How to manage shipping when using a multi-brand strategy


Written by David Renwick

Multi-brand strategies are an attractive option for all types of companies in nearly every industry – but especially for eCommerce businesses.

By diversifying your product portfolio, you can quickly reach new audiences, use the data and insights to grow all your brands and cross-sell to different customers. There’s more to explore, which we’ll cover below.

What’s more, the right software – especially in the shipping and fulfilment stage – can make the execution of a multi-brand strategy really quite easy.

That’s what you’ll learn in this article: What a multi-brand strategy is, the benefits and how you can use powerful software to automate the difficult parts and get your orders out to customers.

Boxes arranged on brown background

What is a multi-brand strategy?

A multi-brand strategy means having a catalog of products under different brands and names, which are all owned by one business. While you may not have heard the term before, multi-brand companies are everywhere:

  • Unilever (Rexona, Lynx)
  • Meta (Instagram, WhatsApp)
  • L’Oreal (Garnier, The Body Shop)

There’s not just one way of setting up a multi-brand strategy, however. Allow us to introduce the “Branded house” and “House of brands” concept.

Branded house vs House of brands

What is a branded house?

The most popular approach, a branded house strategy keeps all sub-brands housed on one eCommerce platform/store. It’s the best approach if you want to launch new brands that serve the same audience. Think Jordan shoes being sold on the Nike website.

What is a house of brands?

A house of brands is the opposite approach. A house of brands means different brands owned by the same company, but operated independently of one another. They often have different target audiences and completely individual identities – for example Meta operating WhatsApp. In this situation, each brand would typically have its own eCommerce store/platform too.

Regardless of how a business presents these different brands to customers, shipping is a common challenge. Thankfully, shipping software can make it easy (more on this later).

Benefits of a multi-brand strategy

There’s a reason some of the largest companies in the world have deployed multi-brand strategies:

  • 🚧 Reduce your risk by diversifying – If one brand has a damaged reputation, you won’t risk all your other brands.
  • 💸 Capture the switchers – Just because customers switch brands, it doesn’t mean you have to lose them as customers.
  • 📊 Data and insights – Spin up new brands easily and cheaply thanks to the insights from your earlier efforts.
  • 🏆 Become more competitive – Take away shelf space from your competition and win in your market.

How to manage shipping when using a multi-brand strategy

Behind the scenes, you’re probably wondering how you manage all these different brands and ship orders out to customers. With an automated shipping and fulfilment platform, it’s easy.

Starshipit was built to handle multi-brand and multi-location shipping, and setup is as easy as a few clicks. Using Starshipit also means you’re able to automate every other part of your shipping process, which can save you hours per week.

If you dispatch from multiple locations, have multiple brands or use various integrations (like two Shopify stores) you can set up child accounts for each additional location or brand.

There are a few different ways you can use Starshipit for your multi-brand strategy:

Multi-Location approach

You'd use a multi-location account when you want to ship from multiple locations and want to bill shipping costs to different courier accounts.

You can assign orders to multi-location child accounts manually or by using a rule. When you fulfil the order on the child account, Starshipit will write-back the tracking number through the parent account's integration.

Multi-brand approach

If you dispatch multiple brands from the same warehouse, you can use your main parent account to create child accounts for each brand or business. Each child account will have its own manifest settings and customised branded notifications.

In this scenario you’d have two or more printers set up at different workstations. Each workstation has its own login. All settings are inherited from the parent account, other than the printer settings.

Other benefits of shipping automation

Starshipit can easily sit at the centre of your multi-brand strategy, but it can also automate other parts of your shipping process and reduce the time spent dealing with shipping labels, correcting invalid addresses and more.

Here’s why retailers and eCommerce businesses choose Starshipit:

  • 🚚 Support for all major couriers – Starshipit supports all major couriers, meaning you can get started in minutes.
  • 🖥️ One shipping dashboard – Manage your entire shipping operation – including your couriers – from one location. Make changes to your courier products, add new services and more.
  • 🧠 Automate your shipping with the rules engine – Use rules to automatically assign orders to certain couriers based on conditions and actions that you set.
  • 🔔 Shipping notifications and branded tracking – Create and manage your shipping notifications and branded tracking pages from one location, instead of hopping between different courier systems.
  • ⬅️ Manage returns – Returns are a tricky thing to get right at the best of times. When you use Starshipit, you can set up a dedicated returns portal so customers can self-service returns.

Wrap up

Interested in seeing how Starshipit can help you to save time and money on every order? Try out platform for free for 30 days (no credit card required) or book a demo with one of our helpful team members.

You can also check out more of our case studies to see how other retailers have used Starshipit for their own multi-brand strategies. Now, they’re growing faster and delivering better experiences for their customers.

Or, read how to manage multi-location and multi-brand shipping in our support guide.

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David Renwick

David Renwick

David is Starshipit's Product Marketing Lead. When he's not whipping up a fresh new product update or chatting to customers for an exciting case study, you'll typically find him scoping out coffee spots and talking about what's on at the movies. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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