How Stratia Skin Provides a World-Class Unboxing Experience by Outsourcing Fulfillment [Case Study]

Discover how skincare brand Stratia Skin created the perfect unboxing experience by partnering with ShipBob to fulfill their ecommerce orders.

Customer Profile

Stratia Skin believes that good skin starts with science. Stratia products are formulated carefully and precisely using active ingredients in effective combinations to create skincare that actually does stuff.

alli reed stratia skin shipbob

Key metrics:

  • 30 hours spent each week self-fulfilling orders pre-ShipBob
  • 2 FTEs needed to fulfill orders without ShipBob
  • 77 countries Stratia products have been shipped to

Stratia Skin is owned and run by Alli Reed, a self-proclaimed chemistry nerd and skincare addict from Los Angeles. She also runs the blog The Acid Queen.

As an avid user and lover of skincare products who is also active on Reddit, Alli was part of several subreddit communities of like minded people who openly discuss their challenges and share their experiences with products they like and, more often, don’t like.

In a swarm of gimmicky fads and questionable goops people were putting on their faces, Alli set out to create something that the community so obviously thought was missing — and put her biochemistry background to good use.

By making products in her kitchen in a science-driven way, she found the right formula of safe and effective ingredients, and was able to crack the code. In May 2016, Alli opened her online store and launched two products while working her full-time job.

Without paying for any advertising or marketing, Alli’s business grew organically through word-of-mouth, Reddit, Instagram, and bloggers reviewing her skincare products. Stratia quickly got to the point where Alli had to quit her day job and secure space outside of her apartment.

Today, Alli has 2 employees, an office, a warehouse, and sells several premium skincare creams and serums. Read on to learn Alli’s journey of achieving success in the crowded beauty and wellness market.

Abandoning unsustainable fulfillment models

As told to ShipBob by Alli Reed, Owner and Founder of Stratia Skin.

In the early days of Stratia, I shipped orders out myself on weekends and did my best to keep up with demand. We were growing fast, and processing orders became more time-consuming.

I started using a fulfillment service, but my experience with that company was, to put it lightly, a nightmare.

Besides their shady fulfillment model and renting space out of larger shipping warehouses that were not their own, my customers would email me that they would receive small bottles of moisturizer in a 12×12 inch box without any padding.

Three weeks into using this 3PL, I had to pull out and bring order fulfillment back in-house — but it didn’t take long for self-fulfillment to get out-of-hand.

“I spent 30 hours each week fulfilling orders. This is not a good use of time and is very expensive in terms of economies of scale.”

Alli Reed, Owner and Founder of Stratia Skin

That’s when I knew I had to get another 3PL in place. This time, I would do my due diligence and more research.

Finding the right 3PL partner

stratia skin shipbob 3plI found ShipBob more than a year and a half ago and have had a lot of success with them ever since. They treat my products with a much higher level of care and attention than I encountered in my last 3PL experience.

The backend integration between ShipBob and Shopify Plus is crucial and pushes data from one system to the other quickly and automatically. This makes it easy to manage ecommerce orders and shipments in a timely manner.

Though most of my customers are in the US and I’m very close to the ShipBob fulfillment center in LA, I have shipped orders to 77 countries. It’s important to offer affordable international shipping rates to my customers around the globe.

“Without ShipBob, I would have to hire 2 full-time employees devoted to fulfillment. Between having to pay staff salaries and forgo the bulk shipping discounts we receive through ShipBob, it would be much more expensive to do it all ourselves.”

Alli Reed, Owner and Founder of Stratia Skin

I’m very plugged into my consumer forums, so I know that our reputation for shipping packages out insanely quick is something our customers talk about amongst themselves.

Providing the best unboxing experience

Since Stratia is almost completely an online-only company, our sole physical touchpoint with customers is when they open that box.

ShipBob checked with me to understand how I wanted my products padded and packed in a way that both protects them from breakage and is visually appealing to the customer when they open their package.

ShipBob is also really accurate and more efficient than my own team is at handling inventory and packing boxes. Orders go out much more quickly and with fewer errors than if we did it ourselves.

Best of all, I get to maintain the quality that Stratia strives for in every other way, even when it’s done outside of our four walls. I feel very aligned and supported.

“I’m a big fan of ShipBob. The account management is spectacular. The customer service is super responsive and attentive. I’m really, really happy with them.”

Alli Reed, Owner and Founder of Stratia Skin

Growing intentionally and maintaining quality

stratia skin shipbob fulfillmentGrowing this quickly, we’ve had a lot of opportunities and directions we could take this business.

I want to keep control to maintain product quality, transparency of how all products are made along with their ingredients, and allow the time I need to make each product perfect.

For example, we recently launched our newest product, C+C Serum, which took 18 months and 54 prototypes to get it right. I can proudly say there is nothing else like it on the market that’s also affordable and works.

If I were on someone else’s timeline, I know it would be very difficult or even impossible to achieve these things. My job is to ensure Stratia grows in an intentional way and will never be in a position where growth sacrifices the quality of our products.

“I will continue to stay very connected to my customers, listening to and valuing what they say. Luckily, ShipBob is very similar — a collaborative, responsive company that is willing to look into new ideas and make improvements. I’ve always felt my concerns are heard, and I look forward to our continued partnership.”

Alli Reed, Owner and Founder of Stratia Skin

Learn more

Interested in partnering with a 3PL to fulfill your ecommerce orders? Get in touch with ShipBob and learn how you can grow your business while providing the best-in-class customer experience.

Get Started With ShipBob