“We've just put on another part-time employee and that has directly come from the savings that we’ve got since switching to Sendle.” ~ Raphael McGowan, founder, bakslap

TL;DR (too long; didn't read)

  • bakslap is an innovative lotion applicator that was sparked by a tragedy.
  • The business is built on a product and a purpose.
  • bakslap is a light weight, low-cost product.
  • Shipping costs typically eat into margins on low-cost products.
  • Sendle’s weight breaks deliver substantial savings on shipping for bakslap.
  • bakslap also benefits from free pickups and Sendle’s support.

bakslap is a compact lotion applicator that makes it easy for people to put sunscreen on their backs. It was designed and developed by Raphael McGowan, who loves being outdoors, though it wasn’t a concern about avoiding sunburn that initially got him thinking about it. 


Family tragedy sparks the idea

Raph has started and runs several businesses – he’s good at turning ideas into reality. But his latest business, bakslap, was sparked by the loss of his older sister to melanoma (which developed on her back), and a desire to help others avoid the same tragedy. He doesn’t want more families to suffer in the same way as his has, and he’s determined to help people protect themselves from skin cancer.

bakslap was initially funded by a Kickstarter campaign and anyone who has raised money this way knows it’s nail-biting stuff. Raph’s marketing expertise and experience in the not-for-profit sector helped get them through, but it was nerve-racking thinking the dream might slip away. Luckily, hundreds of backers loved the idea, and the initial batch of bakslaps went into production in 2018. Nearly two years after he set himself this goal, Raph and his mates were excitedly packing the first orders on the kitchen table.


Collaboration shapes the product

bakslap product color variation bakslap and Volkswagen merchandise collaboration

When he looks back over the last few years, Raph is proud of what they’ve achieved. The business has grown every year, finding new customers and new uses for the bakslap. Originally intended for sunscreen, people are now using the bakslap for all sorts of creams and lotions. And they’re not just putting lotion on their backs; the applicator is perfect for reaching any part of the body. The bakslap has proved to be fantastic for people with mobility issues and it’s often recommended by Occupational Therapists.

While building the business, Raph has been nurturing partnerships as well. He and his team have helped organise the local Melanoma March, a 4km walk around the Noosa Main Beach and boardwalk, which is an invigorating day out for the families who enjoy the music and festivities at the end. And Volkswagen buyers will be delighted to find a bakslap pack in their brand new vehicle, thanks to a partnership with a Sunshine Coast dealership. With Australia having one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, Raph is passionate about spreading the word about this disease, and more importantly, how to prevent it.

Having a purpose has been instrumental in the success of bakslap. As Raph says, “it helps if you love the business because there are lots of difficult times, lots of challenges, and going back to your purpose is what gets you through.”


Sendle wasn’t their first choice

multicolored 3 boxes of bakslap products

In the early days of bakslap, Raph tried Sendle but the coverage wasn't enough for all locations he was selling to, and he decided to streamline shipping by having only one carrier. He and his tiny team were still learning the ropes and they wanted to make the fulfilment process as simple as possible.

None-the-less, as a smart business owner, he reviews and revisits decisions regularly, and was intrigued when he received an email about Sendle's cheaper rates in 2023. The prices were so much lower than Australia Post that he decided to investigate further, and was also pleased to see that Sendle’s coverage across Australia had increased considerably.

Raph decided to return to Sendle and has been thoroughly impressed with the service. They have shifted almost all of their domestic shipping to Sendle, leveraging the efficiency of Starshipit, a shipping and fulfillment platform. With a lot of their orders coming in under 250g, bakslap can take advantage of Australia’s cheapest parcel and avoid paying for more than what they’re using.

"With the 250g bracket, we’re saving almost $2 on every order! That makes an unbelievable difference to our overall spend on shipping."

They’re saving on courier pickups too, thanks to Sendle's free pickup service. And as the business grows and expands, bakslap’s savings will continue to grow because Sendle’s Ship & Save program means the more you spend the more savings you unlock as you level up to higher discounting.


No going back since the switch to Sendle

bakslap product boxes bakslap product openned and held by a person

Now that bakslap has moved 85% of its orders to Sendle, more and more of those handy lotion applicators are being delivered to grateful customers all over Australia every day.

The team has grown to five employees, and they consider their Sendle courier driver part of their team as well. They appreciate how easy it is, having parcels collected by a regular and reliable courier, especially during peak season.

“Even up until midnight sometimes, we’ve been packing orders and the free pickup means we can offer great service because the driver collects them the next morning.”

As every ecommerce business owner knows, customers are sometimes anxious about their deliveries. When queries do come in these days, the bakslap team is confident they can solve issues quickly, thanks to the prompt and helpful responses they receive from Sendle’s amazing support team.

Switching to Sendle has meant much more than savings to invest in the business. Raph is looking forward to building this partnership, thanks to all the Sendle advantages that are helping his business provide reliable shipping and great service as they continue to grow. With expansion overseas a likely next step, they’ll benefit from Sendle’s competitive international pricing.

For bakslap, there’s no going back.

Photos courtesy: bakslap


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