Product fulfillment describes the process from the moment a customer places an order to when that order is delivered to the customer. Product fulfillment encompasses picking, packing, shipping, delivery, and customer communication.
There are three general methods for product fulfillment: merchant fulfillment, third-party fulfillment, and drop shipping.
- Drop shipping is a subset of third-party shipping where the factory manufacturers, stores, and ships the product once the merchant has sold it.
- Third-party fulfillment is handled by a logistics provider, like ShipBob, that receives product and provides storage, picking, packing, and shipping services, allowing merchants to completely outsource the product fulfillment process.
- Merchant or self-fulfillment is when the merchant picks, packs, and ships its own orders in-house. This is sometimes the most cost-effective option, but is also the most time-intensive.
Merchants that choose to outsource product fulfillment to a third-party will realize many advantages, as fulfillment centers have incredible resources at their disposal to ensure a smooth, quick product fulfillment process to avoid stockouts, oversales, mis-ships, and mis-picks.
ShipBob offers product fulfillment with a wide range of complementary services:
- Fast onboarding. Get set up and ready to fulfill products through ShipBob in less than 15 minutes.
- Distributed inventory. Store your products in a combination of any of ShipBob’s warehouses that are located strategically across the country. By getting your product closer to your end customers, you can reduce shipping times and costs while improving customer satisfaction by meeting expectations of quick delivery.
- Two-day shipping. Guarantee lightning fast shipping to your customers that competes with the largest national retailers.
- Inventory management. Never run out of product with ShipBob’s timely low inventory reminders. The easy-to-use, central dashboard helps you manage inventory, track orders, and communicate with customers.
- Free returns management. Get your products back into the supply chain quickly with ShipBob’s free returns process.
- Branded packaging. Unboxing your product is part of your customers’ full experience with your brand. You can make it a memorable one by using your own branded packaging. Alternatively, you can take advantage of ShipBob’s free, plain boxes. Either way, you’ll never see ShipBob’s brand front and center.
- Bulk shipping discounts. ShipBob has negotiated price breaks with each major U.S. carrier. Whether your products ship through DHL, USPS, or UPS, you can rest easy knowing that you’re getting the best deal.
- World-class support. ShipBob doesn’t outsource any of their services. They staff all of their warehouses with carefully trained employees. They are your partner and always there for you when you need it.
Third-party logistics providers are experts at product fulfillment. ShipBob has streamlined the entire process – from the moment an order rolls in, to the moment it goes out the door. ShipBob also guarantees that any orders that come in before 2:00 PM will go out the same day.
Fulfillment centers allow online merchants to outsource and automate time-consuming, administrative tasks. This frees up a merchant’s time, allowing them to focus on what’s most important: developing new products, and attracting, acquiring, and retaining customers. ShipBob not only reduces the strain on your staff, but on your infrastructure. Fulfillment centers prevent merchants from having to sign expensive leases, and purchase and maintain depreciating heavy equipment. When you outsource fulfillment, there are no growing operational pains you experience with regard to storage as your business scales.
ShipBob automatically manages and fulfills your orders, and their cloud-based software integrates seamlessly with your online store(s), including Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, among many others. You’ll find that the setup is quick and painless.
Whether you’re a startup, a well-established brick-and-mortar store, or even sending out Kickstarter rewards, you can compete with retailers across the country in terms of shipping speed and consistency.
Raise the bar and offer your customers two-day shipping.
ShipBob is currently offering a free, no-commitment trial for new customers. Contact ShipBob today and see how much time and money you can save.