On Episode 16 of The Future of Supply Chain, we chat with Rathna Sharad of FlavorCloud. Headquartered in Seattle, FlavorCloud is a cross border eCommerce platform that makes international shipping and logistics a seamless experience for all users. Before the founding of FlavorCloud, Rathna started as a developer in the transportation and logistics industry at 3PLl’s building out cross border solutions. She helped companies such as UPS with route optimization and international supply chain management. Using this expertise, Rathna founded Runway2Street, a luxury fashion marketplace for designers all over the world. The backend of this company would become FlavorCloud, which allows retailers the access to sell in a global market.
Cross Border and the Consumer Experience
A third of all online purchases are now cross border, which is up from 10% just five years ago. However, most retailers still face many challenges when selling to international customers. Problems such as high shipping rates and import laws are increasing customer drop-off rates up to nearly 60%. Customers are upset that it may take several weeks to receive their package, and there is even a chance that customs will deny it all together. This means that retailers are losing money to import fees, just for a product to be returned weeks later. Rathna believes that streamlining the process of shipping, land costs, and customs could help companies retain their international customer through a better consumer experience.
Big Company Approach
As cross border eCommerce sales continually increase worldwide, companies such as UPS and DHL are falling behind. Rathna has seen first hand the antiquated approaches these large companies are taking for modern problems. Their technology is too fragmented, and their teams are distributed all over the world. Some of these companies are still using manual labor for things an algorithm could do in a fraction of the time with meaningfully better accuracy. Platforms like FlavorCloud would allow retailers to do what they do best, and not have to worry about the logistical side of things.
“FlavorCloud was designed to make international shipping easy, affordable, and friction free for any client”, says Rathna. This means that shipping and returns are seamless for the the retailer and for the the customer as well. FlavorCloud is responsible for handling all the customs paperwork and even makes sure the packages get through clearance and delivery. A large network of carrier relationships also sets FlavorCloud apart, as they are able to work with international and local delivery services to guarantee your goods arrive on time. Companies are now able to take the guesswork work out of cross border eCommerce, and FlavorCloud charges a simple commission breakdown with every order.