Hey, thanks for tuning in to another Partner Interview at EcomBalance. At EcomBalance, we’re all about creating win-win partnerships where we are able to grow with other companies in the eCommerce space.
In this exclusive interview, we interview Seth Rubin from Soapbox, your one-stop e-commerce end-to-end fulfillment solution.
Seth Rubin is the head of business development at Soapbox. He is responsible for assisting to lead strategic partnerships. Seth has a long career in sales and business development. He lives in NJ with his wife and 2 kids and is a die-hard NY Rangers fan and an avid golfer.
We hope that you enjoy the interview and that it brings value to you as an eCommerce business owner.”
Connor: Hey Seth, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. As a company, one of our goals is to highlight our partners so that our clients can benefit where it makes most sense. To get started, can you give us a high-level introduction to Soapbox and a little bit about how the company got started?
Seth: Hi, thanks so much for the opportunity to be introduced to your community. And really, it’s pretty simple, Soapbox is your one-stop e-commerce end-to-end fulfillment solution made to save time, money, and frustration on your business. We help brands consolidate their storefronts, manage inventory and orders in one easy-to-use platform equipped with shipping discounts, automated packaging, and carrier options to simplify your fulfillment process. Additionally, we have built an extensive network of 3PL (third-party logistics) partners to assist our clients to find the right home while still utilizing our tech stack.
Connor: Thanks for sharing that! Can you dive a bit more into the products and services that you offer to make shipping and fulfillment easier? Our audience is always looking for reputable companies that they can lean on for specific parts of their eCommerce businesses.
Seth: The fulfillment part of an ecommerce business can sometimes be very frustrating. Am I using the right box? Am I using the right carrier? Is this the right service type? There are SO many 3PLs out there, how do I know which is the right one for me? Soapbox was created to actually help relieve stress around shipping. Our software will pick the packaging options, carrier and service type so all your team needs to do is pick, pack and slap the label on the box. It’s our goal to make this an easy and profitable part of your business.
Connor: Jumping off of that…when you’re thinking about your ideal customer, who is that? Where are they selling online? Where are they located in the world? How much sales do they typically have in a year? If there’s any other qualities, please include them as well. We’re all about making introductions where it benefits both parties.
Seth: Another great question, we are lucky to have a rather broad client base. We have direct integrations into digital storefronts like Shopify, Etsy, Ebay, SPS Commerce, Walmart.com – really whatever sales platform you use.
When we launched in 2019, we mainly catered to start-ups and small-midsize businesses that may have been doing self-fulfillment. We quickly realized our clients were growing to the point of needing 3rd party help, so that’s when we built out a WMS tool for 3PLs as well. For our client base that partners with 3PLs on our WMS, we typically see clients doing a minimum of 500 orders a month with a 10:1 (Order:Sku) ratio. We are also a great option for clients that are looking to expand their distribution network (i.e. they are fulfilling out of the East coast and need a presence on the West coast.) We can help to fill that gap very easily.
Connor: For our audience to truly understand what makes you stand out from other companies in the shipping and fulfillment space, can you share a story of how Soapbox truly helped one of its customers?
Seth: Every business owner starts their company with specific goals in mind. And then over time, new goals sprout up – where you go from figuring out how to get your first sale, to thinking about the best path for expansion and scale. We’re here to help Soapbox customers achieve the goals they set out for, and also introduce new goals to build towards as your business grows. A great example of this is our customer Tina Le, owner of dog accessory business Hound and Friends. She originally sold only through her Shopify store and at dog events, and came to Soapbox looking for a fulfillment software solution that would help her scale into different channels and platforms. With the use of our multi-channel fulfillment platform, she was able to expand her brand into wholesale and other eCommerce platforms without so much as a hiccup.
Connor: As you and your company think about the next year ahead, what does it look like? Are there any specific initiatives that you’re working on as a team to better your product or service for your customers?
Seth: We’re looking forward to rolling out our enterprise-level WMS and a mobile app within the next year. Alongside this, we’ll be expanding our warehouse network to 100+ locations to continually enhance the warehousing options available to our software users.
All three of these initiatives will combine to help our customers achieve a personalized fulfillment solution on a national and global scale.
We’ll of course continue to enhance our software platform, where we introduce and publish updates to our current users on a monthly basis.
Connor: How about this…everyone loves a company’s growth story. We all naturally go through ups and downs as a company. What was one of the biggest challenges that the company faced in its growing stages?
Seth: In this industry, the competition is really fierce, and many businesses maintain their growth-at-all-cost model by creating artificial norms (such as subsidizing service fees or postage costs to get customers) with this perpetual race to the bottom. The focus is so heavy on shipping rates that it’s what most customers only consider when evaluating technology and service providers for their fulfillment solution.
At the same time, we’ve seen the impact of hinging an entire business model on one value proposition, and how one event, such as USPS cancelling the reseller program, can shift the landscape of an industry.
We go against the inertia of the industry and really push to educate shippers that the total cost per shipment extends far beyond just the cost of shipping. We have a strong loyalty to our brand from our customers because we provide so much more value and cost savings across the board – beyond just shipping rates. We are a true operational partner for our customers, whether they’re a mom and pop storefront, or a multi-national enterprise.
Connor: Thanks! Let’s talk some eCommerce! Where do you see the industry heading in the next 1-2 years? Any big changes that you’re predicting for the industry? How can eCommerce companies prepare for it?
Seth: I think we’re going to see the slow return of paid shipping because the cost of small parcel services has risen so dramatically and because the USPS subsidies of parcel shipping through the reseller program will be cancelled in October. I don’t see the supply chain issues going away soon as so many have predicted.
E-commerce companies will need to look to find cost-savings and value elsewhere to maintain their margins. They will need to be more educated in the space and their options, and most importantly, they will need to find a way to be more reliable for their customers and trade partners to mitigate the macro-level economy and logistics supply chain impact.
Connor: Changing gears a little bit…When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, what do you think the biggest pain points for eCommerce business owners are? Feel free to speak from personal experience as well.
Seth: This is probably one of the more sensitive topics for e-commerce brand owners… (right up there with trying to piece together a logistics plan for the first time). eCommerce business owners are usually short on time, wearing a ton of hats in their organization, and the last thing they need is to play the role of bookkeeper as well. Unfortunately, most accounting software is not built to easily integrate with eCommerce – so brand owners are stuck allocating valuable time at month, quarter, or year end to keep track of cash flow, tax obligations, and more. I think most business owners would agree that outsourcing their bookkeeping to a reliable partner is one of the first things they will look to do as their business grows.
Connor: Okay, here’s an open mic opportunity. If there’s one thing that you’d want the EcomBalance community to hear from you, what would it be?
Seth: We focus on providing the most comprehensive fulfillment software for you and your brand, so that you can focus on growing your business.
Old tools are outdated and require multiple software solutions to patchwork together a complete fulfillment operation. But this requires more time, energy, and money than most scaling brands are able to stomach.
That’s why we built Soapbox, so that you can streamline your fulfillment process with just one solution, remove barriers to growth, and scale with confidence.
Connor: As we close this out, I just have one more question. Where is the best place to find and follow you and the company online? Also, if you have one, is there any special offer that you’ll be offering to the community today?
Seth: Soapbox is active on all social media channels and within e-commerce communities, but our LinkedIn profile consolidates the majority of our content, like recent Podcast interviews, Blog Posts, Partnership announcements, and more.
You can follow me and the rest of our executive team on LinkedIn as well. We always love to connect with great people in the e-commerce and logistics industry.
Of course, our software is free to download and test out for your first 100 orders. Now is a great time to check it out before the Q4 rush begins!