The YouTube video may seem like a typical influencer video – friendly spokesperson, unique aesthetic, and helpful advice. What may surprise you is the product being promoted is a stamp and shipping label printer. With over 30,000 views, Kiki Quesada from Kikiz Cosmeticz shares how she runs her e commerce business using the PitneyShip Cube.
When did a printer become part of the growing influencer channel for e commerce retailers? According to eMarketer, by 2027, E-commerce sales will account for more than 20% of total retail sales. With a 10% average growth rate that is expected to involve more than $2.5 million existing online retailers, innovation in this space is needed now more than ever. Enter Pitney Bowes.
The idea: redefining convenience and efficiency
The inception of the PitneyShip Cube began with the idea of a handheld inkjet printer for stamps. However, early user tests revealed the potential for an integrated scale with label printing capabilities, addressing the needs of low-mid volume shippers – something no other brand/competitor was providing.This valuable insight led to design iterations within two months, creating the only all-in-one stamp and shipping label printer with an integrated scale.
Throughout the product development process, the focus remained on client needs and the vision of an efficient all-in-one device. The design's key principles were to ensure simplicity, efficiency, and aesthetic appeal.
The process and rhythm of product development
“We conducted extensive testing, defining and iterating key workflows such as the setup process, stamp printing, and printing labels from an e-commerce store. Alpha and Beta testing played pivotal roles in ensuring a seamless user experience,” shared Cassandra Gunn, Experience Manager & Architect, Pitney Bowes.
During Alpha testing, 15 prospects used the Cube daily in their businesses. Observing the users in their own environments using the software revealed unforeseen hurdles and opportunities for improvement. A representative from Product Management, UX and sometimes Engineering traveled across several states with a Cube via car, train, and ferry to reach these clients – all within 2 weeks. We spent hours and multiple visits to make sure that their Cube was set up and functioning. By the end of Alpha testing, we collected and addressed over 500 bugs, fixes, and enhancements. In spite of these issues, we saw that users loved their Cube and had formed an emotional attachment to it.
Subsequently, Beta testing with 50 participants provided valuable feedback to refine technical aspects and enhance overall user satisfaction. One example of a learning we had during Alpha is that if the Cube was unplugged accidentally during the process of creating a label, the screen froze and they could not proceed without shutting down the app and powering off the Cube. The team was able to fix this before launching to the public.
The key to success
“We formed a small, dedicated team focused solely on PitneyShip Cube. Additionally, establishing a feedback loop for agile product development proved essential, ensuring effective issue resolution and prioritization,” said Asad Anwer, Sr. Director, Engineering, Pitney Bowes.
The launch of PitneyShip Cube in November 2022 garnered positive reviews and impressive results. It received acknowledgments, such as PC Magazine's recognition of the product as an "excellent" innovation with style and the gold recognition at the 2022 International Design Awards. The Cube's 4.2-star rating on Amazon reflects its success, with thousands of units having been sold through PB channels and marketplaces. Additionally, clients have printed hundreds of thousands of shipping labels and stamps.
Pitney Bowes' success can be attributed to our commitment to understanding and addressing client needs, continuous testing, iteration, and forming dedicated teams. The emotional attachment users developed for the Cube attests to the impact of their client-centric approach throughout the innovation process.
The development of PitneyShip Cube reflects our commitment to a client-centric approach, which has played a significant role in its latest solutions in the marketplace. Whether you’re selling lipsticks or car parts, Pitney Bowes is leading the way to reduce the complexity of sending.