How Doris Sleep Takes Comfort in Outsourcing Fulfillment & Shipping [Case Study]

Learn how luxury pillow brand, Doris Sleep, launched seamlessly through a partnership with ShipBob for ecommerce fulfillment.

Customer Profile

Based in Austin, Texas, Doris Sleep is a luxury bed pillow brand that makes eco-friendly, machine-washable, hypoallergenic pillows. Each Doris pillow recycles 14 plastic water bottles from landfills to be made into a comfortable pillow that feels gel-like to maintain coolness throughout the night.

Tracey Wallace | ShipBob

Key metrics:

  • 14 plastic water bottles recycled and used in each pillow
  • 67 minutes from order placed by an influencer to order shipped
  • 99.7% of orders placed before noon local time get shipped the same day

Doris Sleep isn’t your typical pillow brand. They are a female-founded, American-made business that creates luxury pillows using materials that come from landfills.

With a variety of fill types and heights, from thin to firm pillows, you can get the perfect fit for your sleep style. Best of all, they don’t benefit just you and your sleep — these pillows give jobs to local communities across the country, using up-cycled materials that help leave the world a better place for the next generation.

We sat down with Tracey Wallace, the Founder of Doris Sleep, to learn more about the brand she launched in December 2018.

Launching an eco-friendly brand

As told to ShipBob by Tracey Wallace, Founder of Doris Sleep.

Doris Sleep is the culmination of my family’s legacy and business and a decade of personal experience working in the ecommerce space.

My grandfather started a cotton company in 1956 that’s still running today and has expanded into a pillow manufacturing company as well. Having grown up with a family of entrepreneurs who would talk business over Thanksgiving dinners, and having interviewed countless people working at the most successful ecommerce brands, I decided to give it a go myself.

At the same time I was trying to launch my business, I was in the middle of moving into a house and planning a wedding. My products and manufacturer were lined up, and I had Arctic Leaf build my website. I decided to learn more about the one part of DTC ecommerce I knew very little about: logistics and fulfillment.

Pillows are not small items, which makes them difficult to store and expensive to ship because of dimensional weight. Even though they are lightweight, they are big, so you pay for the space they take up on a delivery truck. And the farther away the shipping destination is, the more expensive it is to ship them.

Many pillow companies will compress foam pillows to get them to ship at smaller dimensions, making it cheaper overall, but making foam is a highly flammable process. It’s done at the expense of both the environment and plant workers at the manufacturing companies making foam, where flammability can be a real issue.

Other more sustainable fill options using materials like cotton or recycled plastic bottle fiber don’t compress well. I knew I needed a cost-effective way to help me ship pillows at launch, and it turns out ShipBob was it.

Finding the right 3PL partner

Doris Sleep pillow - ShipBobWhen I was evaluating 3PLs, there were two must-haves I was looking for.

First, they had to work with other brands that are larger than mine. Second, they had to be trustworthy, and I’m willing to pay extra to make sure the people I’m partnering with are ones I trust. ShipBob was the perfect fit.

If I’m going to outsource one of the most important parts of my business, it needs to be in the hands of people who are honest, knowledgeable, and can do the job a lot better than me.

I’m a terrible gift wrapper, and I’m sure that would transfer over to packing boxes and fulfilling orders. ShipBob lets me outsource the things I’m not good at, nor want to be good at, and frees up my time for those at which I excel and can make an impact on my business like marketing, building a brand, and creating a great online experience.

One of my very first customers was an influencer in the ecommerce space, Web Smith, who runs 2PM. He posted about his experience purchasing from Doris Sleep in his newsletter and, to my surprise and delight, left a raving review about the checkout experience.

Doris Sleep shipping mentioned in 2PM newsletter | ShipBob

“An hour after ordering, he had already received an email saying his order had shipped. If I was fulfilling orders myself, it would have taken me much longer. This was the perfect example of ShipBob working how it should, automatically sending tracking info and giving my customers everything they needed.”

Tracey Wallace, Founder of Doris Sleep

That level of transparency and having peace of mind when an influencer checks out on my store in a way that’s going to make me look good when it matters most gives me so much assurance.

Automated fulfillment via BigCommerce integration

ShipBob’s integration with my BigCommerce store has been working great. The fact that I don’t have to think about my shipping integration, do anything when someone orders from me, or worry that something might not get to them makes it more hassle-free.

I reached out to ShipBob about additional inclusions for my orders like stickers from noissue when I couldn’t figure out where to add them in the system. I sent an email, and the support team helped me set it up right away.

“With ShipBob, I can maintain my brand experience. It doesn’t end on my store — it lasts through that unboxing experience.”

Tracey Wallace, Founder of Doris Sleep

It’s really easy to pull out shipping costs and other line items in the ShipBob dashboard for my monthly P&L statement. I can also review reports ShipBob provides to understand if my marketing strategy is working in the region im targeting.

Running an Austin-based company, it’s convenient to use ShipBob’s Dallas fulfillment center. A big part of my strategy right now is focusing on Texas, because it’s expensive to ship large packages to other areas of the country.

Using my order history, I can understand which ShipBob warehouse I should use next and leverage their locations all over the US as Doris Sleep continues to expand. The numbers pull through easily and keep me informed.

What’s next for Doris Sleep?

I’m going to focus on fresh content, keeping my site updated, adding new product images and photography, and also explore new product lines.

Content marketing and SEO continue to be really important, especially with the timing of the industry. Facebook ads aren’t incredibly effective anymore like when you used to be able to get in front of large audiences, and they cost a lot more now. But not many brands are focusing on either. I think doubling down on both content and SEO and doing them incredibly well are key.

Running a business that sells products that are sourced and manufactured in the US, uses recycled plastic bottles that are converted in the US, and also ships from the US has been an incredible experience thus far, and I look forward to growing more with partners like ShipBob.

Learn more

Looking for a 3PL to ship orders for you? Learn more about ShipBob’s ecommerce fulfillment services and technology to see how you can scale your business today.

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