May 7, 2024

Transforming fulfillment from a loss-leader to a revenue generator

We sat down with Nate Zack from Only Hearts’ growth team, to hear how PrettyDamnQuick elevated their fulfillment and scalability to the next level.

Topics include: 

  1. How PDQ's onboarding team finds and closes performance gaps
  2. Why scalable shipping solutions can increase user loyalty
  3. PDQ's innovations within the NYC fulfillment ecosystem
“This decision was a no-brainer. If you have the option to use PDQ — use it.” 

Ongoing Bottlenecks: Making the Jump from ShipStation

Before meeting PDQ, Only Hearts was planning to switch ShipStation for fulfillment. The vendor met expectations, but Nate worried that the smoothness of operations was contingent on remaining small. He distills the brand’s major worries into two points: 

  1. The need to present a more attractive, dependable face to their customer base
  2. The concern that if orders scaled, they'd soon struggle with fulfillment

Nate knew they’d need a sophisticated yet dynamic system to complement their growth for the long haul. Only Hearts felt held back, and they needed a sure hand to steer them toward scaling. 

“Before PDQ, we’d never had a vendor service us with this kind of white-glove experience and attention to detail.” 

Delivery Optimization: Seamless Onboarding with PDQ

Nate recounts his discovery of PDQ as a pretty niche moment. He’d found a post on Reddit about someone asking to have in-person chats with an NYC-based eCom operator. 

Nate decided to be that operator. And the poster wound up being Avi, PrettyDamnQuick’s Founder and CEO. 

Although Nate sat down with zero intention to buy anything, he changed his mind within 30 minutes as Avi answered every question he had about customizability, transparency, and more. 

Listening to Avi’s depth of domain expertise, Nate realized PDQ was likely the solution his team had been searching for to effectively transform and scale their delivery function. 

In terms of onboarding, Nate describes smooth sailing with a patient, knowledgeable vendor. 

The PDQ team was available to Only Hearts at all hours to train staff on the platform and troubleshoot any kind of issue. Even more, they turned onboarding into a chance to optimize. 

PDQ identified gaps in Only Hearts’ performance, took note, and went on to solve and close those gaps later in the partnership. 


“One moment, I was satisfied and complacent with Only Hearts’ setup. Then, as we learned about PDQ and its capabilities, I went, ‘Holy shit. This is actually awesome. We need to sign up!’” 

Benefit #1: Proactive Improvements & Customer Support

For Nate, one of PDQ's major selling points has been its team of innovative problem solvers. 

They're passionate about providing solutions and services in a way Only Hearts simply hadn’t experienced from a vendor before. 

With that mentality, during onboarding, the PDQ team immediately pitched a way to improve Only Hearts' margins through fulfillment and make the company more profitable. 

The Shipping Adjustment

When Nate first joined Only Hearts, they charged a flat $5 fee on all shipping. Once PDQ entered the equation, they made a compelling argument for having a smarter approach to pricing shipping that provided an opportunity to cover costs and more.

The Only Hearts team initially couldn’t see the long-term vision of how they could capitalize off this change — but PDQ was true to their pitch. 

Only Hearts went from losing money on fulfillment to profiting off of it to improving all-around margins enough that they can now offer free shipping to loyal customers. 

Commitment to Customer Service

Fulfillment is understandably an area with countless moving parts that can go wrong. That being the case,, PDQ's availability has made all the difference for efficiency. 

PDQ has jumped on board to troubleshoot at all hours, and they're willing to extend themselves. 

For instance, if Only Hearts is having any issues at all, even if they’re not directly related to PDQ, a PDQ rep will chat directly with Shopify on the brand's behalf to resolve it quickly.

“The PDQ team proactively seeks out opportunities for improvement while also following through on their promises.” 

Benefit #2: Streamlined Fulfillment Operations

PDQ has notably improved Only Hearts’ fulfillment processes from multiple angles.

1. Saving Time & Money

During onboarding, Nate remembers PDQ was persistent about enacting positive change. They’d often get in touch, asking why Only Hearts wasn't batching certain orders or fulfilling others. 

They also spent a large amount of time early on individually fulfilling orders for Only Hearts. 

As Nate tells it, PDQ didn’t have to dedicate themselves to alleviating this inconvenience of the onboarding process, but they did so willingly and efficiently. 

These kinds of consistent touch-points have optimized Only Hearts’ fulfillment systems — well beyond the baseline improvements PDQ promises to every client. 

2. Detailed Fulfillment Options

The PDQ platform allows for an impressive deal of flexibility, enabling merchants to set their own detailed rules for fulfillment. For instance: 

  • Optimize geographically — PDQ has helped Only Hearts strategically offer free shipping in certain areas while charging specific rates in others. 
  • Specificity — Previous partners made it tricky to charge based on major shipping zones. But PDQ does so easily and can go even further, enabling billing on an area code basis. 

PDQ also has a tool where brands can work off a map and to set different shipping rules on a visual, block-by-block basis. With that, Nate calls PDQ’s functionalities “impressive as hell.” 

3. User Satisfaction & Scalability

Since onboarding, PDQ has not only solved Only Hearts’ fulfillment challenges, it’s also helped them optimize customer satisfaction. They do so by enabling brands to: 

  • Meet delivery promises with incredible accuracy
  • If a shipment is behind schedule, offer simple internal fixes to adjust customer expectations and avoid disappointment

Overall, Nate affirms these features of PDQ make it a high-ROI, long-term enablement tool. They offer a straightforward pipeline for businesses looking to scale to any volume. 

Through this streamlined (for both brands and buyers) solution, PDQ has helped Only Hearts: 

  • Lower abandoned checkout rates
  • Increase consumer confidence
  • Improve conversion rates
“The PDQ team pays special attention to detail. I’ll make specific service requests and they’ll either already have a solution or they’ll work it out for us.” 

Benefit #3: Scaling a DTC Delivery Engine 

Finally, Nate emphasizes the effect PDQ’s transparent, reliable shipping can have on consumer psychology. The guarantee of swift delivery makes people all the more likely to hit purchase. 

With an accurate and close delivery date in mind, buyers can anticipate when they’ll receive the goods and how they’ll utilize them. It essentially makes online purchasing more tangible. 

In addition, the modern nature of customer demand is that people expect frequent updates and transparency. The fulfillment process becomes part of your branded user experience. 

If your business can’t rise to these expectations, it impacts not only individual customer retention and loyalty, but also how your brand is perceived among your competitors. 

Local Innovations by PDQ

As for what’s happening closer to home, Nate believes PDQ is making moves like no other. 

For example, the platform just launched same-day delivery within New York City. These kinds of timely, relevant innovations have kept PDQ top of mind for local companies. 

Offering same-day fulfillment has been particularly lucrative for two reasons: 

  1. Convenience — For a decent number of New Yorkers, price isn’t a barrier. But a lack of convenience and immediate gratification is. PDQ effectively caters to those standards. 
  2. Easy, safe access — Buyers are more comfortable having their products delivered to their homes and avoid having to take unnecessary and expensive trips to the store.

Nate considers this branch of PDQ’s offerings innovative in the same way Instacart was for groceries. But this time, the service covers almost anything you could need in New York City. 

“PDQ is simply exciting. They’re always adding new features and working on verticals with a completely unique approach from others in the ecosystem.” 

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