How TB12 Saved 25% on Shipping Costs by Switching 3PLs to ShipBob [Case Study]

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Discover how fast-growing health and wellness brand TB12 partnered with ShipBob to offer fast, affordable shipping to customers.

Customer Profile

TB12 is a health, wellness, and fitness brand that sells supplements, apparel, exercise equipment, protein powders, and much more. Whether you’re a professional athlete or simply want to stay active, TB12 is centreed around a holistic philosophy for health and wellness by using workouts and nutrition to help you do what you love, longer.

Key metrics:

  • 1.5 year partnership with ShipBob
  • 25% cost savings since switching 3PLs
  • 75% growth in ecommerce business in 2019
  • 3 ShipBob fulfilment centres used
  • 4x normal sales volume in December

Tom Brady co-founded TB12 on the belief that everyone can benefit from a smarter, more holistic approach to health and wellness. The TB12 Method — which is inspired by the training method of the legend himself — delivers personalised, comprehensive programming to a worldwide audience.

This methodology is fully outlined in Tom Brady’s number one New York Times bestselling book “The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance.”

But you don’t have to be a 7-time Super Bowl champion to excel at this approach. TB12 is transforming global health and wellness by empowering athletes and gym goers to prevent injuries, improve longevity, and raise their peak performance.

Unsurprisingly, the TB12 online store has become a popular destination for not just fans of Tom Brady, but all who seek advice on and products for performance enhancement, injury prevention, overall wellness, hydration, nutrition, strength and conditioning, cognitive performance training, and muscle pliability.

Based in Boston and founded in 2013, TB12 also has physical locations for customers to visit and receive personalised treatment and coaching for their health and fitness regimes.

We sat down with Michael Peters, VP of E-Commerce Operations and the second corporate employee of TB12, to learn more about TB12’s incredible growth.

Finding the right 3PL that would grow with us

As told to ShipBob by Michael Peters, VP of E-Commerce Operations at TB12.

I started with TB12 two and a half years ago after I finished Harvard Business School, just ahead of the TB12 Method book launch.

One area of the business I oversee is fulfilment and distribution. All of the different pieces that go into logistics — from working with suppliers to getting products to the customer’s door — demonstrate just how complex the supply chain is.

We had a fulfilment partner in Massachusetts that could serve the Northeast reasonably well and made sense during our first couple of years before sales really took off.

As we started to hit that first inflection point of growth, it became apparent we needed to look for a 3PL that could help us expand geographically in the US and also drive down shipping costs and expenses.

We started to look around for other fulfilment companies, I created a scorecard to compare prospects. We evaluated many 3PL options for several months.

I was most impressed with ShipBob’s commitment to driving improvement and technology, which drives reductions in delivery time. I knew a shorter transit time was going to become more and more important.

“Customers get accustomed to a certain service level at a low price — often free — and want it faster over time.”

Michael Peters, VP of E-Commerce Operations at TB12

Ever since we started our partnership with ShipBob in the summer of 2018, they’ve been able to deliver the customer service level we need at the right cost.

Delivering Amazon-like speeds to customers

While a significant portion of our customers are in the Northeast, we also have large populations of customers across the United States, including the Southeast and Southwest.

We distribute inventory across ShipBob’s fulfilment network so we can be closer to major distribution hubs, shipping couriers, and more of our customers. This has helped reduce not only transit times but shipping costs. We’ve seen an uplift in conversions by offering free shipping thresholds and 2-day shipping.

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

Michael Peters, VP of E-Commerce Operations at TB12

As a customer, you don’t think about fulfilment unless your order doesn’t show up on time. But as an operator, I’ve found attention to detail and operational efficiency make a big difference for us.

Each new order of inventory from a supplier has to be well-documented so it can be properly received, counted, stowed, and so on. We have many products and customers, so keeping everything organised can be very difficult.

ShipBob makes it easy by continuing to evolve and bring more operational efficiencies and space to their network. We’ve been pretty happy so far. Their growth has worked out well for us.

In fact, we grew our ecommerce business by around 75% last year. The ability to execute as well as we did was due to ShipBob’s team and facility in Pennsylvania.

TB12 rollerOptimising the online purchase experience with the ultimate tech stack

For our ecommerce tech stack, we use ShipBob, Klaviyo, Shopify Plus, Recharge, and Gorgias. What I love is how they all work together to manage communications and the customer experience in a streamlined way.

Shopify is a phenomenal product for us that takes one person to set up and integrates very well with ShipBob. Klaviyo helps with communications in such an efficient way.

We offer subscription orders on our site with the choice of delivery every 30, 45, or 60 days. ReCharge and ShipBob work very well together for this.

To provide a great digital customer experience, we have worked with several development shops  who’ve really helped us showcase our brand online.

Direct-to-consumer makes up the vast majority of our orders at this point, but ShipBob also helps with our B2B needs. We offer products through Whole Foods in the Northeast and are looking to expand our wholesale channels.

Having a trusted partner to help with unprecedented holiday demand

The holidays are a very busy time for us.

“We experienced 4x our normal volume this past December, which was our second holiday season with ShipBob.”

Michael Peters, VP of E-Commerce Operations at TB12

Every year on 12/12, we celebrate our amazing clients by offering products at limited-time pricing. The December 12 holiday created by TB12 hits at the perfect time for customers still doing their holiday shopping, also being the last day we offer free standard shipping.

We had products land at ShipBob’s fulfilment centres in late November and early December that hadn’t been available since 2017. There was a lot of pent-up demand for these favourites, and ShipBob got our orders processed and out the door to be delivered in time for Christmas.

There’s a certain level of distribution centre competency you need to execute on this. If we handled fulfilment internally, it would be impossible to meet demand at our volume.

“Even our previous 3PL was unable to scale at the level we needed years ago, which became apparent my first holiday with them. This past holiday season would have been completely unmanageable for both our old 3PL and us. ShipBob does it seamlessly.”

Michael Peters, VP of E-Commerce Operations at TB12

ShipBob is able to handle that kind of volume, while being very accommodating, helping us to respond to suppliers in non-ideal situations. They turn around our inventory quickly.

Combining physical locations and online convenience to be the ultimate resource

While the TB12 ecommerce site helps bring products and information into the homes of consumers everywhere, there are also in-person opportunities available — and not only for shopping.

The first TB12 Centre in Foxborough, Massachusetts is an athletic performance and recovery facility located near where the Patriots play at Gillette Stadium. Here, physical examinations and the use of diagnostic equipment are used to identify issues, assess imbalances, and create a personalised plan to help everyday people exceed their goals.

Tom Brady’s functional strength and conditioning principles, innovative recovery practices, and commitment to preventing and addressing injuries are the basis for every visit to TB12. The expert TB12 Body Coaches can help upgrade your regimen and develop customised training programs, integrating revolutionary concepts across disciplines.

These Body Coaches serve as personal guides to the TB12 lifestyle and go-to resources for the comprehensive approach to pliability developed at TB12. They are all professionally certified and expertly trained practitioners.

We recently added a second Boston area facility on Boylston Street. This brand new TB12 Performance & Recovery Centre in Boston’s Back Bay brings the TB12 approach to the city that has supported Tom Brady for nearly two decades as quarterback of the New England Patriots.

What’s next for TB12?

We will continue to provide best-in-class products with high-quality ingredients that are important to our active customers. At the end of the day we’re a health and wellness brand, and our customers are interested in products for the mental and physical benefits.

In our physical locations, we’re expanding the availability of TB12 Body Coaches. On the ecommerce side, we’re improving merchandising on our site, making sure every part of the purchase funnel is getting the attention it needs to improve conversion.

We’ve had incredible growth over the last three years. We are very proud that we’ve been able to take the TB12 lifestyle and method and make it more available to people wherever they are, and help people live less injury-ridden or painful lives. And we look forward to continuing our partnership with ShipBob to help deliver on this promise.

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Written By:

Kristina is the Sr. Director of Marketing Communications at ShipBob, where she writes various articles, case studies, and other resources to help ecommerce brands grow their business.

Read all posts written by Kristina Lopienski