Glee Gum, a chewing-gum maker that touts its save-the-rainforest credentials, had become overwhelmed with the fees, processing and paperwork involved in selling on the Amazon and eBay marketplaces.
“Our shipping department was spending three to four hours each week dealing with Amazon directly, and Whitebox eliminated the whole process, freeing up one to two employees to focus on the core business,” Schimberg says.
Glee Gum saw an instant return because its upfront investment was only the time needed to understand Whitebox’s technology, Schimberg says. As a result of using Whitebox for its direct selling through Amazon and eBay, Glee experienced a 2% jump in online revenues, to 6% of overall revenues, and it projects a 29% sales increase in its Amazon and eBay stores for the second half of this year, she says. Glee doesn’t disclose its revenue.
“We credit the growth to Whitebox’s expertise, their attention to customer service, and their unique algorithm that helps our products rank higher and compete more aggressively with other online retailers,” Schimberg says.
Rob Wray, Whitebox CEO and founder, says he and his development team created the platform to solve problems he had running his own e-commerce business, Mp3Car.com, an online store that went live in 2001 to sell electronics parts to do-it-yourself auto enthusiasts who put audio systems in their cars.
Wray, who is president of Mp3Car.com, says Whitebox’s “computer systems talk to Amazon’s computer systems through Whitebox’s software to fulfill and service orders on our own store (Mp3Car.com), eBay and Amazon. Glee Gum uses Whitebox the same way Mp3Car.com uses Whitebox. The data from all these orders is collected and used for decision making, profitability improvements and increasing customer satisfaction.”
“Amazon does not buy our products,” he says. “We use them as a service provider and marketplace only.”
Whitebox charges 10% of a client’s gross sales for managing a client’s e-commerce platform.
For Glee, Whitebox manages sales on Amazon and eBay. Though Whitebox has the capability to manage sales on Glee’s e-commerce site as well, Glee has chosen not to adopt that service except for peak periods. Whitebox handles sales of several thousand units of Glee products each month. Glee continues to ship orders internally that it receives from its e-commerce site, but turns to Whitebox for help during peak periods, CEO Schimberg says.
Wray says Whitebox is selling its software solution commercially, has 30 clients and is adding one to two new customers each week.
Whitebox’s services include:
- Managing warehousing, fulfillment and customer service.
- Listing products on multiple sales channels, including Amazon, eBay and Google Shopping.
- Integrating with the seller’s own e-commerce website, if the seller has one.
- Being a single point of contact for all e-commerce processes.
- Photographing each product.
- Sending the seller alerts when new inventory is needed.·
- Providing reports that show what products are selling, profit margins and related data.
Whitebox has been testing its software and services for the past 15 months and has worked with over 25 sellers to ship more than 130,000 products in a variety of industries, including automotive, jewelry, sporting goods, packaged consumer goods and consumer electronics. Whitebox manages inventory in five countries and sells in six languages.