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As a relatively new company, Spocket could have easily been mistaken as another hungry startup who are trying to make it big in the lucrative market of dropshipping service.
However, when we got to speak with CEO Saba Mohebpour, it dawned on us they aren’t just another tech company looking to make their big break. In fact, Spocket has been leading the charge on revolutionizing the way dropshipping is handled and have had the success to go along with it.
Our interview goes deep into the origins of Spocket and how they are setting themselves up for success by standing out in a sea of dropshipping services while still fitting in.
While the company was officially founded in 2017, the idea for Spocket had been in the works by CEO and Founder Saba Mohebpour during his college days back in UBC.
Mohebpour candidly recalls how a YouTube video has been the catalyst for him to venture into the world of programming.
(I was) inspired by a YouTube video of a 17 year old who sold an app to Yahoo, I started learning programming and started an app called Vendchat. While we had to shut that down, I learned a great deal through the experience and voila! Spocket was born.
But before Spocket could actually take-off, there was the matter of getting to know the e-commerce market and trying to break into the industry.
For Mohebpour and team, the logical step was to establish an online store, but they soon realised that finding trusted suppliers, manually ordering each product, holding stock: all of it seemed incredibly unpractical for a company that’s still trying to find its footing.
It was during his research that Mohebpour realised that keeping stock was a huge problem for a number of retailers. This was the spark needed to establish the foundation of Spocket: a no-risk solution to e-commerce.
As with most startups, Spocket had to deal a few bumps along the road before they established themselves, but one particular road bump was completely out of their hands. It was during the Seattle Techstars program, which the company was accepted for in December 2017, that Mohebpour had trouble attending due to stricter travelling policies.
Thankfully, it all worked out in the end.
“Being an Iranian citizen at the time and with Trump’s new policies in place- I couldn’t make it. But my team attended on behalf of the company! We have just conquered new heights since then- from our amazing funding round to the growth in the number of retailers on our platform. It’s an extremely thrilling project!”, he added.
Of course, setting foot in the dropshipping industry was more than just creating a company and providing a service for it. The team at Spocket had to understand what issues lie beyond “keeping stock” and “keeping risks down” for an online retailer.
If they wanted to stand out amongst the sea of dropshipping services and fit in perfectly with a client or customer needs, they needed to understand what are the biggest issues in dropshipping and how Spocket intends to tackle them differently.
Dropshipping, in general has been limited to Chinese suppliers. The month-long delivery times do not exactly work in this century of instant gratification. For retailers to have a fair chance at success in the face of giants such as Amazon, the shipping times need to be short and competitive.
The preference for local products, along with quality-tested, ethically-manufactured products is rising, and in view of that, we onboarded suppliers primarily from the US and EU to reduce shipping time, and ensure quality is not a concern.
Positioning themselves as a service that not only provides better shipping times but also local products that of high quality makes them one step above the average dropshipping service.
But the team at Spocket was not satisfied with that. Mohebpour, in particular, realised that a lot of the suppliers’ packaging tend to overshadow the retailer’s brand. To combat that, they’ve created partnerships with key suppliers so that only neutral packages are used, and the retailer’s invoice will be added to the box by the supplier.
To add the cherry on top, Spocket makes it easy for merchants to check the products themselves before they add it to their shop using sample orders which are available right at their search page.
By tackling all these issues and providing a service that delivers in both quality and speed, Spocket is setting themselves up to be the ultimate dropshipping service for online retailers.
Despite Spocket running on all cylinders, Mohebpour and his team never lost sight of what the company was aiming to be. And that is to be more than just another service company, but rather a solution for retailers.
That meant cracking their heads on how to solve an issue that’s been plaguing online retailers for a long time.
We are solving the $1.1 trillion issue of inventory distortion, creating a service that allows entrepreneurs to build their brand while dropshipping, source quality products from local vendors and make shipping quick.
Spocket is automating all the ‘boring’ bits of business so that retailers can focus on marketing, branding and conversions.
It’s a huge task for a company that’s only over a year old(!) but for Spocket, it’s not just about being another success story, It’s also about bridging the gap between retailers and the digital market.
“We’ve been a part of this great e-commerce revolution that allows anyone with an internet connection to start a store and make it big. We make sure that your experience as a retailer is without hiccups in the sphere of product sourcing and delivery!”
However, at the end of the day, what motivates Spocket is their users and Mohebpour tells us how important and gratifying it is to see retailers using Spocket for their online businesses.
“Our biggest motivation is to empower entrepreneurs: to witness thousands of retailers kickstarting their businesses through Spocket is surreal. We are immensely grateful and awed by the number of awesome shops that stock up Spocket products and make it their own, with their unique style.”
With a zero upfront cost, automated processing and verified products, Spocket has been able to cut down store building time by half, and provide reliable sources for retailers: the impact that they actually have in the market makes them push to achieve more!
Spocket has only been around for about a year but already they’ve managed to rack up quite a number of milestones and successes. CEO Mohebpour candidly recalls how they managed to gain investors during the Techstars program and expanding into WooCommerce.
Spocket’s entire journey has been a huge roller coaster- with my inability to head to the Techstars programme, despite getting in to closing a 1.5 million round with investors such as Mistral Venture Partners, 7 Gate Ventures, Panache Ventures, and the Plug and Play accelerator.
… we expanded to WooCommerce last month (August 2018), providing more retailers the chance to streamline their business, and that is a big milestone.
Another huge milestone for Spocket was reaching 25,000 retailers in less than a year, with the numbers still going strong. Suffice to say, their hard work is paying off.
Today, Spocket supports retailers across all five continents by helping them launch and scale their online stores. As for the team themselves, they’ve expanded form a two-member team with a central location in Vancouver to 11 members with designers in India, developers in Brazil and operations in Philippines. All of which also showcase the company’s strength in diversity.
As much success as Spocket currently enjoys, Mohebpour and team still have eyes on the future, which they are planning big things for the company.
“We plan on bringing Spocket to other platforms, apart from WooCommerce and Shopify, so that no matter where an entrepreneur is on the internet, they can grow faster with Spocket.
We're keen on building a knowledge base for retailers to refer to as they begin on this epic journey, and most importantly we look forward to providing swift solutions to more retailers around the globe.”
A key part of building a better platform with Spocket is to understand their users. For small-to-medium businesses, that means positioning themselves as the perfect platform to help users grow their business.
Spocket is built to help small-to-medium businesses scale.
As businesses grow, it becomes rather difficult to track inventory, or individual process every order: we manage and automate all the manual work, so that merchants can pour all their attention into advertising, marketing, store-optimisation, customer retention: all the important parts of running a successful online store.
Mohebpour continues, “ Retailers can add products from multiple suppliers without the hassle of permissions and contracts since we have that handled: this allows for a wider range of products to be available to retailers, not to mention, our exclusive deeply discounted prices. Faster, smoother and better businesses have been the result of Spocket!”
It’s hard for any company or startup to stand out when you’re faced with a sea of competitors but despite being only one year old, Spocket has managed to not only do just that with their dropshipping service, they are doing it in on a whole different level.
But reaching that level of success wasn’t easy and it all was dependent on as a truly passionate team. CEO Saba Mohebpour says it best when describing the folks at Spocket:
We're a team made up of passionate, curious people from around the world; we listen to our customers and are constantly engaged in evolving Spocket to a better version of itself.