What do you do if you can’t find a product you like on the market? If you’re an entrepreneur, you create your own – and you turn to vendors for help to grow your business.
Laura Belmar was a new mom when she became frustrated about her choice of baby bottles and was seeking a product that was sustainable and useful with no plastic and no gimmick. She found a US-based manufacturer and worked with the two female entrepreneurs to develop her concept: mason bottles, and MasonBottle.com was born.
“When we first started the business, we were really excited to manufacture in the US using Extreme Molding because we knew we could trust that the silicone being used was the purest available, something that’s incredibly important when you make products for infants and children.”
Belmar turned to ShippingEasy to help solve her shipping issues, then added email automation and inventory management. “Many ecommerce companies have the potential to get to $1,000,000 in sales with just one person, but if that one person spends their time inefficiently, you just can’t get there. Our financial advisor recently told me, ‘When you have a one-person business, you’re not the CEO, you’re the VP of Sales.’ And I realized that I spent far too much time on logistics, customer care, inventory management, etc… and not enough time doing the things that actually drive sales, like marketing funnels and email automations,” Belmar said.
ShippingEasy Digital Content Marketer Rob Zaleski calls inventory management a multi-faceted endeavor. “Managing suppliers, purchase orders, inventory counts, low-stock levels, and balancing multiple stores/marketplaces can become overwhelming. This is particularly difficult if you’re handling everything manually with spreadsheets or shared documents.”
“By using ShippingEasy’s Inventory Management solution to streamline their processes, Mason Bottle is able to work with a US manufacturer in a way that helped them become cash-flow positive. The quick turnaround gained by having a localized manufacturer lets Mason Bottle pivot quickly and place accurate purchase orders for the next month,” he said.
Mason Bottle did this by building out an inventory system where they don’t have to pay until the products are sold. For example, on December 1, Mason Bottle sent a Purchase Order (PO) for that month, updated ShippingEasy to include units in the PO, then the factory bills net 30. “In other words, Mason Bottle pays in January AFTER they’ve sold it all! This really helps from a cash flow perspective, and the factory runs the product on manufacturing equipment at quantities they want to. It saves the manufacturer from having to build out ahead of time.”
By utilizing third-party tools to manage tasks like inventory management and shipping, Belmar is able to concentrate on marketing. “Some of our marketing funnels include promoted pins on Pinterest related to terms our potential customers might be searching for on the platform, like “breast milk storage” or “pumping routine for working moms,” she explained.
“On Facebook and Instagram, we have a short video that shows parents 7 ways to save on feeding supplies using mason jars. And then we have traditional pay per click ads for terms like “glass baby bottles” on Google Adwords. Each marketing funnel is unique to what parents need/expect from that channel, however, what they all have in common is that they all link to landing pages on our site.”
Email marketing is important too. “Once on our site, we encourage visitors to sign up for our email list to get access to helpful content and special sales. If a visitor coming from one of these marketing funnels subscribes, then we use a series of automated emails to provide value to the subscriber and build awareness about how our products can help them solve feeding challenges they may be facing.”
Functions like inventory management and email marketing existed only within larger companies. But modern technology and apps open that functionality to more online sellers. “Juggling all of this can start to take store owners away from other important business tasks – or worse, from growing their business – and that’s when it is time to streamline their processes with a solution,” Zaleski said.