What’s the greatest benefit that e-commerce brings to your business? For some, it’s the ability to sell physical goods without the added cost of maintaining a retail footprint, or the ability to provide a standardized experience to all your customers. For MyNeedleStore.com it’s the ability to reach out to an international record playing community at the push of a button.
A ‘B side’ business: The origins of MyNeedleStore
MyNeedleStore.com started when Eric Fontaine – a vinyl record enthusiast – had been struggling to find a place that sold needles for his record player. After some searching he found a niche company that sold what he wanted, but he also found an owner that was looking to sell the business. In 2008 Fontaine purchased the company and was on the path to turn his passion for records into his new livelihood. He then launched MyNeedleStore.com, an e-commerce business specializing in turntable parts and accessories for the record-playing community.
MyNeedleStore.com serves a diverse clientele consisting of record stores, DJs, electronics stores, antique collectors and audiophiles passionate about their vinyl. That clientele isn’t unique to Canada though, so Fontaine set his eyes on expanding to other markets like the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. The company ships approximately 200 parcels a day, or about 6,000 each month and the U.S. market represents 80 per cent of their business. When looking at the growth potential south of the border, it was critical to find the right shipping partner to help expand international sales.
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A partner that won’t let the record skip
The appeal of personalized service, superior tracking, competitive rates and convenient shipping solutions are what drew Fontaine to Canada Post. A representative from Canada Post met with Fontaine and spent some time understanding his business and what solutions might work best for him. “The sales rep truly listens to our needs and closely works with us to ensure we are fully satisfied.” Fontaine says. Canada Post became a partner, not just a shipper, for his business.
The (Canada Post) sales rep truly listens to our needs and closely works with us to ensure we are fully satisfied.
From there, Canada Post recommended an integrated shipping software provider that streamlined his operations and strengthened the company’s bottom line. MyNeedleStore.com was able to take advantage of easy and automated label printing for the several different marketplaces where its products are sold. The integration also simplified order fulfilment and improved the overall delivery experience. “For our U.S. customers, Canada Post’s solutions are a must.” Fontaine says.
For our U.S. customers, Canada Post’s solutions are a must.
Turning tables on customer complaints with tracking
Tracking also became an important must-have for Fontaine’s U.S. customers. Immediate tracking visibility is essential for marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and Canada Post shipments can instantly be tracked upon pickup and also viewed on the United States Postal Service’s website. Fontaine says American customers are more confident knowing they can track their package from the moment it ships in Canada until it arrives at their door. As a result of Canada Post’s tracking visibility, MyNeedleStore.com’s lost package complaints have been reduced by 75 per cent. “Our success depends on the quality of customer service. The tracking tool allows us to offer an improved delivery service.” Fontaine says.
With Canada Post as its partner and its solutions at its disposal, MyNeedleStore.com is well-equipped to satisfy its international customers and tackle the opportunities in new markets.
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