We launched Itty Bitty Toes Boutique on April 20th, 2015...just a little over 2 months ago. Every day we are learning so much and working on improving all aspects of our online shop. One of the areas we have placed a lot of emphasis on is our shipping department. We believe that this plays a big part on a store's success, especially an "online only" type of store where all orders are required to be shipped one way or another. Our goal from the beginning has been to be able to offer the lowest and best shipping options possible.
You may have noticed it if you've visited our Shipping Policy or our FAQs page more than once in the last two months...it has certainly changed from the first day we started to today. Our U.S. Standard Shipping when we first started was $12. We worked with USPS, UPS, and FedEx. We wanted to experience all three of them so that we could choose the ones that worked best for us. Our new U.S. Standard Shipping cost is $7. We offer Free Standard Shipping on orders over $99 whereas before this was only available to orders over $200. Orders shipped via Standard Shipping arrive within 3-5 business days.
Another option we are offering is Priority Shipping With Gift Box which delivers within 2-3 business days, in one of our beautiful boxes embellished with a pretty blue satin bow on the top. Our gift boxes are certainly a keepsake. You may use them to store your child's first or "coming home" outfit, first birthday, christening outfit, etc. They are thicker and heavier than most retail gift boxes but were designed that way on purpose so that they are strong enough to ship without getting damaged. We have two different sizes for such Itty Bitty Boxes! We use the appropriate box depending on the size of the order. Our boxes are packaged inside a kraft shipping box prior to sending them away!
Our customers have given us amazing feedback on our Itty Bitty Boxes and our packaging overall. We are extremely happy to see how much they've enjoyed receiving their packages from Itty Bitty Toes! One of the coolest things we've started seeing is pictures of children opening their Itty Bitty Boxes and being so excited and happy to receive their presents! I've personally placed so much time and effort into this prior to launching our online boutique. I am one of those shoppers who truly enjoys and appreciates a nicely packaged item and I knew I wanted to give my customers that same feeling when they shopped with us. Our goal is to be able to send every order we receive in one of our boxes. We are working towards that. There are many orders we ship in our gift boxes even if the customer didn't select that option. We typically decide based on the amount of the order or the kind of items they picked. We like to surprise our customers every now and then and put an extra smile on their face. But for those who want to ensure their order comes in one, that option is available to them during checkout.
Now I do want to point out that so far we have only used gift boxes for U.S. (domestic) orders. We have just recently added the gift box option to Canadian orders as well. It is not available for International orders currently and here is why. We LOVE USPS for domestic orders, especially their Priority service which we use 95% of the time. But when it comes to International orders, they do not provide tracking information and we believe that to be an important piece of ordering online. So after carefully reviewing and talking with all International carriers, we decided DHL was the best fit for our company. They deliver within 2-5 days to all countries and in some countries, such as Canada for example, they deliver the next day! DHL provides proper tracking and makes customs clearance a breeze which is a huge concern for our International customers. So far we have had zero issues with them or any of our International orders! So it's fair to say it has been a great decision on our part. Now to get back to gift boxes and why we do not use them for International orders....
All International carriers (and even domestic ones) except for U.S.P.S. use dimensional weight as a way to measure the weight and cost of a certain package. Due to their size, our gift boxes are considered to be 5 and 10 pounds (for the small and large one). The cost of shipping a package goes up significantly with each pound the package weighs. Because we use DHL that cost is even higher since it's an express service. Our International shipping cost is $30 (we have been able to lower it from $35 when we first started). But this is because most of our packages are delivered in one of our customized mailers which weighs 1-2 pounds at most. If we were to use gift boxes, that shipping charge would go up significantly and we simply do not believe customers would want to pay that kind of shipping cost.
To our surprise, we have received emails from our International customers wanting to receive our Itty Bitty Box! Even when we explained the reasons we don't use them, like we just did above, they were still interested in having that option at checkout. I personally think that kind of shipping cost is too high and it is not reasonable, so I'm working on negotiating some prices with other carriers. Perhaps we can use USPS for such orders, however our customers must realize that there is no tracking when we use USPS for International deliveries and it may take as long as 3-4 weeks to deliver depending on the country they reside in.
Gift box or no gift box, every order we receive is prepared with nothing but love and care and we go above and beyond to show it in the way that we package and prepare your order. From the tissue paper we use, our personalized Thank You cards, our custom poly bags, and all the way to the tape we use for our shipping boxes...all of it has been planned and designed with our customers in mind. We want you to know we appreciate you shopping with Itty Bitty Toes and we try to show our appreciation in every way that we can; our packaging being one of them! With that being said, we are always working on improving our brand! One of the things we are working on adding next is our lovely pearl hangers! So many of our customers have enquired about them and we have finally decided not only to add them to our shop but also as an option to add to their gift box when checking out! We will keep you updated on this once we have finalized it all.
Itty Bitty Toes Customers From All Over The World
When we first started, we knew we wanted to ship Internationally and cater to customers all over the world. What we didn't realize is that our International orders would be close to 30-35% of all of our orders. That is amazing! Definitely unexpected but so thankful and grateful for it! We love all of our customers and to know that our pieces have been delivered to so many countries is a great feeling and a blessing indeed.
Last night I was playing around with our analytics and pulled a report on all of the countries we have currently shipped to since we launched two months ago. Below is the full report.
Due to the high volume of traffic we've received from International visitors on our website, we have implemented a new feature: a currency exchange rate! A visitor can now select which currency they wish to see when they check our clothing and shoes. The cool part about this feature is that it can automatically detect which country the customer is visiting our page from and automatically change the currency to their country's currency. This makes it easier for the customer to navigate through our site without even having to manually select their currency at the top of the page.
What I'm most curious about is how they heard about Itty Bitty Toes! We currently have an Instagram page that we are most active on. Matter of fact, most of our marketing, if not all, is focused solely on our Instagram feed. We have recently started to work on our Facebook page as well. If you have a Facebook account feel free to like our page for updates on products and sales!
Both of our pages have grown so much since we started and we are thankful for all of you who have shared and tagged us in your photos. Thank you to all the customers who have emailed us pictures of their little ones wearing #ittybittytoes. We do our best to share as many of those photos as possible on our social media pages. Thank you for the feedback you have left on our photos. None of it goes unnoticed and we do the best that we can to show our appreciation through the random gifts we add into your packages, the coupon codes we personally email to you, the monthly sales we offer, and so on!
In other words, thank you for the support and we hope to continue to make you happy each time you receive a package from Itty Bitty Toes!
Itty Bitty Toes Family