In a trendsetting city like Austin, it can be difficult to stand out as an innovator. Austin is innumerably occupied with exceptional startups, even within e-commerce. ShippingEasy has uniquely managed to innovate in the e-commerce shipping space in two ways: by not stopping with the core product the company is built on — shipping — and through an obsession with customer experience.
Katie May, CEO
ShippingEasy moved from Australia to Austin because the founding team saw vast opportunities in a city filled with talent and innovative thinking. Building a company takes initiative, commitment, risk-taking, and detailed execution. Austin embodies that kind of vibe and is filled with people who make things happen. ShippingEasy now employs 100 Austinites and plans to continue growing beyond that.
The company’s culture of innovation starts with the customer. ShippingEasy’s CEO Katie May has created an environment where every employee feels compelled to ask the question “So what?” and keep digging for additional answers. This leads employees to think differently; instead of just solving the problem, they isolate what a customer is trying to do and why. These insights drive accelerated product evolution and customer success.
Rejecting traditional hierarchy when it comes to strategic directions, ideas for the company’s future come from all levels within the company. All departments have a say, with staffers brainstorming, creating, and pitching new products and solutions to fellow team members. The adage that no idea is a bad idea rings true at ShippingEasy.
When asked about this approach to idea empowerment, Katie May said, “Encouraging the entire team of one hundred to contribute and drive our innovation gives us ten times more insight than a typical company our size. Seniority doesn’t rank higher when it comes to ideas.”
Enhancing the culture begins on day one when an employee starts with ShippingEasy. Through a program named “The First Mile Club,” new employees are matched up with long-time employees from different departments to introduce them, get to know them, take them to lunch, and check in on their acclimation to the team. This helps create cross-team collaboration, avoids “departmental tunnel vision,” and makes new employees feel like they’re being truly welcomed.
With many of its original team members still working at ShippingEasy, the team is a tight bunch. Every year, the team competes in Austin’s Startup Games and some have joined softball leagues together. Each week ends with a happy hour where staff hang out in the office and play games like ping pong, trivia, Quiplash, and Mario Kart tournaments before heading off for the weekend.
The company culture and employees’ obsession with customers have led to progressive ways to solve additional pain points for customers. ShippingEasy has leveraged order data — the core of the shipping functionality — to lead the way for additional marketing, customer management, and inventory management solutions. This has helped ShippingEasy provide the most complete solution for e-commerce merchants on the market and solidified the company as an industry leader. ShippingEasy’s platform continues to win market share from more traditional players as online merchants realize the value of multiple solutions in one place. None of that would have been possible without the culture of innovation that is ingrained in every facet of ShippingEasy.