In November 2017, Azurro Group launched a Kickstarter campaign for a product called the CLIPPERPRO Omega. Now, less than six months later, the campaign has transformed into a successful e-commerce business. Read on to learn how Azurro Group took CLIPPERPRO from crowdfunding success to a full-time e-commerce business with the help of ShipBob.
Launching on Kickstarter
CLIPPERPRO Omega began with the goal to bring the quality and precision of surgical instruments into the home for daily use. A group of three San Diego-based orthopedic surgeons knew that many of their patients suffered from arthritis, making basic tasks such as nail care difficult. To solve this, they created the CLIPPERPRO Omega: a device that offers precision and comfort in nail-cutting.
When launching the CLIPPERPRO Omega, Azurro knew they needed a proven way to get their product in front of a diverse group of early adopters, so they chose to launch on Kickstarter. “It was the perfect platform for us to get the last bit of capital to go into production, as well as validate our product in the marketplace,” says Co-Founder and CEO Mark McBride.
Even though he knew that Kickstarter would help spread the word about the CLIPPERPRO Omega, Mark didn’t anticipate just how far the word would spread: Over 40% of the project’s backers were outside the US, instantly making Azurro Group a global company.
Reaching (and passing) goal
Within three days, the Kickstarter campaign met the initial funding goal. By the campaign’s end, it had raised 1,805% of the initial funding goal, with over 2,200 backers expecting a product they would love shipped within a reasonable amount of time.
With the campaign’s great success, the biggest challenge was staying on top of commitments to backers to meet these expectations:
“Communication with backers is critical. The further along the project is, the more likely a backer will sign up. Great ideas with minimal work done are not well-received.”
Mark McBride, Co-Founder and CEO, Azurro Group
Fulfilling crowdfunding orders
Quick success meant that the team had to learn the ropes of fulfillment for the campaign as they went.
“It definitely takes a little time to learn about all of the details involved in the fulfillment process, but it’s very manageable if you just keep taking small steps towards the overall goal. You definitely have to be patient and make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself with your first shipment,” explains Toby Davis, Assistant Director of Operations for Azurro Group.
With an order volume larger than anticipated, Mark and Toby knew that they needed outside help. Enter ShipBob. “There’s no way we would have been able to fulfill over 2,000 orders on our own after our Kickstarter campaign,” says Toby. ShipBob worked with Toby and team to import backer information, receive inventory, ship the CLIPPERPRO Omega, and track shipments.
Transitioning to e-commerce
Armed with Kickstarter success, Azurro Group knew that the CLIPPERPRO Omega was ready to be brought to market. They created an online store on Shopify and leveraged teammates who knew the ropes of transitioning from crowdfunding to e-commerce, including the financial aspects of carrying stock and the technical details of setting up an e-commerce store.
Mark says that the move from crowdfunding to e-commerce was simpler than expected, in part because he worked to find knowledgeable and experienced people ahead of time to make it happen. “Once we had the team, it was surprisingly straightforward,” he says. Toby recommends having an e-commerce store in place before the campaign ends, so that once it is completed, you can direct people to your online store to place an order.
Working with ShipBob
After working with ShipBob to fulfill orders from their crowdfunding campaign, transitioning to e-commerce fulfillment was simple.
ShipBob’s software integrates directly with Shopify, meaning that each CLIPPERPRO order is automatically sent to a ShipBob fulfillment center. The same software makes it easy to contact ShipBob’s customer success team, who are always just a click away.
“The best compliment I can give ShipBob is that everything runs smoothly through them,” says Toby.
“When you’re dealing with logistics, you want everything to flow, and ShipBob has been able to help out with pretty much every shipping issue we’ve come across.”
Toby Davis, Assistant Director of Operations, Azurro Group
“Knowing that your shipping department is taken care of is one less thing you have to worry about, and it allows you to focus on growing your business.”
As the Azurro Group continues to grow and launch future products, ShipBob will support and scale with them. To others chasing similar success across crowdfunding and e-commerce, Toby recommends working with ShipBob: “They’re great to work with, especially if you are just starting out and you’re not too familiar with the fulfillment process, and they’ll be able to accommodate you as your business starts to grow.”
To learn more about working with ShipBob, reach out to get in touch with a fulfillment expert and get a custom quote for your business’s fulfillment needs.
Learn how to get your backer reward shipped out as planned and prevent your campaign from running into common but costly mistakes that other crowdfunders have made. Download “The Complete Crowdfunding Fulfillment Guide.”