Husband and Wife Team Go From a Handful of SKUs to a Hands-Free Dropshipping Empire
Growth is good. Unless it keeps you up all night. Just ask Chris Unangst and his wife, owners of Olivabel, an online retailer of consumer electronics and other products.
Soon after Hurricane Katrina devastated Florida - and Chris' real estate business - Chris experimented with dropshipping products he sold on Amazon. His business quickly grew from a handful of orders a day to 50-60 daily orders and Chris struggled to keep up.
"As we got bigger, it got tougher and tougher to control inventory and pricing," Chris said. "It was almost embarrassing; I was working well into the night, every night. I was going through thousands of listings manually adjusting them, and then when I got done, I started over again."
Chris knew he needed to automate inventory, pricing, and suppliers. He tried several other solutions before discovering Etail.
"I tried a couple of other solutions and lost money when they didn't deliver what they promised," he said. "The big difference with Etail is that you guys do what you say you are going to do."
Chris worked with Etail to integrate his suppliers' catalogs into the Etail platform. Then by leveraging Etail's automated drop shipping and tracking, Chris no longer had to touch every order - freeing him up to focus on growing Olivabel.
Olivabel grew from under $500,000 in 2011 to more than $5 million in 2016. Chris reached his first million-dollar month in December 2016, processing more than 500 orders per day.
"It was child's play easy," Chris said. "But I couldn't have done it without Etail. I don't see or touch 95% of my orders. That's why I can do 500-600 orders per day."
Chris also implemented Etail's powerful integrated repricing capabilities, replacing the standalone solutions his company had outgrown. He said he likes the flexibility to be able to set pricing options while knowing all automated pricing decisions are driven by his true costs.
"Repricing with a tool like Etail is an absolute must for an Amazon business," Chris said. "Etail automatically sets the most competitive price. Sometimes it actually raises a price so I know I'm not leaving money on the table."
Chris admits he had to adjust to the idea of turning his business over to automation - especially during the busy holiday season.
"I admit it, I'm a micromanager," Chris said. "When I had 15-20 orders a day I could go in and check their progress manually. But as I grew and I started doing 500 orders a day, it got beyond my ability to manage. I had to sit back, be hands off and trust Etail to get it right. That wasn't easy for me. But it worked beautifully. It worked beyond my expectations, like a well-oiled machine. I trust Etail and I couldn't be happier."
Topics: Success Story