E-commerce fulfillment companies process orders for online merchants by picking, packing, and shipping products to customers. E-commerce fulfillment companies allow online merchants to outsource the entire order fulfillment process.
There are three kinds of e-commerce fulfillment: drop shipping, third-party fulfillment, and self-fulfillment.
Drop shipping is when a merchant is never in possession of the products. The merchant acts as a middleman between the factory and the consumer. The factory makes, stores, and drop ships the product once it is sold.
Third-party fulfillment is when a merchant outsources logistics to a provider like ShipBob, who will manage the fulfillment process, including warehousing, picking, packing, and shipping. Third-party providers can also offer additional services like returns management, white labeling, inventory tracking, and more.
Finally, self-fulfillment is when the online merchant handles the order fulfillment process without outside help. Self-fulfillment is a popular choice for businesses that are just starting out, because they have less volume, which means it takes them less time to fulfill orders. Self-fulfillment is the most time-intensive of the three options and can become too difficult to manage after a company has grown to a certain point.
Companies that self-fulfill orders and are growing quickly often consider outsourcing to an e-commerce fulfillment company, including those who are:
- Too busy to fulfil all of the orders coming in
- Running out of storage space for inventory
- Shipping out a large volume of product at once, such as a Kickstarter reward
- Hoping to reduce the amount of time staff spend on administrative tasks
- Wanting to offer customers faster shipping at a decent price
- Making a lot of picking and packing mistakes, causing orders to arrive wrong or damaged
ShipBob is designed to eliminate the logistical headache of processing and fulfilling hundreds or thousands of orders at a time. Clients that work with an e-commerce fulfillment company like ShipBob can outsource an entire arm of their operations from warehouse management and maintaining heavy equipment to hiring and training fulfillment employees.
Merchants that choose an e-commerce fulfillment company can eliminate the busy work and focus back to the reason they went into business. Company employees no longer need to spend hours on administrative tasks.
E-commerce companies that choose ShipBob will quickly realize many benefits:
- Reduce capital and operating expenditures. When choosing an e-commerce fulfillment company like ShipBob, you don’t need to lease warehouse space, buy or maintain heavy equipment, or even purchase fulfillment software. You will also avoid the expense and liability of hiring fulfillment employees who will operate in a warehouse with complex machinery.
- Purchase inventory in bulk. ShipBob has over 300,000 square feet of warehouse space and counting for you to expand and scale your business. You can increase your profit margins with greater warehouse space, beyond what you could do on your own.
- Decrease the time your employees spend doing administrative work. Fulfilling orders is a time-intensive process, which increases exponentially as you sell more products and units. Outsourcing this work to the experts who are trained and set up to handle this volume frees up your employees’ workload, saving time and reassigning resources to higher value-add work.
- Receive bulk shipping discounts. ShipBob works with the four major U.S. carriers on such a large scale that they have been able to negotiate bulk discounts, available for all clients. Whether you’re shipping 100 or 100,000 products a month, you’ll spend significantly less on shipping costs. Additionally, you can improve your service offerings with guaranteed two-day shipping within the continental U.S.
Are you ready to discover a world-class e-commerce fulfillment company?
Try ShipBob today for free with no strings attached.