The best e-commerce fulfillment service will handle the warehousing, picking, packing, and shipping of your products. There are three types of e-commerce fulfillment: drop shipping, third-party fulfillment, and self-fulfillment.
Drop shipping is when a factory handles the production, storage, picking, packing, and shipping of orders. The merchant acts as the middleman and is never in possession of the products sold.
Third-party fulfillment is when products are stored, picked, packed, and shipped by a logistics provider. Generally, merchants that choose logistics providers will see cost reductions in shipping rates and packing supplies, as well as fast delivery times with accurate order fulfillment.
Self-fulfillment is when the merchant handles the fulfillment process, from storage to shipping. This is a popular choice for small merchants or startups because of the relatively low initial investment. The tradeoff is time versus money. However, as the number of orders per month grows, many merchants find that self-fulfillment can become unwieldy and time-consuming.
What the best e-commerce fulfillment service is for you will depend on your needs. Online merchants that fulfill several hundred orders a month find a lot of value in switching to a third-party logistics providers, like ShipBob.
The best e-commerce fulfillment services will accomplish the following:
- Reduce expenses. A streamlined fulfillment process should reduce the cost to store, pick, pack, and ship orders, saving both capital and operational expenditures. Choosing ShipBob will reduce expenses across the board – no expensive warehouse leases, heavy equipment to purchase, employees to hire and train, as well as reduced shipping rates and free packing materials.
- Purchase inventory in bulk. A merchant can purchase large quantities of a product from a factory, reducing the cost per item and increasing the profit per item. ShipBob’s warehouses cover hundreds of thousands of square feet, so you’ll never outgrow the space.
- Eliminate the busy work. Picking, packing, and shipping orders is a time-consuming process. Reducing the amount of time your employees spend on administrative tasks increases productivity, innovation, and engagement.
- Bulk shipping discounts. A great advantage of choosing one of the best e-commerce fulfillment services is the reduction in the cost of shipping. With ShipBob’s distributed inventory solution, your products are closer to your end customer. Not only does this speed up deliveries, but it also reduces the cost of shipping. Furthermore, ShipBob has negotiated discounted rates with the major U.S. carriers to ensure you’re paying less in shipping than what you could get on your own.
If you are wondering what the best e-commerce fulfillment solution is for you, consider the following:
- You’re overwhelmed with how many orders you need to fulfill
- You’re out of storage space and your products are stacked up to the ceiling
- Your sales come in waves or you’re shipping out large volumes of products all at once (like a Kickstarter incentive)
- Your staff spends too much time on administrative tasks
- You want to offer your customers better service through faster delivery times or more accurate fulfillment
- Your products are often returned as damaged from shipping
If you can say ‘yes’ to one or more of these items, it might be time to consider a third-party logistics provider, like ShipBob.
While most companies aren’t in business to pack and ship, ShipBob is. Let them take the burden of order fulfillment, so you can focus on what matters most – your business.
Try ShipBob today for free with no strings. Contact us to learn more.