Name: Jenni-Lyn Williams, Chief Snark Officer
Business: Snarky Tea
Year founded: 2016
Based in: Philadelphia, United States
Solutions: Shopify Shipping, order management, fulfillment, inventory management, return management
Snarky Tea was born in 2016 after working mom Jenni-Lyn Williams switched from coffee to tea as a way to cut down on caffeine. Williams found that the tea brands available in stores weren’t functional, and they also didn’t appeal to her personality. To change this, she decided to build a company that creates tea blends and other products that speak to women, empowering them to take on the world each day.
What started as a small operation producing charismatic tea blends with snarky names in Williams’ garage, quickly grew into a successful online business. Thanks to publicity opportunities through Vogue and the Oscars, and an appearance on Shark Tank (with two sharks investing), Snarky Tea exploded into a thriving direct-to-consumer company with hundreds of products.
With such fast, massive growth, Williams needed a way to manage and scale her fulfillment operations—quickly. That’s when Shopify entered the scene.
As a result of moving to Shopify, Snarky Tea has been able to:
- Take advantage of discounted shipping rates, saving $25,000 per month
- Streamline fulfillment by buying labels directly in Shopify and using manifests for USPS pickups
- Use the shipping labels index to ensure orders are picked, packed, and shipped accurately and seamlessly
- Track and manage inventory and product components across the supply chain
With too many systems, Snarky Tea didn’t have an accurate view of inventory across its supply chain. Data would not sync correctly, which led to selling out-of-stock items. It was also difficult to streamline fulfillment as order volume grew. “We’re printing 500+ shipping labels in a day,” says Williams. “The printer can only hold so much paper, and of course, it always needs ink right in the middle of a print job. So things would not print and there’d be a batch of 30 unprinted orders that we didn’t know about.”
Snarky Tea needed a reliable way to improve efficiency and simplify fulfillment processes. That’s when the company turned to Shopify’s built-in order management and delivery solution. With Shopify, Snarky Tea is able to manage inventory, fulfill orders quickly, and reduce shipping costs—all within one centralized ecommerce platform.
When it comes to inventory, Snarky Tea uses inventory transfers to keep track of incoming products. “We use Shopify’s native inventory management capabilities to track our production as it moves from our manufacturing facility to the fulfillment center,” says Williams. “We also use it to manage all of the components on our kitted items and sampler sets. It’s truly a game changer and keeps us from having to spend $250+ a month on an outside system.”
We use Shopify’s native inventory management capabilities to track our production as it moves from our manufacturing facility to the fulfillment center. It’s truly a game changer and keeps us from having to spend $250+ a month on an outside system.
Having accurate information about inventory, as well as the real time status of items, helps Snarky Tea remain organized and keep things running smoothly. Williams says, “Shopify saves us so much time. We don’t have to take manual inventory counts until month end, and we can trust that the data in Shopify’s inventory system is accurate and up-to-date.”
When it comes to fulfillment and shipping, Snarky Tea chooses industry-leading rates with USPS from Shopify Shipping. From within the admin, Snarky Tea can view orders for the day, buy labels at a 30% discount, then print labels and packing slips.
Snarky Tea also uses the shipping labels index to fix anything that may have been missed during batch printing. Thanks to this helpful Shopify feature, Snarky Tea can see the print status of each order label. “Having a status that can show whether a label was printed or not seems like a small thing, but it’s saving us from unnecessary headaches and stress,” says Williams.
Having a status that can show whether a label was printed or not seems like a small thing, but it’s saving us from unnecessary headaches and stress.
Once orders are picked, packed, and ready for pickup, the company uses USPS manifests in Shopify. “Manifests make pickups with our local USPS delivery person easy,” says Williams. “They need to scan one form to see all the shipping details for a batch of orders instead of scanning each order individually.”
“The more that I can do in Shopify’s ecosphere and not have to leave it, the better. Things happen in the transition from one system to the other … anything that Shopify does, they do it well.” —Jenni-Lyn Williams, Chief Snark Officer, Snarky Tea
The more that I can do in Shopify’s ecosphere and not have to leave it, the better. Things happen in the transition from one system to the other … anything that Shopify does, they do it well
Thanks to Shopify, the company is able to centralize its inventory management and order fulfillment, as well as purchase shipping labels from one place.
In a 30-day period, the company saved more than $25,000 in shipping costs alone. “By using Shopify for postage rather than a regular post office,” Williams says, “we are seeing, on average, a 30% discount on shipping rates.” Leveraging Shopify to manage its shipping labels will save the company approximately $305,000 per year in shipping costs.
By using Shopify for postage rather than a regular post office, we are seeing, on average, a 30% discount on shipping rates. This saves us more $305,000 in shipping costs per year.
In addition, Snarky Tea is saving time (and avoiding frustration) by using the Shopify platform. Since employees no longer have to manually perform certain tasks or check multiple systems for information, the company now saves over 360 hours per year.
Looking to the future, Snarky Tea is dedicated to fostering connections with its shoppers, turning them from one-time buyers into repeat, lifelong customers. The company’s new rewards program has helped with this, as has its Facebook group, in which Williams hosts tea-time live chats to talk with the community about both the company and life.
"We have a community, and with everything we do, we think about them,” says Williams. “If you build a relationship with your customer, that is the #1 most incredible feeling—it gives you purpose and meaning."