Canadian customers pay an international tariff when a U.S. retailer ships goods across the border. Once that money is paid to the Canadian government, it takes time and paperwork to get it back. That can be frustrating for online shoppers and can drive down international sales.
ShopBop wanted to provide its Canadian customers with a better shopping experience. The goal was to offer free shipping both ways, without making customers wait months to get their taxes and fees back after a return.
ShopBop contracted with a new logistics firm that specialized in international returns with immediate tariff and tax recovery services. But in order to implement that solution, ShopBop had to update its backend systems and integrate with the carrier’s tools. Plus, additional customer-facing changes were required on the ShopBop website.
Omni developed the infrastructure that allowed ShopBop’s systems to interface with the carrier. Changes were made to ShopBop’s shipping, invoicing and customer care applications, so all payment, refund and customer service information could be properly tracked between the two companies.
Omni had a leg up right from the beginning because one of its developers had already worked on an international shipping project and understood, first-hand, the challenges of cross-border sales.
“Omni brought in a good variety of talent,” says Scott Duttkin, ShopBop’s software development manager. “They have good server-side engineering skills and also frontend engineering.”
Duttkin also recognizes that, as consultants, Omni brought valuable perspective and consensus-building capabilities to the job. “Because they were outside resources, they were less distracted by our internal app processes,” Duttkin said. “That also meant they were able to interact with our users better. They established a good relationship with all our business owners.”