Growing your business takes effort in all areas. In addition to providing a superior product and unrivaled customer service, you also have to make sure that you have products available and that those products ship and reach your customers on time every time. Keep reading as Fulfillment Service Reviews offers advice on how to improve your warehouse operations so that you can prepare to pounce when growth opportunities arise.
Tech Equals Efficiency
Technological advancements over the last 20 years have made warehousing so much easier. Today, all one needs is an app and a smartphone to utilize software and services that work as the backbone of your warehousing efforts. The right program will ensure that your employees always know what needs to be picked, packed, and shipped, and it will integrate seamlessly with your barcoding and receiving systems.
When you want to step efficiency up a notch, you can do so by investing in a robotics system that will pick for you. There are many different kinds of warehousing robot, but each can boost your output while helping your human workforce do what they do best. Robots can relieve monotony and eliminate repetitive tasks from workers, which will help to maintain their physical health, emotional stamina, and workplace productivity.
Outsourcing Is An Option
If you don’t have the physical space to grow where you are now, consider outsourcing some components of your business. An order fulfillment service can free up space in your brick-and-mortar location while helping you increase sales for your online shop.
When you have space but do not have the funds to invest in technologies, it may be time to outsource in other areas as well to free up capital. If you are currently paying for a full-time accountant, for example, it might make more sense to utilize a freelance bookkeeper instead and evaluate the rest of your workforce.
A low-tech way to improve operations is to learn how to optimize your warehouse storage, something that Logiwa asserts will improve efficiency and reduce operating costs. If you can’t add additional storage, you can, at the very least, optimize your space. Utilize one-way traffic and ensure that your employees can access storage from either side of the aisle.
If you are storing time-sensitive or temperature-dependent items, make sure these are placed in a proper container, which means it is both labeled well and temperature-controlled if applicable.
In addition to the above, a few ways to keep yourself in a prime position for growth where your warehouse is concerned are to:
Ensure your employees are trained in best practices.
Utilize multiple shipping/pickup options for customers.
Perform continual production reviews.
Audit often and make changes when necessary.
Insist that vendors request an appointment instead of just show up.
Maintain an open line of communication with your employees, vendors, and customers.
Group like or complementary items together.
Keep your warehouse comfortable for employees so that they are not distracted by things like ankle pain and humidity.
Insist on a continual system of checks and balances.
Everything you do to improve speed, efficiency, and comfort will pay you back in happy customers and employees. Your warehouse is the backbone of your business, and the more time and energy you put into it, the harder it will work for you. From utilizing robotics technology to outsourcing some of your mundane tasks, the above can put you on the right track to having an exceptional warehouse.
Fulfillment Service Reviews makes it easy to choose an order fulfillment company. Visit the site today to compare more than half a dozen of the top providers.
Did the pandemic thwart your plans of opening your own business? If so, you are not alone. An untold number of entrepreneurs have put off proprietorship since the coronavirus ravaged the American economy. But, things are starting to look up, and now may be the perfect time to carve out your own corner of success. Why?
Interest rates are low
Real estate interest rates are not the only ones that plunged along with the economy. A business loan may cost you as little as 2% if you have good credit and at least some capital to back up your professional aspirations.
If you have a good relationship with your bank, that’s the best place to start. An online loan or one through the Small Business Administration is your second best option, with rates ranging from about 7% up to 10.25% interest for an SBA loan and all the way up to 100% for an online loan through a digital lending agent. Do your research, and find a loan that works for your budget.
You don’t have to do everything
Thanks to technology, gone are the days when you have to run your business solely by yourself. Even if you choose a solopreneurship, you have options for help. One example is outsourcing order fulfillment, and ShipMonk, eFulfillment Services, and ShipBob are three of the best companies for this particular task. You might also choose a dropshipping service, which handles inventory on your behalf.
Using a freelancer is also an option if you have tasks that don’t require a full-time helper, but that you are not particularly savvy in yourself. Administrative duties and graphic design are two excellent examples of areas where a freelancer, who is a contract worker, can come in handy. Both order fulfillment and utilizing freelance services can help reduce your operational cost while ensuring that you and your customers are taken care of.
You can learn while you earn
Starting a business means that you have unlimited income potential. It’s also the best way to pursue your personal or professional passions and experience a new lifestyle, one where you leave the 9 to 5 grind behind. Chron also points out that you have an opportunity to meet unfulfilled marketplace needs. But, perhaps one of the greatest benefits of being a business owner is that you’ll have the flexibility to start or complete your education while you are earning an income for your family.
You also have the option to knock out your education before you jump into entrepreneurship. You can utilize the internet to go back to school for management leadership, marketing, or business, and an online program can allow you to get your BS or MBA, which you can take to the job market should you decide later that business ownership is not for you.
Other businesses are failing
Sadly, NBC News reports many small and large businesses have gone under because of the pandemic. As disheartening as this is for the economy as a whole, it does offer some opportunities to you to acquire equipment, customer lists, and other necessities at a reasonable price.
In addition to finding a good deal on the things you need, business closures also means you may be able to slide into the brick-and-mortar marketplace, which consumers continue to value when it comes to luxury purchases, according to VendHQ.
While the thought of launching a business in the middle of a global pandemic might be unsettling, there may never be a better time than now to become an entrepreneur. Low interest rates, educational opportunities, and access to equipment at a discount can help you make the most of the money you have now so that you can earn a better living in the future.
Fulfillment services have always been a great resource for ecommerce businesses, and their popularity only seems to be increasing with the extensive growth in the online shopping industry. These help get products to customers and allow flexibility at reasonable prices. Not having to ship orders yourself can take a huge weight off of you, as shipping can be very time consuming and stressful. Fulfillment services eliminate that aspect of your business and provide you with more time to focus on other parts of your business.
One of the most popular fulfillment services is Shopify, which is currently only available in the United States. Not to be confused with Shopify’s online store, Shopify’s Fulfillment Service realizes what a hassle packing, inventory keeping, and shipping can be but knows they are critical to a business’s processes and strives to make them less stressful for its users. Shopify’s website notes that its “full-service network lets you control your data, ships fast, and keeps your brand the hero from checkout to delivery.” It also touts that the service can “ship your orders faster for less,” making shipping less stressful and expensive.
Shopify can be integrated with many of the most prominent sales channels including Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Facebook, and your own Shopify store. Regardless what sales channel your item sells on, Shopify will fulfill it and keep track of your overall numbers. Shopify also claims that it does not mine data collected by merchants and subsequently sell it for profit like some other platforms do.
Cost of Shopify Fulfillment
Shopify will give you a customized price quote based on your business needs. It will let you choose various options such as storage, packing, packaging, and transportation. If you have special projects such as bundling, the service can accommodate those, too. Shopify claims that it offers 99.5% accuracy in all orders the fulfillment center receives. The service reports this is thanks to its human teams and also its cool robot, AKA Chuck. All of users’ operations are handled under one platform as opposed to several different ones that can get confusing and skew information.
Storage is priced by how much space your items take up in the fulfillment facility, and Shopify will work to find the best transportation (i.e. shipping) rates, normally through USPS and UPS. This also includes providing the customer with tracking information so they can get an estimated time of arrival for their purchase. That alone can save you a lot of time and money, which is why many people opt to use it. Shopify normally gets shipping discounts from these carriers, so it may even save you a lot on shipping costs.
Shopify Simplifies Order Fulfillment
Shopify eliminates the need for you to handle every outgoing package and make sure orders are fulfilled correctly. You also don’t have to pay as many salaries seeing as the fulfillment center will do this work for you. This also takes away any need for you to rent or buy a warehouse of any sort, saving you more money, maintenance, and space.
Shopify strives to let you use your own branding to expand your presence and “show off your brand.” The service provides free packaging if you want, but also allows you to use your own packaging. In other words, Shopify lets you use your personal brand’s packaging so customers will know what their item is when they get it (and they’ll be excited!). Instead of other services like Amazon Prime that ship items in packaging with Amazon’s logo all over it, Shopify gives you the option to use your own branded packaging. Packing slips can be customized for free with your business’s logo or certain instructions or advertisements. You can also customize your sales, which may include choosing a small sample of another item or a sticker/bookmark/etc. that will make your customers even happier.
Using a lot of automated technology, Shopify picks and packs the ordered item before shipping it and providing tracking information. As mentioned, this incorporates both human and robot technology, which makes the process more efficient. Shopify can even bundle certain items if requested, such as in the case of when you want to send certain items out assembled together. You can pick a shipping speed and Shopify will make sure the item gets delivered on time. Another great thing about shipping with Spotify is that it provides same-day shipping if the order is received before 4:00 PM EST. Throughout the whole process, Shopify provides you with updates and recommends how you can store and ship your inventory at the best deal possible.
Shopify also allows you to indicate if you are having a flash sale so it can prepare in advance. You can sell on however many Shopify channels you want and you can even set up shipments for customers who sign up for subscription services. Fulfillment centers are all “Shopify certified,” meaning they are all inspected to meet the highest safety and quality standards. This ensures quality fulfillment across any seller platform in one single Shopify account.
It comes as no surprise to business owners that inventory tracking can be a daunting task, especially during “busy seasons.” Shopify allows you to see your inventory in real-time across all channels to make sure your stock is at an appropriate level. Inventory is tracked across all selling platforms you have integrated it with. You can distribute your inventory around the country however you like and Shopify will give you recommendations on what you might want to restock soon based on customer trends at the moment. This is very beneficial in lessening the time it takes for products to reach consumers’ doorsteps (for example, shipping to an Oregon address from a fulfillment center in Oregon will be much quicker than if it was shipped from Florida).
The service will also notify you if your inventory is running low, which is useful in cases when a certain product is “hot” and being purchased a lot. Also, users can opt for special care in the facility if certain items are fragile.
Another hassle Shopify eliminates for users is returns. Businesses who receive returns directly have to unpack them, change inventory numbers, repack them, and so on. With Shopify, the fulfillment service will do it for you. If the item can be resold, the facility will repackage it, update your inventory, and have it ready to go back out when it is purchased again.
Shopify can also help users manage customer data across all channels. The service provides insights and real time data that can be useful to business owners looking to track metrics and make some changes to increase customer satisfaction. Many users report that Shopify’s 24/7 email and phone customer service support is excellent as well and is helpful for questions and needs at all stages of the fulfillment process.
The cost of Shopify’s services might be worth it if it will save you time and resources, especially if your business is booming and you are having trouble keeping up with shipping. Let’s be real – consumers these days expect prompt delivery and opt against purchases that will take “too long” to be delivered, so it’s best to use a service like Shopify if your business needs it. Overall, if your business has the budget for Shopify and you are looking to focus more on growing your business, it might just be an excellent investment.
Are you out of work at the moment and looking for new opportunities, possibly even to start your own business? Or, perhaps you have a full-time job but want to increase your income by doing something on the side. Either way, the freelance market could be the perfect path for you. Not only do companies and individuals across the globe hire freelancers for a wide array of tasks and projects, but working from home also comes with a slew of benefits. If you’re considering becoming a freelancer, here’s some practical advice to help you get started:
Know the Benefits
Being a freelancer typically means that you work from home or remotely from some other location. This means that if you start your own business, you don’t have to rent office space, and you will have less overhead to worry about.
Also, you will have much more freedom and flexibility compared to working at a traditional office job. For starters, you will have less commute time and more work time, and you can establish your own hours, rates, and rules. These benefits will come into play whether you are dedicating all your time to freelancing or starting a side hustle.
Consider Your Skills and Strengths
When you’ve decided to give freelancing a go, the first thing you want to do is determine what industry or industries to enter — and the first step to figuring that out is assessing your marketable skills and strengths. Your skills are technical or functional things that you have learned to do through training, education, and/or experience. This could include anything from managing to fixing, from creating to selling.
Your strengths refer to the personal qualities that make you who you are. These might include your beliefs, values, motivation, style, and so forth. Take some time to write out details of your educational and work experience to assess what your best skills and strengths are. Then, you will have a better idea of what kind of freelance work you could be successful at.
Learn and Keep Learning
To set yourself up for a successful freelance career or side gig, it’s essential to study business growth. For example, look into all of the financial assistance resources available (government and private) during the COVID-19 pandemic, and research best practices for running a business virtually, including any modifications that are necessary during the pandemic.
Also, study how taxes work for work-from-home businesses. For instance, you can take deductions if you are self-employed and have a dedicated workspace at home that’s used only for your business. Moreover, learn new things so that you can stay successful in the future.
Stay Productive and Keep Clients Happy
Staying productive is key to your long-term success. If you consistently produce quality work on-time, you will keep your clients happy, which will help you to retain clients, build your brand, and expand your client base.
Examples of how you can satisfy clients might include using time tracking tools, collaboration software, and top-notch payment methods. If you run an e-commerce store, be sure to use competitive shipping methods, a reliable fulfillment service, and quality packaging, as well as monitor the quality control of your products.
Explore Your Options
Online job boards and social media are great places to look for opportunities. Seeing what kinds of tasks and projects are being hired out will help you determine which path to take. Upwork, Toptal, and Freelancer are a few of the best sites for finding freelance work. You can also use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to find freelance work by joining live chats, searching hashtags, and connecting with other businesses.
Whether you are looking to start a full-time freelance business or a side hustle to supplement your income, it’s important to factor in your skills and strengths when deciding what kind of work to do. Remember to keep researching ways to grow your business, prioritize productivity and customer satisfaction, and take advantage of the web when searching for new opportunities. Most importantly, try to enjoy the journey of starting and growing something new!
Hiring the right fulfillment company or third party logistics service (3PL) can be a crucial part of your business strategy. Working with a fulfillment company means you can focus on product development and growing your business while delegating logistics to a reliable company. They’ll take care of inventory, order processing, shipping, and processing returns. The best part about working with a fulfillment company is that it lends your company the flexibility to grow and scale. Like every other area of business, there are fulfillment companies that stand out from the crowd, helping your company put its best foot forward, such as award-winning companies like ShipMonk, eFulfillment Service, and ShipBob.
What You Should Look for When Choosing an Order Fulfillment Company
Before you decide on which order fulfillment company to work with for your company’s logistic needs, it’s important to think about what your exact needs are, as every company offers several different services. Some fulfillment companies will simply provide the basics, which often includes warehousing, order fulfillment, and shipping. However, other companies provide more intricate services including customized packaging, monitoring stock levels, and can even help you with customized solutions. It’s good to look at what order fulfillment companies are offering you today as well as how they can help your company grow. If the order fulfillment company can’t help you scale, then you may want to opt for a different company that aligns with your business’ goals for growth.
Additionally, you want to consider the cost of working with the order fulfillment company. Some companies charge monthly or annual fees. There may also be per-order or per-transaction fees that must also be paid to the fulfillment company. You want to look carefully for any hidden costs so that you can stay within budget. Another important thing to take note of is the location of the company’s fulfillment centers. You’ll want fulfillment centers that are close to your customer base to minimize shipping times and extra fees like customs.
The third-party logistics (3PL) service that is right for your company, truly depends on your business’ needs and budget. While many order fulfillment companies offer basic services, some simply go above and beyond. These award-winning order fulfillment companies will help ensure your logistics go off without a hitch.
ShipMonk specializes in helping small and medium-sized businesses with their order fulfillment needs. Their service is designed to help these businesses easily scale and grow with the help of reliable fulfillment and distribution services. ShipMonk has services that help with eCommerce fulfillment, retail fulfillment, subscription box fulfillment, crowdfunding fulfillment, FBA prep services, and seller fulfilled prime services.
Working together with ShipMonk lets you easily import orders from your various sales channels and ships out your products directly to customers. Their easy to use custom API integrations you can track inventory levels in real-time so you know exactly when you need to order more from your suppliers. If you ever have any questions, the support team is one of the best in the industry.
As a small or medium-sized business, the cost of logistics can be a major concern, especially when it comes to distribution and shipping. ShipMonk is one of the most affordable options when it comes to order fulfillment. Because they are dedicated to helping your business scale, you only pay for the services that you need and use. Better yet, there are no set up fees or order minimum. This coupled with major shipping discounts from major carriers makes ShipMonk a great option for everyday inventory management and order fulfillment needs. Their transparent billing means you’ll see exactly how much you owe so you can budget accordingly.
We all know that as customers are shopping online at an increasing rate, shipping and delivery is going to play an increasing role in the consumer experience. ShipMonk has three different facilities in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, San Bernardino, California, and Pittston, Pennsylvania. You can choose to ship from the East Coast, West Coast, or both, depending on where your customers are. In addition to shipping to customers, ShipMonk also helps with freight management and returns management. With their automated warehouse, you can be sure you’ll have accurate picking and quick fulfillment times. The team at ShipMonk is dedicated to making sure you put your best foot forward, keeping customers happy and easing the stress of logistics from your day-to-day operations.
eFulfillment Service is one of the Top 3PL offering order fulfillment services to companies of all sizes. eFulfillment Service is dedicated to making the logistics aspect of your business as pain-free as possible by offering exceptional service. They understand that order fulfillment is a crucial part of keeping your customers satisfied.
Like other order fulfillment companies, eFulfillment Service has its own easy-to-use order fulfillment software, designed to make the process of delegating logistics easier. With this software, you can check inventory levels, forecast inventory needs, view backorders, view tracking information, and even manage shopping cart integrations. You can complete control over your inventory. The technology used with eFulfillment Services means you can monitor orders anytime or anywhere.
The centrally located facility in Traverse City, Michigan means shipping times will be similar for customers throughout the country. However, eFulfillment Services understands how important it is for orders to be shipped quickly and accurately. The service has one of the highest accuracy rates in the industry. This means your customers will get exactly what they ordered every time.
The best part about working with this award-winning order fulfillment company is that eFulfillment Services makes sure their pricing is competitive. For starters, there are no setup fees, integration fees, minimum order requirements, or hidden fees. In fact, they don’t even require a long-term contract. The company also has a price match guarantee, matching or beating the fulfillment service packages of its competitors. If that’s not enough, they also offer a 30-day risk-free trial period so you can be sure they are the right company to take on your company’s logistics. If you’re looking for a dependable order fulfillment company that offers first-class customer service then you should give serious consideration to eFulfillment Service.
ShipBob is a 3PL specializing in direct-to-consumer order fulfillment. ShipBob works with thousands of brands to get their orders shipped out both efficiently and affordably. The company has fulfillment centers located throughout the country in Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, and Texas. While you have the option of using a single fulfillment center, spreading your inventory across ShipBob’s facilities can shorten your shipping times and get you more affordable shipping rates with major carriers including UPS, FedEx, DHL, and USPS.
Use ShipBob’s proprietary software to access their fulfillment network and better manage your logistics. Their easy-to-use system allows you to manage and edit orders, get real-time stock levels across all facilities, and will automatically notify you when it’s time to reorder inventory. ShipBob’s fulfillment services help your organization scale efficiently by using space in numerous facilities at the rate you need.
Integrating ShipBob into your existing systems is also easy given their onboarding process with thousands of eCommerce merchants. Easily connect to Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, Amazon, and Walmart, to directly transfer orders for fulfillment. ShipBob understands the importance of logistics to the customer experience and has created an end-to-end customer experience to better represent your company. By taking care of the logistics for you, you can focus on the other aspects of your business that make you stand out from the crowd.
There is a one-time implementation fee for 30 days of support and getting you set up. After that, you’ll have other standard costs such as monthly storage fees, pick and pack fees, and shipping costs. However, ShipBob also offers customized packages that include kitting and any other logistics needs your company may have.
Think About Your Customers
Many times, opting to work with an order fulfillment company can be cheaper than trying to manage all of your logistics in-house. When fulfillment costs are high, this is often passed on to the customer. However, it’s important to recognize that unexpected delivery costs (or high shipping costs) are one of the top reasons for cart abandonment. Therefore, when it comes to creating a list of order fulfillment companies, you want to pick one that will save your customers on shipping costs. Choosing a 3PL that can offer discounted shipping costs, competitive rates, and multiple facilities can help reduce shipping costs for customers. Opting to go with an award-winning order fulfillment company means choosing one you can trust so you can focus on growing and improving your business.
Countless nonessential businesses across the country were forced to close their doors amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And although most states are in the process of reopening, many retail stores are still not allowed walk-in traffic.
As you can imagine, this has led to a spike in online shopping. While online shopping numbers have been steadily increasing for years, the pandemic has made it clear that if you want your retail business to succeed—both now and in the future—online sales must play a part in your operations.
If you’re new to the concept of online sales, don’t let that discourage you from making the adjustments necessary for your business to thrive. Below, you will find some practical tips for getting your online presence off the ground.
Dive into Ecommerce
Not so long ago, ecommerce was a cool new idea, and over the years it has grown to be a legitimate platform for various types of retail businesses. In fact, countless companies are run out of people’s homes these days. However, considering the recent events, the survival of your business may very well depend on your willingness to expand to the online market on one level or another.
The best way to approach it is to just get started. You want to be prepared, but you will learn a lot as you go, too. So, start researching the best ecommerce platforms and fulfillment services for your business needs, and begin setting up your store! If you already sell online, look for ways you can improve your process.
Get the Help You Need
A lot can be learned from researching the web, and that extends to the ecommerce industry. However, if ecommerce seems like a foreign language to you, and/or you’re overwhelmed by the prospect of incorporating it into your business operations, consider hiring someone to help you get started.
On job boards like Upwork, you can find qualified experts who will walk you through the process and even do a lot of the work for you. So, take a look at your options and hire an ecommerce developer today.
Upgrade Your Website
If your website is outdated, now is the time to change it. Whether or not you sell items or services through your site, it’s where a lot of your customers will turn for important information about your business, and it’s the first impression many prospective customers will have of your company.
Make sure your site looks appealing, works efficiently, and is easy to use. This is another task you might consider hiring a professional for unless you have ample experience designing websites.
Boost Your Social Media Presence
Social media is among the most powerful marketing platforms a business can use these days. Make sure your business social media pages (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) are kept up-to-date with relevant content, and try to interact with customers for a more personal experience. You can even use your social media pages to link customers directly to your product pages and shopping cart.
Don’t Forget About Your Physical Store
Finally, your brick-and-mortar store will not be closed off to walk-in traffic forever. Evaluate the space and think of any ways you can improve it. Now is a great time to do some painting, install new retail fixtures, replace the flooring, and/or do any other tasks that will enhance the customer experience inside your store.
People still love to visit stores and buy products in person, but the rise of online shopping is undeniable. Get started with your online sales as soon as possible, and hire someone to help you if necessary. Also, be sure to upgrade your website and prioritize your social media presence. Lastly, take this time to make any necessary improvements to your physical store.
Rakuten Super Logistics, or RSL for short, was founded in 2001 and prides itself on being “committed to providing the best eCommerce fulfillment and logistics services worldwide.” RSL is a division of the much-larger Rakuten, Inc. and its services include order fulfillment, return management, kitting, subscriptions, freight services, and more. The service aims to boost clients’ sales and make order management and eCommerce as simple yet successful as possible.
RSL uses its SmartSuite cloud-based technology to help users save time, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their current eCommerce processes, and use insights to improve their businesses and generate more revenue. Using the SmartFill dashboard, users have many management tools to work with that will help them see the information and status of processing and completed orders as well as analyze costs that will help make critical business decisions.
These days, eCommerce has boomed to an all-time high and many businesses will need to find solutions that will keep them afloat in a competitive economy. Many clients state that RSL is an excellent tool because it has very desirable integrations including Amazon, eBay, Jet, PayPal, Shopify, ChannelAdvisor and many more. Integrations also include USPS, UPS, DHL, FedEx, and other shipment carriers.
All of these integrations are quite impressive and very attractive to business managers who use a variety of the biggest marketplaces and shipping services. Having a solid, reliable fulfillment service will help reduce fulfillment overheads and let users get more done. RSL can also take care of backorder management, order entries, order tracking, returns management, and special orders.
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from RSL, especially those that do not have a sufficient in-house fulfillment process. In-house fulfillment can be extremely time consuming and take business owners away from running their businesses, gaining new customers, and promoting their brands. Instead of having to staff and run a warehouse, manage a transportation fleet, and implement their own systems, RSL can do it for them.
RSL requires a minimum of 250 orders in a month and can handle over 10,000 with a specialized plan.
In general, the RSL process has four steps. First, a consumer places an order on an RSL client’s online store. Second, the RSL software will sync the order with the closest warehouse. From there, RSL will process the order and ship the product through one of the shipping partners. If necessary, the fourth step includes RSL obtaining returns and following a process pre-agreed on with the client.
The analytics that RSL’s platform provides are extremely helpful because they can help business managers see trends such as which products are best-sellers, which items are returned the most, which areas of the U.S. or world products get shipped to most, and so on. From there, marketing and sales processes can be tweaked to adapt to whatever recommendations and insights have been gathered from the data.
Companies that are new to international shipping can greatly benefit from RSL, seeing as RSL is well-versed in customs and freight taxes, which can be a real hassle for business owners. RSL will deal with regulatory compliance issues for its clients, which can alleviate a lot of stress when dealing with global sales and shipments.
Another positive of RSL is that the service offers access to live, human agents instead of a database of FAQs and instant messaging with a bot, which can both lead to less answers and more confusion. The client support team is dedicated to providing responses to inquiries within three hours.
RSL also invites clients to visit the warehouse and see how things get done. It also offers webinars and document trainings to help clients learn how to use the platform to get the most out of it as possible.
As stated, RSL ships both domestically and internationally. The service promotes its 2-day domestic ground shipping through its “2-Day Delivery Network,” stating that 98% of shipments get delivered in 2 days. However, many users have reported deliveries actually took longer than that, and sometimes much longer. Of course, technical issues and problems with integrations have plagued users at times as well.
Unfortunately, the company is not transparent at all regarding pricing. If you’re interested in using RSL for your business, you’ll have to reach out to the company and request a quote, as RSL uses a customized, tiered pricing model. Prices will vary based on the weight of clients’ products and what packaging they use (e.g. envelope versus heavy box), business size, integrations that will be utilized, and technological tool needs. A storage charge is implemented after 30 days and, based on the business, Rakuten will offer month-to-month contracts or annual contracts.
If you’re looking for a better order fulfillment service for your ecommerce business – perhaps cheaper, faster, more responsive – you’ve come to the right place. Helping small business owners choose the best company to store, pack, and ship their products is what we’ve been doing since 2010. Now there are a LOT of fulfillment companies out there, so we didn’t list all of them here, but we did create a big list of the most popular and successful order fulfillment companies.
Our objective is to give you an idea of the types of companies available to help you and to make your selection process just a bit easier. Every small business is unique and has their own particular requirements. So we tried to describe what makes each of these logistics companies unique, highlighting their offerings, so you can narrow your choices down at least a bit. Read the full reviews of each of the fulfillment service providers if you need more details. If you’d like to get an idea of the cost involved with any of these services, you can use our order fulfillment cost calculator to give you an estimate.
What's Unique about their service?
-No pick and pack fees
-Flat rate receiving ($25)
-Free shipping software
-Free boxes and packing supplies
ShipBob is one of the top order fulfillment services that offer same-day delivery for orders placed in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Dallas, and Chicago. On top of that, they provide 2-day shipping within the continental US. Integrates with all major ecommerce software and marketplaces to fulfill orders and for warehouse inventory. See ShipBob full review.
-Transparent shipping process
-Powerful warehouse management
ShipMonk is a popular fulfillment service in the US that helps clients simplify their business processes. It includes a 4-in-1 cloud-based software that comes tools for inventory, orders, shipping, and warehouse. See ShipMonk full review.
Rakuten Super Logistics
Rakuten Super Logistics is an all-in-one fulfillment management system that provides an aggressive delivery service to online retailers. With its 12 fulfillment centers, it can seamlessly deliver in one business day to its clients. It caters to both local and international shipping. See RSL full review.
-250+ shipping solutions
Easyship is a cloud-based shipping platform that helps merchants provide domestic and global shipping. From the start, users have complete control over their products and how they get to customers. See EasyShip full review.
Fulfillment by Amazon
-Shipping rates discount
Fulfillment by Amazon, also known as FBA, allows anyone to sell their items on the Amazon platform. It is most beneficial to those who sell small items (since fees are determined by item size and weight); those who sell via multi-channels; and those already selling at Amazon. See FBA full review.
-Global customer base
FedEx Fulfillment is a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and was launched early in 2017 to help small and medium-sized companies fulfill orders from multiple channels such as online marketplaces and websites. The service is an integrated supply chain system that boasts of an easy-to-use platform and FedEx’s established transportation networks
-Automated and optimized operation
Shipwire has warehouses in the US, China, Europe, Australia, and Asia, with more storage facilities being built. The service employs an enterprise-grade warehouse management system to provide clients with safe and secure storage for their items while undertaking shipping and special handling procedures. See ShipWire full review.
Red Stag Fulfillment
Storage: $15 per pallet per month
Red Stag Fulfillment is a popular US-based ecommerce order fulfillment service provider that specializes in shipments over 5 pounds and offers a 100% guarantee for their 48-hour dock-to-stock time, order accuracy, order speed, and inventory accuracy. The service combines a cloud-based fulfillment platform with excellent operations to take care of your order fulfillment needs for fragile, high-value, and oversized goods. See Red Stag full review.
0 - 1,000 Orders / Month: Minimum cost per order - $2.49
1,001 - 3,000 Orders / Month: Minimum cost per order - $2.29
3,001 - 6,000 Orders / Month: Minimum cost per order - $2.09
-US nationwide coverage
Fulfillify is built on a robust mobile-responsive technology platform designed to help ecommerce companies provide customers with ordering, storage, and delivery services. According to the service provider, they ship on average, over 75 million items annually, delivering products to end users all over the globe
IDS Fulfillment (Integrated Distribution Services) provides order fulfillment, warehouse and distribution, and transportation services to get your products to your customers quickly and on time. It touts itself as a results-focused logistics company that has the flexibility, capability and proven processes to help businesses attain a competitive advantage
0 - 500 Orders / Month: Minimum cost per order - $2
501 - 1000 Orders / Month: Minimum cost per order - $1.80
Storage: Monthly minimum of $25
VelocityShip is a well-regarded fulfillment company that has developed its own advanced software suite designed to help businesses meet their day-to-day challenges such as managing their supply chain, inventory and order fulfillment
Stock storage flat rate of $35 per month for unlimited products
-Flat storage fee
Ships-a-lot is an order fulfillment company specifically targeted at growing ecommerce companies
basic services cost $10 per month
$500 nonrefundable deposit required before an account is set up
-Full operational control
-Automatic order grouping
Fulfillment.com is a worldwide fulfillment, storage and logistics company that helps businesses manage their time and resources when it comes to fulfilling customer orders
Fulfillment by Sears
-Expertise and experience
Fulfilled By Sears (FBS) is the logistics arm of the US department store chain Sears. It has been selling and shipping its products and its merchant partners’ for decades and has made available to retailers that same reliable service. FBS is an end-to-end outsourced fulfillment service for retailers that includes warehousing, pick and pack, and shipping orders to customers
-Low fulfillment cost
Xpert Fulfillment provides third-party order fulfillment services including logistics and warehousing in the US and international markets. It handles inventory and order management through a pick/pack/ship model, which is built on web-based systems that make tracking and communication accessible in the cloud and in real-time
eFulfillmentService was established in 2001 to provide a speedy order fulfillment service to clients around the globe. It utilizes the best technologies to ensure quality service and customer satisfaction. The service caters to all business types and sizes, providing end-to-end offerings to all kinds of ecommerce companies. See eFulfillment full review.
-Commodified service of shared fulfillment
Fulfillrite provides ecommerce companies with end-to-end order fulfillment services like kitting and assembly, return processing and inventory storage. It is ideal for growing small and medium businesses or large enterprises looking to streamline their order management processes. See Fulfillrite full review.
Floship is one of the leading order fulfillment services for global ecommerce retailers and crowdfunding campaigns. The company is based in Hong Kong, the world’s largest hub for air-freight
Whiplash is a modern order fulfillment service that is built to scale and takes care of the fulfillment workload for your ecommerce and online selling business. It can manage day-to-day inventory and fulfillment as well as provide integration and technical support
-Calculate shipping rates in real-time
-Tons of advanced features
ShipStation is known for working well with Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento customers, and it has some wonderful packages that start at $25 per month. See ShipStation full review.
-Integrates with marketplaces and shopping carts
SprocketExpress positions itself as a scalable, cost-effective, accurate and friendly service. Their complete eCommerce fulfillment includes order fulfillment, warehousing, inventory control and extra on-demand back office services
-Complete SaaS system
-Fulfillment orchestration software
Symphony Commerce is an eCommerce infrastructure with end-to-end advantages. The creators’ idea was to create a service that lets you open a storefront, content orders and inventory, fulfillment management and create a winning service from one platform
Estimated freight fees range from $6.55 to $21.98 per pound
-Impressive Customer Service
-Cost and Value
FreightPros is one of the best freight broker companies and is especially suited for small businesses. Along with affordable prices, you also get excellent customer service, which is a great addition to any 3PL services
-Fees & Service Cost
RedHawk Global provides freight, warehousing, shipping, and distribution of goods of various small businesses across the US, Mexico, and Canada. It is the most-suitable order fulfillment service for freight distribution and is perfect for small businesses
-Real-time inventory updates
-Warehousing and inventory management
Shipfusion began when an e-commerce business built its own logistics platform to handle fulfillment and then decided to sell it as a service. The company considers its software one of its main strengths—especially for smaller vendors that are ceding control of their products to a third party for the first time
James and James Fulfilment
-Lots of advanced features for satisfied customers
-Reliable and easy to use software
James and James eCommerce fulfillment integrates with Amazon, Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce shopping carts, allowing brands to reach new markets with real-time eCommerce fulfillment services
-Multi-channel inventory management
-No minimum order requirement
Shiphero helps eCommerce merchants source third-party logistic service providers in any country, as well as provides third-party services providers with optimized 3PL WMS systems
-In-house order fulfillment
-Retail, wholesale and FBA distribution
Boxzooka combines cloud-based warehouse management software (WMS) with quality fulfillment distribution centers to help US eCommerce sellers reach international markets. Based in New Jersey, Boxzooka offers warehousing, inventory management and pick-and-pack consumer goods from key global stations
ShippingTree markets themselves to international brands wanting to streamline their US fulfillment processes. Their coast-to-coast warehouse network makes delivery to customers across the US more efficient
Your company’s shipping operation may have started in your
basement or garage, and that worked fine for a while. Then you had to move on
to a local warehouse with a few workers to handle order fulfillment.
It wasn’t long before your hard work started to pay off and
your company grew. Now you have some decisions to make. To handle the next
phase, you are going to need to find an order fulfillment company that can
handle your growing business.
Why should you use an order fulfillment company? Because you
have better things to do than to pack boxes. Your time is better spent
developing your business, finding new market opportunities and driving growth.
You will also benefit from not having to store your inventory on-site, or bury
yourself in boxes and packing material.
What’s more, finding the right order fulfillment company can help you quickly achieve eCommerce nirvana – the ability to offer free shipping. That’s because these companies work with you to achieve scale while helping reduce the costs of shipping through the use of localized warehouses and zone skipping strategies.
Let’s talk about some of the questions you need to answer
about your business needs:
Do you want to ship in your own packaging? Brown
box packaging is generally included as part of the service, but some order
fulfillment services also offer you the option of using your branded packaging.
What are you shipping? Some products may
have special needs, such as refrigeration or other special handling
requirements. Make sure that the order fulfillment service you select can meet
the needs of your customers.
Where are you shipping? Whether you are
shipping just domestically or around the world, look for a service with
established channels with international carriers. Having international capacity
will allow you to grow your business around the world without having to find
another company to work with.
What is the user experience for your
business? What is the experience going to look like for your customers? You
want your order fulfillment service to be stress-free and easy to manage. Look
for a service that offers real-time data and analytics that will keep you up to
date on inventory and order management. On the customer side, look for a
product that will offer your customers a seamless checkout experience with
upfront shipping costs and delivery windows.
What if something goes wrong? There is nothing worse than having to wait
until Monday to get an answer to your urgent question. Choose an order
fulfillment service that offers 24/7 customer service so you can fix small
problems before they become big problems.
What about onboarding? Getting set up
with an order fulfillment service can feel overwhelming. The best order
fulfillment services offer free training and onboarding to help you get up and
Does this solution integrate seamlessly with
your eCommerce platform, or will you need a custom API? Most of the major
eCommerce platforms have seamless integrations with shipping fulfillment
services, but some still may not. If that is the case, make sure that your
service has experts who can work with you to create a custom API.
Order Fulfillment Services Fees
Red Stag Fulfillment
$25 per hour
$13.25 per pallet
Discounted select carriers
Discounted select carriers
Discounted select carriers
22 cents per cubic foot
$5 per bin
$2 per bin
$40 per pallet
$15 per pallet
Pick & Pack
$1.90 per order + 60 cents per item
Included in shipping fee
$2.25 to $2.65 first item + 30 cents per item
Discounted rates with USPS, FedEx, DHL, and ZoneJump
Discounted all carriers
Discounted all carriers
Get a dedicated account manager that knows every detail of your account.
Startups & batch shipping
High-value, large & oversize items
$199 minimum pick and pack fee per month
100 per month
100 per month
Kitting, bagging, labeling, and assembly
Specialty kitting & FBA stock prep
Light assembly, branded packaging
Tip: Get quotes from many different fulfillment companies at once by filling out a single form here.
Perhaps most importantly, you should choose an order
fulfillment service that meets the needs of your business today and tomorrow.
As the saying goes, you should dress for the job that you want. In this case,
you should ship for the business you want. Look to your goals for the future of
your business and find a tool that will help you get there.
ShipBob is a technology-based order fulfillment service with the capacity to help you scale your business. Its web-based shipping platform allows you real-time data and analytics that let you see your inventory levels and respond quickly and efficiently to changes.
ShipBob will save you both time and
money. They will help you reduce your cart abandonment rate by as much as 18%
while giving you cost savings up to 13%. Using their network of fulfillment
warehouses, ShipBob’s dashboard algorithms choose the closest fulfillment
center at the point of purchase and routes the order directly to that location
Their dashboard offers integrations
with most common eCommerce platforms. Is your platform not included? Contact ShipBob
to arrange for a custom API so you can get up and running quickly.
Your business may also have other
needs. Maybe your product needs to be refrigerated, or maybe your customers are
business customers. ShipBob offers additional services to create a customized
shipping experience for you and your customers.
With transparent pricing, ShipBob
makes it easy to project shipping costs and find ways to create savings. They
have negotiated bulk discounts with UPS, USPS, FedEx, and DHL, allowing them to
offer you and your customers low shipping costs.
They offer free brown box
packaging, or you can use your own branding materials, paying only for the cost
of storing them. Want a unique unboxing experience for your customers? ShipBob
can provide kitting and packaging services that give your products a
ShipBob can also help you grow your
Amazon business. With their Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) prep services, they can
handle your orders straight from the checkout. They will prepare, label and
label your items, and ship them to the FBA facility for processing. This makes
working with Amazon a breeze.
With two fulfillment centers strategically located east and west of the Mississippi River, Red Stag can guarantee shipping to 97% of America within 1-2 days.
Red Stag has a proprietary
cloud-based shipping dashboard. This dashboard allows you to manage your
account from anywhere, with a mobile-friendly interface and real-time data.
That gives you the peace of mind to know that you can see what is happening
with your business at any time.
You can seamlessly integrate with Red
Stag’s technology dashboard. They offer integrations with many common platforms
such as Amazon, eBay, Wayfair, Newegg, and others. If you have your own
platform, you can work with Red Stag’s outstanding tech team to develop a
They offer same-day order
fulfillment at discounted shipping rates. Their logistical experts work hard to
find ways to cut your costs, negotiating competitive rates and coordinating
zone skipping strategies that save you money.
Red Stag is so confident that you
will love their services that they offer a 30-day, risk-free trial at no cost,
allowing you to experience it for yourself. Send them some of your products,
send them some orders, and see what you think!
How can they be so confident? The
data shows that in 2019, 100% of orders were shipped on time and 99.997% of
orders were shipped accurately. Imagine the peace of mind that such a service
The average fulfillment service
promises 98% inventory accuracy. Sounds great, right? Not so fast. That would
mean that out of every $500,000 in inventory, you will lose $10,000. Red Stag
won’t let this happen to you. They will reimburse you for the wholesale cost of
any inventory that is damaged in their care.
Loss of inventory isn’t the only
cost of working with a fulfillment service. You can also lose money from
mispicks or other packaging or shipping errors. Red Stag has an error rate of 1
out of 5000 orders, but that’s not all. If an order is handled incorrectly,
such as with the wrong number of items, they will fix the mistake, not charge
you for that shipment and pay you $50 to compensate for the error.
Learn more about Red Stag Fulfillment
and start a free 30 day trial on their site.
From small businesses to one-off crowdfunding projects, Fulfillrite offers an order fulfillment service that will meet the needs of your business. With a high-tech client portal, twenty different shopping cart integrations, and 24/7 access to customer service, they have the tools you need to take the hassle out of shipping.
Are you an Amazon retailer?
Fulfillrite can handle all the prep, packaging, labeling and shipping your
items to the FBA hubs for processing. While they generally do not handle large,
heavy or bulky items, they are experts in handling promotions and small product
lines with limited SKUs.
With a special focus on smaller
retailers, Fulfillrite does not require you to sign a long-term contract to
work with them. This flexibility works especially well for crowdfunded projects
of limited scope and size. They offer custom labeling for your products, or you
can send your product to their warehouse in your own ready-to-ship packaging.
Nobody wants their inventory to
languish in the box. When Fulfillrite receives your inventory, they are
unboxed, inspected, counted and ready to go the same day they arrive.
Throughout the process, Fulfillrite will send you email updates to keep you
Returns can be a real hassle.
Fulfillrite handles them for you. They will receive the return, evaluate the
condition of the product, and then let you decide if you want to issue a refund
or a replacement.
Fulfillrite takes pride in offering
these services to small businesses, and although there is no maximum volume,
you should reach out to their customer service if you are expecting volume over
5,000 pieces per month. This will ensure that the warehouse is properly
equipped to handle your shipping needs.
Does your company need help with
bagging, kitting, labeling or assembly? Fulfillrite offers standalone services
to help get your product ready to ship.
They have negotiated steep discounts with carriers such as USPS Commercial Plus Pricing (CPP), UPS, FedEx, DHL, Asendia, and ZoneJump, and pass these savings on to you.
Get an exact pricing quote from Fulfillrite by filling out this simple form on their site.
Choosing a Company
When it comes to order fulfillment services, you will find
many options available. Choosing the wrong service can cost you money,
frustrate your customers, and stifle your growth. Evaluate each service based
on your company’s needs both now and in the future.
How do you choose an order fulfillment company? There are
several things for you to consider, including cost, location and shipping time.
Some companies use multiple warehouses to help you save shipping costs and
shorten delivery times.
Here’s some of the important questions that you should
consider in your decision-making process. As you evaluate different fulfillment
services, ask yourself:
What are your goals? Consider the current
state and ideal future state of your business.
What are the physical characteristics of your
product(s)? Are your items large, fragile, or need refrigeration? Having
special handling needs could limit your choice of order fulfillment services.
What are your shipping expectations? Do
you need a company that can guarantee 2-day service anywhere in the country?
What is your expected order volume? Some
fulfillment services have minimums and maximums for shipping volume. Remember
to think about your future volume as well.
How can you protect yourself from losses?
Look for services that have proven track records with inventory and order
What if I need help? An order fulfillment
service should allow you real-time access to your inventory and shipping
dashboard and support you with 24/7 customer service.
What if my needs change? Some fulfillment
services don’t have the capacity to support future growth. If you expect to
grow your business, choose a service that will grow with you.
What does it cost to get started? You may
be able to get a free trial of an order fulfillment service that interests you.
Before signing with a service, you should ask about startup costs. Will you
need to pay for the initial software? Will you need to sign a long-term
contract? Are free training and setup included?
Will my customers be safe? The security
of customer information must be taken very seriously. Ensure that the order fulfillment
service that you are using is invested in information and inventory security,
taking appropriate measures to keep both your data and your product safe.
You will know that you have chosen
the right service when you stop worrying about customer orders. The right
service will give you a reliable, low-cost, seamless order fulfillment process
that gives you peace of mind, freeing you to devote your time and energy to
growing your business.
Ecommerce has changed the
way businesses operate. Advancements in technology have enabled companies to
sell to customers across countries with just a few clicks. The prospect of
opening your business to global customers might seem daunting. After all,
shipping nationally is already a nuanced process. However, global fulfillment
can rapidly grow your business and increase your brand recognition
exponentially. The most efficient way for any business to sell online is to use
fulfillment service. Fulfillment
services handle the entire shipping process for you, saving you time, money,
and labor. Offering your products and services to customers outside your home
country has a multitude of benefits.
How can shipping globally help my business?
Global eCommerce revenue is expected to reach $4.8 trillion by 2021. By 2022, cross-border purchases will make up 20% of all worldwide eCommerce. China’s domination of global eCommerce is a great example of how shipping internationally can grow a business. With 55.8% of all global eCommerce retail sales revenue in 2019, which is expected to reach 63% by 2022, the country leads the global market. They do this by offering more international shipping options than any other country. The following are ways international shipping can grow your business:
Product range – Global markets vary much more
widely than domestic ones. Different regions have different product needs.
Shipping internationally will allow you to sell a wider range of products.
Customer base – International shipping will give
you access to a significantly larger number of customers.
Brand awareness – Introducing your brand to the
international community will increase your visibility and provide opportunities
for thought leadership and market innovation.
Business growth – Opening up your business to the
global community can increase your website traffic and sales exponentially.
can be difficult, as there are different rules and regulations from county to
country. If you run an eCommerce business, consider the following tips for
using third-party fulfillment to enter the international market.
An important first step
is finding out where you’re getting international interest. Start circulating
surveys and encouraging website visitors to fill out forms telling you where
they’re located. Ask them if they’d like to be able to purchase your products.
Use website traffic tracking tools, like StatCounter, to collect data on who is viewing your website.
You’ll notice trends in where your viewers are located. For example, you might
be getting traffic on your website every day from India. If you don’t ship to
India, you may be missing out on potential sales.
Consider whether there is
an international need for your product. You might be selling something about
which there isn’t a lot of global knowledge. However, if you’re selling
something more universal, international shipping can be effective. For example,
people use lamps all over the world. However, things like air conditioners, garbage disposals, and various food
products, might not sell well to
a global market.
Find a fulfillment
service that ships internationally
Now that you’ve decided to
ship internationally, you need to choose a third-party
fulfillment service. The first
thing to look for is whether they offer global shipping options. Many services
only ship domestically, so you’ll want to be certain they offer this.
your service handles every step of the process
A third-party fulfillment
service should take the stress of shipping globally off your shoulders.
International shipping is a tricky process. It involves dealing with tracking,
duties, tariffs, insurance, shipping costs, customs, free trade zones, and
delivery. The complications of international shipping often keep businesses
from entering the global market. Your fulfillment service should be able to
manage all of this for you. If they aren’t taking the hassle and stress of this
process off of you, they’re not doing their job. Click here for more on choosing a reputable fulfillment service.
Your fulfillment service
should also be able to meet international delivery-time expectations. Most
people don’t want to wait weeks at a time for their order. If they have the
option to buy domestically and have their order delivered within a couple of
days, they’ll probably take it. To compete within a global market, you need to
be able to offer fast, affordable shipping. Make sure your fulfillment service
can do this. Many services that offer international shipping have warehouses in
other countries. If you’ve gotten a lot of interest from India, for example,
look for a fulfillment service that has a warehouse there, or somewhere nearby.
Shipping internationally can be very expensive. Working with a fulfillment service should eliminate some of these costs. Your service providers should be experts in using localized global warehouses and government carriers that don’t charge customs brokerage fees, as well as streamlining bulk shipping from your office to their warehouse. Some third-party fulfillment providers offer bulk discounted shipping rates to other countries.
shipping can enable your brand to reach millions of people. It can allow you to
tap into new markets with significantly less competition. Because shipping
globally is a complex, confusing process, using a third-party fulfillment service
is the best way to implement it as part of your shipping strategy.