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Episode 20: Starting an e-commerce brand (and what they don’t tell you)

Episode 20: Starting an e-commerce brand and what they don't tell you.
Sippin' & Shippin'
Episode 20: Starting an e-commerce brand (and what they don’t tell you)

Tanya Phipps|August 5th, 2022

Founders start their companies with an idea and a passion. They’ve got an incredible product,  want to tell a story, and, most importantly, create a loyal community. But there are many moving parts to building a successful e-commerce store – and it’s not as simple as setting up an online site. Details like SKU level margins, shipping options, and warehousing operations aren’t very exciting or creative but are essential parts of launching a sustainable business. We sat down with Nima Elyassi-Rad, Head of Business Development at Shippo, to dive into what founders need to know when starting an e-commerce business – the highs, the lows, and everything in between.


00:46 Being an entrepreneur: Nima’s background and experience.

03:35 Starting an e-commerce business – what they don’t tell you.

05:44 The business of volume: why SKU level margin is important.

10:01 Oh, shoot – what about packaging? Covering small but important details.

15:01 Scaling and the need to outsource, but how?

16:54 The shipping side of e-commerce: choosing a carrier, capacity shortage, and more.

E-commerce order tracking: Why it matters & how to do it right banner


Brian Weinstein: Welcome everybody to Sippin’ & Shippin’. I’m your host, Brian Weinstein. We’ll be kicking it here every other Friday, quenching your thirst for an insider’s take to enhance your customer experience. Grab your drink of choice, kick back, it’s Sippin’ & Shippin’ time. Welcome everybody to another episode of Sipping & Shippin. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. I am with, as I always am, as I always will be as long as she’ll tolerate me, Caitlin Postel.

Caitlin Postel: That was intense, Brian. I’m here today, I’ll be here tomorrow, at least as far as I can tell. Sippin’ & Shippin’, let’s get it.

Brian Weinstein: After that, no more guarantees?

Caitlin Postel: No, no, no.

Brian Weinstein: She’s an episode by episode contract.

Caitlin Postel: That’s it, that’s it.

Brian Weinstein: Awesome. All right. And we have our very special guest, Nima from Shippo. Nima, welcome.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Hi folks. Thanks for having me.

Brian Weinstein: Now appreciate you coming on and giving us, dropping us some knowledge on parcel and the world of parcel. And there’s a lot of intricacies there and why don’t you give the audience a little bit of background on yourself and where you came from and what you have going on right now at Shippo?

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Well, again, thank you so much for having me. I’m an operator, a founder and an investor. I spent more than a decade in, or decade plus now, I guess, in the venture ecosystem. I spent time at Groupon pre and post IPO and I’ve done two tours of duty at Shippo, one very early on when we had actually first started, and one again, for the last three years. In between, I did a tour of duty in venture directly working with Ben Harrison, who’s now general partner of Tenacity Ventures and Bryce Roberts at OATV doing NDVC at the time. And then I actually started my own DDC brand, tried to do self-fulfillment, learned how hard that is firsthand, still have the brand on the side, albeit running poorly because I’m spending most of my time on partnerships at Shippo.

Brian Weinstein: Yeah. There’s nothing easy about being a startup. There are some that can make it look easy. I think there are some that just sort of get lucky.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Even as someone who’d been, I’ve spent most of, especially the last 10 plus years, specifically in eCommerce and shipping logistics infrastructure. Even with that background, having started a D2C brand, no one starts a brand saying I want to get in fulfillment, right?

Brian Weinstein: Right.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: You just want to do the thing that you were passionate about, you want to make the thing that you were passionate about, but then you find out that fulfillment ends up taking, I don’t know, some days more than half of your time. And thank God there are solutions for that now.

Brian Weinstein: Yes. I wonder who those solutions could be.

Caitlin Postel: No shameless plugs, no shameless plugs.

Brian Weinstein: Yeah, sorry.

Caitlin Postel: But Nima, that D2C brand, the passion there was soccer, right, if I remember correctly-

Nima Elyassi-Rad: That’s right.

Caitlin Postel: Which as a soccer player myself, can you tell us, so we do work with a lot of startups and would like to think that startups listen to Sippin’ & Shippin’. Can you tell us a little bit about how that startup expertise or just dipping your toe in that has helped or gave you some perspective on the shipping world?

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Honestly, it’s made me so, so much more sympathetic.

Caitlin Postel: Yeah.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: There’s something about having other entrepreneur friends who are building physical products and selling it, and they’re telling you about the pain, but there’s nothing like the physical back pain of self-fulfilling 100 things in one day.

Caitlin Postel: Yeah. Or-

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Right.

Caitlin Postel: Or going back to the pitch after 10 years and trying to have a kick around.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: 100%. I mean, honestly, visualizing 300 boxes in a second bedroom and 300 pieces of product. And then all the kitting stuff that you guys do. You want to have thank you cards in your box, you want to put a pin in your box. I recently sat next to an entrepreneur on a plane, randomly we started talking about fulfillment. She has a brand and from her perspective, she’s sort of saying how some of the problems she’s having with her 3PL and I’m telling her that sort of unit economics of how hard it is to actually run a fulfillment business, and by the end of it, she had so much sympathy.

Brian Weinstein: Right.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: She really did, right?

Brian Weinstein: Yep.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Because from one perspective, you’re like, God, I’m working so hard. I just want to sell my stuff. Why can’t you just do it on time? I’m like, look, there’s all this stuff that goes into it. To you it’s just a cost, but imagine if you had to house all those boxes. Imagine if you had to get warehouse space, imagine if you had to hire an employee, imagine if you had to write those handwritten notes.

Brian Weinstein: Doing it yourself was probably the only time in the brand’s existence where you were pissed when you came in and there were more orders. I’m crying, I can’t stand this, stop ordering.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: I swear to God. That’s exactly what happened. I mean, I ended up asking, not just my wife, but three friends to come through to be like, guys, I can’t. Physically, I can’t.

Caitlin Postel: It’s something we hear often, especially in that space about just reaching that tipping point and how the logistics infrastructure really plays into the scalability of an eCommerce brand. Let me ask you, who were you using as your label by provider back then?

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Shippo, because-

Caitlin Postel: You were.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: I mean, not to disown, [inaudible 00:05:42] my friends. I can can’t.

Brian Weinstein: Right.

Caitlin Postel: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: However, knowing what I know now, that business is sort of a hobby on the side now, but if I was really spending more time and trying to scale that business, there’s zero reasons why I wouldn’t be working with someone like a Whiplash to actually help me fulfill. Because I mean, this actually sort of segues into a broader conversation that I really don’t think we talk enough about in our industry, and I say industry broadly, whether it’s shipping or fulfillment or eCommerce generally, which is skew level margins. It’s not a sexy topic, but the only way somebody can have a sustainable growing business in eCommerce, you have to have the skew level margins to be able to even stomach a shipping cost, let alone a packaging cost, let alone outsourcing your fulfillment to a third party logistics so that you can focus more on selling and scaling your business. But if you’re screen printing some art piece on the same exact black and white hoodie that everybody buys off of Alibaba for $16, unless you’re selling it for $100, you’re not going to have the margins to be able to outsource fulfillment and really scale your operations. Or you need to have a different strategy of saying, okay, I’m going to have five SKUs, this SKU I have the margins and I can wholesale, therefore that I can outsource fulfillment to and I’m going to do a lot of volume on that one. And then these two, I’m willing to take a less than 50% gross margin on and I’ll do less volume and maybe I’ll self-fulfill because I’ll only sell 30 of them a month.

Brian Weinstein: Right. It’s-

Nima Elyassi-Rad: We’re in the business of volume.

Brian Weinstein: Yeah. Well, exactly. But it’s an interesting challenge and dilemma that I think a lot of these brands find themselves in. And if they’re not paying attention, and to your point, because they’re maybe too busy focused on areas that are not core competency like fulfillment or other areas, these things get missed and then next thing you know, you’re going back and you’re looking at your P&L and saying, oh my God, what am I doing?

Caitlin Postel: Yeah.

Brian Weinstein: And I’m doing all this, I’m spinning my wheels and I’m not making any money or at least making any traction moving forward.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Exactly.

Caitlin Postel: And it’s wild when people don’t know those things, right. They don’t know what’s driving that or they’re just arbitrarily throwing out price points where they’re going to offer free shipping, not really knowing where are those SKUs that are driving that or what is your Hero SKU? And I think that sometimes people get a little taken aback when you start digging and asking the questions and they don’t know the answer.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Yeah.

Caitlin Postel: That’s always very surprising to me.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: At least from a warehouse perspective, especially a sophisticated operation like Whiplash, y’all deal with much larger brands. And I would say those folks, they have a certain level of sophistication that maybe the long tail of sellers don’t have. To Shippo’s business, we have a platform side and partnered side to our business and then we have the direct business. On the direct side, we really have all these aspirational entrepreneurs and sellers. And so often when someone starts a business, it’s because Caitlin and Nima, our passion is soccer and we want to be able to tell a story. So we get started on something and you take 10 steps, and by the time you get there, all of a sudden, you’re like, oh shoot, what about packaging? Because you didn’t get in business to think about packaging or you didn’t get in business to think about fulfillment. We got in business because we wanted to tell the story of soccer and we wanted to make these beautiful clothes. And so I think by the time folks get there, it’s sort of a harsh reality and sometimes it’s just hard to take a step back. And so I’m very sympathetic to it.

How to design branded ecommerce packaging [with top tips + design examples].

Brian Weinstein: Yeah, for sure. I mean, we get calls today from people who are saying, hey, we need rates. And by the way, our first containers hit next Wednesday. And you’re like, how did… And you realize that with everything going on for them to get to that point of launch-

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Yeah.

Brian Weinstein: They are forgetting little minutia details that aren’t so little or minutia, right.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: 100%.

Brian Weinstein: Yeah, it’s interesting. It’s something that is why I think more so today than ever before there is outsourcing and people are just saying, I’m going to give this all up as soon as I can because I just can’t do it, it’s taking away from my core competency.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: We’re seeing it more and more too. I mean, just straight up data points of how many businesses come through Shippo. Our core product is we’re an API is a technology, but the front facing side of what people see is this web app.

Brian Weinstein: Mm-hmm.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: And they’re asking us for fulfillment partners-

Brian Weinstein: Right.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Because that side of our business, we don’t do the fulfillment.

Brian Weinstein: Yeah.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: It’s folks like y’all. I think it’s just hard. It’s hard because there’s no standard education in terms of you want to make a wool jacket, genuinely you have to think about the sheep in New Zealand, the farmer, and then that wool’s going to go to a factory in Thailand to get spun up into fabric. And then that fabric is going to get put on a ship and it’s going to go to the port of LA, and then from port of LA, it’s going to get on a truck and go to a warehouse. But they don’t tell you that when you’re starting a business, they’re like, hey, set up your Shopify store, God speed. Go start your business.

Brian Weinstein: Exactly right. Exactly right. But-

Nima Elyassi-Rad: And look, the best entrepreneurs break through that. And those are the wonderful stories, right? Hedley & Bennett is a customer of yours.

Brian Weinstein: Yep.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: God, her story’s incredible.

Brian Weinstein: Yes. And they had to persevere through the pandemic when the restaurants were all closed and they’ve done a great job navigating those waters. And I think a part of being an entrepreneur is being able to learn on the fly and pivot when you need to. And if you’re caught somewhere and you’re stuck, not being afraid to raise your hand and say, I need some help.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: And thankfully there’s more help than ever before. I think one thing that sort of keeps me up at night, especially when we talk about logistics infrastructure in the US, is actually warehouse capacity.

Brian Weinstein: Yeah.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: When I talk to some of the executives on your team and some of my friends who are executives at other companies, constantly everyone is thinking about capacity shortage, right? Prologis, Amazon’s biggest landlord, recently reported their earnings and their CEOs come out and said,, right now and little self-serving because that’s their business, but as industry people, we know it’s true. He’s saying there’s an 800 million square feet shortage of warehouse space in the US right now. Now part of that maybe is more grade A buildings. Sure, there’s grade B and grade C and-

Brian Weinstein: Sure.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: A few places with shorter ceilings and all that. And we know the shortage in the next four years, it’s almost 2X that. You can’t build these facilities fast enough because to your point, people are coming, the demand is there. We actually just don’t have it all set up.

Brian Weinstein: Right. And interestingly enough, I was speaking to somebody about, so you have this shortage. Now we’re doing so much in the eCommerce space and so many of our brands have a low SKU depth, a lot of SKUs, low SKU’d quantity depth. We go very horizontal so we could add levels, we could go mezzanine pick tower. Well, the cost of steel is still so high. I was having a conversation with somebody who did an analysis. It’s $75 a foot to build a mezzanine. It’s $90 a foot to build a building.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Yeah.

Brian Weinstein: You might as well just build another building. They can’t build them fast enough. And to your point, Nima, I mean, what we’re finding throughout the country, what we paid in California on a new lease three and a half years ago, we’re paying that now so far east in California, it’s amazing. And that’s not going to change, it may level. I don’t think it’s going to go back. Not until we get caught up.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: I don’t think so either.

Brian Weinstein: No.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: I mean, at this point, it feels like Ohio and Utah are just warehouse space, right?

Brian Weinstein: Yes.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Do people live in those states?

Brian Weinstein: No. Actually they do. You know what? We’re three warehouses deep in Columbus right now.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: I know.

Brian Weinstein: And I’ll tell you what, we are really, really enjoying the market out there.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Yes.

Brian Weinstein: And it’s really been a pleasure. The teams that we’ve built out there, our group and Caitlin, you’re supposed to yell at me because I’m shamelessly plugging in, but our group out there, our leadership-

Caitlin Postel: It’s relevant.

Brian Weinstein: Yeah, it is. Our leadership team out there has done a great job of building a culture and there’s a lot of people that are looking and eager for employment. We’ve really enjoyed that market. And it makes sense for eCommerce brands to be middle of the country, either single node or dual node. Yeah.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Yeah. I mean, Ohio, Nevada, Atlanta, Chicago, Midwest, Utah.

Brian Weinstein: Right.

Caitlin Postel: Just naming all the spots we’re taking down buildings, Nima.

Brian Weinstein: Yes.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: The rents going up by the minute, Caitlin.

Caitlin Postel: Tell me how that works, right. I know it. I know it when I see those P&L’s come through, I see it. We just got to keep pitching it, but it’s funny, right, because people try and they want to outsource their fulfillment because they want to scale.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Yeah.

Caitlin Postel: They try and be nimble, but it’s not cheap, and it’s not cheap because of these things that you’re alluding to. So, what do merchants do? I mean, we just have to sit them next to you on a plane and get that sympathy ear going so that they just love us. I think that’s it.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: I think so much of it is just honestly being able to understand each other’s business. And I think so often in, especially it’s a competitive landscape, when a brand goes out to try to find a 3PL, they’re typically going into an RFP, they’re typically not comparing apples to apples because different providers provide different things and different size warehouses, people have different scales. And honestly, that’s the part where we’re actively trying to, especially from a partner perspective, helping our partners and brands be better matches for each other. We know where this warehouse is. Strengths are especially again with you guys, we know you have the ability to handle diversity and SKU’s, high SKU count. Not every 3PL operation has that ability. When we see someone like that, we see it truly as our duty to help them. If we can help an entrepreneur and her team sort of short circuit that painful process, then everybody’s just going to be happier because we’re sort of acting as the enta and just making sure the best match is made.

Brian Weinstein: Right.

Caitlin Postel: 100%. I’m just happy that it was a her, that the entrepreneur was a her. I love that, Nima. Thank you for that.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Well, the person I sat next to was a her.

Caitlin Postel: Right, right, right.

Brian Weinstein: And so you also have the play now with carriers. And so why don’t you give the audience a little bit who may not be familiar with Shippo of who Shippo is and what they do.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Shippo is an API company, we’re in infrastructure. Very, very similar to folks like Stripe and Twilio. We’re a vertical API, we do one thing and we try to do it as exceptionally well as we can.

Brian Weinstein: Mm-hmm.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: That one thing that we do is parcel shipping. We have two sides to our business. There’s a direct side to our business where we work directly with SMBs. And then there’s the other side of our business, which is we service infrastructure for platforms and logistics infrastructure players. This is anyone from Shopify shipping where Shippo is the native rails, the same way there’s Shopify payments, and that’s Stripe. Shopify shipping is now Shippo, two peer-to-peer marketplaces. Folks like Goat, the sneaker app marketplace or Mercari, the second hand marketplace to folks like Whiplash and ShipHero at WMS and a warehouse. In that way, we really try to serve as the shipping infrastructure for eCommerce broadly. Whenever we get into conversations about who Shippo’s ICP is, my answer is always anyone who sells on the internet, it just depends how you’re fulfilling. If you’re figs, you might not know who Shippo is, but the institution that you’re using, Shippo’s the infrastructure for them. And if you are Nima’s soccer brand, then you’re using Shippo’s web app and trying to not break your back.

Brian Weinstein: Right. Exactly. Exactly. And who are the carriers that Shippo are connected to and that they’re acting… I guess it’s a middleware, is that correct?

Nima Elyassi-Rad: In some ways, yeah. We’re connectors.

Brian Weinstein: Yes.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: For us, the carriers that we have ultimately is driven by our customers’ usage, because there’s our point in us integrating a carrier that no one will use.

Brian Weinstein: Right.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Historically, the way we’ve gone about… Look, if you’re on the long tail, if you are Nima’s soccer shop, in all likelihood, you’re just using USPS or you’re just basically using one carrier-

Brian Weinstein: Right.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Because you’re not at a scale yet or sophistication to need more than one carrier. But as soon as you look at any sort of platform or 3PL, well then that mix quickly changes.

Brian Weinstein: Yep.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: We very much see ourselves as servants to our customers. If our customer says, hey, I need carrier X, Y, and Z, then it’s our job, our duty to go make that available to our partners.

Brian Weinstein: Mm-hmm.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: And again, taking a very, very real example, working with your team last year, there was a request for a middle mile orchestrator that we did not have, but it was a carrier that was vetted by your team, the demand was there, your customers wanted that specific solution, so we went and integrated that carrier and made it available. And that’s very important to us, and actually your SPP of eCommerce and VP parcel who were good friends. We were talking about how this year were actually adding two more middle mile orchestrators. And it was sort of a point of pride for me to be able to go to my colleagues and be like, hey guys, we actually have even redundancy for you now. If your customers start using this carrier and for whatever reason in peak, if that carrier hits capacity, here’s two more that you can rely on. You can still meet the SLAs that you’ve promised your customers and ultimately them to the consumers who are buying from them. So, at the core of it, that’s what we live in breathe for, to make sure that we can meet the standards that you all have for your customers.

Brian Weinstein: And when you say middle carrier, that middle carrier is more of a regional provider?

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Yeah. I sort of call these folks the new low regionals.

Brian Weinstein: Right.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Not so much your LaserShips and OnTracs in that traditional way.

Brian Weinstein: Yeah.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: But they’ll use same and next day delivery folks for the first mile, they’ll do the middle mile orchestration. Sometimes that means buying excess capacity on a plane to take it on a plane from location A to B. Sometimes it means it goes into a sort center, then it gets injected DDU into postal. A lot of times that’s what ends up happening. And this is a very interesting conversation broadly, but a lot of these folks have come to play, especially given the last two years and the power of the existing oligopoly of the carriers in the United States. You have the Postal Service, UPS and FedEx, they very much benefited from having infrastructure in place. They’ve had tremendous pricing power in that time, right. UPS just recently reported their earnings. That parcel volume was down 3%, but revenues were up 9.5%. Well, how does that work? If you have incredible pricing power that…

Brian Weinstein: Right.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: But that’s given birth to many, many competitors who are coming in.

Brian Weinstein: Yep.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: A lot of these middle mile orchestrators are directly going after FedEx ground and UPS ground’s business.

Brian Weinstein: Yeah. I… Go ahead, Caitlin.

Caitlin Postel: Now we’re just getting more and more folks looking for those solutions and it sounds like you’re… Are you proactively going out and building those partnerships or how are you maintaining those?

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Absolutely. April of 2020, myself and a few folks within Shippo, it was sort of our aha moment that, oh my God, there’s going to be capacity constraints.

Caitlin Postel: Right.

Brian Weinstein: Mm-hmm.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: The three of us just started talking about how much capacity shortage there is, but everyone’ in the industry’s known this.

Caitlin Postel: Right.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: This was just accelerated by COVID.

Brian Weinstein: Yes.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: That capacity constraint existed before COVID. That was our cue to immediately go and try to add as much redundancy to the system as we could add to ensure that folks can at least even stitch together pieces of the journey of a package, right. And if someone is sophisticated enough to have, say at least four or five warehouses strategically placed around the country, then you really can stitch it together and say, okay, yeah, I’m going to use this. I’m just making this up, but I’m going to use Nima on his bike for the first mile to take it to a sort center, then postal is going to put it on a plane and take it somewhere else. And then AxleHire is going to do the same day, next day delivery once it arrives in Boston or wherever it goes. That’s been what’s been fascinating for us to watch. Now look, the big three and really big four at this point with Amazon, they still have tremendous power and they still dominate the market in terms of pure volume, but what used to be that 10%, that was the other, that other is gaining ground and it’s gaining ground meaningfully.

Brian Weinstein: Yeah. Well, I would imagine, what is it, the necessity is the mother of invention or in this case innovation, right. And so you had a point in time, I could almost picture the board of directors for UPS and FedEx in January 2020, or even December 2019, when they talked about building out infrastructure, they’re like, eh, we have time. And then next thing, a year became a five year acceleration growth in 12 months and now they don’t have capacity, they’re turning away business, they don’t really want to be fair in the negotiations process. Now again, being somewhat sympathetic to their position, they were fighting through and they had their labor constraints-

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Yes, yes.

Brian Weinstein: And capacity constraints as well, but something’s got to give, and that just accelerated the growth of these middle mile brands as you call them. And can you give us some names, just some of the names that are out there that are the growing players?

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Yeah, of course. I think Atheros is super interesting. I think in general, what American Eagle, we could have a whole session on American Eagle. I think what they’re doing is very interesting as a brand. I think X Delivery is another one we’re looking to get our Aterra live. Pandion is another one, which is actually founded by a former Amazon and Walmart eCommerce executive. We’re just seeing more and more of these and look, from Shippo’s perspective, as much as the SMB is our customer, as much as the 3PL’s and warehouses are our customers, carriers are also our customers. We very much have this sort of demand and supply. In many ways, we’re a marketplace. The carriers are the supply side of our marketplace. For us, diversity in shipping options, we view it as a good thing for the market. And hopefully the carriers can actually focus on and really zoom in on what is their strength.

Brian Weinstein: Mm-hmm.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: If you have the infrastructure, if you have the planes, if you have the trucks, where are the areas that you actually excel, right? There are many, many, many growing regional carriers, whether it’s UDS or Better Trucks or Grand Husky. I mean, people are really investing in infrastructure because they’re seeing the demand. And where they’re seeing that is super fascinating because there’s a whole category of consumables. Uber, Postmates is doing a lot of this, right? This is getting your medicine to you same day or getting an Apple Watch to you same day. There’s that category of folks that’s very consumable based. And then there’s the traditional parcel. You order headphones.

Brian Weinstein: Mm-hmm.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: And do you want that in zero to three days, do you want it in two to seven days, do you want it in seven plus days? I think those carriers just enable you as a brand to provide that optionality.

Brian Weinstein: Yes.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: And optionality is the name of the game. I mean, sincerely, that’s the name of the game.

Brian Weinstein: Yep. No, I agree. I think choices and seeing how that market shakes out over the next few years is going to be very interesting because I think there are some great players and I agree with you, I think with American Eagle, as an example, it was an interesting play, but it makes a lot of sense when you start to think about it and what they’re trying to accomplish in a parcel market that did not have the infrastructure to continue to grow at the pace that it was that it needed to.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Yes. Very, very impressed truthfully by their leadership team and how they’re thinking about it. Again, as a brand, now you have to have… going back, we’re talking about smaller businesses having the operational and financial wherewithal. I mean, these folks really have the operational chops and the financial wherewithal. As the brand, in many ways, they’ve insourced logistics.

Brian Weinstein: Right.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: They’re only brand I know that’s actually increased forecast.

Brian Weinstein: Right, right.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: And a lot of it has to do with them insourcing, but not everybody can insource, not everybody can go and buy a warehouse and buy a carrier. Except for Amazon.

Brian Weinstein: Exactly right. And I’ve had conversations with Shaker over at American Eagle-

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Yes.

Brian Weinstein: And there’s definitely a vision there that they are working on.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Yes.

Brian Weinstein: Which is exciting.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Yes.

Brian Weinstein: Amazing. Caitlin, anything else that we didn’t cover?

Caitlin Postel: No, I think we covered a lot.

Brian Weinstein: This was fantastic. I mean, really enjoyed this conversation and again, for the space in the audience that we’re targeting for this podcast, I think this is chalked full of a lot of valuable information. First and foremost, don’t bust your back, right?

Nima Elyassi-Rad: I know better now. And I have friends.

Brian Weinstein: Exactly.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: I think they can take care of me.

Brian Weinstein: And by the way, this is the first time I’ve ever been sorry that we’re only doing an audio podcast because your background, which is not a filter by the way, is fantastic.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: I can send you all a picture so we can-

Brian Weinstein: Yeah.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Without me in it because this is way prettier without me.

Caitlin Postel: Let’s do it. Yeah.

Brian Weinstein: Amazing. All right. Nima from Shippo.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Thank you so much for having me.

Brian Weinstein: It was fantastic. Really appreciate you coming on. And hopefully we can find some other topics to have you on again down the road

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Would love that.

Brian Weinstein: Amazing. All right. Caitlin, you want to carry us out?

Caitlin Postel: Sure. Thank you, Nima and thank you everyone for tuning in. Check us out at or on your favorite podcast platform. Thank you everybody.

Nima Elyassi-Rad: Thanks, y’all.

Brian Weinstein: Thank you.

Caitlin Postel: Bye.

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