How MDacne Uses ShipBob’s API to Fulfill Subscription Orders [Case Study]

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Learn how digital health and direct-to-consumer brand MDacne uses ShipBob’s open API and fulfillment solution streamline their subscription acne treatment business, ship orders on time, and scale their growth. 

Customer Profile

MDacne is on a mission to help clear up skin in an easier, faster, and more pleasant way than ever before. As the world’s first fully-customized acne treatment kit, the MDacne app will analyze your skin and create a personalized skincare routine made just for you by providing clinically-tested, dermatologist-formulated treatments.

Oded Harth co-founded MDacne with his father, Dr. Yoram Harth, a world-renowned dermatologist in 2017. Yoram is a former research fellow, author of dozens of scientific publications, and winner of the Wall Street Journal Europe award for his innovations in the treatment of acne.

In his experience, Yoram saw many one-size-fits-all acne treatments. Not only were acne treatments overly generic in nature, they were few and far between. An estimated 500 million people across the world have acne, and 90% never see a dermatologist. Why? It can be expensive, far away, and inconvenient.

Oded’s tech background paired with his father’s dermatological experience made them the perfect duo to make dermatology accessible, convenient, and affordable, leading to the launch of MDacne.

Their idea was to give everyone with smartphone access the ability to connect with dermatology services, without the need to see a dermatologist. Using the MDacne app, people can track their skin’s improvement with the skin monitoring tool, chat with a board-certified dermatologist, and get support from the community.

The use of high-quality cameras on smartphones and advancements in AI enable selfies to be assessed in a matter of seconds, providing an analysis of the skin condition free of charge. Then, you can sign up for their subscription service to receive a personalized kit sent to your doorstep.

Throughout your treatment you’ll have access to dermatologist chat support, ongoing skin monitoring, and free fine-tuning of your products to ensure you get the best results possible. New users can try their first month for free (just a $9 shipping fee).

The San Francisco-based company provides the best available clinically-proven and FDA-cleared topical anti-acne ingredients, and they base all recommendations on the American Academy of Dermatology acne treatment guidelines.

We sat down with Oded Harth, CEO & Co-Founder of MDacne to learn more about the company’s growth and unique business.

Operating a fast-growing subscription company

As told to ShipBob by Oded Harth, CEO & Co-Founder of MDacne.

We launched our business to exist around simplicity — you don’t have to find a dermatologist or leave your house to pick up a prescription from a convenience store.

You download the app, take a selfie, and our technology analyzes your skin so you can order a personalized acne treatment kit through our subscription service. The treatment even adjusts as your skin changes.

With our dynamic offering, we knew we didn’t want to handle shipping ourselves. We looked at several different fulfillment companies before we launched our business and really liked ShipBob. 

Along with their services, we were happy to see that ShipBob participated in the Y Combinator startup program. It’s nice to work with companies that have a similar entrepreneurial mindset and even share the same investors.

Most importantly though, ShipBob had an open API that allowed our tech-savvy company to operate exactly how we wanted.

Building custom kits and shipping rules with ShipBob’s API

In 2017, we launched our e-commerce store and began our partnership with ShipBob.

Other 3PL companies only had simple technology like a very basic Shopify integration. We provide a personalized product that requires unique configurations, so we couldn’t rely on an out-of-the-box solution like Shopify and what other 3PLs offered.

ShipBob’s API lets us build custom logic since we ship personalized products with lots of variations in the kits we send. We can write a few lines of code instead of creating a manual kit for each possible order combination as we’d have to do in a tool like Shopify.”

Oded Harth, CEO & Co-Founder of MDacne

Our business is almost all subscriptions, and ShipBob helps us offer reliable, affordable shipping that shows up at the same time each month.

We offer a free one-month supply as part of our initial three-month personalized acne treatment kit from our app.

We also sell other products that can be purchased on our website or through the app like our Dark Spot Remover or Sunscreen, both formulated for acne-prone skin.

ShipBob’s dashboard is helpful when we need to edit orders or create a manual order. We also have a clear pricing plan, so we know exactly what the costs will be based on the weight and location of an order.

ShipBob’s analytics tool is also really cool. It helps us a lot with planning inventory reorders, seeing when SKUs are going to run out, and we can even set up email notifications so that we’re alerted when a SKU has less than a certain quantity left. There is a lot of value in their technology.

Having a partner for long-term growth

We are growing really fast and won’t slow down anytime soon. With ShipBob, we have the option to use more of their warehouses to further reduce shipping costs.

“Because ShipBob has a lot of people to handle our orders and additional warehouses we can expand into, we can scale up with ease as we continue to grow quickly. If we ran our own warehouse, it would be much harder to hire people and we’d inevitably outgrow the space.”

Oded Harth, CEO & Co-Founder of MDacne

Having a helpful, dedicated account manager at ShipBob that we can go to who responds quickly and has a good understanding of our products and company is really important to us. It’s given us extra support we wouldn’t have with a different 3PL.

Our goal is to be the number one acne treatment brand in the world. We will get there in the near future and are happy to have partners like ShipBob that can help us achieve that goal.

Get in touch with ShipBob

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Written By:

Kristina is the Sr. Director of Marketing Communications at ShipBob, where she writes various articles, case studies, and other resources to help ecommerce brands grow their business.

Read all posts written by Kristina Lopienski