ShipStation • 2019 • 6 weeks

ShipStation: Helping warehouse managers efficiently organize orders

How might we enable warehouse managers to organize incoming orders quickly and efficiently so that they can ship out all of their customers orders out the door?

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01. Company

ShipStation is a fulfillment management platform for online sellers.

Users can import their online orders from different selling channels and marketplaces to fulfill their orders from ShipStation. They can shop rates, verify addresses, buy shipping labels, buy order insurance, and manage inventory from one platform.

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02. Overview

From Order Import to Label Purchase

The original "ShipStation" was first launched as an eBay plugin in 2012 with the mission of helping online merchants ship efficiently. Since then there has been tremendous growth. Now, ShipStation has to support different types and sizes of users (Small to Enterprise).

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03. Discovery

Getting Started

To align engineering, product, and design, I went over a design brief to figure out the why, who, when, where, what, and how.

People Problem

Currently, organizing thousands of orders is very time-consuming for merchants. Merchants spent on average 4 hours per day organizing orders.

High Level Goal

Design ways to help merchants easily and efficiently organize their orders. Once their orders are organized, enable users to quickly purchase labels and ship out these orders.

User Groups

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Warehouse Manager

Olivia is a warehouse manager. She is the primary ShipStation user and organizes all the orders that come in and assigns them to warehouse workers on the floor. She makes sure all the orders get fulfilled accurately. She also helps out with picking and packing during the busy shipping season.

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Warehouse Worker (Picker & Packer)

Jose is a Picker & Packer. He follows tasks that the Shipping Manager assigns him to do. He recieves order invoices for each order and picks out products into a bin. He usually has a couple of specific tasks that he has to do every day.

04. Research

Understanding Workflows

I wanted to learn more about how, where, and why ShipStation users were organizing orders. To eliminate bias, I asked ShipStation experts (executives, support, and sales) after phone interviews and on-site visits.

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Survey

The goal of this survey was to:

1. Find out how and why merchants were grouping orders.
2. Identify their biggest pain points and needs.

Survey Highlights

How do you organize orders?

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Features frequently used

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Why are you organizing orders the way you do?

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Features Reqested Relating to Order Organization

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Onsite Visits

The goal of the visits was to understand why and how merchants were organizing orders and better understand their shipping workflows.

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Shipping Workflows

There are a lot of different shipping workflows. However, there are a couple of ways merchants organize orders.

Workflow #1: Traditional online retailer

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Workflow #2: Retailers that have orders with similar composition

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05. Define

Pain Points, Metrics & More

The next step is to compile all the different customer pain points to find patterns so that I can prioritize which pain points to target first.

Pain Points

1. Takes too long to organize all orders that need to be shipped out for the day.

2. Prioritizing orders is a bit difficult when I start the day

Needs

1. Automated and efficient way to prioritize orders that needs to be shipped out for the day.

Success Metrics

1. 📉 Spend less time organizing orders.

2. 📈 More labels being purchased in a shorter amount of time.

06. Ideation

Iterating and Communicating

Once the team defined all the pain points, needs, and success metrics, I started drawing up ideas to target our user's pain points. I also designed to hit our success metrics.

Ideas

1. Sorting columns (Updating existing UX)

2. Grouping orders by similarity (New feature)

3. Managing filters users don't use (New feature)

4. Automation rules (New feature, however too much lift)

5. Saved "views" combination of filters, groups & sorted columns (New feature)

07. Solution

Turning Ideas into Reality

Turning wireframes into designs

Group by

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Filtering

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Sort By

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Batches (Bulk Purchase & Print Shipping Labels)

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08. Conclusion

Project Results

Due to changes in management, the new design system was halted and direction was changed. Implemented UX using the old design system in place. I started seeing a 30% reduction in time spent using the old designs.

The next step to make ShipStation more efficient would be through easier automation. This way users can set automation once and the software will do 80% of the heavy lifting (Sorting, filtering, etc.)