Weekly Ecommerce Automation articles, videos and tips by Marcus Schappi.

🎯 Business Goals for 2020

Published on 1 Jan 2020

The productivity and goal planning experts say that you have a greater chance of meeting your goals if you make yourself publicly accountable for them. This is my attempt at doing this!

My overarching business mission is to automate everything a merchant does after they receive an order. With this in mind, my goals for this year are as follows:

Goal 1: 🎁 Productize Existing Automations

For those who don’t know, my wife and I run Little Bird. Little Bird is our primary source of income and last year we had a legal battle with an American company which luckily we didn’t lose! This eye-opening event made it clear that we need a separate source of income should the unimaginable happen.

To compete in the market we’ve built a heap of automations including:

  • Custom Shipping Scales (that talk directly w/ Javascript in your Web Browser)
  • Custom Shipping Label Printer (that talk directly w/ Javascript in your Web Browser)
  • Middleware for our shipping carrier (Australia Post)

This goal is to productize at least two of our existing automations and to develop the marketing (this blog) and distribution channels required to take them to market.

Goal 2: 🤖 Picking and Packing Robot

The greatest source of pain we experience at Little Bird is the fulfilment of orders as it requires humans[1]. Unfortunately with humans, you get “human error”.

We believe that technologies are cheap and mature enough to build a robot that can pick and pack orders.

This goal is to build a robot that can pick and pack all orders placed on Raspberry Pi Australia.

Goal 3: 📦 Reusable Shipping Box [Stretch Goal]

I believe that a reusable shipping box will help to ameliorate many of the issues online merchants experience when it comes to shipping products to their customers.

These include:

  • Delivery Verification
  • Granular Tracking
  • Customer Service work created by returns

This goal is to create a reusable shipping box that can be tracked, with an eink display that can update the shipping carrier label.

The box should be used at least once for one “real order” placed on Raspberry Pi Australia. The real magic will be when the 📦 box is used in conjunction with the 🤖 Picking and Packing Robot.

Thanks for reading! 🚀


[1] Our business model doesn’t allow for 3rd party fulfilment providers as we’re a long tail company with greater than 27K products.