Written by Starshipit
When brothers Guy and Anthony Nappa first set up Oz Hair & Beauty in 2012, they had no idea it would become a $24 million company in just five years.
After selling their parents’ hairdressing products on eBay, the brothers now run one of the most popular and profitable online retailers in Australia.
Their success is the result of a lot of hard work, trial and error, and choosing to partner with the right tools and software platforms. Early on, they realised that if the business was going to continue growing at the rate it was, they would quickly run out of capacity to meet orders. One of the biggest problems they encountered was speed of fulfilment: they just weren’t fast enough.
We interviewed the brothers behind Oz Hair and Beauty to learn how they finally got ahead of their orders, and grew their business instead of their overheads.
When asked about some of the failures or key challenges encountered when starting Oz Hair & Beauty, these obstacles stood out:
“Working with so many close friends is challenging, especially when Anthony had no intention for this to be such a big company from the beginning. We just find when you’re too slow at making decisions, it really sets you back. Sometimes making the wrong decision is better than indecision, because indecision means you’re just going nowhere when you know something needs to change."
Additionally, “Fulfilment made our lives so uncomfortable,” says Guy, Oz Hair & Beauty’s Director of Operations. “I remember being so stressed to make sure all the orders got out to our customers as fast as possible. It was a lot of long days and nights and thinking about it now, it was just so stressful. We’d print shipping labels then print packing slips and make sure they matched up, and sometimes they wouldn’t match up and we’d just look at it like, ‘What’s going on? What are we doing wrong?’”
“We finally had that light bulb moment to start finding better solutions – and Starshipit was it.”
The way Starshipit integrated with the online platforms Oz Hair & Beauty already used was a major appeal, but the way it sped up fulfilment was life changing.
“Our orders came out quicker and easier, and our pick and pack process became even faster. We’ve increased our pick and pack efficiency dramatically. We’re not making mistakes and the overall speed with a system where customer service doesn’t need monitoring makes it all very seamless.”
Before Starshipit, 12-15 staff worked in the warehouse at one time. After integrating with Starshipit, they still have the same number of warehouse staff. “We’ve grown a lot, and we get three to four times more orders per day. To be able to reduce our staff by almost half is such a big benefit.”
“Whilst we were looking, we decided that the solution we use must not affect pick and pack because this would mean our customers weren’t going to get their orders in time. With Starshipit and the way it integrated with our business, the orders came out quicker, easier and it made our pick and pack process even faster. It ticked all the boxes.”
“When my brother founded the company, his focus was on growing, which is amazing because that’s exactly what we did. But we got to the stage where we didn’t have a foundation to scale that growth. We had no inventory system that allowed us to see what stock we had. So, when customers would order, if it wasn’t on the shelves, then we had no idea if we had stock.”
“Looking at Cin7, it just looked like the one that was going to integrate seamlessly and give us the same benefits that we have experienced with Starshipit. It allowed us to digitise our files, so we could have backorders, awaiting stocks, incoming now, or ready to go."
"Through Starshipit, once orders are ready to go, the customer is notified instantly. Even though not sending out an order is bad, if you’re communicating with the customer and you’re being honest and truthful the customer is going to have a better experience."
"At the end of the day, it is about making sure that the customer has a great shopping experience with us, and Cin7 allows us to do that. The entire process is seamless and gives us more information about the orders.”
“The idea behind the rebrand was to put us in the next stage of the company’s life. Now we feel that we’re emerging and we’re becoming a common name amongst consumers."
"We want to reach the top and so we’ve changed the logo, made it sleeker, more consumable, and we’re also rewarding our customers which is something we haven’t been doing. We want to try and give back and just grow the business, where we can be the one-stop beauty shop. We’re excited about the rebrand. It’s taken time but we’re so confident it’s going to take to the next level.”
“Being partners, it is important to have a good relationship and work well together and that is crucial in starting and maintaining an online business. My advice to anyone that has an idea - you need to love what you’re doing; you need to be addicted to what you’re doing, you need to be able to sacrifice everything for what you’re doing. I know my brother didn’t leave the house and office for about two years."
"Nights he was there, nights he missed because of work, and that’s really rubbed off on me. If you don’t have a passion for it, it’s going to show in your results.”
“A lot of people want to just ‘get there’ but it’s not about getting there, it's about the journey, and I know that’s a very cliché thing to say but it's just truthful. We don’t know what the final destination for Oz Hair and Beauty is, but we’re just loving the process of where it’s going to take us.”
Guy says that Starshipit has changed his online life – and he tells anyone who’ll listen. “I recommend Starshipit to every person I meet that sells online. I tell everyone how well it works for me, and I even let them come into the warehouse and see how it works. I know if I was given that chance, I would’ve picked Starshipit far sooner.”