Championing sustainable and eco-friendly parenting
Diaper Stork is a diaper service and baby boutique providing Seattle and surrounding areas with an eco-conscious alternative to disposable diapers. Its main offering is the delivery of cloth diapers and related items straight to the doorstep of families with young children.
“I took over Diaper Stork when it was time to go back to work after having children,” explained Carrie Pollak, who bought Diaper Stork in 2018. “I wanted a job that was more sustainable than working for a large corporation, and more in line with my beliefs. Reducing waste is a really important part of our future and given that disposable diapers are the third single largest item in landfill, it would make a big dent if we could reduce that.”
In addition to its core baby items, Diaper Stork also provides other environmentally friendly products suitable for families with young children, such as zero waste cleaning solutions in refillable containers.
The critical role of payments
After she bought the business, Carrie quickly realized – like many small business owners – that lowering her overhead costs would provide a big boost to Diaper Stork. One way to do this was to reduce the cost of payments. At that point, Diaper Stork paid a 3% fee per credit card transaction, so Carrie started to look for lower-cost alternatives.
It was essential that any new payment method she found was easy to set up and integrate into the software the business was already using. As a small business, Diaper Stork doesn’t have an IT team.
When Carrie first started looking, there wasn’t anything appropriate, but 18 months later, she discovered the official GoCardless integration for accepting ACH debit payments through her accounting platform, Xero.
Low cost and seamless integration
Using GoCardless has enabled Diaper Stork to reduce its overhead costs, with the company now paying 2% less per transaction compared to cards for every customer that chooses ACH debit.
Carrie has been using GoCardless for nearly 2 years. Half of her customers now use the service to pay for their subscription meaning Diaper Stork can automatically take their payments as they fall due each month.
The company still offers credit cards as a payment option because providing customers a choice is of utmost importance for the team. However, for any parent who may not have a strong preference, she hopes they consider using GoCardless. “Paying with a low-cost method like ACH debit really makes a big difference for small businesses,” said Carrie. “It allows us to reduce costs, and, as a result, more money stays in the local economy.”
Sarah Coonley, Diaper Stork’s head of customer service added: “Our customer base all have young babies at home so they're really busy. They’re not interested in doing something that takes a lot of time or effort, especially if it happens every month.” With GoCardless, parents have one less thing to worry about.
So far, very good
As a result of the integration with Xero, Carrie estimates she saves 2-3 hours per month on reconciliation and accounting – not to mention minimizing human error thanks to the automated system.
As a small business owner, I wear a lot of hats. Anything that frees up time for me to focus on higher-level strategy rather than transactional tasks is a huge help.”
As for the customer experience, Carrie recognizes there’s a bit more work for customers when they first set up their account. But it’s just a one-off, after which all future payments are taken care of. She knows her customers also appreciate the option to autopay or click to pay future invoices, giving them more control if they so choose.
A partnership for the future
Diaper Stork continues to pursue its vision to make it easy for young families to parent in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. The company plans to continue providing cloth diapers and more eco-friendly products, and its educational training series – which shifted to Zoom during the pandemic – is going from strength to strength. “The first thing in reducing waste is using less,” said Carrie. “For example, we know that if a family potty trains just six months earlier, they can save 335 gallons of waste and $500 per child.”
Meanwhile, Carrie believes GoCardless, with its low cost and seamless integration with Xero, is perfect for a subscription business like hers. She’s looking forward to the continued benefits it will bring to Diaper Stork, its employees, and its customers.