Challenge

Bookishly’s sales have grown quickly since it started selling through popular online marketplaces. With half its orders going to customers abroad, it needs a delivery service that is reliable and cost-effective.

Solution

Bookishly use International Standard (formerly Airmail) for its international deliveries – a trusted service that keeps costs low. It now qualifies for Royal Mail World Zone codes making international shipping even cheaper.

Benefit

With a growing international market and a 5-star reputation on Etsy, Bookishly is now focusing on breaking into new global markets and developing new product lines.

Bookishly sells unique literature-themed art work, stationery and jewellery all over the world.

Name:
Bookishly
Sales:
Online shop and marketplaces
Location:
Northampton
Employees:
3
Website:
www.bookishly.co.uk

When Louise Verity began printing her favourite quotes on framed book pages in 2009, she never imagined she could turn her hobby into a business. After proving popular at craft fairs, Louise decided to give online marketplaces a go and Bookishly was born. Now she sells to book-lovers across the world, with half her customer base in Australia, Canada and the US. “I love literature," says Louise, "and my customers do too. It’s really special for people to have a connection to their favourite book or quote. My prints are designed and printed in our Northampton workshop using my own original typeface.”

Selling through online marketplaces is a great way for Bookishly to reach its target audience. It joined Etsy in 2009 and a few years later notonthehighstreet.com. Today, half its Etsy sales are to customers abroad, and it’s taken over $70,000AUD in international orders since joining Australian marketplace hardtofind.com.au in 2014. “The benefit of online marketplaces is that they let us show off the creative side of the business and have driven us to up our game in how we present our products in our online storefront.  Plus we’re part of a really nice community of sellers who share their expertise and knowledge.”


 

With standards so high on online marketplaces, it’s important for Bookishly to offer fast and reliable delivery that’s also cost-effective for the business. “I’ve always used Royal Mail and wouldn’t consider anything else,” says Louise. “They have a reputation my customers trust and a service for every level of business.”

Keeping costs low internationally

International Standard keeps shipping costs low

Bookishly’s global market has grown quickly after joining hardtofind.com.au. With an ever-increasing number of international orders, it needs a delivery service that keeps costs low, both for Bookishly and its customers. “We offer free postage on Hard to Find,” says Louise, “and with International Standard (formerly Airmail) we have a delivery service that’s both affordable and reliable. We have had very few complaints, even when we were shipping around 200 orders a day.”

Working closely with its Account Manager at Royal Mail, Bookishly now has access to new international World Zone codes which provide even cheaper global shipping. “With these international codes we can ship to Australia for an even better price,” says Louise, “I don’t think there’s another delivery service I could use that offers such good value.”

Giving UK customers 1st class service

“Royal Mail helped us cut down our despatch times by 90%.”
Louise - Bookishly

For its customers in the UK, offering speedy and low cost delivery is equally important. Bookishly often makes to order so needs to keep lead times as short as possible. “Royal Mail 1st Class Parcels has a reputation people can trust and I can keep lead times as short as three to four days,” says Louise. “We’ve worked hard with Royal Mail to make our despatch process as short as possible. In 2014 we cut delivery times by 90% compared to the year before with no additional costs.”

Streamlining the shipping process

Bookishly used to prepare its orders using a franking machine, but as the business grew overseas it needed a more efficient way to despatch. Louise was recommended a Royal Mail Online Business Account on a marketplace sellers’ forum. Now she keeps track of all her orders online, which give her valuable discounts and more time to prepare orders. “An Online Business Account makes things very straightforward. We can print our own labels which saves us money and we’re looking into its address integration services that will let us collate all of our orders saving us even more time,” says Louise.


Bookishly send out three or four sacks of orders a day with daily collections.

 

“As the business grows, I know Royal Mail is there to support us.”
Louise - Bookishly

Louise used to post a few items a day from her local Post Office® branch, but now sends out three or four sacks every day, so having the time to process all her orders is essential. “We used to share a 3.30pm collection with our business unit, but after speaking to Royal Mail we arranged our own 5pm collection, which gives us more time to complete our orders,” says Louise. “It’s so simple, our postman is incredibly helpful and it’s easy to arrange a second collection during busy periods.”

New products, new markets

With a solid customer base in the UK and Australia, Bookishly’s next chapter involves a new stationery line and more global opportunities. “We aim to break into US marketplaces and even take the business wholesale internationally,” says Louise. “We speak regularly with our Royal Mail Account Manager, he’s been helping us find new international marketplaces, as well as recommending services to help us save money. As the business grows, I know Royal Mail is there to support us.”

 

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