How 7 Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Brands Grew Fast By Partnering With a 3PL

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands continue to be on the rise. Thanks to a wide range of services, resources, and technology that support independent online stores, there is so much opportunity to create a remarkable shopping experience that keeps customers coming back for more. 

Learn how fast-growing DTC brands are competing with traditional brands, and how partnering with a 3PL gives them a competitive advantage.

What are direct-to-consumer brands?

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) are brands that sell products directly to customers, without a middleman, wholesalers, or third-party retailers. 

Benefits of building a DTC brand

Building a DTC brand is a rewarding and profitable way to offer a product that has a unique selling point and fills a gap in the market. Many DTC brands create products they’re passionate about, that make a difference in a person’s life, and/or are in high demand. 

Here are some more of the biggest benefits of starting a DTC brand. 

Better customer data

By building a DTC brand, you’re able to capture better customer data across multiple selling channels. By creating a constant feedback loop, DTC brands are given the opportunity to collect better customer insight and use it to strengthen their product and overall brand image. 

More control over brand image

When dealing with middlemen and retailers, your brand image can change quite a bit. Think of how products are sold at Target versus a Walmart, and how you may think differently of similar products just by how it’s being displayed.

By building a DTC brand, you have more control over your brand’s image, from how products are being presented on your website to how it gets delivered to your customer. 

Better customer relationships

DTC brands are known for having a more direct relationship with their customers, especially through social media. For instance, Facebook Groups is becoming a popular tactic for DTC brands; it’s a place where they can interact with their customers in a more personable setting. 

By creating a more intimate relationship with customers and gaining more insight into what’s important to them, DTC brands can improve customer lifetime value (CLV) by creating an online shopping experience that they desire.

How shopping DTC benefits the end user

According to RetailDive.com, 81% of online shoppers plan to make at least one purchase from a DTC brand within the next five years. Here are some of the reasons why more shoppers are choosing to purchase from a DTC brand. 

A better customer experience

The biggest reason is the overall customer experience DTC brands offer their customers. Customers who purchase DTC products know that when they make a complaint, share new ideas, or compliment a product, their feedback is going directly to the business who made their products (and it’s being heard!). This creates a positive end-to-end shopping experience for the customer. 

Less upcharge

Middlemen like retailers and wholesalers charge a price on top of the purchase price in order for them to make a profit. With less upcharge, customers are able to get a high-quality product at an affordable price. 

Quality assurance

There is a better sense of perceived quality when buying directly from the company that makes your products. This is because a refund, repair, or exchange goes through the company who make the product. Many founders and CEOs of DTC brands are very much involved in product development to ensure the highest quality is being delivered.  

How 7 direct-to-consumer brands benefited from partnering with a 3PL

Today’s fastest-growing brands are partnering with tech-enabled 3PLs, like ShipBob, to help streamline their order fulfillment process and grow their business at an extensive rate. Here are some examples of successful DTC brands who have benefited highly from outsourcing fulfillment to ShipBob. 

1. TB12

Co-founded by Tom Brady, TB12 is a health, wellness, and fitness brand that sells supplements, apparel, exercise equipment, protein powders, and more.

How ShipBob has helped grow the TB12 brand

As TB12 quickly grew, they needed a 3PL that had the capabilities to help them expand geographically in the US while keep shipping costs down. After sourcing many 3PLs, they finally made the switch to ShipBob.

“We need to deliver quickly and inexpensively. Since switching to ShipBob from our previous 3PL, our fulfillment cost on comparable orders went down by 25%.”

Michael Peters, VP of E-Commerce Operations at TB12

The most valuable 3PL features for this business:

2. Ample Foods

Ample Foods combines nutrition science with whole-food ingredients to create a meal replacement that you can feel good about consuming. Ideal for busy professionals, travelers, and really anyone who is looking for a way to stay healthy on-the-go. 

How ShipBob has helped grow the Ample Foods brand

Ever since Ample Foods started working with ShipBob, they have benefited from transparent fulfillment data and reporting that provides insights into fulfillment performance and much more. 

“From expanding into a second ShipBob fulfillment center, we are excited to be able to offer 65% of our customers with 2-day shipping, up from 32% by only having a single West Coast facility. Soon, this will be 100%. Not only is this better for our customers but we also gain a 13% savings to our bottom line.”

Pablo Gabatto, Business Operations Manager at Ample Foods

The most valuable 3PL features for this business:

3. MDacne

MDacne is a digital health DTC brand that offers access to dermatology services for everyone — all you need is a smartphone. Their product includes a dynamic app that analyzes a person’s skin and creates a personalized and fully-customized acne treatment kit.

How ShipBob has helped grow the MDacne brand

MDacne is a tech-focused company, so they needed a tech-enabled 3PL that could provide out-of-the-box solutions to meet their needs.

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

The most valuable 3PL features for this business:

4. Nature’s Ultra

Nature’s Ultra makes the highest quality of CBD-infused products using only natural ingredients. With Nature’s Ultra, you’re getting CBD with powerful Young Living essential oils. Founded in 2017, in just a short few years, they have seen tremendous growth (9,900% growth year over year). 

How ShipBob has helped grow the Nature’s Ultra brand

When Nature’s Ultra started to see a surge in order volume, they knew it was time to find a long-term partnership with a 3PL that could help them scale. Now, Nature’s Ultra is able to ship over a hundred orders per day and offer 2-day shipping to all customers. 

“With ShipBob, 100% of our orders are going out via 2-day shipping. We see that people are far more likely to order and keep ordering from us when 2-Day Express shipping is an option.”

Andrew Hardy, COO of Nature’s Ultra

The most valuable 3PL features for this business:

5. Bathorium

Bathorium is a Canadian brand that sells luxury handmade bath products crafted from the highest grade ingredients. CEO of Bathorium, Greg MacDonald is also the Customer Success Manager for fast-growing brands at Shopify. 

How ShipBob has helped grow the Bathorium brand

Bathorium was starting to build a strong presence in the US, but since they were initially shipping from Canada, shipping costs soon became a major barrier. Before partnering with ShipBob, it was costing around 50% of average order value (AOV) to ship from Canada to the US. But with ShipBob’s strong fulfillment network in the US, they were able to bring shipping costs down significantly. 

We’ve seen a reduction of 70% on shipping costs in the US, which helps keep conversions high. When we joined ShipBob, only 20% of our customers were in the US. By the end of the year, that number will be around 40%.

Greg MacDonald, CEO & Founder of Bathorium

The most valuable 3PL features for this business:

  • US-based fulfillment center
  • Affordable, fast shipping
  • Dedicated account manager

6. PiperWai

PiperWai offers an all-natural, aluminum-free deodorant that uses only natural ingredients. It also contains activated charcoal that absorbs wetness and fights odor. Two years after its founding, PiperWai made an appearance on Shark Tank, which led to a 6,000% increase in revenue. 

How ShipBob has helped grow the PiperWai brand

Fast growth practically happened overnight for PiperWai. After appearing on Shark Tank, they received more exposure from across the country. They soon transitioned to ShipBob, which allowed them to scale quickly and fulfill a large volume orders on time 

“ShipBob really listens to clients and participates in growing side by side with them. They involve their customers in anything they’re changing or creating. They’re constantly growing and evolving, which I really appreciate.”

Sarah Ribner, Co-Founder, PiperWai

The most valuable 3PL features for this business:

7. BAKblade

BAKblade is a fast-growing brand that specializes in men’s back and body groomer products. The business started in 2012 with just $5,000, and grew organically. In 2016, they tested out a crowdfunding campaign for a new product release and raised $316,581 on Kickstarter and $1,093,408 on Indiegogo. 

How ShipBob has helped grow the BAKblade brand

After their successful crowdfunding, they started shipping out 20,000 to 30,000 units. At this point, they needed the support of a 3PL to keep up with shipments. 

“After working with ShipBob and seeing the initial 20,000 – 30,000 units go out the door, it allowed me to sleep better at night. We felt the weight lifted off our chests. We weren’t having to spend a lot of our time processing those orders, and we were very relieved that we were being taken care of.”

Matt Dryfhout, Founder & CEO of BAKblade

The most valuable 3PL features for this business:

Looking to Expand Your DTC Business?

Partnering with a tech-enabled 3PL is an essential part to growing a successful ecommerce brand. With ShipBob, you’re able to tap into a highly-connected fulfillment center network powered by best-in-class technology, and that’s not all:

  • Better understand where to store your inventory based on where your customers are
  • Tap into 2-day shipping options to reduce cart abandonment and increase AOV
  • Get full visibility into the entire order fulfillment process in real-time
  • And so much more!

Learn about ShipBob’s fulfillment services by filling out the form below.