Shopify Partners

BariatricPal Case Study


Gym bros, swoll-mates, keto cadets… no matter what you call it, weight-loss and fitness journeys are much more fun and successful when you have a trusted companion to support you, motivate you, and keep you on track towards your health and fitness goals.

That’s precisely how this e-commerce CEO’s voyage started — while embarking on his health journey. After a personal bariatric surgery, Alex Brecher, CEO of BariatricPal, recognized the need for support, connection, and community.

“On the same day that I came home from surgery, I launched a weight loss surgery forum to share information on procedures, diets, and related topics. That was 17 years ago. Now the forum has 374,000 members and over 4.5 million posts.”

Alex BrecherCEO of BariatricPal

In 2015, the BariatricPal store was launched to provide the bariatric community with high-quality food, snacks, vitamins, and health accessories. The company currently owns four brands: BariatricPal (Store), PatchAid (vitamin patches), NutriNoodle (pastas), and Alex’s Acid-Free Organic Coffee.

Since health & fitness is such an essential part of our lives (especially for those of us that gained the Covid-19lbs #thanksgrubhub 🙄), we just had to sit down and chat with the fine folks at BariatricPal, break down their business into sizable chunks, and chew it over 25 times.

Alex, thanks so much for joining us! To start us off, you look terrific.

Alex Brecher: “You stop; you look amazing.”

Oh, quit making me blush, you scoundrel! I could lose a couple.

Alex Brecher: “From where??”

Okay, that didn’t happen, but he does look great — take 2: Alex, thanks so much for joining us! To start us off, please tell us about your business.

Alex Brecher: “BariatricPal is a brand and online community that offers a one-stop shop for a vast range of vitamins, supplements, and diet food, including 3,500+ products from over 150 bariatric-friendly brands. The story of BariatricPal began in the most personal way – with my bariatric surgery. While embarking on my health journey, I recognized the need for support, connection, and community.

The day I returned from surgery, I launched a weight loss surgery forum to share information on procedures, diets, and related topics. That was 17 years ago. Now the forum has 374,000 members and over 4.5 million posts.

As millions of Americans, and countless people across the globe, continue to spend billions of dollars on weight-loss products, BariatricPal’s popularity is showing no signs of slowing down.”

What was your fulfillment model before switching to ShipHero? What were the challenges or areas of improvement?

“We first fulfilled all orders out of a spare room in my office. After a few months, we switched to a 3PL, which we used from November 2015 to August 2017. Due to the growing number of SKUs, we outgrew our 3PL and moved into our warehouse on 8/17.

The 3PL was having issues scaling with our growth, and towards the end of our business relationship, we had orders that were massively delayed, and inventory took weeks to receive. After crunching the numbers and talking to ShipHero, we realized that we could operate fulfillment for much less than we were paying and, at the same time, be much more efficient.

We should be moving to a new, more giant warehouse after this summer.”

Congratulations! Crunches to get summer ready, who knew? And what were the main goals for your company when deciding to alter your fulfillment logistics?

“We had two goals. First, we wanted to increase the speed it took customers to receive their orders from when they placed them on our site. Second, we tried to decrease our fulfillment costs.

When searching for a fulfillment partner, we valued compatibility with Shopify, ease of use, and cost.”

Why did you choose ShipHero?

“Choosing ShipHero came down to three factors:

  1. It was the PERFECT solution for what we were looking for: It allows us to efficiently pick, pack, ship, receive, and create purchase orders.
  2. The pricing is reasonable and affordable.
  3. Excellent product support.”

Just like you, we’re all about supporting our community. What was the experience like integrating ShipHero?

“It was a lot less difficult than I had expected. We did run into a few bumps in the road, and support was super helpful, patient, and communicative. They held my hand through the entire migration process going from the 3PL to ShipHero.”

We’ll never let go. What advantages have you seen with using ShipHero?

“It’s allowed us to scale our growth and assist us with running a very efficient warehouse operation.

We also use ShipHero’s Bulk Ship feature to ship our monthly subscription boxes. Offering a subscription box allows our customers to sample the many new bariatric products we add to our store each month. This will enable us to streamline the shipping process without requiring our team to pick and weigh each subscription box individually. It saves a tremendous amount of time, and our team loves it.”

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Special thanks to our friends at Shiphero for their insights on this topic.
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