The 30 Best Order Fulfillment Services and Their Pros and Cons
Running an ecommerce venture can get complicated. From logistics to inventory, finding the right system is tricky. However, order fulfillment can help you simplify the process.
In this article, we’ll help you pick out the best order fulfillment service to streamline your operations and make things easier for you.
We’re even including a list of companies that can help you jumpstart the process! So get ready to take down notes as we help.
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Order Fulfillment (And Why You Should Have Been Doing It Yesterday)
Fulfillment has become the norm in many ecommerce ventures for a number of reasons and it is mainly due to the simplification, efficiency and cost-cutting capabilities that it can provide to a business.
When a specialized company comes in and takes over one of the complicated processes of your business, it frees up time for you to focus on marketing and of your venture. It helps you save on costs, too, as fulfillment companies have wider networks that you can tap for only a fraction of the price.
However, what exactly is fulfillment?
There are many ways to describe order fulfillment – and we’re absolutely sure that you may have a different version of order fulfillment in your head, too.
Some view fulfillment as a third-party handling the shipping process, but order fulfillment companies can offer more than that. They can handle warehousing for your drop shipping products to order staging and carrier pickup.
But wait, there’s more.
Some companies will even handle specialized packaging and make sure customer returns and refunds are also controlled from a singular platform. There are others that can take control of your entire operation and streamline it.
So, is it worth it?
It is definitely worth it if you’re a small to medium ecommerce enterprise because you get to tap into the economies of scale that these companies have. Furthermore, the time savings alone are enough for you to consider outsourcing several aspects of your business.
Picking an order fulfillment service is dependent on what needs you have, answering questions such as: “what costs me the most in my process?” and, “which aspect do I want to save time in?” This should be enough to help you kick start the process.
At the end of the day, for small to medium ecommerce platform, self-fulfilment models aren’t that lucrative and its best to outsource the entire process.
Top Order Fulfillment Services (In Random Order)
1. Fulfillment by Amazon
Fulfillment by Amazon – better known as FBA – doesn’t only allow you to sell on the Amazon platform, but they can help you via multi-channel as well. The beauty of FBA is that you can sell small items and they can even handle inventory by the thousands because they charge by the size and weight of your items.
You get a chance to take advantage of the logistical dominance of Amazon, avail of their quick processing, use their state-of-the-art warehousing, and use their returns policy – although you still pick up the tab.
Another benefit is being able to utilize their customer service support system as your own and in doing so allowing your own clientele a customer service experience like no other. Remember, you are using a world-class system and that in itself is a benefit altogether.
VelocityShip has been leaving its mark in the market for a number of reasons and one of them is special fulfillment. They can handle custom labelling, subscription boxes and even crowdfunding fulfillment needs.
Imagine having multiple brands under your line and having customized packaging all done by a third-party, that’s what VelocityShip does. They are also one of the most affordable solutions in the market at around $1.50 per order and options for daily storage.
If you need help with anything, you are also assigned an on-call logistics expert that you can contact any time of the day or week.
This company offers you complete control over your processes by providing you with a singular dashboard where you can manage multiple inventories. They provide you with private labelling options that they can fulfil on their end as well as Product on Demand (POD) where you only get charged when you ship.
They provide standard full-integration with the major platforms that you may have and as an added-benefit, they also provide clients with ecommerce education.
Customer service is also said to be pretty great according to their reviews.
Whitebox is an interesting company because they can help you calculate how much inventory you need to send their way for processing. After some time, their algorithm then kicks in order to learn how much you really need to keep in inventory at any given time so that you can save money on storage costs.
Another great service they offer is their quality control system. They will inspect things for their clients and troubleshoot on the spot. For instance, is your product missing certain regulatory labels? They’ll have that covered for you.
According to them: “We manage your entire online sales process.”
5. Planet Express
Planet Express is advertised as a shipping solution for consumers who want to buy in the United States but have their packages shipped internationally, but they also provide a fulfillment service.
They provide ecommerce, subscription box and Amazon fulfillment at minimal costs for both storage and delivery. If you check out their website they also have fulfillment calculators to determine how much you would be spending on their services.
If you’re looking for a vanilla solution to your needs, their approach entails no bells and whistles but straight to the point bulk fulfillment services.
6. FedEx Fulfillment
FedEx has been in the logistics business for almost 50 years providing shipping solutions to consumers and businesses alike. Their global base allows you access to more than 200 countries and this means truly opening up your business on a global scale.
They provide multi-platform integration for major systems and access to bespoke services that will allow you to add value to the packages that you send.
One major benefit of using FedEx Fulfillment is reverse logistics. They are one of the leaders in processing proper returns for your customers and you can rest assured that they try to find the most cost-effective way of achieving maximum value for your products.
If you’re not convinced, they can also help you personalize your customers’ shopping experiences.
Orderhive isn’t exactly an order fulfillment system in the sense that they’ll handle all the warehousing and sending out of inventory for you. What Orderhive has done is provide a centralized software that can automate everything from your orders to your inventory management.
Unlike the other companies in this list, they’re best used if you already have the infrastructure in place and want to simplify your operations under a singular hub. If you’re into integrating several processes that are already in place in your business, they’re worth taking a look at.
FulfillmentCompanies is a website that is dedicated to matching you up with providers of logistics depending on your needs. They have already done the groundwork of screening providers so that they may be able to match you with ease.
All you have to do is fill out a form or ring them up and they will start matching you up with a logistics provider that you can trust. It’s advertised as a free service and they have calculators available on their website to help you get a ballpark estimates of potential costs.
Fulfillify is a full-service order fulfillment company that is run using 5S Principles and Six Sigma standards so that’s enough to tell you that they are as efficient as they come.
They provide a comprehensive service with options for kitting and custom orders. You also have control over your inventories and you get alerts should they run low. They also reach about 98.6 per cent of customers in the United States and can deliver within two days.
Their system is a mobile one so you can manage your logistical needs even when you’re on the go.
Whiplash is another full-service order fulfillment service with an API key that you can use to configure your orders and processes. If you need to make a last-minute change before shipping these guys are the people to call.
They concentrate on the full automation of your business processes and they give you options for scaling up or down depending on your needs. If you need to start bundling your shipping volumes in order to reduce your costs, these guys have got you covered.
You get standardized dashboards so you can monitor your entire operation from the ground up wherever you are and whenever you please.
Printful is a different niche of fulfillment as it focuses on standardizing the custom products you want to sell in your own ecommerce store via their platform. However, you can still use their standard order fulfillment services.
All you have to do is to send in your product for approval and once it’s approved, they can streamline the process for you. They provide you with custom branding with no minimum order. In this way, it doesn’t matter how much you need as they will be able to provide.
However, they’re an even greater service if you want to drop ship customized products anywhere in the United States.
12. Xpert Fulfillment
Xpert Fulfillment has remained popular because it is very transparent when it comes to pricing and other costs. They provide clients with specialized rates depending on the needs that they have when it comes to volume or process.
They have flat-rate shipping options should you need that and they are fully cloud-based so that you can remotely manage your inventory.
You get email tracking, too, so you know where your packages are as they start their journey towards your customer.
RedStag has a pretty tall order, they guarantee that you’ll be able to reach 99 per cent of United States consumers without error. If an order goes missing or is damaged, they will pay you more than the value of the packages. How’s that for customer service?
They support all major integrations so that orders that come in can properly integrate with the system that you have with them. This results in a streamlined process for your operations.
Looking into saving some money? They can optimize your inventory so that you can be as efficient as possible and not pay so much.
ChannelSale is a platform that allows you to use their systems to sell on multiple channels, but apart from that they also offer order fulfillment services on the side.
It seems as if their fulfillment services are best integrated with their major services, but they do promote a number of benefits for using their platform.
They have order management software, flexible shipping methods and of course, after sales tracking in order for you to check for feedback and improve your current processes. There are options for you to white label the invoices you send out to your customers as well.
15. Symphony Commerce
Symphony Commerce is a company that is focused on making your business as simple as possible. They provide their customers with a complete SaaS system that streamlines your integrations.
Symphony Commerce is focused on the growth of the ecommerce venture by allowing clients access to subscription systems and merchandising via kits.
Their order management system is pretty standard using a decentralized network of warehouses that aim to make your process as efficient as possible, saving you valuable time and allowing any business to cut costs significantly.
16. IDS Fulfillment
IDS Fulfillment has been in the industry for more than half a century and they have been adapting in order to keep up with contemporary needs and they seem to be doing a good job at it. IDS can handle any type of complicated inventory upkeep and customized packaging requirement. You can have them kit out your orders for you in order to minimize the workload from your end.
Another thing that sets IDS Fulfillment apart is their membership with the Direct Selling Association which means they are well-versed in handling any complex requirements that you might have for your fulfillment needs.
17. Rakuten Super Logistics
Rakuten has a system called Smartsuite which combines cloud-based fulfillment and management, simplified freight and advanced analytics which help you determine the best route for your packages.
They focus on one business Day fulfilment with delivery within two days for your customers based in the United States. They highlight the accuracy of their services and each order goes through their quality checks to make sure everything is alright before delivery.
RSL also provides seamless integration with Amazon, Magento, Bigcommerce, and Shopify. Their client support system is personalized depending on the needs that you have and you can get a response within three hours of your query.
Fulfillrite is a good choice if you’re on a tight budget because of their flexible pricing on a per case or pallet basis. This allows you to quickly and efficiently adapt depending on your warehousing needs. If you’re a loyal patron of their services, you can easily avail of the numerous discounts that they give out.
They offer customization options for the packages that you are shipping out; this means that you can white or private label easily. You also have the option of inserting marketing materials in the packages that you have.
Their system is cloud-based so there is no problem with accessing and managing your inventory on your mobile device while you’re on the go.
Postworks is another software that has the capability of streamlining your entire operations for you.
They allow you to manage your orders, using various integrations with real-time tracking assistance. Your inventory is automatically synchronized to the warehouses you’re using and you can even manage to restock remotely.
20. Fulfillment Works
Fullfilment Works provides its clients with major turnkey ecommerce services. Whilst you focus on marketing your company, they handle the rest.
They provide customizations for you to be able to brand your items before packaging and full support for global deliveries. Their system includes real-time reporting in order for you to be able to check your inventory in real time and by-the-minute changes.
ShipWire is a technology-driven company that aims to reduce your costs and hassles with their platform. Their system automatically computes the most optimal routes and processes for your packages in order for you to make substantial savings.
The company has options for your insurance and you have the ability to pick the location of your warehousing requirements. Their systems are pretty reliable and they come with shipping tracking in order for you to determine where your packages are en route to your customers.
Their network is global with support for almost 50 countries. They are a pretty solution for your specialized needs.
Ships-a-lot is a company that prides itself on their accuracy on multiple levels. According to their website, their accuracy rate is 99.98 per cent and inventory is counted every day via barcode scanners.
Their customer service guarantees a response within an hour of the query on various platforms which means your queries can be met with speed and ease.
Shipping is guaranteed with a lead time of fewer than 24 hours, regardless of weekends. In the event of a failure to deliver on time, they make it up to the clients.
23. Fulfilled by Sears
Sears offers no minimum volume meaning that is perfect for any of the volume requirements that you may have. In fact, you did not even have to make a long term commitment with them, you just pay for what you store or ship using their platform.
They are also able to instantly help you cope with a steep rise in volume meaning that you can quickly adapt to the growing needs of your customers. Let’s say it’s a holiday, you can quickly store and ship, and return back to normal level once demand subsides considerably.
Since they are one of the largest merchants in the United States, you can take advantage of the infrastructure that they already have in place.
24. Verde Fulfillment
Verde Fulfillment seems to focus on the trust that their clients have with them. They provide clients with standard fulfillment services with full integration with major shopping carts and EDI.
Their customer service is pretty solid, they put their clients first and everyone is assigned a coordinator that they can speak to with regard to their needs.
They also provide product returns management via their sister company, The Returns Lab. The company was put up in order to focus solely on the pain point of customer returns. This has led to streamlined and efficient processes for returning items to the seller.
ShipBob is unique because you are only charged a flat rate fee in order for you to be able to consolidate your deliveries for maximum savings. You are also only changed when they handle your inventory directly.
They provide their clients with a unified platform that allows them to manage and track their inventories. This is also tied into their advanced systems in order for you to check on analytics and improve your own enterprise’s processes.
ShipBob is great when you have to get a large order out quickly to your customers.
We take a break from full-service order fulfillment companies and take a look at Fulfil.io which specializes in the software and systems management of your ecommerce company. This company is worth taking a look at if your problem is mainly management and you already have the infrastructure set up for you.
They offer order, inventory, financial, warehouse and catalogue management, along with systems to handle your purchasing and workflow automation. Their reporting and business intelligence is one of a kind with forecasting analysis built-in to help you estimate demand and inventory requirements.
In addition to this, you can also build and store custom reporting.
Floship aims to automate your workflow in order for you to be more efficient with your ecommerce order fulfillment venture. If you want to put your systems on auto-pilot, they are an excellent choice.
They provide global ecommerce fulfillment as well as support for crowdfunding fulfillment needs that you might have.
One thing that they prominently cater to is exporting to China. They have established systems and infrastructure that will allow you to ship to the Chinese market with ease. If you do not speak the local language they can assist you with dedicated account managers that break the language barrier.
This company might not have the prettiest website in this list, but they do know how to handle your fulfillment requirements. From the onset, clients can grab a 70 percent discount for inbound shipping that they have.
If you are making a shipment to a customer overseas, eFulfillmentService can help with meeting the regulations of the country and reroute customs duties to the buyer.
You are also covered if your goods are damaged or lost during shipping.
They have the standard loadout for fulfilment including systems for processing returns, kitting, and marketing.
Fulfillmen seems to have the complete package when it comes to order fulfilment. They even offer cash on delivery options and call centres to help you with the clients that you have.
You don’t have to worry about long term commitments since you just have to pay for what you sell without any contracts or minimums. You get the same day shipping along with notifications for any inventory that comes in or shipping issues that may arise.
Fulfillmen also offers custom packaging options for you to be able to properly brand your products before shipment. They have a fully integrate-able API that you can use with major shopping carts.
Off the bat, ShippingEasy provides its potential customers with a free 30 day trial of their services. However, they are not a full-service order fulfilment centre, they just offer software solutions and discounted shipping rates if you are on their platform.
These discounts are applicable to items that are small but heavy, or packages that are relatively large. They are a good option if you are looking to shop around for software that can help with your current order fulfilment ecosystem.
Any one of these companies would be perfect for your order fulfilment needs, but it will all depend on the kind of needs that your enterprise requires as of this moment. A lot of ecommerce companies change their order fulfilment services based on the requirements that they have.
As you progress and expand your market share in the industry that you are involved in, your needs also change, hence it is always best to adapt and change accordingly.
So what are you waiting for?
Simplify your process and maximize your time and cost savings today!