Nashua Nutrition began humbly in 2003, in a 350 square foot nutrition store inside a local gym. Today, it is a booming, multimillion dollar company housed in a 15,000 square foot facility. We sat down with owner Eric Godshall to discuss their success
- How did Nashua Nutrition get where it is today?
Nashua Nutrition’s core customers were gym members who liked the convenience of purchasing reasonably-priced, nutritional products at the gym. While running the small store, our founder Glenda Godshall worked hand-in-hand with a nutritionist at the gym to help people improve their eating habits and lose weight. She used a line of medical-grade food products as part of the nutritional regime, which allowed clients to eat regularly while reducing their caloric intake and speeding up their metabolism. As Glenda continued to counsel those seeking to lose weight, she realized how many individuals were misinformed or uneducated about safe, sustainable weight loss.
So, she decided to build a website to advertise these high-protein, medical-grade products to those struggling to lose weight. It wasn’t long before the website was generating substantial traffic, and people from all over the country were purchasing the products online. As business grew, Glenda brought in several more lines of medical-grade nutritional products, as well as bariatric-specific vitamins, which enabled Nashua Nutrition to become a “one stop shop” for weight loss and bariatric needs.
- How have you approached marketing and growing sales?
In our early stages, we relied heavily on PPC ads (Google, Bing, etc.). It also helped that we focused on providing the lowest price and superior customer service! Additionally, to remain competitive in our rapidly growing market, we have started adding value to our customers’ experience through social media, informational blogs, and loyalty programs. By implementing these programs, we are becoming a weight loss and bariatric resource for information as much as an ecommerce store. When a customer comes to our site to receive valuable information, they are more apt to purchase from us. We want our customers to be loyal to us as much as we are loyal to them.
- What have been your challenges, and how did you adapt as Nashua Nutrition grew?
As I imagine is typical of any small business, we’ve had our fair share of challenges and obstacles. They’ve ranged anywhere from restrictive vendor policies to not having adequate space for expansion. When we started to outgrow our warehouse, we would try to minimize the floor space needed. This was done by staggering our ordering, optimizing our box deliveries, and getting creative on stock picking locations. When we would hit an obstacle, we always found a way to adapt to the situation. Constant monitoring of our industry, it’s trends and competition, have allowed us to keep in touch with our customers’ needs and fulfill them to the best of our ability.
- Have you noticed any change in customer expectations when it comes to shipping orders over the past several years?
Absolutely. With the invention of Amazon Prime, customers are expecting to get free shipping and 2 day delivery. In order to try to compete in the Amazon world, we have lowered our free shipping minimums and use expedited shipping methods when it makes sense.
- You recently moved and now have a new warehouse along with a store. What made you choose Shiphero?
We realized that the systems we were using were antiquated and were not allowing us to work efficiently. Since we moved to a much larger location, we knew that our existing methods and software wouldn’t work. We were looking for a single system that could handle all aspects of our warehouse and order fulfillment. After much research we came across ShipHero which turned out to be the perfect fit for our company.
- Is there a particular ShipHero feature that has been especially helpful for you?
There are 3 core features that have greatly increased our efficiencies and savings:
- Shopify Integration for Live Inventory: Previously, we had disparate systems that didn’t “talk to each other.” This required us to constantly monitor inventory levels manually. If we saw something was running low, we would have to put a counter on an item in an effort to prevent overselling. This was a time consuming and often inaccurate process. Now that we have ShipHero, our inventory is live so there is no longer a need to manually add counters to our inventory. And, with the new reserve functionality, we have a buffer to prevent any potential backorders.
- Picking Efficiencies: Before ShipHero, we were using a server-based WMS system and used our point-of-sale to scan our products out of inventory. Our pickers had to pick orders individually (which involved walking throughout the warehouse to pick a single order). Now, with Shiphero we are batch picking 8 orders at a time; using iPads and Socket Scanners; and snaking through the warehouse just once. Our picking errors have dropped dramatically, and the pick rate has increased substantially. Before ShipHero, we were able to ship about 325 orders in a day. Since using ShipHero, we are easily shipping 475 a day – with time to spare. We estimate that with our current resources, we will ship 600-700 orders in a day.
- Shipping Rate/Carrier Shopping: Before ShipHero, we almost exclusively used FedEx for all shipments over 1lb. USPS was only used for Priority Mail items under 1lb, which was only a few packages a day. Since implementing ShipHero, we are utilizing the “Cheapest” rate functionality to save on shipping charges. Now, we are sending approximately half of our order via USPS and saving money on each shipment.
- What’s your vision for the next 2 years? How will you expand your business?
To continue expanding our product offerings as well as our sales channels. We see some major shifts in the weight management industry and we plan on being on the forefront of these changes.
- What advice would you give ecommerce merchants that want to scale their businesses?
Keep up with current technologies. By using newer technology such as ShipHero, we have been able to greatly increase our efficiencies and cost savings.
Eric & Glenda Godshall combined their skill sets and founded Nashua Nutrition. Both Eric and Glenda have a strong interest in fitness, weight management and exercise in addition to Business Management degrees. With Eric’s prior IT experience and Glenda’s nutritional counseling experience, the husband and wife team built Nashua Nutrition into a market leader in the weight loss and bariatric consumer segment.