People are spoiled when it comes to online shopping. Many of us expect to be able to buy anything we want online, and we’re confused when we can’t find what we’re looking for. Not only that, we expect shipping to be fast and free (thanks a lot, Amazon Prime).
But for many brands and retailers, this is still a hard thing to do, so they could use some help. Seattle startup Shipium launched in 2019 to help businesses provide faster and cheaper shipping in order to gain and retain customer loyalty.
On Wednesday, Shipium announced that it raised $8 million in its seed funding round. Trilogy Equity Partners led the funding round, with participation from PSL Ventures and Good Friends. Angel investor Darrell Cavens, who is the co-founder and former CEO of Zulily, also participated in the round.
Shipium was founded by Jason Murray and Mac Brown, two former VPs of Amazon and Zulily (respectively). Their experience in the industry taught them how important perfecting your e-commerce strategy is. But despite how huge e-commerce has become, not every business has fully acclimated to the online-first environment.
According to a February study by eMarketer, Amazon is expected to generate $367.19 billion in e-commerce sales in 2021 — that’s 40.4 percent of all e-commerce sales in the country. It is also over $100 billion more in e-commerce sales than eMarketer estimates Walmart, eBay, Apple, Best Buy, Target, Home Depot, Kroger, Costco and Wayfair will make this year combined.
Great news for Amazon, but it means other brands have a lot of catching up to do.
Shipium believes that the key to get people away from Amazon and using other online shopping platforms is by matching Amazon at their own game — by providing free and fast shipping.
Shipium offers a four-tiered approach to help retailers do this. It helps with inventory placement so the products that people are ordering are closer to the people ordering them. It helps retailers promise fast and/or free shipping to promote customer loyalty. It helps route orders through complex shipping and fulfillment networks. And it helps pick the best shipping carriers to get products delivered quickly and cheaply.
The new funding will allow Shipium to grow in order to reach more brands and retailers. In order to do so, the 10-person company will be hiring. Shipium currently has a few jobs open across roles in sales, engineering and data science.
“Our next objective is to continue to meet the needs of our customers so they in turn can meet the needs of their customers. The team will be expanding and we are always looking to add those with a shared vision of the future,” Murray wrote in a blog post.