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Offshoring Case Study - Thredup and India

Thredup, an online consignment and thrift store, attempted to offshored various customer service functions to India. However, the move resulted in significant customer complaints and poor service quality, leading to a reversal of the offshoring decision. In this article, we'll explore some of the critical aspects that businesses should consider when engaging in offshoring, based on Thredup's failed offshoring example.

Evaluate the business needs: Before considering offshoring, it's important to assess your business needs and determine which services can be effectively offshored. Thredup evaluated its customer service needs and determined that certain functions could be offshored to India. However, the offshoring move ultimately proved unsuccessful.

Assess the offshoring partner: When offshoring, it's critical to assess potential partners to ensure they have the necessary expertise and experience to deliver quality work. Thredup's partnership with its Indian offshoring provider was troubled from the start, with significant communication breakdowns and poor service quality.

Plan for cultural differences: Offshoring often involves working with individuals from different cultures and backgrounds. It's important to plan for these differences and ensure that your offshoring partner has a strong understanding of your business culture and values. Thredup's offshoring experience in India was marred by cultural differences that led to communication breakdowns and poor service quality.

Develop a communication plan: Effective communication is critical to the success of any offshoring project. Thredup's partnership with its Indian offshoring provider was marked by communication breakdowns, which contributed to the overall failure of the offshoring project.

Consider data privacy and security: Offshoring often involves the transfer of sensitive data, so it's critical to ensure that your offshoring partner has appropriate data privacy and security measures in place. Thredup's offshoring move to India raised concerns about the potential transfer of sensitive customer data.

staff having a meeting

Thredup's failed offshoring example demonstrates the importance of evaluating business needs, assessing offshoring partners, planning for cultural differences, developing a communication plan, and considering data privacy and security. By taking these steps, businesses can avoid the pitfalls of failed offshoring projects and ensure a successful outcome.


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