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The Best eCommerce Fulfillment Services In 2023

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WRITTEN BY
Timothy Shim
UPDATED
January 27, 2023

 

best ecommerce fulfillment services

The best fulfillment services for eCommerce businesses need to be agile enough to handle any volume of product categories at the most cost-effective prices. However, value-added services are also crucial.

 

ShipBob is our top pick as a great way to outsource eCommerce fulfillment and shipping needs. Its advantages include an excellent management system, incredible customer support, and transparent pricing – making it easier than ever for someone to start selling online!

 

Top 7 eCommerce Fulfillment Services

 

#1

Best fulfillment service platform

ShipBob

5.0

  /5

Jump to details

#2

Best pricing structure

Deliverr

5.0

  /5

Jump to details

#3

Best for fragile and hazmat items

Simpl

5.0

  /5

Jump to details

#4

Best for heavy and bulky items

Red Stag Fulfillment

4.0

  /5

Jump to details

#5

Best all-in-one experience

Shopify Fulfillment Network

4.0

  /5

Jump to details

#6

Best for startups

eFulfillment Service

3.0

  /5

Jump to details

#7

Best for large volumes

Amazon FBA

3.0

  /5

Jump to details

 

Businesses are transforming in the digital age, especially in eCommerce. With online stores continuously growing, anyone can start an eCommerce business. There’s increasing pressure on fulfillment service providers to offer more competitive advantages.

 

But – don’t worry if ShipBob doesn’t seem right for you. Our extensive research has unearthed several excellent fulfillment services for eCommerce businesses that can help you reach more customers within a wide area.

 

Top 7 eCommerce Fulfillment Services

 

Fulfillment Centers

US, UK, EU, Australia, Asia

Overall Rating

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

Price (USD)

From $5.38 /item

Key Features

  • 2-day fulfillment
  • Unified dashboard
  • FDA-approved
  • Convenient web-based interface
  • Multiple warehouse locations

“ShipBob works on a massive global scale while providing customers with accurate analytics data.”

 

Founded in 2014 by Dhruv Saxena and Divey Gulati, ShipBob is a tech-enabled third-party logistics provider that offers business fulfillment, supported by an international fulfillment network across the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Based in Chicago, ShipBob has expanded to serving over 5,500 merchants, with 99.96% of orders shipped on time within SLA.

 

Why choose ShipBob for eCommerce fulfillment?

 

shipbob homepage

 

ShipBob focuses on providing streamlined fulfillment for small to midsize businesses, direct to their customers’ doors. Connect your store, send them the products, and they will store your products securely in their fulfillment centers. When your customer buys something from your store, ShipBob packs and ships out the order.

 

1. Distributed inventory in several locations

 

ShipBob’s distributed inventory in multiple locations allows you to split your inventory to reach your customers within a shorter time, reducing shipping costs. Two-day shipping is available through ShipBob’s proprietary software technology that selects the warehouse for the quickest turnaround time.

 

2. Unified customer experience

 

ShipBob’s software provides a unified customer dashboard that combines fulfillment, inventory, and warehouse management. You get everything shipping-related at your fingertips – manage subscriptions, alter your orders post-purchase, automatically share tracking details with your customers, and more.

 

Also, you can monitor your inventory status – with reminders to replenish any depleting stocks, transfer your inventory, and more. A free analytics tool helps improve supply chain decision-making; other useful metrics gain valuable insight into your fulfillment needs.

 

3. Transparent pricing

 

ShipBob uses a pricing model with no hidden fees. A price calculator on their website helps calculate your order fulfillment pricing. ShipBob offers integrations with major eCommerce platforms and marketplaces, such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Amazon, Walmart, and others. They have FDA-certified warehouses, perfect for those shipping perishable goods.

 

The downsides of ShipBob

 

The pricing structure can be complicated, especially for newbies. If you do not have the volume (<100/month), opting for ShipBob may be costly.

 

Pros and cons of ShipBob

 

Pros

  • ✓ Ships worldwide
  • ✓ Speedy delivery (two days)
  • ✓ Allow brand packaging
  • ✓ Support almost all shipment volumes
  • ✓ Ships perishable goods
  • ✓ Integrates well with eCommerce marketplaces

Cons

  • • Complicated pricing structure
  • • Low products volume can be costly

 

Learn more about ShipBob

 

 

 

2. Deliverr

https://deliverr.com/
Deliverr

Fulfillment Centers

US

Overall Rating

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

Price (USD)

From $4.15 /item

Key Features

  • Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN)
  • Nationwide delivery
  • 40+ centers
  • Easy-to-use
  • 2-day shipping

"Deliverr helps in building customer trust with its premium shipping badges.”

 

Former Symphony Commerce colleagues Harish Abbott and Michael Krakaris founded Deliverr in 2017. Relatively new to the industry, Deliverr is an eCommerce fulfillment provider based in San Francisco, the US. They have fulfilled millions of orders for over 5,000 businesses.

 

Shopify acquired Deliverr in 2022, thus joining its Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN).

 

Why choose Deliverr for eCommerce fulfillment

 

deliverr homepage

 

Deliverr prides itself in its ‘affordable nationwide two-day delivery everywhere you sell‘ tagline; this includes Shopify, Amazon, Walmart, Wish, eBay, and more. The fulfillment centers are across over 40 locations in the US. Also, technology supplements express shipping via maximizing your inventory in strategic places to be nearer your customers, so you save on shipping.

 

1. Simple setup

 

It takes five to ten days to complete the setup and start selling. Connect your listing via several clicks, send them your inventory, and you’re ready. Deliverr’s dashboard is user-friendly and has lots of self-service options. You can see your inventory status and order tracking information in real time.

 

2. Fast shipping

 

Once you send your inventory to a region, Deliverr automatically sends them to at least four of its fulfillment centers to maximize your coverage area. The distribution also helps reduce shipment time, allowing you to meet customer demands better.

 

You also get 2-day shipping badges to help you boost sales. Deliverr claims that these prime-looking badges do help to increase your sales. Eligible customers will see a “Free Next Day Delivery” badge at no extra cost to you.

 

3. Variable pricing

 

Deliverr’s core pricing is in fulfillment and storage fees. The all-inclusive fulfillment fee covers receive, pick and pack, order handling, packaging, and shipping anywhere in the US. Three service levels (standard (5-7 days), 3-day, and 2-day delivery) are available. Other fees (removal fees) apply.

 

The downsides of Deliverr

 

Although Deliverr offers branded packaging services, they only do so to selected Shopify merchants in the Beta test phase. As of now, they still use brand-neutral packaging across the board.

 

Pros and cons of Deliverr

 

Pros

  • ✓ Handles all your shipping & returns
  • ✓ Fast shipping (2 days)
  • ✓ International shipping
  • ✓ Integrates well with eCommerce Marketplaces
  • ✓ Offers B2B fulfillment services

Cons

  • • Limited branded packaging services

 

Learn more about Deliverr

 

 

 

3. Simpl Fulfillment

https://www.simplfulfillment.com/
Simpl Fulfillment

Fulfillment Centers

US

Overall Rating

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

Price (USD)

From $6.00 /item

Key Features

  • Custom packaging
  • Handles many types of goods
  • Double scan verification
  • Same-day shipping
  • Partners with UPS, USPS, & FedEx

“Simpl is one of the rare services that allow you to ship anything under the sun.”

 

Simpl Fulfillment, an eCommerce order fulfillment service provider, was founded in 2016 by Barrett Shepherd. Based in Texas, the US, the company offers varied fulfillment services – eCommerce order fulfillment, subscription box fulfillment, Amazon dropshipping, crowdfunding fulfillment, and more. Simpl Fulfillment boasts 99.99% order accuracy.

 

Why choose Simpl Fulfillment for eCommerce fulfillment

 

simpl fulfillment

 

Simpl Fulfillment takes on almost any goods, including coffee and tea, F&B, jewelry, fragile goods, hazmats, supplements, oversized and heavy products, and many more. They have a more personalized approach; you meet with their sales personnel, and once you agree, the onboarding starts. Once your account is up, connect your store and send your products to their warehouse.

 

1. Low error rates

 

When your customer makes an order, Simpl Fulfillment will pick, pack, and ship your products. Their double scan verification and automated tools help reduce error rates. Simpl Fulfillment provides free powerful software with real-time order tracking, returns, and inventory tracking. You can set up reminders when stock is low.

 

2. Straightforward pricing structure

 

Simpl Fulfillment’s pricing is straightforward, a flat fee based on weight per order; it includes postage, picks and packs (up to three free picks per order), packaging (standard packaging and dunnage), and more. Their shipping ranges from two to five days, and same-day shipping is available for an additional fee.

 

3. Ship with multiple carriers

 

Simpl Fulfillment works with major carriers like UPS, USPS, and FedEx. Since the rates are volume-based, you get to enjoy cheaper rates. They also support international delivery to more than 200 countries. In addition to allowing you to do custom packaging (extra charge), they offer custom handwritten notes/inserts.

 

They offer over 80 sales channel integrations (Walmart, eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and others).

 

The downsides of Simpl Fulfillment

 

There is a minimum of $350/month that you must commit to using them. However, Simpl Fulfillment allows some flexibility by billing you the difference if you spend less than that in a month; this isn’t a deal breaker. However, Simpl Fulfillment has only a warehouse where they leverage other carriers; this poses an external dependency factor.

 

Pros and cons of Simpl Fulfillment

 

Pros

  • ✓ Versatile
  • ✓ 99.99% order accuracy
  • ✓ Delivers to 200+ countries
  • ✓ Ships almost anything
  • ✓ Great eCommerce Marketplaces integration
  • ✓ Same-day shipping

Cons

  • • One warehouse only
  • • Minimum monthly commitment

 

Learn more about Simpl Fulfillment

 

 

 

4. Red Stag Fulfillment

https://redstagfulfillment.com/
Red Stag Fulfillment

Fulfillment Centers

US

Overall Rating

Rated 4 out of 5Rated 4 out of 5Rated 4 out of 5Rated 4 out of 5

Price (USD)

$1.80 to $2.25 /item

Key Features

  • Supports B2C & B2B
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Global fulfillment services
  • Same-day shipping
  • Experts in bulky items

"Red Stag is your go-to for moving anything big and heavy.”

 

Founded in 2013 by Mollenhour and Gross when they could not find a reliable fulfillment vendor, Red Stag Fulfillment was born to help both B2C and B2B online retailers. Aside from the usual eCommerce and order fulfillment services, the company stresses omnichannel fulfillment services, where all purchases come into a single management platform.

 

Why choose Red Stag Fulfillment for eCommerce fulfillment

 

red stag fulfillment homepage

 

Red Stag Fulfillment has two US fulfillment center locations, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Salt Lake City, Utah. They work with other shipping partners to help ship hundreds to thousands of orders per month. They take pride in their 96% 2-day shipping deliverables, 13% same-day shipping, 100% shipped on time, and 99.997% shipped accurately.

 

1. Fulfillment guarantees provided

 

When it comes to guarantees, Red Stag Fulfillment is no stranger. They stress several fulfillment guarantees:

 

  1. Receiving inventory guaranteeOnce your inventory is in their facility, they will receive them accurately within two days or pay you $50.
  2. Inventory accuracy guarantee If your inventory is damaged or missing in their facility, they promise to pay you the wholesale cost of that item.
  3. Order processing guaranteeRed Stag Fulfillment guarantees to abide by your chosen service level for 100% of your orders (next business day with 3:00 pm or 5:00 pm cutoff). If not, you do not have to pay for that shipment, and they will pay you an additional $50 for the inconvenience.
  4. Order accuracy guaranteeIf the wrong item(s) is shipped out, you do not have to pay for that shipment, and they will pay you an additional $50 for the inconvenience.

 

2. Top-notch Security

 

Security is no joke to Red Stag Fulfillment; this is evident in their state-of-the-art 24-hour security system that monitors and records all parts of the facility, supplemented by multiple power sources for backup. Employees have passed background checks. There are videos everywhere with metal detectors at all ingress and egress locations.

 

3. Comprehensive cloud-based management

 

Red Stag Fulfillment’s proprietary cloud-based system provides a user-friendly dashboard that gives you complete control of everything about your fulfillment and inventory operations. The system is mobile-friendly, so you get tracking and reporting of your orders on the go.

 

4. No commitment necessary

 

There are no long-term commitment fees, SKU management fees, setup fees, or hidden fees. That said, you will have to pay the following:

 

  1. Receiving$14.25 /pallet received or $6 /non-pallet package.
  2. Storage$0.75 per cubic foot (daily inventory average for items stored < 180 days), you can check out their long-term storage rates.
  3. Pick and pack$1.80 to $2.25 /package depending on service level, $0.32 /item after the first item in each order.

 

5. Works with major shipping partners

 

Red Stag Fulfillment works with major carriers like FedEx, so you save up to 45% on heavy or large items. They offer integration with many eCommerce platforms and ERP systems (Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and more). Packaging is standard, but there’s also an option for customizing your packaging.

 

The Downsides of Red Stag Fulfillment

 

Red Stag Fulfillment does well regarding volume. They require you to ship hundreds of orders per month. Although they state they can be flexible on the minimum quantity, this depends on your order size, SKUs, and others. Hence, if you are not looking at large volumes, it could be best you look elsewhere.

 

Pros and cons of Red Stag Fulfillment

 

Pros

  • ✓ International delivery
  • ✓ 100% ship on time
  • ✓ Great for bulky products
  • ✓ Integrate with many platforms and tools
  • ✓ Same-day shipping

Cons

  • • Not suited for startups or small businesses with low volumes
  • • Pricey

 

Learn more about Red Stag Fulfillment

 

 

 

5. Shopify Fulfillment Network

https://www.shopify.com/fulfillment
Shopify Fulfillment Network

Fulfillment Centers

US

Overall Rating

Rated 4 out of 5Rated 4 out of 5Rated 4 out of 5Rated 4 out of 5

Price (USD)

From $8.63 /item

Key Features

  • All-in-one online shopping
  • Multiple centers
  • 2-day deliveries
  • Supports various fulfillment services
  • Complete returns handling

"Shopify Fulfillment Network is your retailer one-stop-center, supporting various fulfillment services."

 

Founded in 2006 by Tobias Lütke and Scott Lake, Shopify is an eCommerce company headquartered in Ontario, Canada. They offer retailers online shopping services, including payments, e-carts, marketing, shipping, and customer engagement tools. As of mid-2021, Shopify has more than 1.7 million businesses in around 175 countries riding on its platform.

 

Why choose Shopify Fulfillment Network for eCommerce fulfillment?

 

shopify fulfillment network homepage

 

Shopify started providing services to simplify the online shopping experience. It only makes sense for them to include the fulfillment systems and technology so you can focus on your business which you should. Shopify Fulfillment Network comes into the picture once your customer confirms the purchase.

 

1. Extensive fulfillment network

 

Qualifying merchants in the US can apply to leverage Shopify’s fulfillment centers across the US and Canada. Once your application is successful, you add the Shopify Fulfillment Network app to your store and send your products to their designated fulfillment center. Your products are sent to locations close to your customers to enjoy two-day order deliveries (verified by Shop Promise).

 

2. High-tech inventory management

 

Shopify’s smart inventory allocation technology identifies the closest fulfillment center and optimal inventory quantities. Orders can be shipped internationally as well. Onboarding takes around two weeks to complete. You track everything about your orders and inventory via the app real time. Shopify Fulfillment Network also supports flash sale fulfillment, so you need not be concerned with peak periods. There’s also the subscription order fulfillment.

 

3. Whole-process Handling

 

Shopify Fulfillment Network handles your returns seamlessly. They allow you to set the return rules, and Shopify inspects your products fast to process refunds quickly. You can also track your returns from shipment through product inspection. Custom packaging is allowed to help boost your brand. Integration with many sales channels is possible via eBay, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Walmart Marketplace, Google Ads, and Pinterest.

 

4. Variable pricing

 

The domestic rate per item is $8.63, with $6.12 on the second item and $4.90 on three items in the order. These rates vary based on weight and dimensions; they include inventory management, storage and handling, postage and packaging supplies, and two-day delivery (wherever applicable).

 

They work with USPS, DHL, UPS, and Canada Post to bring end-to-end fulfillment for the customers. There are no up-front cost

 

The downsides of Shopify Fulfillment Network

 

Not all retailers can use Shopify Fulfillment Network as you need to apply and obtain approval. You will need to commit to three or more American or Canadian daily orders whose products are not on the prohibited items list. Although there are no monthly minimums for fulfillment services with Shopify, they expect you to reach a certain level of sales before joining them.

 

Pros and cons of Shopify Fulfillment Network

 

Pros

  • ✓ International delivery
  • ✓ Two-day order deliveries
  • ✓ Supports peak periods
  • ✓ Integrates with popular platforms and tools
  • ✓ Fast and efficient return

Cons

  • • Need approval before onboarding
  • • It may not suit small volume businesses

 

Learn more about Shopify Fulfillment Network

 

 

 

6. eFulfillment Service

https://www.efulfillmentservice.com/
eFulfillment Service

Fulfillment Centers

US

Overall Rating

Rated 3 out of 5Rated 3 out of 5Rated 3 out of 5

Price (USD)

Get a Quote

Key Features

  • Supports peak periods
  • Easy-to-use
  • No order minimums
  • Customer-emphasis
  • No long-term contracts

"eFulfillment is the best low-cost option for startups and small businesses."

 

eFulfillment Service was founded by John Lindberg in 2001 and is a family-owned business based in Michigan, the US. They’re actually among the first Internet fulfillment companies to offer web-based fulfillment software for integrated shipping with multiple shopping carts.

 

A member of the Better Business Bureau, the eCommerce Merchants Association, and the Mailing and Fulfillment Service Association (MFSA), it’s little wonder they’re an award-winning company.

 

Why choose eFulfillment service for eCommerce fulfillment?

 

efulfillment service homepage

 

Holding the Top 3PL award for seven straight years speaks volumes of eFulfillment Service. Their focus is on eCommerce order fulfillment, and they do the job so well that they’ve won numerous awards in recognition, including from MFSA.

 

Their warehouse is in the center of the US. eFulfillment Service scales with seasonal activities, so you can focus on your business.

 

1. Easy management

 

They take pride in their secure, easy-to-use order fulfillment software that gives you control over inventory monitoring and management, returns management, order tracking, reporting, and more (all available 24/7). Also, eFulfillment Service’s guarantee gives you peace of mind knowing that they will fulfill your orders promptly and accurately.

 

2. Satisfaction guaranteed

 

They have garnered a 99.7% client satisfaction rating with over 99.9% accuracy. Also, their 100% satisfaction guarantee shows emphasis on customers. eFulfillment Service claims to be familiar with the relevant international shipping rules, brokering, and product regulations. Their international fulfillment is via USPS, UPS, and DHL.

 

3. Cheap shipping rates

 

One of their repeated taglines is low shipping rates. There are no setup fees, order minimums, long-term storage fees, integration fees, hidden fees, or long-term contracts. They believe in scalability. Hence, you pay only for the fulfillment services you use (you pay as you go).

 

The downsides of eFulfillment Service

 

eFulfillment Service is more suited for startups and smaller volume companies. Hence, larger businesses may find a better alternative elsewhere.

 

Pros and cons of eFulfillment Service

 

Pros

  • ✓ International delivery
  • ✓ 2-day deliveries
  • ✓ Supports peak periods
  • ✓ Integrates with popular platforms and tools
  • ✓ Pay as you go

Cons

  • • It may not suit large volume businesses

 

Learn more about eFulfillment Service

 

 

 

Fulfillment Centers

US and global

Overall Rating

Rated 3 out of 5Rated 3 out of 5Rated 3 out of 5

Price (USD)

Varies per item

Key Features

  • All-in-one platform
  • Wide-spread centers
  • Free shipping
  • Diverse customer service
  • Multi-channel fulfillment

"Amazon is the master of moving large volumes of product across the globe."

 

Amazon is an American multinational technology company popularly seen as an influential powerhouse. Founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, Amazon is no stranger to anyone.

 

Short for Fulfillment by Amazon, Amazon FBA allows you to ship your products to Amazon’s warehouses. Once a customer confirms an order Amazon FBA takes care of the rest.

 

Why choose Amazon FBA for eCommerce fulfillment?

 

amazon fba homepage

 

You choose Amazon FBA to leverage Amazon’s impressive infrastructure and outsource your order fulfillment to them. They pick, pack, ship, and even handle returns for you. You will need to create an Amazon selling account if you don’t have one (check our guide on how to start selling on Amazon). Then, specify the FBA inventory for the products and prepare them to transfer to a fulfillment center.

 

1. Massive fulfillment network

 

Amazon has 110 fulfillment centers in the US and 185 centers globally, impressive figures. Using Amazon FBA entitles you to Amazon Prime Free 2-Day Shipping, free shipping, and more.

 

Amazon FBA specializes in subscription box sales. They integrate with big names in eCommerce, inventory, and tracking.

 

2. Customer service available

 

You also ride on Amazon’s global customer service network. The company doesn’t mandate a specific number of items for you to use its service. It also provides a useful management tool, allowing you to track your inventory and manage products.

 

3. Hassle-free fees

 

Although you pay for storage and orders to fulfill, you pay as you go. Amazon FBA includes the shipping costs in your fees for Amazon Prime free 2-Day Shipping and free shipping on eligible orders.

 

Orders fulfillment fees cover picking and packing your orders, shipping and handling, customer service, and product returns; they vary per item. You can have a preview of the fees through the FBA revenue calculator.

 

The downsides of Amazon FBA

 

There are unexpected service fees when you do not pack your products with the proper preparation or labeling. Long-term storage fees apply and are assessed monthly for items stored longer than 365 days.

 

Although Amazon FBA is a quality service, it can be pricey. You may face more returns due to Amazon’s open return policy.

 

Pros and cons of Amazon FBA

 

Pros

  • ✓ International delivery
  • ✓ Free 2-Day Shipping
  • ✓ Worldwide customer service network
  • ✓ No expensive upfront fees
  • ✓ Manages returns & refunds

Cons

  • • It may not suit large volume businesses

 

Learn more about Amazon FBA

 

 

 

Third-party Fulfillment vs. Self-fulfillment

 

third party fulfillment vs self fulfillment

 

The fulfillment options you choose for your business will significantly impact your business’s success.

 

Third-party Fulfillment

 

Third-party fulfillment is a popular choice among many entrepreneurs. It is pretty popular because it can be considerably less expensive than self-fulfillment, especially if you are selling a product that is small in size and weight.

 

Third-party fulfillment companies can also offer more complex shipping methods, such as international shipping or rush delivery services, which may not be available through your fulfillment center.

 

Self-fulfillment

 

Self-fulfillment is when you handle all aspects of fulfillment, including warehousing, shipping, and customer service. This option may, in some scenarios, save on direct costs. However, it is more often expensive once you factor in the time and challenges in managing this end of the business yourself.

 

 

Benefits of Using an Order Fulfillment Service

 

benefits using order fulfillment service

(Credit: ShipBob).

 

Third-party fulfillment services are an excellent choice for businesses that want to outsource their warehousing and logistics. They can offer you a wide range of benefits, including;

 

1. Sizeable cost savings

 

You’ll be able to focus on other aspects of your business, knowing that your inventory is safely stored and ready for shipping whenever you need it. You can also expect other cost-saving advantages such as relatively consistent shipping prices, lower warehousing costs, etc.

 

2. Improved customer service

 

By outsourcing your fulfillment needs, you can ensure that orders are shipped quickly and accurately. Most fulfillment services can ship directly from the warehouse to the customer’s door within 1-3 days after they place their order. This speed can help build customer trust and loyalty, increasing sales and repeat purchases.

 

3. Increased efficiency and saved time

 

With the help of an experienced third-party fulfillment company, you’ll be able to streamline your shipping process so that it runs more smoothly than ever before – which means less time spent managing orders and more time spent growing your business.

 

 

Understanding Third-party Fulfillment Costs

 

Many new eCommerce business owners find understanding third-party fulfillment costs challenging. It’s easy to get lost in this sea of potential fees since prices vary significantly depending on your needs.

 

You can expect to find two main pricing models:

 

  1. Fees charged as a percentage of the total sale price
  2. as a flat rate per order

 

Most service providers calculate percentage fees before any discounts or promotions. For example, if you’re selling a shirt for $20 and offering free shipping on orders over $50, then third-party fulfillment costs would be calculated by taking 20% of $20 (or $4) plus 50% of $30 (or $15), for a total of $19.50.

 

Some merchants charge additional fees for expedited shipping or other services such as gift wrapping or insurance coverage for lost packages. Depending on how your provider handles items, these fees may be included in your third-party fulfillment cost calculations or charged separately.

 

 

Considerations When Choosing a Fulfillment Service

 

choosing a fulfillment service

 

When choosing a third-party fulfillment center for your eCommerce business, you need to be sure it is the best option for your logistics. While order volumes may be rising, delivery targets are also getting shorter.

 

Choosing the right fulfillment center to suit your needs is essential for your eCommerce business. Here are some top considerations when evaluating yours;

 

1. Will the provider grow with your business?

 

Scalability is one of the prerequisites for any business hoping to thrive. eCommerce is highly elastic, and consumer demand can rise or drop at the fall of a ping. The cheapest third-party fulfillment service may not always be your best option.

 

As an eCommerce business owner, you need to be able to scale up (or down) quickly when needs demand. That means working with partners who can handle your volumetric needs at a moment’s notice.

 

2. Does the provider leverage tech to work more effectively?

 

Despite the eCommerce market’s relative maturity, third-party fulfillment services will vary widely in their technological capabilities. That means various service providers may come with significant discrepancies in what advantages they may offer.

 

For example, much of the third-party fulfillment industry is still adapting to concepts like smart technologies, warehouse automation, and other cutting-edge features. This discrepancy may affect the quality of service you’re able to provide your customers.

 

3. Can the provider support the product types you need?

 

Not all third-party fulfillment services can help you handle any type of goods in all locations. That’s especially true for specific product categories like perishable goods, liquids, and gels. For example, in the US, only FDA-approved warehouses can store perishable goods.

 

Learning which service providers may better handle specific product types than others is even more challenging. When in doubt, contact the service provider and check their capabilities in handling the goods you need to manage.

 

4. What shipping options are available?

 

Maintaining an efficient shipping and order fulfillment process is vital to the eCommerce success of retail businesses. In this area, third-party fulfillment centers are an excellent way to manage your shipping operations.

 

However, not all of them may provide the same advantages. For example, a service provider with a robust domestic network may not handle international shipments with the same efficiency level.

 

 

Wrap up – Which Fulfillment Service Is Best For You?

 

The eCommerce fulfillment services business is highly competitive. That makes it a buyer’s market, and you can expect many advantages if you’re in the eCommerce business. Choosing the right service provider to meet your needs is the most important thing.

 

Although we believe that ShipBob does an excellent job at being the best all-rounder, you may find one of the others more advantageous. Take your time in checking out other service providers. Remember – if the one you choose doesn’t work out, you can quickly swap to an alternative.

 

BEST ECOMMERCE FULFILLMENT SERVICES COMPARISON
ShipBob Deliverr Simpl Fulfillment Red Stag
Fulfillment
Shopify Fulfilment
Network
eFulfillment Service Amazon FBA
Fulfillment centers US, UK, EU, Australia, Asia US US US US US US, CA, UK, DE, ES,
FR, IT, PL, CZ
Worldwide shipping Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
eCommerce platform
Integration
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Overall rating 5/5 5/5 5/5 4/5 4/5 3/5 3/5
Starting price (/item) $5.38 $4.15 $6 $1.80 to $2.25 $8.63 Get a Quote Varies per item
See all features

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. What is 3rd-Party fulfillment?

 

3rd-Party Fulfillment (3PF) is a warehousing and fulfillment service that allows you to offload the logistics of order processing, storage, and shipment – or fulfillment – of your online orders. This service allows online retailers with limited budgets and staff to outsource those tasks.

 

2. What does a fulfillment center do?

 

3rd-party logistics companies use their established networks (or affiliate networks) to ship your products directly from their warehouses. They often take care of ancillary services, like picking, packing, and possibly even customer service.

 

3. How does a fulfillment service work?

 

While the term may sound confusing, 3PF service provider roles are pretty simple. It works by shipping your products to the fulfillment company, which handles all the packing, labeling, shipping, and inventory management for you.

 

4. How does a fulfillment service make money?

 

The most common way third-party fulfillment centers make money is through fees paid by customers who use their services. These can include setup fees, volumetric fees, per-item fees, or surcharges based on product type.