How MyPost Business helped Mortels thrive

Stay-at-home comfort living saw Mortels Sheepskin Factory’s ugg boot sales double during COVID lockdowns. MyPost Business became essential to their online business – helping them save on postage and streamline fulfilment processes.1 Co-owner Tony Mortel shares how his family business thrived through the boom.

Key points

  • During 2020, Mortels’ online sales grew to become 30% of their revenue – up from just 5%.
  • Fortunately, they had switched to MyPost Business in 2019 – making the logistics of online growth simpler and more cost-effective.
  • Working closely with their local Post Office manager has helped them make the most of opportunities to grow online sales.  

Mortels Sheepskin Factory is now into its seventh decade of manufacturing the iconic Australian ugg boot – along with a wide range of sheepskin products. And it’s still very much a family affair, with all-hands-on-deck during its busiest year ever in 2020 – when 45,000 pairs of ugg boots walked out the door.

“We couldn’t produce enough to meet demand,” co-owner Tony Mortel says. “Foot traffic substantially increased, even during lockdown as we never closed our two stores. And our online sales exploded – from around 5% of our business to over 30%”

Mortels was an early adopter of online shopping, launching its first website in 1999. But it wasn’t until COVID that it really saw eCommerce take off.

“We did about a third of our annual turnover in the 10 days leading up to Mother’s Day,” says Tony. “Stay-at-home comfortable living combined with a ‘buy local’ sentiment really drove demand.”

Although the business had grown steadily by around 15% every year, revenue immediately doubled when Tony and his wife and co-owner, Stephanie, moved into a much larger manufacturing space – expanding from 660sqm to 2,000sqm.

That was in 2015. And then, in 2020, sales doubled again.

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Saving time on picking and packing

Fortunately, Tony had set up Australia Post’s MyPost Business platform in late 2019 after speaking with his local Post Office manager. “2020 would have been a logistical nightmare without it!” he says.

With MyPost Business, Mortels was able to save on parcel sending.1 But it also helped them streamline the entire process.

Now the small fulfilment team can bulk upload orders and send customers parcel tracking details so they can receive delivery notifications.2 In one simple portal, they can print labels, pay for postage and book parcel pickups.3

“During our peak period, we were sending 150 orders a day. MyPost Business helps us get those out the door quicker, that’s for sure,” says Tony.

Saving on sending

According to Tony, postage is a significant eCommerce cost to the business – “our fourth biggest operating cost,” he says. However, shifting to MyPost Business means they are able to save more on postage the more they spend.1

Mortels charges a flat-rate shipping fee of $15, Australia-wide. Now the company qualifies for Band 5 savings with MyPost Business, they save up to 40% when sending within the same city.1 “Before the savings, and using flat-rate packaging, that often meant losing money on delivery,” he explains.

“Now, we know exactly what each order will cost. And we’re also saving so much time… and time is money!”

Proudly flying the local flag

Mortels is committed to locally-made quality – and that belief in ‘putting locals first’ includes their decision to ship with Australia Post.

Like many Australian-based ugg boot manufacturers, Mortels has been challenged by cheaper imports.4 However Tony says he plans to keep the ‘Australian Made’ banner flying.

“We own our supply source for obtaining raw materials. And we manage the economies of scale very carefully. We have a very low reject rate on our products because everyone in the business cares about the quality. Every ugg boot passes through eight pairs of hands before it enters the store.”

After almost 30 years growing the family business, Tony says having a strong relationship with his local Australia Post manager has made all the difference. “We can call him with any questions. I know he’ll help us get the best out of our services – and that helps me keep our customers happy.”

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This article is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be specific advice for your business needs.

1 Your savings band will be based on your spend on products and services over specific periods using your MyPost Business account, with certain exceptions. Savings are calculated on standard postage rates, and apply to MyPost Business products with certain exceptions. For more information on standard postage rates, the spend requirements of each savings band and a full list of MyPost Business products including the lists of exceptions, read the MyPost Business Postage Rates Guide (PDF 642kB)

2 Track events will vary depending on how the item is lodged and delivered. Read more about our tracking service.

3 The pickup service collects parcels from senders for lodgement into the Australia Post network. Additional charges apply. The pickup service is only available in major metropolitan areas, and its availability in your location will be advised by the on-screen prompts within the MyPost Business online portal. Australia Post may vary at any time the locations where the Parcel Pickup Service is available. We can collect up to 100 parcels at a time. Pickups between 9am and 5pm Monday - Friday, for orders placed before 1pm the day prior. Subsequent parcel delivery in our network is based on the postage services you have purchased. For details, read the MyPost Business Online Sending Terms of Use (PDF 237kB).

4 Production at Thornton Sheepskin boot manufacturer Mortels is growing, The Maitland Mercury, October 17, 2016.