Can you give us an overview of Mr Tubs and where the brand came from?
Mr Tubs was founded by myself and my business partner, Tom Norton. Both from traditional retail management backgrounds, Tom and I saw the general food and beverage sectors transform and gentrify basic goods with much more high-quality, premium products. The snack market was no different, with crisps and peanuts – amongst others – developing first. We then saw meat-based snacks beginning to evolve, and decided to develop Mr Tubs in that sector.
When the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown hit, we went from a relatively small, aspirational business to a #1 Amazon bestseller in our category. In fact, within this category, we typically occupy eight of the top 15 products sold in the UK from November to December. That’s the power of Amazon.
Our business desire is to continue growing our main channels – including Amazon and eBay – with fulfilment provided by Zendbox. We are now considering whether to invest in Google advertising to promote our brand’s searchability via our established Woocommerce website. We’ve grown hugely over the course of the COVID-19 eCommerce shopping period and have not seen a decline since.
To begin with, Mr Tubs fulfilled orders in-house. What encouraged you to outsource the process, as opposed to exploring other solutions?
Once we realised that we had a great product, Tom and I believed that outsourcing fulfilment was the only solution because we thought we would receive a huge wave of orders, but it was a pipe dream really. In the end, Tom and I self-fulfilled via Hermes and Parcel2Go until Mr Tubs grew to such a point that there was no way we could continue to either contract pack orders or fulfil in-house.
It was at this stage that we decided to outsource the process, but in our journey to finding Zendbox, we had some ropey experiences with other 3PL providers, who were all equally frustrating to deal with. They actually caused more problems for our business than they solved – we were receiving daily emails from our customers about slow deliveries, missing orders, and incorrect items received. We were facing the challenge of being a fast-growing eCommerce business, but the 3PL providers we worked with couldn’t keep up with us.What were the deciding factors for choosing Zendbox over another 3PL provider?
What were the deciding factors for choosing Zendbox over another 3PL provider?
We decided to partner with Zendbox on recommendation from a marketing agency that worked with us on our advertising activities. The agency had used Zendbox’s services before and advised us that if we really want to receive a stellar service, speak to Zendbox. Initially, I thought our order volumes wouldn’t have interested Zendbox, but James Khoury – the company’s CEO – took our phone call and understood that we were trying to grow a brand with two hands tied behind our back. From that conversation, Zendbox kindly took us on.
How did you find the onboarding process with Zendbox?
The onboarding process with our previous fulfilment provider was appalling – it seemed as though we were managing them. Zendbox did an exemplary job onboarding Mr Tubs in comparison. There weren’t many headaches during the process, and it was refreshing that if there was a query from Zendbox – about SKUs and how we set these up, for example – the team understood it straight away and came back to us with solutions to problems, advising us on how and why we should rename a SKU.
The team were very, very proactive during onboarding and got under the skin of what is usually a daunting task, particularly because we have an extensive product range. Some of the frustrations we encountered during onboarding with previous 3PLs were related to inventory and channel syncing, but this was handled correctly at a click with Zendbox. It was absolutely brilliant.
We were amazed by how quickly we were onboarded. Zendbox was very transparent from the very beginning on how long the process would take, but everything was live within the specified timeframe. Zendbox was professional throughout and nailed the onboarding process first time.
Once onboarded with Zendbox, what impact did you see at Mr Tubs?
We saw an immediate impact on our business with more satisfied customers. As an eCommerce business, we ultimately pay fulfilment providers to dispatch our orders on time and, in turn, we market this service to our customers. However, if there is an issue with an order, the customer will contact Mr Tubs in the first instance. If we at Mr Tubs get an influx of customer queries, it can create an extremely challenging situation for us.
When we partnered with Zendbox, it was radio silence when it came to customer concerns. Let’s put that into perspective – with previous 3PL providers we had worked with, we were dealing with 10 to 15 customer queries about missing orders every day. We would have to go back to the fulfilment provider regarding these issues, and we wouldn’t get a reply for at least 48 hours.
We would then have to explain to our customer that we’d love to help them but couldn’t. In the meantime, the list of emails we received would continue to grow. By the end of the week, we would be dealing with 100 or more outstanding issues, which ate away at our commercial energy to grow the business.
What do you find most impressive about Zendbox?
The most impressive aspect of Zendbox is the service the team provides. The end-customer places an order on our website or on another of our sales channels, and they receive their products in a timely manner and in the condition they expect. Zendbox enhances the customer’s perception of our brand with a great service. Partnering with Zendbox for our fulfilment was the best thing we did – our headspace has been freed to focus on growing our business and our customers are genuinely not disappointed. Zendbox does what it says on the tin.
What are your thoughts on the relationship Zendbox has with Mr Tubs?
The relationship between Mr Tubs and Zendbox is excellent. If I raise a query with the team, they get back to me quickly. Their communication is extremely amicable, and they take their time to understand us and our frustrations. They’ve ultimately got our best interests at heart.
What customer feedback is Mr Tubs receiving since partnering with Zendbox?
Any reviews we receive from customers generally come through on Trustpilot. Our overall rating on Trustpilot is just below 5-stars, which is just phenomenal for an independent brand. Our Trustpilot reviews often reference our products being great, but there is also a lot of feedback about orders being delivered on time or as promised.
How would you describe Zendbox and the service it provides?
Reflecting on the overall service that Zendbox provides, what does this do for your eCommerce business?
It strengthens Mr Tubs’ brand authority and credibility because we’re able to deliver orders the next working day and we deliver the right product! This ultimately leads to repeat business because customers aren’t disappointed. If they like our product and it’s backed by good service, that promotes loyalty.
It’s a pleasure to know that Zendbox strengthens your brand. What are your future business plans in terms of growth, and how do you hope Zendbox will support this?
We’re so pleased with the service and level of automation provided by Zendbox that we want to start utilising the company’s B2B fulfilment services, so that our key trade partners can order via our website, with fulfilment provided by Zendbox. This will ensure a seamless, automated process, eliminating the need for the Mr Tubs team to get involved. It’s an exciting development that Zendbox are working on optimising.
Has your eCommerce business experienced a boom in sales following the COVID-19 pandemic? Want to ensure your brand is fully equipped to handle an increasing volume of orders? Request a demo from Zendbox and find out how our premium 3PL fulfilment solution can support the growth of your brand.
Micah assists in developing and implementing innovative marketing campaigns that promote the products and services at Zendbox. She also produces articles, eBooks and other useful resources to help online retailers optimise their eCommerce operations and grow their business.