It is unarguably the upcoming, trending sport of the moment: padel. The dynamic mixture of tennis and squash finds its origins in Spain. In the last couple of years, the sport has been growing tremendously and people all over the globe are now playing it. One company that anticipated this trend is Padelshop.com, the specialist in padel equipment. We sat down with Brandon van Deelen, Head of Ecommerce at Padelshop.com, to talk about the importance of a streamlined fulfillment operation.
“Back in 2018, La Playa was the only serious padel player in the Dutch market and they controlled the whole chain: wholesale, online retail, and the construction and exploitation of indoor padel courts. On April 1st, 2021, we joined them as part of an investment round. That’s when we decided to split the company into Plaza Padel – for the padel courts, and Padelshop.com – for the ecommerce business.” Brandon explains.
Scaling up the business
“The early days of Padelshop.com were tough. We started in the loft of one of the Plaza Padel locations. We had no structure, no processes, and 121 SKUs. Imagine having to store all these products in a sports facility visited by thousands of people every month. From a business perspective, this was a big liability. And I am not even talking about moving a pallet with thousands of padel balls up the stairs.”
That is when Padelshop started looking for a scalable fulfillment solution. “We were at the point where we needed to professionalize our operations to take the next step. In a previous company, I already worked with the fulfillment solution of Salesupply and I am a fan of the simplicity of the solution. The system is very straightforward. That’s why I decided to contact Salesupply again,” Brandon states.
Getting started: onboarding
The onboarding process went fast and smoothly. Because of the standardized processes, Padelshop’s team immediately knew what was expected from them. “The systems are very straightforward to work with,” says Brandon. “Take Depot for example, this application - developed by Salesupply - connects the backend of our Shopify store with the WMS (warehouse management system). Very often these connecting tools are complex and not user-friendly at all. With Depot there were no doubts or frustrations, my team instantly knew how to work with it, and -even more important - we are still in control and can make changes.”
Optimizing next-day delivery
When Padelshop started working with Salesupply, the cut-off time for next-day delivery was 4 pm. Data analysis showed that their customers’ preferred shopping time was between 6 pm and midnight. Therefore, together with Salesupply, the cut-off time was increased to 10 pm. “Customers are becoming more demanding and they want to receive their newly bought products as soon as possible. Together with Salesupply, we are currently planning to extend the cut-off time to midnight and we are looking at offering same-day delivery.” Brandon elaborates.
Returns are handled in two different ways at Padelshop. Complaints or damaged products are handled by specialists at Padelshop.com. Other returns are handled by Salesupply. “We are now in talks with Salesupply and its partner Returnista to create an automated self-fulfilling process.
Padelshop’s main markets are the Netherlands and Belgium. Additionally, they supply parts of the Middle East and have clients in other parts of Europe. Fulfillment is arranged from one central warehouse in the Netherlands. Padelshop is planning to further expand cross-border within Europe. “Our short-term goal is to expand into Italy and France, markets where we see good potential. It is important to add value, especially as a new foreign vendor entering a market. To do so we are currently developing propositions such as ‘test it at home’ where customers can order multiple rackets online to test them at home.”
“In the long term, our goal is to establish ourselves into the top 5 padel companies in Europe. I always say that the first 3, 4, 5 players taking part in the game, if you are lower on the list, you shouldn’t even try.” Brandon concludes.
Would you recommend Salesupply?
“Yes, 100%. If you want to invest in an organization that stands for its customers and wants to be top of mind, then I think Salesupply is the right partner. While Salesupply is able to create operational excellence, you can focus on creating customer intimacy."