An emerging entrepreneur sought a strategic partner to help grow her small Panamanian footwear and accessory company into an international brand. Today, her products are worn by consumers in over 70 countries.
When Mary Quintero shipped her first order of Undercover, she used the Panamanian national mail service. The customer received it nine days later.
Up to that point, Mary had been trekking along on sheer grit and determination - assembling a team of passionate, socially conscious women to build her brand. She was creating a lot of buzz, but she realized that international success depended on partnering with a reliable international shipper.
DHL was her first choice. “I always wanted to work with DHL Express,“ says Mary. “As a young girl, a family friend told me that DHL was more than just her employer – it was her family. I thought, if my small company becomes a DHL customer, maybe we’ll be treated like family, too.“
With her team in place and an extensive digital marketing campaign ready to go, Mary made DHL Express her exclusive shipping partner. Since that decisive moment in 2016, Undercover’s orders have increased 400% , her average shopping cart value has increased by 20%, and the company now ships to over 70 countries - up from 12.
Mary credits DHL for helping her grow to where she is today. Customers appreciate DHL’s flexible On-Demand Delivery options, which allow them to specify where and when their packages are delivered. They also value the Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) service, which collects customs charges when the order is placed rather than at the time of delivery. This prevents delays and customer frustration.
“Customers can purchase items with a click, without worrying about additional import paperwork and duty payments,” she says.
increase in domestic and international sales since partnering with DHL
increase in online sales during the pandemic
Countries served, up from 12
Increase in average shopping cart value
The partnership’s early success didn’t go unnoticed. DHL Express Panama recognized Undercover with the DHL Pymexporta award for growing its export operations and bringing Panamanian art and culture to the world. The award included an invitation to DHL-sponsored international business workshops.
Mary credits that business support as critical to her rapid international growth. “DHL helped me grow as an entrepreneur. I learned about international commerce, e-commerce best practices, import-export procedures, and how to reduce shipping costs.”
The tight partnership has proven itself during the pandemic, as Undercover pivoted its brand message and saw online sales triple. “With our brick-and-mortar store shuttered, our DHL courier continued to pick up our orders – from my house. DHL kept all our shipments moving seamlessly as if there was no pandemic.”
By connecting Mary and her team to more than 220 countries and territories, we’re confident that Undercover is well on its way to becoming a leading, global brand.