How Mayde Tea streamlined its deliveries
Migrating to a professionally designed ecommerce site and new delivery service has paid off for the online tea distribution business.
Starting off small with do-it-yourself website can be a good way to launch a business, but once it starts to grow, it can pay off to consider outsourcing to a professional to see if there are efficiencies and productivity improvements to be made.
That’s just what Kate Dalton did with her online tea distribution business Mayde Tea.
In fact, originally “it wasn't meant to be a business,” says Dalton, when five years ago she wanted to buy environmentally friendly, sustainable tea products. But it turned out that other people wanted the same thing, so Mayde Tea was born.
The business now has five staff, a warehouse and a shop – but most sales happen online. Mayde Tea products are also available from around 200 stockists.
Dalton started by creating her own ecommerce site on Shopify, but she encountered various limitations. So she engaged a web designer, who rebuilt the site on WooCommerce.
The result is an improved website but even better are benefits from WooCommerce’s integration with delivery service provider Sendle, which are “really amazing,” Dalton says.
For example, delivery addresses are automatically synchronised between the two products. That may sound basic, but the previous system didn't always get that right and had a tendency to use the billing address in place of the delivery address.
Other benefits include the way orders are automatically marked as complete once the courier pickup has been booked, and the ability to print address labels directly from the system.
To provide a 'no surprises' experience for customers – and to avoid the need for plug-ins – Mayde Tea has just two tiers of shipping charges: $9 for orders totalling less than $60, and free for all the rest.
When orders are received via WooCommerce, Mayde Tea staff pick and pack items directly from the screen. Environmentally friendly packing materials such as cornstarch pillows are used, and a sticker on the carton explains how to dispose of them via recycling or composting.
A handwritten note to the customer is included, along with a free sample of a tea that they haven't previously purchased, and the system-generated address label stuck to the carton.
The 'send parcel' button in the software allows the entry of a personal message to the customer, as well as booking with Sendle.
Mayde Tea sends so many parcels each week that the local Sendle-affiliated courier calls every day to collect, even if no specific instructions have worked through Sendle's system. (Sendle recently introduced a “pickup guarantee” – if a pickup isn't attempted happen on the scheduled day, a priority pickup will be made the next day. If that doesn't happen, the delivery is free.)
The company uses Xero for accounts, payroll and timesheets. “It's just been amazing... super-helpful,” says Dalton, especially as WooCommerce and Xero integrate with each other.
Adding a wholesale portal for the benefit of those 200 stockists is proving to be more challenging. Mayde Tea is using the Wholesale Suite plug-in for WooCommerce to streamline the ordering process, and it is a “huge project”, she says, “but I'll get there.”