August 9, 2017
FIRST THOUGHT: When Tech Fails
I recently got into a knockdown, drag-out fight. Think Jerry Springer without the actual punches. I should mention this quarrel was with my computer. One of the software programs I use daily just went totally bananas. Think Britney Spears hair-shaving freak-out. Yep, it was that bad! After spending hours trying to self-diagnose and even more hours talking to so-called geniuses, a friend suggested I tweak one little thing. I rolled my eyes, knowing I’d already done pretty much everything there was to do. But it actually worked and my computer is now back in tip-top shape. Of course, this makes me happy yet also annoyed that I couldn’t figure it out on my own. Today, if you’re experiencing a frustrating problem, get a second opinion. It couldn’t hurt!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 80 Percent
During that brawl with my laptop, I had a moment when I wanted to say the heck with it and let everyone know all my projects will be handwritten and delivered via carrier pigeon. Of course, that wouldn’t go over too well. It’s 2017, and we want tech—good tech—whether it involves modern appliances or online purchases.
And since American women spend at least five hours per week shopping online, we definitely consider several factors when deciding to buy from e-commerce marketplaces or hoof it down to the store. According to a new report on e-commerce trends, Americans shop based on three key factors: price, discount offers, and shipping cost and speed, the last of which accounts for 80 percent of how we make our online-shopping decisions.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Laura Behrens Wu, Co-founder and CEO of Shippo
We’ve all been in this situation: You meticulously stock up your online shopping cart with great deals only to discover the shipping will cost—wait—what—that much?! Oh yeah, and you’ll get your order in 10 to 28 business days. Let’s face it: More online purchases are being made than ever before, from big-ticket items to prescriptions to everyday necessities, and we expect those items at our doorstep ASAP. That’s not too much to expect, right?
Enter shipping wiz Laura Behrens Wu, whose entire career goal is to make shipping e-commerce items much more efficient. Laura is the co-founder of Shippo, a clever software company that empowers marketplaces, warehouses and e-commerce stores with the building blocks they need to succeed by integrating super-smart shipping processes.
Laura’s San Francisco-based company processes millions of shipments every month for more than 15,000 businesses, which can compare shipping rates between nearly 20 carriers, including UPS and FedEx, create shipping labels and track parcels with ease. Through Shippo, users can manage everything in one platform, regardless of the carrier they choose, and have access to discounted insurance and can email customer notifications.
As of 2016, Shippo had raised $9 million in funding from a variety of investors, and currently has partnerships with giants like Etsy, eBay and Amazon.
Laura tends to accomplish whatever she sets her mind to. Originally from Germany, she’s half German, half Taiwanese, speaks six languages and worked her way up in the tech world from an intern position. In 2014, only a year after starting Shippo, she received the Who’s Got Next Award from Lioness, a digital magazine for female entrepreneurs, which grants the award to women who have demonstrated achievements in product or process developments.
For Laura, the beauty of being an entrepreneur comes in seeing something grow. She attributes the growth of her company to three factors: determination, flexibility and focus on the customer. But my favorite piece of advice from Laura is this: stay optimistic, work hard and don’t give up!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Let’s finish today with an encouraging quote from actress and entrepreneur Sarah Michelle Gellar:
“If you have an idea, you have to believe in yourself or no one else will.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.