Case Study

Cure packophobia so you can continue loving your online shop: the W.A.Green case

Photo: Architectural Digest

Ok, ‘packophobia’ is not a diagnosed ailment per se. But anyone who ever took their shop online – to ecommerce acclaim – knows that it most definitely should be!

And packophobia should simultaneously mean being terrified of breakages, passionately hating packing and being allergic to even the sight of packaging materials.

Because when you have to essentially pack your success and ship it to your customers – one different, very particular piece at a time – packing can soon become a pain in the assets.

The W.A.Green story: here goes everything!

Zoe Anderson worked in the advertising industry most of her life, always alongside other people on exciting team projects, in the safe space of… well, comfortable employment. But in 2017, she made a radical career shift: she left her ad life behind and, at 46, opened her own business, a feel-good interiors and lifestyle store.

W.A.Green, named after her maternal grandfather’s East Sussex greengrocers, took Shoreditch by storm. Although initially Zoe was terrified to look a customer in the eye, W.A.Green soon gained a cult-like following.

Perhaps its her approach of featuring little known makers next to accomplished big names and brands, or maybe just her exploring and inspiring personality.

Her whole philosophy revolves around just… trying stuff out. From her out-of-comfort-zone career decisions to the diverse, vibrant offering of her shop that gives a hit of ‘dopamine for the home’.

And that goes for her decision of taking it all online too. Her offering was so popular that it begged an ecommerce store. Because there’s a lot of Shoreditch-esque obsession for curated awesomeness outside of Shoreditch and across the Globe.

Fashion Foie Gras’s Emily Johnston probably put it best: ‘a small space packed with an epic interiors punch’. And talk about packed…

Packing! Who really needs it, anyway?!

Well, everybody… And if you’re into selling precious homewares to people around the world, you particularly need it.

Some of the things W.A.Green is selling are unique. Customers across the globe at times buy them as presents for loved ones. And even if items were replaceable, Zoe can’t afford breakages ruining the overall shopping experience.

Who hates packing though? Nearly everybody*.

(*except if you can find a group of order fulfillment geeks that are ALL about that; no spoiler, you’ll find out soon enough…)

Running a clicks and mortar shop, always staying ahead of the trend and – in Zoe’s case, leading it, doesn’t leave a lot of time for the sleeping monster of ecommerce that is logistics.

After opening the doors to her physical shop, she opened an online store too. She made a lean start with a small digital marketing budget to test things out but orders immediately started coming through, to the point that she found herself needing to ask one of the helpful neighboring shops for boxes to pack items in.

She then got some packaging materials and started to manage order fulfilment on her own. But she soon realised that was far from an ideal solution for a growing business.

Some shops count up to 90 hours of aggregated time per week that gets spent on packing between various staff members, which is the equivalent of 2 extra full-time positions.

But it really goes beyond actual packing too. In order to do packing, you need packing materials. In stock, that is. Because dispatch times are tight if you want happy customers.

W.A.Green’s variety of items would give any interior design enthusiast a fair share of FOMO which is great for business but it also means a lot of different parcels as a result, with even more special requirements. That translates into not only packaging materials on stock, but sufficient packaging. That takes space and investment, before items are even sold.

Then comes shipping itself. Zoe, like most merchants, can’t just close up shop to run to the Post Office. She would already need an extra pair of hands to help with packing so does she hire an extra, extra pair of hands, legs included, to sprint and drop parcels for whenever she can’t rely on collections? And which pair of hands draws the short straw for becoming an expert in the art of couriers? Who dedicates their life to understanding the mind-boggling shipping carrier combinations of ‘next day, express or economy, tracked, signed, tracked and signed, tracked but unsigned, what’s your zodiac sign?’. Then there’s domestic destinations versus global destinations. Don’t even get Zoe started on customs and taxes. And frankly… no one needs to get started on that…

Zoe found a cure to all these separate pain points in Weengs

Set up as an integrated third party logistics service for SMEs, Weengs now takes all the hassle of order fulfilment from W.A.Green and handles everything on Zoe’s behalf, from safely collecting and packing sold items, to figuring out what shipping carrier works best for their delivery.

Because Weengs collects for hundreds of businesses in London, the bigger volume of shipments results in better deals from carriers. The saved cost is passed on to the shops so shipping ends up cheaper and includes packaging materials and professional packing.

When item are sold on W.A.Green’s online shop, Zoe imports them into her Weengs dashboard and request a collection. A driver comes by with padded bags and collects the unpacked items. These are safely brought to Weengs’ warehouse in central London, measured, weighed and neatly boxed up by experienced packers.

W.A.Green saves time from not bothering with packing again and money from not having to stock packing materials or risk breakages.

Yes, Weengs also offers insurance so Zoe doesn’t have to worry about lost items. Finally, Weengs deals with carriers directly, so no one at W.A.Green have to chase couriers again.

Zoe used Weengs to

  • Cure packofobia, by essentially never having to pack again
  • Save time, money and hassle, with every shipment
  • Focus on discovering and featuring more talented makers and enjoy curating new works and collections of established big names, thus growing their influence as one of the go-to places for interior ideas and housewares in London

Want to learn more about how to prevent logistics-related ailments with a healthy dose of dopamine to your order fulfillment process?

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