9 Best Order Fulfillment Services for eCom Orders (Reliable & Affordable)

One of the pains of online entrepreneurs is shipping and logistics.

Failures in this aspect can make your customers unhappy. But did you know that your business can reach 75% of the US population if you use a 3PL company?

The solution is beyond doubt and question. Hire an order fulfillment company, and let them take care of your logistics.

However, one big challenge and fear that entrepreneurs have is how to choose the right fulfillment service company.

Unlike a software program, you cannot easily cancel your “subscription” or deal with a 3PL. It is because you need to ship your items to them.

As such, you cannot just pull out your products at any time. I do not want you to go through that nightmare.

Today, I will share the best order fulfillment services for eCommerce orders. I selected these companies based on their services and the experiences that many other entrepreneurs had with them.

What Are The Best Fulfilment Companies

1. ShipBob

Best For: Dropshippers and medium-sized to big entrepreneurs who need an all-in-one solution for the fulfillment process.

 Dropshippers and medium-sized to big entrepreneurs who need an all-in-one solution for the fulfillment process.

ShipBob is a technologically inclined eCommerce fulfillment company. They use software programs to help you run your business.

As a 3PL order fulfillment organization, they use proprietary machines and software programs in their various locations.

Once integrated with your website, all orders are sent to their systems and warehouses automatically. They have negotiated rates with FedEx fulfillment and logistics, UPS, USPS, and other carriers.

One thing that makes ShipBob a premier choice is its compatibility with many online store platforms.

It can even work with eBay and Amazon (if you are not in the FBA program).

ShipBob dashboard screenshot

Key Features

  • Integrations – ShipBob has an easy integration system. The platform works with Shopify, Gorgias, LinnWorks, and other software programs. For an online business, it is best paired with Shopify.
  • Easy Onboarding – ShipBob has many satisfied customers because of its onboarding process. Once you register, you will meet with an implementations team and learn the ropes. They will help you configure your shipping options and sync your online store.
  • Distributed Inventory – the company has several fulfillment centers, not just one. They will strategically split your inventory in these locations. As a result, they can ship items faster based on your customer’s shipping address.
  • 2-Day Shipping Program – since many entrepreneurs cannot beat Amazon FBA, ShipBob offers an excellent alternative where your customer can receive the item in as short as two days. The offer is for the continental US. With fast shipping, you can reduce your cart abandonment by 18% and increase your sales.
  • Order Management – apart from inventory management, ShipBob gives you a platform to track your orders. You can filter the shipped items by status or see a timeline of the fulfillment service process.

Pros

  • Seamless onboarding process
  • You get to work with a success manager
  • Excellent customer service
  • Can ship in as little as two days

Cons

  • Cost is a little high for pallets
  • 2-Day shipping is not free, and it can be pricey
  • No mobile app

Pricing

The rate starts at the following prices:

  • Storage per Bin – $5
  • Storage per Shelf – $10
  • Storage per Pallet – $40

The starting fulfillment service cost is between $5 and $5.19 per month.

You need to request a quote from ShipBob to get actual rates. They have different pricing for different types of products in relation to weight and size.

2. ShipMonk

Best For: People looking for fulfillment companies that are easy to use.

Best For: People looking for a fulfillment company that is easy to use.

ShipMonk is an eCommerce fulfillment services company that includes warehousing, shipping, and kitting.

What I love about it is that they have several pick and pack options.

For example, you can choose the packaging you want before shipping the item to your customer.

ShipMonk allows you to manage inventory and then manage your entire supply chain process. They have a system that automatically imports orders from your sales channels to their sites, and then they also allow you to track the status of these orders.

ShipMonk Dashboard screenshot

Key Features

  • Integration – they offer several integration options for eCommerce fulfillment services. The software works with eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce. It also works with marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and many more.
  • Subscription Fulfillment – if you sell vitamins or products that customers expect to arrive regularly, you can rely on ShipMonk. They have a subscription box fulfillment where they regularly send items to your customers.
  • Paid Delivery Duty – if you ship to other countries, you must pay delivery duties. As a fulfillment service operator, ShipMonk takes a step further takes care of this problem.
  • All Business Types – the company does not choose the type of eCommerce business that it supports. As long as what you are selling is legal, you can use their fulfillment services.
  • Shipping Efficiency – since the company works with many sellers, you can get discounts for shipping. They do have FedEx fulfillment and other options. They also offer quick fulfillment times, pick and pack accuracy of 99.99%, and secure storage.

Pros

  • Lots of integration options
  • Has multiple channels for customer support
  • Multiple shipping options like FedEx fulfillment
  • It can be integrated with several marketplaces

Cons

  • Some packages get lost, but this is a rare occurrence
  • No mobile app; it is cloud-based, so you cannot install it on your PC

Pricing

The price mentioned here is for a maximum of 500 orders a month. Note that you may incur additional charges for fragile items and those heavier than five pounds.

  • First Item Pick Fee Per Order – $3.00
  • Additional Items Per Order – $0.75
  • Promotional Inserts – $0.20
  • Return Processing – $2.00 + .50/additional item
  • Storage Bin Size – between $1 and $25

To get an exact quote, you must sign up for an account and speak with a customer support representative.

3. Red Stag Fulfillment

Best For: Red Stag Fulfillment is best for people looking for fulfillment centers, not as an all-in-one solution but broken down into various services. It also works best for dropshippers.

Best For: Red Stag Fulfillment is best for people looking for fulfillment centers, not as an all-in-one solution but broken down into various services. It also works best for dropshippers.

Red Stag Fulfillment is making a mark in the fulfillment services industry because of its fast and efficient shipping.

Watching their videos shows will let you know that they have big warehouses. They also have technologically advanced machines in their fulfillment centers.

You will love Red Stag Fulfillment because they only require a minimum of 200 orders a month.

They also offer discounted shipping rates with FedEx fulfillment and other carriers.

Red Stag Warehouse screenshot

Key Features

  • Same-Day Shipping – Red Stag Fulfillment is one of the few eCommerce fulfillment services that offer this support for shipping. They provide a cut-off time of as late as 5 in the afternoon—they will pick and pack the item and ship it to your customer.
  • Inventory and Order Monitoring – Red Stag Fulfillment has an online, cloud-based system that lets you track the status of each order. It is a critical aspect of fulfillment services because your customers will always ask you the shipment status.
  • Returns and Processing – once the Red Stag Fulfillment warehouse receives a return, they will immediately begin the refund process. They guarantee that all orders are processed in less than two days. They also take videos of the products they receive back from the customer.
  • Kitting and Assembly – if you have a product you sell in a bundle or as a group, Red Stag Fulfillment will take care of it. The kitting service is separate, and you have to speak to them about how you want the kit to look. The service includes inventory tracking to know which parts of the products are still in stock.

Pros

  • The Red Stag Fulfillment order minimums are low
  • They have a same-day shipping offer
  • They can handle large and fragile goods
  • Excellent process and transparent pricing

Cons

  • Red Stag Fulfillment only has two warehouses
  • There is no international service if you get Red Stag Fulfillment
  • The service is pricey

Pricing

Red Stag Fulfillment charges $100 for the set-up fee. It is a one-time fee, and you will pay at least $13.25 per pallet.

For the monthly storage fee, they charge between $2 and $15. Then, there is the pick and pack fee, which is $0.30 per item.

To learn more, you can contact Red Stag fulfillment today to get a personalized quote for your eCommerce business.

4. Deliverr

Best For: Businesses with multiple eCommerce stores are looking for a single fulfillment provider.

Best For: Companies with multiple eCommerce platforms that are looking for a single fulfillment provider.

Deliverr is a fulfillment network that takes it a step further. They have a software program that you can use in multiple sales channels, which means you can sell on many platforms, including social media, and they will take care of the orders.

I love Deliverr because it has no monthly minimum sales requirement. So you can go on for months with no sales, and you will not pay any outrageous fees.

But, of course, you still have to pay the fee for inventory management.

However, the company does not offer returns processing. They only ship to the US, but there is no international shipping option.

Deliverr Dashboard screenshot

Key Features

  • Integration – you can use the software program in several eCommerce platforms and social media like Amazon, Walmart, Shopify, Facebook, and even Instagram.
  • Free Delivery Badging – Deliverr offers the top order fulfillment services because you can take advantage of the 2-day free shipping badges. It does not mean they will ship it for free; instead, you will get a badge that you can show on your website.
  • Next-Day Delivery – when you use Deliverr as an outsourced fulfillment company, your eligible customers will automatically see a Free Next Day Delivery if they qualify. The company does not charge anything extra from you as the seller.
  • Transparent Pricing – the prices for the warehouse management and other fulfillment costs are all-inclusive. There are no hidden charges. The price you pay covers pick and pack, order handling, packaging, and shipping.
  • Cost Calculator – they have a cost calculator that allows you to assess how much it will cost you to get their storage and shipping services.
  • Multiple Users – you can add several users to your Deliverr account. You do not have to process the orders alone—you can pass this job to your virtual assistants. You have the option to add an admin role or a user role.

Pros

  • Lots of integration
  • Fast fulfillment service
  • The system is easy to use

Cons

  • No support for subscription-based sales
  • No phone for customer support

Pricing

  • Fulfillment – starts at $3.99 per unit; this changes based on weight and dimensions and the service level or shipping time.
  • Storage – starts at $0.75 per unit; they chart per cubic foot per month per item

To get a customized quote, sign up for a free account and speak to their customer support representative.

5. Rakuten Super Logistics

Best For: Large companies that need multiple types of fulfillment network services and inventory storage for eCommerce fulfillment.

Best For: Large companies that need multiple types of fulfillment network services and inventory storage for eCommerce fulfillment.

Rakuten is an established fulfillment network that has been in business for a while. It partners with several shipping carriers like UPS, First Mile, and DHL.

Unlike some fulfillment network companies, Rakuten has several fulfillment centers in the United States, making it a formidable warehouse management partner. It also has several integration options, which means you can use it on several eCommerce platforms.

I can say that Rakuten is close to DHL and FedEx.

They have so many services, but their top order fulfillment services are focused on online retailers. Rakuten has been around for two decades. As such, I can consider them as a reliable fulfillment provider.

Rakuten Warehouse screenshot

Key Features

  • Order Fulfillment – they offer 100% reliable order accuracy and guarantee. The turnaround that they promise is 24 hours. They also provide a 99% delivery rate for their 2-day fulfillment network. They guarantee same-day shipping if this is the service you want to deliver to your customers.
  • Return Management – your customers can ship the items back to them, and Rakuten will take care of the processing. However, you need to tell Rakuten what they should do should a customer return a product. For example, do you want them to send a new item or cancel the transaction altogether?
  • Kitting Services – they will simplify the process of making a kit for your customers. They have a system where you can bundle items from your SKU. Even customers can virtually kit the items, and Rakuten will take care of the physical kitting from their fulfillment centers.
  • Subscription Box Fulfillment – if your product is subscription-based, Rakuten will send products to your customers on a regular basis. They also offer custom packing for this kind of sale.
  • Freight Forwarding – they have a service called SmartFreight. Its function is to allow eCommerce businesses to move and manage freight at economical rates.

Pros

  • It is one of the biggest and leading fulfillment companies for eCommerce businesses
  • They offer specialized fulfillment for online retailers
  • They have many fulfillment centers in the US

Cons

  • No transparent pricing
  • No custom packing option
  • No global fulfillment location, so international shipping is questionable

Pricing

Rakuten does not publish the fulfillment costs, warehouse management, or inventory storage prices. If you want to know the eCommerce fulfillment price, you must request a quote.

6. FedEx Fulfillment

Best For: Big businesses that need a reliable eCommerce fulfillment organization—one that has a global brand and recognition.

Best For: Big businesses that need a reliable eCommerce fulfillment company—one that has a global brand and recognition.

FedEx Fulfillment is a solution for eCommerce companies; it is not the shipping company where you bring you items for shipment, but they are related.

As a trusted logistics company, the executives saw the potential of eCommerce companies, so they decided to take a stab at being a fulfillment provider for online retailers.

FedEx Fulfillment has a global footprint. Of course, you can trust that FedEx Fulfillment delivers the parcels as per their commitment.

The question now is, does it have the features that the other best fulfillment services offer?

Fedex Fulfillment dashboard screenshot

Key Features

  • Subscription Box – like the other fulfillment provider companies on this list, FedEx Fulfillment offers a subscription box as part of their kitting services. It means that they also provide kit packages if you want to sell bundles.
  • Custom Packaging – custom packaging is part of what FedEx Fulfillment offers. They offer many types of packaging, considering that they have been in the shipping business for decades.
  • Advanced Reporting – after you integrate your eCommerce store, you can access the dashboard from which you will see your orders. You can also see if the order is already out for shipment, if the customers returned them, or if they are on hold.
  • Integration – you can integrate FedEx Fulfillment with many eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce. You can also incorporate FedEx Fulfillment with marketplaces.
  • All-In-One Tool – with FedEx Fulfillment, you can simplify the way you run your business. You will have access to pick and pack services, inventory tracking, and international shipping. Just take note that, unlike other providers, the shipping costs of your product will largely depend on the volume of your sales.

Pros

  • Integration with multiple sales channels and eCommerce companies or platforms
  • Complete service from inventory management, pick and pack, and shipping
  • Has international shipping
  • Does not only operate one fulfillment center but several; they are also global

Cons

  • Only uses FedEx as the shipping carrier; this also applies to international shipping
  • Charges account fees
  • Integration for eCommerce fulfillment is still clunky

Pricing

FedEx Fulfillment has what they call flexible pricing plans. You must call them and discuss your business model and products to get their rates.

7. eFulfillment Service

Best For: Startup businesses that need a fulfillment center to outsource their inventory storage and shipping.

Best For: Startup businesses that need a fulfillment center to outsource their inventory storage and shipping.

eFulfillment Service may not be a big name in the industry, but they have been around for 20 years. They offer outsourced fulfillment, shipping, pick and pack, and storage, even for small businesses with stocks that would fit in a bedroom.

What I love about eFulfillment Service is that there is no upfront cost. They even provide free packing supplies. In addition, unlike other fulfillment provider companies, they do not charge hidden fees.

efulfillment service dashboard screenshot

Key Features

  • Warehousing and Storage – as a fulfillment provider, they offer low-cost storage services. They do not require minimums. One of the best things about this service is that you do not get penalties or fees if your inventory has been in their warehouse for too long.
  • FBA Prep – if you plan to sell on Amazon, they can help you prepare and ship your merchandise to Amazon’s warehouses. In addition, they will replenish your stocks on Amazon, so you no longer have to worry about it.
  • eCommerce Fulfillment – they have a web-based application that allows you to fulfill orders, check inventory, and track shipments. They will pack and ship your items direct to your consumer from the warehouse.
  • Integration – their software program can integrate with over 30 shopping cars and systems. Once the integration is completed, you can access the report and system from your Fulfillment Control Panel.
  • Kitting – just send them your inventory and kitting instructions, and they will take care of the rest. They do light assembly work to complete a kit before sending the box to your customer.
  • Returns – unlike some of the best order fulfillment services on our list, this company has a returns management service. If the customer returns your item, they will process it. All you need to do is refund the customer. The returns management process is also online.

Pros

  • Great for entrepreneurs who are just starting out
  • Reduced shipping costs
  • Excellent customer support
  • No minimum monthly order volume requirement
  • Has an in-house IT team that can help you with software-related issues

Cons

  • Not ideal for large volume or enterprise companies
  • The dashboards and reports are basic
  • International shipping is limited

Pricing

There is no pricing available for their eCommerce fulfillment services. To get a quote, you have to contact customer support.

8. Huboo

Best For: Entrepreneurs looking for eCommerce fulfillment companies based in the UK.

Best For: Entrepreneurs looking for eCommerce fulfillment companies based in the UK.

Huboo is an award-winning inventory management and fulfillment organization.

Their main focus is eCommerce, and they operate out of their UK and European centers. Its mission is to empower brands and help entrepreneurs increase sales.

Huboo offers picking, packing, storage, and delivery. In addition, they have a robust system that you can integrate with various eCommerce channels and marketplaces.

Huboo dashboard screenshot

Key Features

  • Real-Time Billing – you can access your dashboard daily to see your current billing statement. Huboo takes pride in not charging hidden fees, unlike other eCommerce fulfillment companies. They also want to avoid surprises to ensure that their customers are happy.
  • Up-to-Date Dashboard – the dashboard is accessible online, and you can see the status of your inbound goods and stock levels. You can also see your sales in real-time.
  • Fulfillment – after they receive your products and mark them for identification, they will take care of picking, packing, and shipping your items once you make a sale.
  • Integration – they offer a software program to integrate with your online store. You can also use the software with marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
  • Easy to Use – the system and process are easy to use. After the sign-up process, you must upload your products and help the system recognize the items. You can use barcodes, item numbers, or even your identification system. Once this is over, you can ship the items to their warehouse. They also accept shipments directly from your manufacturer.
  • High-Volume – Huboo ships five million products in a year; they are capable of handling high-volume shipments, which makes them an ideal partner.

Pros

  • Professional customer support
  • Humane working environment: you are contributing to the good welfare of people
  • Effective onboarding team

Cons

  • Located in the UK

Pricing

They have different pricing options according to the hub you will use. All the prices are inclusive of packing and postage or courier costs.

For example, for a small letter, they charge £1.37 for 24-hour shipping, but you have the option to pay less for 48-hour shipping. All prices are subject to the package dimension and weight.

To get more information, you need to request a quote from their website or customer support.

9. RubyHas

Best For: Entrepreneurs looking for a fulfillment provider that has multiple locations globally.

Best For: Entrepreneurs looking for a fulfillment provider that has multiple locations globally.

RubyHas is a fast-growing fulfillment organization.

They offer 3PL services to both medium and big businesses. They started small—the founder used his living room and bedroom as storage for this 3PL company.

Today, the company has robust API integration, highly accurate picking and packing services, and also have international fulfillment solutions.

What they specialize in is direct-to-consumer sales for brands and online retailers.

In 2018, they were ranked as the fastest-growing company with cutting-edge technology.

RubyHas Onboarding screenshot

Key Features

  • Integrations – you can integrate the RubyHas software with many eCommerce store builders like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce. The system also works with eBay, Amazon, and Walmart.
  • Multiple Locations – they have fulfillment service locations in New York, Nevada, Kentucky, California, Canada, and United Kingdom.
  • Multiple Sales Channels – you can manage your inventory for various sales channels in only one dashboard. You can make purchase decisions and forecasts from their system and then use the analysis to replenish your stocks.
  • Freight Cost Savings – their efficiency and effectiveness can help you save as much as 45% on the cost of warehousing, shipping, and labor costs for handling and packing.
  • Domestic Help – you will get domestic customer support; if you are from Canada, you will be speaking to a Canadian customer service representative who will help you.

Pros

Cons

  • The customer support is limited

Pricing

RubyHas does not publish its rates. All rates are custom according to what the entrepreneur needs. You must call them or visit their website to get a quote.

What Is An Order Fulfillment Company?

An order fulfillment company offers warehousing services for your products and ships them to the customer.

They take care of printing the shipping labels, working with shipping companies.

Hence, you get affordable shipping and ensure that your products get to your customer at the shortest possible time at the least cost.

A company that does this is also called a third-party logistics company or 3PL. You send them your products in the process, then keep them in their warehouse.

Once you process an order, they have an employee, or a robot, that gets the product from the shelf.

From here, they pack the product, print the shipping label, and work with the shipping partner to get the item to your customer.

How To Choose The Best Fulfilment For Your Business

You need to look into some factors before making a business commitment to a fulfillment process company. In this section, I will explain several of them.

1. Shipping Speed

Amazon offers a 2-day shipping service. It has become the new norm.

If you work with fulfillment companies, make sure that they can meet this demand. It is okay not to meet this if the product you sell is not generic.

However, if you are selling products from China, you are better off selling on Amazon than building an eCommerce business and working with a fulfillment company.

Choose a fulfillment service company that can commit to fast handling and shipping.

2. Shipping Rate

What are the shipping costs of the fulfillment service company? If they do not offer a significant discount compared to what carriers offer commercially, you need to seriously reconsider.

If you sell on Shopify, the platform can offer at least a 70% discount on shipping with their carrier partners. The thing is that you still have to pack the items yourself.

However, Shopify also has sales channels to reach more traffic, so it could be a better solution for you.

3. Warehousing Cost

How much will you pay for the warehousing cost? Like Amazon, a company that does the order fulfillment on your behalf has a fulfillment center. However, since your products are sitting in their warehouse, they are using real estate, and this comes at a cost.

On Amazon, the cost is $6.90 per cubic foot or $0.15 per unit, whichever is greater. You can use this as a guide but not as a baseline. Amazon will undoubtedly have lower rates because they operate a huge business.

4. Warehousing Location

The location of the warehouse or the fulfillment center is critical. If you are selling to US customers, it makes sense to have our products warehoused in the US, not in Germany. The closer your products are to the consumer, the better shipping services you can get.

5. Software Program

Lastly, choose an order fulfillment organization with a software program to fulfill the order. The best ones have software programs that you can integrate with your online store.

Once the integration is complete, you have to click some buttons to notify the company that there is an order. They will see the notification and then process the shipment from their end.

Benefits Of Using Fulfillment Service

Here are the benefits of using fulfillment companies for your e-commerce business.

1. Benefit From Expertise

An order fulfillment company knows the ropes. They have employees who have worked in the shipping and logistics industry for years.

As such, they know what they are doing, and they have the human resources and technology to get the job done.

They have a warehouse, shipping partners, and a low-cost shipping agreement with the carriers.

Since they are experts, they can do the job better than you do.

2. Focus On Your Core Competencies

A 3PL fulfillment company takes off a load of logistics from your shoulders. Whenever you ask another company to do a specific business process for you, it is called outsourcing.

Outsourcing allows you to focus on things that matter about your business, like production, marketing, and research.

For example, Nike does not manufacture its shoes. Instead, they outsource it to a third party, like a company in China.

In your case, you can focus your attention and effort on marketing and product development and then let the 3PL fulfillment centers or companies worry about shipping.

3. Lower Your Shipping Costs

If you ship your items, let us say through UPS or USPS, you must pay the usual rate.

There is no way they will give you huge discounted rates to lower your shipping costs unless you ship hundreds or thousands of products per day, week, or month.

Apart from shipping your products, eCommerce fulfillment also ships the products of other eCommerce entrepreneurs like you. For all you know, they could be working with hundreds of companies.

As such, they are shipping hundreds of products, and they can meet the requirements of a shipping carrier to get a discount.

For example, the order fulfillment company may have a contract with FedEx fulfillment services, which entitles them to get a massive discount.

4. Offer Customized Packaging

Some 3PL companies offer packaging options for your shipment. They have a partnership with box manufacturers, and it is an add-on that they provide as a fulfillment services company.

You can tell the 3PL to print or make boxes specific to your product for customized packaging options.

So, for example, if you are selling perfumes, you can ask them to manufacture the perfume box for you. On top of that, they can also make customized outer packaging, including bubble wrap and all that.

Third-Party (3PL) Vs. Self-fulfillment

Third-party fulfillment companies can help you a lot, but why is it better than self-fulfillment? Between these two, there are two aspects by which 3PL overcomes the problem of self-fulfillment.

  • Time – you will spend time packing, sorting, and printing shipping labels for your product, whereas a fulfillment services company will do it all for you.
  • Cost – for businesses where you ship many products, you will save on warehousing costs, employment, and shipping cost if you work with fulfillment companies.

Of course, it is far better to fulfill orders if you are only selling one or a couple of products a week. It does not make sense to pay for warehousing if you have little to no sales yet

The Cost Of Fulfilment Services

The various costs of fulfillment services include warehousing and shipping. In addition, some will ask extra for packaging, and some will also charge other fees.

There is no single list for fulfillment costs because fulfillment companies charge different fees. However, I will cover the most common ones so you get an idea of how much you need to set aside.

Here is a typical cost breakdown of inventory management if you hire or work with a fulfillment services organization:

  • Inventory Receiving – $25 per hour; some charge $15 per pallet
  • Storage Fee – the average is $8 per pallet per month
  • Picking And Packing – about $5 per order
  • Shipping – no definite answer; most companies have big discounts from shipping carriers

Some companies that operate a fulfillment center or eCommerce fulfillment warehouses also charge an onboarding fee.

Think of the onboarding fee as a retainer’s fee. You only pay it once. Some also charge inbound shipping fees, return handling fees, and some will even ask you to pay a monthly management fee.

Here is a list of some of the most common fees that you can expect from order fulfillment companies:

  • Receiving Fee – you pay them for their time receiving your inventory, sorting them, and putting them on the shelf.
  • Storage Fee – this fee is what you pay for real estate; every product in the fulfillment service company’s warehouse is “renting” space.
  • Picking and Packing – you pay this fee for the effort and time of the person who will go to the warehouse, look for your product, and pack it.
  • Standard Packaging – this is the cost of the plastic where they put your product. If your items are ready for shipping, you can talk to your fulfillment partner and forego this cost.
  • Kitting Fee – you pay this fee if you are selling bundles. When your products arrive in the facility, they are not bundled yet. Someone has to do it if a customer orders a bundle.

There is no one-size-fits-all cost to a fulfillment service.

You must determine the total cost you spend on these activities according to your sales volume. Once you have that number, you must ask yourself if your profit from your projected sales can cover these costs or not.

When Do You Need A Fulfillment Company?

Ask yourself the right questions to find when is the right time for logistics services.

1. Sales Volume

The first thing you need to ask yourself before you work with a fulfillment services organization is:

How many products are you selling on a monthly basis?

It is an essential question because it will tell you whether or not your decision to outsource makes business sense.

For example, if your sales, on average, is only one hundred products a month, you are roughly only selling three items per day. In this case, you are better off doing the fulfillment yourself.

You must only work with an order fulfillment company if you have a high sales volume—too high that you can no longer keep up with the tasks.

2. Time and Money

How much time and money are you spending on the fulfillment?

Do your employees spend hours wrapping boxes, packing the items, printing the labels, and all that?

How much does it cost to transport the item from your store or house to the shipping carrier’s office?

You must assess these things and then compare the amount of money you spend against a fulfillment service company’s cost. Add to this the cost of your warehouse.

If you rent a warehouse, think how much money you could save if you move that problem to the order fulfillment services company.

Here is how you will decide: if your current cost is higher than the charges of a fulfillment company, then it is time to use order fulfillment services. Call their customer support to get more details about these costs.

3. Procedural Problems

The third thing you need to look into is procedural problems. If you or your employees are not experts in logistics, you will make mistakes.

Here are some examples of these mistakes:

  • Wrong item sent to the customer (the biggest mistake, I think!)
  • Item sent to the wrong customer
  • Missing items on the package

As you can see, these errors will cost you money. Not only will the customer return the item ad be unhappy, you have to spend money on the following:

  • Time – you must pay the time of your employee who handles customer support
  • Shipping – you must ship the missing or proper item to the customer who complained

If you cannot create a standard process to reduce these errors, you must work with a fulfillment provider and get help. They have software programs that reduce these error rates.

As such, it all boils down to removing this headache from your management processes.

When Is The Right Time To Go For A Fulfillment Company In The Business?

The right time to pay for eCommerce fulfillment services varies from one entrepreneur to another. However, below is a guideline you can use.

  • You are bleeding money, time, and effort to send items to your consumers
  • There are many errors in the fulfillment process
  • You have a high sales volume, and you need a shipping discount
  • Your warehouse is expensive

Do not work with an order fulfillment company if you are a tiny business. An eCommerce fulfillment company can only help you save on cost if you are at least a medium-sized business.

How To Send Your Inventory From China To 3PL Warehouses

If your manufacturer is from China, you want to send the items directly to your 3PL partner. But how?

There are only two specific steps you must take to send your inventory to 3PL warehouses:

  • Find a 3PL company; speak to them, and ask for their rates and processes
  • Speak to your Chinese supplier and conduct a trial shipment

Why do you want to do this? It would cost a lot of money if you ship the items to your house or store and then spend more money to send the items to your order fulfillment services company.

The most common thing that entrepreneurs do is ship the items to Amazon, called FBA or fulfillment by Amazon. The issue with this is that you can only sell your items on the Amazon platform.

If the shipment goes well, you can scale the process. Obviously, you need to get the shipping address of the 3PL company and then give that information to your supplier.

Like Amazon FBA, your chosen company has standards. As such, you need to understand these expectations before you even ship.

For example, you need to ask them who will print the barcodes and all that. If they do it, your supplier may not even need to print it themselves.

The packaging also comes into play here. Should the supplier from China package the items individually already, or is this the 3PL’s obligation?

Then, there is the discussion of shipping insurance and broken items. Whose liability is this?

Will the Chinese supplier pay for broken items? If damaged items arrive in the 3PL’s facility, will they report them to you, and how soon?

To ensure a smooth flow in your order fulfillment process, speak first to the fulfillment services organization and ask what they expect.

Then, talk to the supplier and make sure they can comply with these expectations.

FAQ

1. Which fulfillment service is best?

The best company that offers order fulfillment services is ShipBob. It is the biggest and most advanced of them all. They work with many other software programs, which means you can integrate the system into your store. They also have reasonable pricing.

2. How much does order fulfillment cost?

There is no single answer to this. The cost of an order fulfillment service depends on what you need. Typically, a fulfillment company would charge money for warehousing, receiving, shipping, returns, handling, and also a management fee.

3. Does Shopify support order fulfillment?

No, they do not offer an order fulfillment service program. Shopify is an eCommerce business website builder and also a payment processor. You build an online store on this platform, but you must fulfill the orders yourself. Shopify, however, supports apps for fulfillment services. One excellent example of this is dropshipping.

4. What is a fulfillment service in eCommerce?

In an eCommerce business, an order fulfillment service refers to a process where you sell products online but do not ship them yourself. Instead, the eCommerce fulfillment services company completes this process for you. In this regard, the items you sell must be located in the warehouse of the order fulfillment companies.

Executive Summary

Of all the best order fulfillment service companies, my ultimate recommendation is ShipBob.

It has the best software platform and offers its services at reasonable prices. The pricing is transparent, and they have the technology to help you manage your deliveries.

ShipBob is the platform you want as the company can help you reduce your warehouse, inventory, and shipping costs by as much as 13%.

In addition, the processes of ShipBob can help you increase your average order value by 97% and reduce your cart abandonment rate by 18%.

Let me know which order fulfillment service do you use for your business?