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Case Study Rift Labs

After a successful launch on Kickstarter, Rift Labs looked to Shipwire to outsource order fulfillment

When your passion project becomes your full time job, how do you create time to keep developing the product while managing all the other responsibilities of running a business?

Unsatisfied with the state of photo and video lighting equipment, Morten Hjerde, an engineer and amateur photographer and Marianne Braathen-Hals, a former senior CRM advisor, teamed up to disrupt traditional lighting tools. When their small project turned into a Kickstarter campaign and received double its funding goal, Rift Labs was born.

Before long, Rift Labs’ popular KICK lights became widely adopted by amateur photographers and videographers, as well as by industry professionals. KICK lights were a prime example of the kind of crowdsourced success story everyone loves to read about.

Of course, a natural side-effect of developing an internationally sought-after product is product fulfillment. Like others before them, Hjerde and Braathen-Hals’ time was quickly eaten up as they rushed to package and ship orders.

“Immediately around the time that we started shipping in-house, we realized that we needed a better solution,” said Hjerde, CEO of Rift Labs.

We needed to automate fulfillment and shipping because it takes a lot of time and the stuff that we’re good at is something else — not fulfillment.

— Morten Hjerde, CEO, Rift Labs

Deciding to partner with Shipwire and WooCommerce

The Rift Labs team had established their interest in outsourced fulfillment, but needed to find the right shipping partner. The pair agreed that it was important for the shipping technology to work with their existing ecommerce tools. When asked what about qualifying factors he looked for in screening outsourced shipping services, Hjerde’s response was brief, but direct: “Integration with a shop,” he said. “When a customer places an order, we wanted the fulfillment to be automatic.”

Rift Labs was already using WooCommerce to power its online shopping cart. Hjerde explained, “The nice thing about WooCommerce is that you can extend it and tweak it. You can add features as you go. Other shops have a limited feature set and what you get is what you get.” And what was it like connecting WooCommerce and Shipwire? “Painless,” he said.

A bright future

Once the integration was set up, Hjerde and Braathen-Hals were able to spend their time developing and marketing Rift Labs, rather than stuffing boxes. Both work on the product full time.

Years have passed since Rift Labs was established, KICK lights have undergone several prototypes, product is stored in multiple Shipwire fulfillment centers, thousands of customers use and love KICK lights, and the company has been featured in tech and camera media, as well as having received mentions from movie directors and
television shows.

The future is looking big and bright for Rift Labs’ small, pocket-sized light, and with Shipwire there to support its growth, the possibilities are endless.

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