a company interested in customer experience and know a partnership with DCL Logistics can help them get there. Brian Harrist, Inventory Control Manager at Shokz, was quick to say, “As we continue to grow, I’m confident that DCL is the right partner for us.”
Reduced Freight Rates
Lowering any costs per order is the name of the game in shipping and logistics. However, lowering costs too significantly could lead the end-customer to believe that there’s a lack of service or speed, making disappointment more likely. Finding the middle ground is essential for maintaining end-customer satisfaction. Brian explains, “You don’t want your packages to take two weeks to get to your customer, but you don’t want it to be too expensive either.”
Finding the right shipping materials, carrier service, and rate strategy requires constant analysis. The team at DCL is consistently looking to support our sellers by analyzing their current spend against other options in the field. “It was a mutual decision to change, DCL and Shokz worked together to make it happen,” says Brian. “Initially we were utilizing a higher priced service that might have offered a quicker transit time. But when we changed to a new service, we netted a savings of about $2 per shipment. When you do big volumes even $2 can quickly add up.”
Customization for Consumers
The Shokz team wanted to add a few special holiday flourishes for their end-customers: customized gift messaging and product gift wrapping. DCL was excited to hear that they wanted to embark on this project.
While these custom additions may not seem like a big deal, implementing them seamlessly and accurately are actually a big operational feat. Shokz customers had the option to leave a small gift message within a character limit. Brian explains, “Because the message is put into the actual physical package on the DCL shipping line, it took a lot of work, both from DCL and Shokz to execute that.”
There were a lot of steps involved in the planning. Shokz had to source the materials like the gift bags and create a new SKU for each additional part that would go in. DCL had to ensure the new items were coded into the system and that folks on the floor were trained on how to fulfill the orders to spec. Brian says, “It took over two months to plan, which is actually a relatively quick turn around for somewhat of a prototype. It’s impressive what we accomplished. It was really something big. We sent thousands of gift messages or gift bags over the course of our holiday sales. It’s great, it’s an upsell. We’re happy DCL was able to execute that because it elevates customer experience and ultimately increases our profits.”
DCL offers custom solutions to all companies we support. When we execute these special projects it helps us scale the solutions for other companies as well.
“DCL was completely transparent about wanting to do this with us as a sort of beta test, so they can now offer the same service to our other clients. It’s good that we’re able to work together and be partners like that. It allows both of us to succeed. That’s the fundamentals of a good partnership.”
Full Transparency Leads to Responsive Operations
eFactory is one of the reasons our sellers are able to have true flexibility with their fulfillment. Sellers are empowered to make real-time updates which allows them to be responsive to the needs of their company and customers. “That flexibility is really where DCL shines. Having a product sold out on our website—receiving it at 8am and then having it back on the website and fulfilling orders by noon—that’s what makes us really happy.”
Brian and his team have full visibility of their orders through DCL’s fulfillment management platform, eFactory. “We have the ability to create ASNs and tell DCL when a product’s going to arrive. At AfterShokz we operate on very fast turnarounds, so we have a rush system where DCL has made the arrangements and is able to put some of our shipments in a rush category.”
At the end of the day, it’s this close communication between Shokz and DCL that has made 2020 a successful year for sales. Harrist says, “DCL has seamlessly handled anything that we’ve thrown at them, whether it was several thousands of orders shipped in a single day, they’ve been able to do that for us. I think they are a little larger than where we’re at, but that’s great to know for the future. We know that DCL will be a partner for many years to come.”