In 2012, a few minimalist adventure seekers shared a vision for a product: a discrete and portable charging device. They created the ChargeCard, a super-slim USB Cable charger that fit in any wallet like a credit card, and launched it on Kickstarter on July 18, 2012. After gaining attention from the New York Times, AppleInsider, HuffingtonPost, and Mashable, the project tripled their target funding goal, ultimately raising $161,897.
Over the years, their company, Nomad Goods, expanded their product line and business strategy. In 2018, the direct-to-consumer brand offered over thirty products, which they also distributed through retailers such as Best Buy, Urban Outfitters, and Staples. As a result of expanding sales, product line, warehouses, and sales channels, inventory management issues became a major source of friction between internal teams and dissatisfaction from customers.
Without a single source of truth for their inventory, miscommunications were a daily occurrence. Meetings to discuss new product launches and promotional plans were cancelled in favor of lengthy operational alignment meetings. Brian Hahn, Nomad’s Co-Founder & COO, spent the bulk of his day hunched over spreadsheets, estimating how much inventory was in transit, at their 3PL, and in their own internal warehouse. Gathering that information was a matter of logging into Symphony, Salesforce, Shipstation, SPSCommerce EDI, exporting that data, and analyzing it in Excel.
Modern brands are built on a singular vision and purpose, one that’s easy to hold on to when you’re small and close to every detail. But with every opportunity to scale, comes greater complexity and more chances to fail.
In the struggle to be everywhere at once, you can lose the insight and focus that made you so powerful in the first place. Yet, marketplaces can’t be ignored. In Q4 of 2018, 54 percent of product searches began on Amazon. The site is far more than a marketplace. It’s a search engine.
Since switching to Skubana and selling on Amazon, order volume on Nomad's Shopify site has grown an average of 14.6 percent every month. Meanwhile, order volume on Amazon has grown an average of 125 percent every month. Today it makes up around 10 percent of Nomad’s online revenue.