How Beachwaver Co. Partners with ShipBob to Fulfill Millions of Orders Across 9 Fulfillment Centers in 5 Countries [Case Study]

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Learn how Beachwaver Co. uses ShipBob WMS in their own warehouse combined with eight ShipBob fulfillment centers around the world to fulfill million of orders.

Customer Profile

Beachwaver Co. is a hair care and hair tool brand that was founded in 2011. Their flagship product, The Beachwaver, is a curling iron that automatically rotates at the touch of a button – allowing the user to create gorgeous, easy curls. Beachwaver Co. also offers other hot tools like flat irons, blowbrushes, hair dryers, and countless hair care products.  Beachwaver has been featured in numerous beauty magazines, appeared on shows like The Today Show, and has won over 60 beauty awards. 

Key metrics

  • 1 Beachwaver-operated warehouse in Illinois
  • 4 domestic US ShipBob fulfillment centers
  • 4 international ShipBob fulfillment centers in Canada, Australia, Europe, and the UK
  • Nearly 100 orders picked per hour by a single employee
  • Over 1M items sold on TikTok
  • 1.2M followers on TikTok
  • 60+ beauty awards
  • 2022 & 2023 top Shopify product during BFCM

About Beachwaver Co.

Beachwaver Co. is a female-founded company, started by celebrity hairstylist, Sarah Potempa, and her sisters, Erin and Emily. With years of hair styling experience under her belt, Sarah perfected the beachy wave but found herself continually explaining how to achieve it. That’s when she sketched out the idea for The Beachwaver, a rotating curing iron. The Beachwaver completely revolutionized how users can create an effortless curl – all without the formal training or years of experience that Sarah possesses.

In the years since Beachwaver launched, they have become one of the world’s fastest-selling hair tools. Keeping up with fulfillment and building a smooth supply chain with millions of orders coming in is no small feat. As Beachwaver scaled, they transitioned from self-fulfillment in an apartment to partnering with a 3PL, to ultimately deciding to open their own warehouse to fulfill domestic orders within the US.

In order to reach their customers abroad, Beachwaver outsourced international fulfillment to ShipBob. Then, Beachwaver implemented ShipBob’s WMS in their own facility followed by them now leveraging ShipBob’s fulfillment network in the US for a hybrid fulfillment solution that provides a level of agility they didn’t have before.

Learn how Beachwaver has ramped up their partnership with ShipBob to create a unique, scalable fulfillment solution that allows them to seamlessly fulfill orders across sales channels and during peak sales seasons.

Implementing ShipBob’s WMS in our warehouse after having success with global fulfillment by ShipBob

As told to Tom Wall, Vice President of Global Warehousing & Logistics at Beachwaver Co.

Beachwaver Co. was started in 2011 by my wife, Erin Potempa-Wall, and her sisters Sarah and Emily Potempa. They got started out of our one-bedroom apartment and that was our first “warehouse.” In the beginning, we lugged all of our packages down to the post office ourselves.  When Beachwaver began really taking off, I left my corporate job to come onboard full-time.

After a few years of growth on retail channels and QVC, we decided that we wanted to switch to direct-to-consumer (DTC), so we began using a third-party logistics provider to warehouse and fill our orders.  As we grew, the 3PL we were using started to nickel and dime us and charges kept racking up.

Unhappy with that experience, we brought fulfillment into our own warehouse in 2019.  We experimented for a few years with various platforms and programs, but they left a lot to be desired.  

Around that time, we were already using ShipBob as our fulfillment partner in Canada and Australia. We had a great working relationship with them, and they were doing a great job with global fulfillment. Eventually, ShipBob approached us about implementing ShipBob’s WMS in our warehouse to reduce our shipping costs and improve our warehouse efficiency. We were skeptical at first, but we knew that their system was working well internationally and across their entire fulfillment network, so we decided to give it a try.

The week that we launched ShipBob WMS, we had a massive sale, where we did our biggest numbers of the year. It was a good way to stress test the system. We saw what was working, what wasn’t, and how rearranging our warehouse and processes to fit the ShipBob system could optimize our fulfillment. There were the expected growing pains, but overall it was a success.

“ShipBob WMS is so valuable to our business.  The savings we were able to realize in shipping costs alone makes using ShipBob WMS a no-brainer.  When you add in the inventory management aspect and global fulfillment center network, ShipBob WMS has allowed us to grow our sales in a way that we couldn’t before.”

Tom Wall, Vice President of Global Warehousing & Logistics at Beachwaver Co.

Using a flexible, hybrid fulfillment approach to accommodate for surging peak season volume and unpredictability

In Q3 of 2022, ShipBob provided us with a roadmap to order management going into peak season and we decided to place inventory in some of ShipBob’s US fulfillment centers, in addition to our warehouse in Illinois.

We started out by having ShipBob only ship limited SKUs but when Black Friday rolled around, we were overloaded with orders. We were 10x over forecast and a top-5 Shopify product during Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM).

We weren’t able to manage all of those orders in our own warehouse, so we again turned to ShipBob.

We shipped several trailers full of inventory from our warehouse to ShipBob’s fulfillment centers in Illinois, Texas, and Nevada, so our customers could get their presents in time for Christmas.  ShipBob offered solutions on the fly that ultimately saved the season for us and our customers. 

For peak season 2023, we were able plan for a more aggressive marketing and selling season because we knew we could rely on the hybrid US fulfillment solution with ShipBob, which essentially uncaps the amount of orders that we can ship out in a day. In 2023 though, we were hit with another unexpected issue: our products were being delayed at the ports and customs.  ShipBob was able to expedite receiving those containers of product. ShipBob receiving inventory throughout all of peak season and BFCM once again saved the season for us and our customers.

By distributing our inventory across ShipBob’s US fulfillment centers, we have seen our own warehouse’s order flow drop to manageable numbers while maintaining peak sales during peak season.  We originally chose our fulfillment center locations based on what “looked right.” But over time we have learned to utilize ShipBob’s dynamic models to provide optimum distribution which has helped us a lot.

“Knowing that ShipBob can always take on more order volume if we are overwhelmed helps us sleep at night when we spend long days at our warehouse.”

Tom Wall, Vice President of Global Warehousing & Logistics at Beachwaver Co.

The value in tapping into ShipBob’s fulfillment centers in the US during the holidays is priceless.  We simply cannot staff up enough to fill all of our orders in the short window between Black Friday/Cyber Monday and the standard Christmas shipping deadlines.  With ShipBob’s flexible fulfillment network, we are able to process all our orders on time and focus on capturing last-minute shoppers with expedited shipping. 

Beyond the holidays, ShipBob has proven itself to be a valuable partner when we find ourselves capturing a large market.  Previously, we would stop selling when we reached our warehouse’s capacity.  Now we can reach out to ShipBob and they can assist with our order overflow. 

Finding creative solutions to scale on TikTok Shop

@thebeachwaver

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ShipBob has helped us scale TikTok Shop orders by listening to our feedback.

Their creative problem-solving and impressive technology team created numerous shortcuts and filters within ShipBob’s desktop WMS application for operations managers, ToolBob, to help us expedite processing without expediting shipping, and curate our cluster carts for picking to ensure that critical deadlines are met without forcing our team to manually print and pick single orders.

This has been huge for us as TikTok Shop is our fastest growing channel and we are consistently a top seller across the platform. By leveraging ShipBob, we are able to utilize the Fulfilled by Merchant seller shipping option in TikTok Shop to drive sales for Beachwaver while utilizing the same pool of inventory we use for our Shopify orders and giving us access to our extremely valuable customer data and supply chain visibility.

Knowing the sky’s the limit with a scalable, global fulfillment partner

 In the past two years, we have been able to stop questioning our fulfillment limit.  Our international sales are no longer limited by what we can ship from our own warehouse in Illinois.

“Our previous international shipping solutions were far too time-consuming and expensive to process overseas orders from our warehouse.  We’ve been able to leverage ShipBob fulfillment centers in 5 countries. That has allowed our sales and marketing teams to reach for greater market internationally, as well as across the US.  ShipBob has helped us grow our international market.”

Tom Wall, Vice President of Global Warehousing & Logistics at Beachwaver Co.

Additionally, any inventory discrepancy we have is easily traced back to human error and our shipping costs remain lower than before we started with ShipBob.

We have always asked everyone that we are in business with to look at our relationship as a partnership.  A lot of those companies were not interested in us as partners, but ShipBob has always been there for us to help us grow.  

What’s next for Beachwaver

Beachwaver is always growing and always evolving.  We are focusing on diversifying our sales and international expansion.  I, personally, will not rest until every man, woman, and child in America has tried the Charcoal Bar and Me & My Curls Creamy Mousse

Beachwaver’s team at ShipBob

Christian Cole

Christian is the Senior Merchant Success Manager who supports Beachwaver throughout their ShipBob experience.

Dhruv Saxena

Dhruv, ShipBob CEO and Co-Founder, is Beachwaver’s Executive Sponsor.

Get started with ShipBob

Interested in using ShipBob’s WMS in your own facility? Want to learn more about ShipBob’s hybrid fulfillment solution? Connect with a member of our team to get started.

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Written By:

Meredith is a Content Marketing Specialist at ShipBob, where she writes articles, eGuides, and other resources to help growing ecommerce businesses master their logistics and fulfillment.

Read all posts written by Meredith Flora