Dumpling was founded to give as many people as possible the opportunity to launch and grow their own business. Today, there are thousands of Business Owners, including numerous gig workers, running personal shopping businesses on the platform. We make updates regularly to improve the Business Owner and client experience, and we understand that no change will be met with unanimous approval from the growing community of Business Owners. Our fall 2020 update stirred up strong sentiments. In doing so, assertions were made that run counter to our founding mission and to the work our team does each and every day. As founders, we felt it important that you hear from us directly.
The Update in a Nutshell
- Our most recent update, like all others before it, was based on thorough research and careful consideration. The goal was simple: break down barriers to organic customer acquisition for Business Owners everywhere. Research and experience told us that many disliked being made to tip before the service is delivered, so we instead added the option for clients to tip after their order was completed. Not only is mandatory tipping not a common business practice and stands in the way of client growth, we believe Business Owners should be able to set a fair and transparent price for their service, and not depend exclusively on tips — as is the case in gig jobs.
- To ensure Business Owners’ net earnings remain intact, we introduced a percentage pricing model option where their earnings reflect a certain percentage of each order they complete, similar to how tips are calculated in a wide variety of industries. While the requirement of a minimum tip was removed, business owners still set all the tipping options their clients see at checkout and after the order is delivered. Nearly half of business owners have successfully adopted this model. We also allotted three weeks for Business Owners to get ready for the change, with the full support of Dumpling’s business coaches.
- Two months after the update, average earnings have gone up to $40 per order (significantly more than gig work platforms), and the average amount of orders per business owner on the platform has grown by 20%.
Dumpling listens and responds to Business Owner feedback.
The update was initially going to standardize that clients pay the 5% platform fee, previously an option for Business Owners to pay if they wanted, but some really wanted to keep the ability to pay this fee. As we have in the past, we listened and heard the feedback on this, and we reconsidered. We kept the option allowing them to pay the platform fee if they chose to do so.
Business Owners set their own prices. Dumpling remains the most configurable and customizable platform to run a personal shopping business.
- The latest update does not impact a Business Owner’s ability to earn the amount they desire or set their own prices.
- If someone is only making $3-$5 per order, this is a direct result of not pricing their services accurately, and we make our Business Coaches fully available to them, as we always have.
This brief video shows how Business Owners can ensure they earn what they need and desire with a customizable platform:
There is no way a client can tip bait on Dumpling; it is literally impossible.
- A client can always increase the tip, but cannot reduce the tip.
- We also made updates to the client app to ensure it’s as easy as possible for clients to add tips once an order is completed.
- In fact, any client that doesn’t add a tip during checkout is also prompted to add a tip again after the order is completed.
No one was removed from the Dumpling Business Owner Facebook group because they disagreed with Dumpling. Feedback always was, and still is, welcome.
- Feedback to Dumpling and to other Business Owners was a key part of the thriving Facebook group. Feedback was always welcome, as long as it reflected respect for the group’s established guidelines and for one another.
- Upon making our latest update, a few individuals consistently ignored these guidelines, some even posting as many as 400 times in a single day. While we took to heart their content, their conduct was not appropriate, eliciting complaints from other members.
- After consulting our internal team and external advisors, we determined that it didn’t make sense for Dumpling to be moderating a Facebook group and the best option was to transition to a more streamlined method of communication.
- Since we were transitioning our Business Owner communications to within the app regardless — where we can reach all Business Owners and not just those with a Facebook account — we finalized this step and officially closed the group.
- Business Owners continue to reach out to us with feedback through the Help Center, and we will continue to seek it out as we make future updates.
We launched Dumpling by seeking out the voices of gig workers seeking a better future for themselves, so we thought it fitting to end with input from Dumpling user, Suze, just last week:
“I have been a successful and thriving business owner with the help of dumpling for over a year. The coaching program, and the involvement and feedback of the team sets them apart from any other platform I’ve ever used. The fact that Dumpling’s growth is organic and changes to suit our needs and those of our clients keeps my business continually growing at a fast rate. I’m glad they are not sedentary with change or updates and instead they listen to us about what does and doesn’t work. Those changes help us continue to be independent and in the drivers seat of our businesses. My orders and earnings have grown between 25–30% since the last update rolled out and I welcome any other changes that are headed our way. Those changes are helping me to secure a good looking future for myself while doing something I love!”
- Suze K., Suze Q Shops for You, LLC
Our goal in everything we do is to empower business owners like Suze to be successful. The feedback and data on the rising success of Business Owners over the past several months propel us forward in our founding mission: to empower people to launch, build and grow their businesses.
We will continue to champion our growing community of Business Owners as they serve local communities all across the country.
Joel Shapiro & Nate D’Anna