Running an eCommerce business isn’t easy. Even if you list products through popular platforms like Amazon or eBay, there’s so much that goes into the logistical side of running such a company.
Rob Wray, founder of eCommerce automation company Whitebox said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, “In order for your eCommerce process to work and for your customers to be happy, there are dozens of things that have to work perfectly together.”
That’s why Wray founded Whitebox, to take care of all those pesky details that go into running an eCommerce business. That includes everything from writing product descriptions and posting product photos to optimizing your site for SEO and processing credit card payments.
The idea for the company came to Wray when he was running Mp3Car, an eCommerce site for niche electronic parts. The company wasn’t doing well, so he was considering selling or disbanding it. But he knew he needed to clean up its operations a bit first.
After searching unsuccessfully for a company that would help him build an eCommerce process that actually worked, he built his own system. But then after automating basically every aspect of the company, Mp3Car’s sales were improving. In fact, profits were up 607 percent just 2 years after implementing his new system.
Wray thought that other small businesses could benefit from the software and logistics services he used. So he and his team built Whitebox and officially released it last month after two years of testing.
The services are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses that can’t necessarily afford to outsource all of their processes or hire people specifically to deal with each step of the eCommerce process.
For eCommerce businesses that are just starting out, the company can help actually set up a storefront, whether it’s on your own branded site or another platform like Amazon. Then there’s the company’s inventory management and order fulfillment services. In fact, the company will even handle customer service issues like returns and customer feedback monitoring. And Whitebox can also monitor your analytics to produce monthly sales reports and even track sales patterns over time.
Aside from automating all of those processes, the company also offers expert advice for things like growth and distribution channels. In fact, Wray says that marketing is about the only thing Whitebox doesn’t do for eCommerce businesses.
“There are millions of companies that build brands and do advertising but no one really takes responsibility for the hard part of eCommerce like the logistics and all the little details that go into making it all work together,” Wray said.
While the company offers the opportunity for businesses to choose which services they want to use, they can also just handle the entire process. And the company aims to keep its pricing model simple, charging 10 percent of sales, not including credit card processing, marketplace and shipping fees, to automate the entire eCommerce process.
That type of simplicity is what sets Whitebox apart from platforms like Amazon, according to the company. In fact, Wray says they’ve had clients who had employees who were solely dedicated to dealing with Amazon. But Whitebox was able to help these businesses simplify their prcess so they could redirect their resources.
Other eCommerce platforms like Shopify only really offer the software part of eCommerce — a place for people to list their items, said Wray. But Whitebox goes far beyond this.
Overall, the idea behind Whitebox is to allow business owners to focus on what they’re really good at and why they started their businesses in the first place, he said. Few, if any, people go into business because they love handling returns or dealing with shipping providers. Whitebox attempts to free its clients from these mundane chores leaving them free to focus on marketing and creating new products.
That’s great to hear. Writing product descriptions and uploading is usually done by an employee or outsourced but it can take some time to get everything up because of the dirty work.