Name: Simon Paquin, Director of Digital Marketing
Year founded: 1983
Based in: Montreal, Canada
Solutions: Order management, fulfillment, Shopify Shipping, returns management
Pilgrim got its start 40 years ago, with one woman who had a passion for jewelry. In 1983, designer Annemette Markvad turned her creativity into a collection of handmade jewelry that she sold at music festivals throughout Europe.
Now a thriving worldwide business, her mission is carried out by a team in Montreal who share her vision and values: bringing beautiful jewelry to individuals in North America who are looking to express themselves.
With a booming online store, as well as busy retail locations, Pilgrim needed a way to streamline its operations to make fulfillment more efficient. That’s where Shopify helped.
Thanks to Shopify, Pilgrim has been able to:
- Pick, pack, and buy labels from one centralized location
- Organize orders using search, filters, columns, and tags
- Create and save custom order views
- Use shipping presets to save preferred packaging and shipping carriers by default
Customers sometimes place their order online, only to realize shortly after that they need to change it. Whether they’ve selected the wrong item or entered the incorrect quantity, these last-minute updates happen.
On Pilgrim’s side, these requests get delivered to customer support, who enter the change into the system, which notifies the warehouse team so they can make the update while fulfilling the order. The original system that Pilgrim used was buggy, so updates didn’t always sync in real time. This meant a delay between customer support receiving a request and the warehouse team being notified of the change.
Pilgrim needed a way to provide a positive customer experience while streamlining the process for accommodating order updates. The company also needed a more efficient system for managing communication between the customer support and warehouse teams.
"For customer experience purposes, I was annoyed that our shipping tool was buggy sometimes and didn’t sync with order status in real time with Shopify. It started to create friction between our warehouse team and customers that had requested something from our CX team. Therefore, I began to envision how we could streamline everything." —Simon Paquin, Director of Digital Marketing, Pilgrim
To reduce this friction and ensure timely updates, Pilgrim turned to Shopify to manage, fulfill, and ship orders. “I like the simplicity, everything is in one place,” Simon says of Shopify, “and the support is great too!”
I like the simplicity, everything is in one place, and the support is great too.
Customers send their requests through, the Pilgrim customer support team updates the orders page in Shopify, and the change is immediately sent to the warehouse team. Thanks to Shopify’s streamlined, real-time updates, Pilgrim spends less time going back and forth between teams. The company also saves time and money by not having to fix orders after the fact.
“There are fewer steps between what we did versus what we do now,” says Simon. “What changed is the time people spent fixing things that never should’ve happened in the first place. Prevention is the big benefit; Shopify helped a lot in terms of efficiency and saving costs that way.”
What changed is the time people spent fixing things that never should’ve happened in the first place. Prevention is the big benefit; Shopify helped a lot in terms of efficiency and saving costs that way.
Pilgrim works with Canada Post for efficient shipping and delivery to its customers, and connects its account to manage orders and purchase shipping labels within Shopify. The company also uses shipping presets to save preferred packaging and shipping carriers by default. This means Pilgrim doesn’t have to continually re-enter its preferences regarding Canada Post. Using the Shipping Manifest app is crucial—thanks to manifests, Pilgrim saves on costs incurred by Canada Post, since it no longer needs to scan individual packages.
As part of the daily pickup in the warehouse, packages need to be organized by whether they are express or local pickups. Using Shopify’s custom order views, Pilgrim can quickly see which orders fall into each category—from one centralized view.
"The biggest money and time-saver here is the back-and-forth we used to have with the customer support team based on orders that didn’t sync with [our previous solution]. It created a lot of friction, meaning delaying the work to get done, and therefore shipping fewer orders every day. With Shopify, we’re making more money per hour with less friction." —Simon Paquin, Director of Digital Marketing, Pilgrim
With Shopify, we’re making more money per hour with less friction.
Pilgrim has already seen results from embedding Shopify into its day-to-day processes, positioning the company for long-term success.
Having the ability to pick, pack, and buy labels all in one place has reduced the time it takes to complete each order. With less back-and-forth communication across multiple channels, the fulfillment team has seen increased efficiency and improved accuracy of orders—ultimately leading to higher customer satisfaction.
Shopify’s capabilities to search, tag, and filter orders have helped the company practice better (and more timely) decision making, reducing order delays while preserving attention to detail. Creating custom order views allows Pilgrim’s team to find and surface the most relevant information, enabling them to make better decisions in less time.
The platform has also helped Pilgrim avoid delays and disconnects between apps, enabling more timely order fulfillment. “The idea is to have the leanest team possible, to scale, with the highest output,” Simon says. “More often than not, that comes with software solutions, such as Shopify.”
Pilgrim also regularly uses shipping presets for packaging and carriers, saving them time and shipping-related costs. This tool has improved profitability and reduced waste, promoting a sustainable business model.
Simon notes that Pilgrim is undergoing massive growth, moving out of the Tribe stage and into the Village stage. According to Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies, a popular book and business model by Chris Yeh and Reid Hoffman, a company enters the “Village” stage once it exceeds 100 employees, shifting to a more formal culture and established processes for rapid growth. This is a step up from the “Tribe” stage, which would describe a company with less than 100 employees, and a developing company structure. With five retail stores, and more on the horizon, Pilgrim is growing and here to stay.