Ecommerce Fulfillment

Dec 12 2022

Ecommerce Fulfillment Solutions

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Ecommerce is indispensable to millions of companies all over the US, UK, and the entire globe at large. Today, entrepreneurs prioritize it because it facilitates faster buying through digital gadgets and online stores. Ecommerce also cuts costs by doing away with physical stores and allowing business owners to outsource their storage and warehousing needs.

Speaking of outsourcing, if you have an ecommerce business, you can hire third-party fulfillment services. What does that mean?

To run a business successfully, you need to deliver products to customers. That is where order fulfillment comes in. Without this element, your venture may fail to pick up speed, despite having a fantastic website, exceptional funneling strategies, and unique products.

That said, shipping and fulfillment can cost you a fortune, especially if you do it yourself. Expert opinion says businesses spend around 15-20% of their net sales on these aspects alone. But you can avoid such expenses by letting third-party logistics (3PL) companies tackle all your ecommerce fulfillment needs.

Why use ecommerce fulfillment?

You should incorporate ecommerce fulfillment in your operations because it can help you:

  • Narrow your focus: Ecommerce fulfillment enables you to leave aspects like order shipping and delivery to the experts. That, in turn, lets you focus on impactful issues like developing better marketing strategies.
  • Free up your space: Fulfillment service providers have their warehouses. So, when you work with them, your business won't have to worry about setting up or renting storage facilities.
  • Extend your reach: On the one hand, an ecommerce business allows you to connect with prospects from anywhere on the globe. Conversely, partnering with the best fulfillment companies is key to ensuring your products can reach these people.
  • Work with the experts: Companies like Shopify and Amazon are experts in order shipping and fulfillment. You can leverage expertise and resources to fuel your business's success when working with them.

E-Commerce Fulfillment Companies

There are thousands of fulfillment companies in the world. However, no two are equal. Some are legit, reliable service providers, while others fall short of the mark.

With the above in mind, you can ensure the fulfillment center you pick is a good fit for your business by using the following to influence your choice:

The proximity of a fulfillment company's warehouses to customers.

  • A fulfillment company's delivery speeds
  • Service provider's degree of transparency
  • Available packaging options.
  • Online reviews and customer feedback

Now let's check out service providers that are worth your consideration. We have compiled a list of the best fulfillment companies and categorized them depending on their suitability for dropshipping, small businesses, and startups.

Best fulfillment companies for dropshipping

The best dropshipping companies today include:

  • Importify: Importify allows ecommerce businesses to import products from wholesalers like Alibaba and Walmart and automate daily tasks.
  • Worldwide Brands: Worldwide Brands is an excellent dropshipping platform for online retailers who want direct access to wholesalers in every significant category, including jewelry, clothing accessories, toys, and furniture.

Best fulfillment companies for small businesses

If you run a small ecommerce enterprise or a startup and need a fulfillment company that can cater to your needs, check out the following:

E-Commerce Fulfillment Job Description

Reputable ecommerce fulfillment companies work with specialists who enable them to be exceptional in sustainable packaging and delivery.

Order fulfillment specialists have numerous roles and responsibilities, including:

  • Receiving customer orders
  • Ensuring orders are fulfilled promptly
  • Assembling new sample kits
  • Organizing sample materials in warehouses
  • Processing client transactions and quotations
  • Managing vendor samples through actions like keeping key stakeholders tabbed and preparing documents
  • Helping marketing and sales team handle special requests like expedited orders
  • Maintaining an organized and safe warehouse environment
  • Tracking orders using delivery software and alerting supervisors when potential issues arise
  • Processing returns, providing online customer service, and answering clients' phone calls

Most fulfillment companies hire specialists with the following qualifications:

  • A GED certificate or high school diploma
  • Good computer skills
  • Experience handling fulfillment software
  • Experience in shipping, fulfillment, inventory management, and office support

Additionally, many employers prefer order fulfillment specialists with particular skills. The first is excellent organizational and prioritization skills. These are indispensable because people in this occupation often juggle multiple tasks and are tasked with organizing warehouse floors. Others include:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Technological savviness
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Ecommerce Fulfillment Jobs

The most common ecommerce fulfillment jobs found on platforms like ZipRecruiter and DHL include:

  1. Fulfillment specialist jobs

A fulfillment specialist has several vital roles, including receiving order information, locating a specific product in the warehouse, and shipping to customers. To get this job, you must meet basic requirements like keenness for detail and be computer proficient.

The average salary for a fulfillment specialist in the US is $36,939.

  1. Fulfillment manager jobs

A fulfillment manager supervises all order processing activities in a company. For instance, they check packages to ensure they have the correct shipping addresses and oversee the execution of customers' orders.

The average salary for a fulfillment manager employed full-time is $73,587.

  1. fulfillment associate jobs

Fulfillment associates are often charged with organizing, stocking, and retrieving merchandise in a warehouse environment. They also offload delivery trucks and operate machines like forklifts and pallet jacks.

A fulfillment associate's average salary is $36,212.

  1. Order fulfillment assistant jobs

An order fulfillment assistant job requires you to facilitate the order fulfillment process by handling tasks like order processing and delivery. People in this position also communicate with customers awaiting fulfillment and address their needs or concerns.

Shopify Fulfillment

The Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN) is a solution tailored for ecommerce business owners who need help with inventory storage and order fulfillment. When a store owner receives an order, SFN picks it, handles packaging, and ships it to the specified customer address.

Many entrepreneurs rely on SFN because it delivers within two days in the US, has predictable pricing, and builds customer trust through a simplified return process.

How to set up Shopify fulfillment

To set up Shopify order fulfillment, first, choose a method that suits your needs and preferences. Shopify gives you three options. You ship products by yourself, work with a 3PL or rely on a combination of said strategies.

Once you've picked a suitable method, the next step is choosing manual or automatic fulfillment. The former is ideal for businesses that make-to-order. On the other hand, automated fulfillment is fitting for ecommerce stores that want to use third-party shipping services for all their products.

How to monitor Shopify fulfillment status

Store owners can monitor fulfillment status by:

  1. Going to ‘Orders' on your Shopify admin
  2. Clicking ‘Filter' on an order view
  3. Clicking ‘fulfillment Status'

For more on Shopify fulfillment, visit Shopify's official page.

E-Commerce Fulfillment Center

Below is a list of the best fulfillment centers worldwide.

  1. ShipBob

ShipBob is among a handful of companies that have attained virtual unicorn status. Most business owners prefer this platform because it's easy to integrate with their stores, allows automated order fulfillment, and supports same-day shipping.

  1. Amazon FBA

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is yet another popular service provider. This solution is a favorite for many ecommerce entrepreneurs because it's low-cost, especially for lightweight inventory. Plus, it offers incredible discounts to repeat customers.

  1. ShipMonk

ShipMonk is a service provider known for reliable support, scalability, and warehouse automation. This software makes fulfillment and shipping relatively stress-free by integrating with your sales channels using industry-leading tech. Plus, it assigns a happiness engineer to each ShipMonk customer.

  1. Bezos.ai

Bezos.ai is committed to helping businesses scale across borders with less hassle. It takes pride in its ability to address customer needs and transparent pricing. Bezos.ai is also easy to integrate, meaning you can connect it to various marketplaces and sales platforms.

  1. FedEx Fulfillment

FedEx Fulfillment is a configuration service provider that enables businesses to respond quickly to market changes through scalable solutions. Plus, it allows store owners to configure and design options that fit their needs and preferences.

Ecommerce Fulfillment Models

The most common customer fulfillment models are in-house fulfillment, third-party logistics (3PL), and dropshipping.

  • In-House Fulfillment

As the name suggests, in-house fulfillment refers to a scenario where your team processes, picks, packs, and ships customer orders under your roof. Simply put, as a business, if you pick in-house fulfillment, your workers will be responsible for handling everything concerning order fulfillment.

Businesses that rely on in-house fulfillment face challenges with growing order volumes.

  • Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

3PL is an ideal model for ecommerce businesses that prefer outsourcing fulfillment services from seasoned pros. You should consider it if you want to free up more resources and direct them toward business growth.

The only issue with this alternative is it involves giving up a lot of control, especially where packaging and product distribution are concerned.

  • Dropshipping

Dropshipping caters to ecommerce enterprises that don't want to stock products. When you work with a dropshipper, the service provider facilitates the delivery of products from the manufacturer or wholesaler to the customer.

Business owners that want to reduce management overhead by ceasing to keep physical inventory can benefit immensely from dropshipping. The same applies to enterprises that prefer to let another party handle shipment tracking.