Dropshipping seems like a great option on the surface. Dropshipping is a great business model for building an online store. But, before you start to build one, make sure you look at the strengths.
It’s easy to get started.
Dropshipping has a strong strength: low barriers to entry. We’re sure you wouldn’t be where you are if it weren’t for the low barrier to entry. Dropshipping allows you to spend all your time building relationships and creating great websites . You will likely spend the most on your ecommerce software and website design.
You will need to spend more money to buy raw materials or products in bulk. This is in addition to the costs of your eCommerce software, and your website. Dropshipping is a great way to start an online shop.
There is less supply chain headaches:
To run a successful retail business, retailers must wear many hats. Dropshipping makes it easy to eliminate time-consuming and costly tasks such as stocking, managing inventory, renting storage space, packaging orders, and shipping them.
It’s easier to grow:
Dropshipping allows you to scale up or start small for many reasons. Dropshipping doesn’t require you to invest huge sums in your store in order to make it more successful. You don’t need to spend more money to purchase more products if you are selling well. It won’t be necessary to create additional infrastructure for inventory management or order management.
Customers need to get the appropriate purchase at the right time, or you’ll get bad reviews, refund requests, and potential sales losses. Fulfilment is a crucial aspect of the ecommerce business. We’ve all heard that it’s less expensive to keep an existing client than to get a new one, and Fulfilment is one of your best tools for retaining customers and getting them to buy from you again.
It isn’t easy to get Fulfilment properly, especially for new ecommerce companies, startups, and those expanding beyond their first warehouse location. It’s time to consider outsourcing when getting orders out the door becomes a challenge that compromises customer service.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 ecommerce fulfilment and third-party logistics (3PL) providers that can help you protect your products, increase income, and keep consumers happy.
Dropshipping Suppliers vs Fulfillment Services
Fulfilment Services: You make and transport your products in bulk to a fulfilment centre; after you receive orders, the product from your inventory in this centre is chosen, wrapped, and shipped to your consumers on your behalf. Order fulfilment firms are not your product’s manufacturer or supplier.
Dropshippers: You sell things that you don’t make; when a consumer places an order, the dropshipper selects the products from your manufacturer, packs them, and ships them to your customer. The supplier/manufacturer is usually also the dropshipper.
Which One Should You Use?
eCommerce Fulfillment Services: Retailers/eCom Business Owners that have their items have the resources to invest in a significant upfront inventory buy (it will cost you to ship your products to a fulfilment centre) and wish to cut costs.
Dropshippers are retailers who don’t wish to maintain their products in stock and instead sell various niche products. Now that the differences are apparent let’s look at the best eCommerce fulfilment companies.
eFulfillment Service (EFS)
As ecommerce businesses grow, they should consider smaller service providers, such as eFulfillment Services (EFS).
EFS is known for keeping its promises and cost structure plain and straightforward.
- Because it has no minimum order requirement or fees associated with long-term storage, EFS is a great fulfilment candidate for new e-commerce enterprises.
- The software is simple and accessible, but it’s also trustworthy enough to comprehend your business at a look.
- Its pricing is generally reasonable, and you have favourable terms for your company. It also provides Fulfillment By Amazon prep work to assist you in selling Prime items.
- EFS has free options if you don’t want to pay money on website connections like a shopping cart. Customers say it’s easy to set up the shopping cart integration, and EFS has a helpful in-house IT team that receives excellent reviews for customer care. Partners like EFS can help you sustain momentum and scale when you’re in the early stages of business.
The disadvantage of EFS and related products is that they cater to smaller ecommerce businesses. As a result, you may find that you outgrow its capabilities or require more features to expand. EFS, for example, does not support bespoke packaging and has limited reporting capabilities. While it can handle more significant quantities and businesses, you will not be its primary emphasis and may not have access to solutions tailored to your needs.
Rakuten Super Logistics
Rakuten Super Logistics is a suitable partner for mid-sized and developing eCommerce shops because they work with clients who ship 1,000 orders per month. Their concentration is frequently on enterprise brands, making their service intriguing if you have a large store or your partners and clients are mainly in the B2B and enterprise market.
Rakuten Super Logistics stands out in our list because, in addition to shipping, it provides marketing services to its customers. It works well with a wide range of shops and marketplaces, allowing for personalized adverts in those places when they’re available.
Rakuten Super Logistics is compatible with most ecommerce systems, including Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and others.
Having various warehouse locations allows you to reach your consumers more quickly.
Rakuten Super Logistics has a dozen fulfilment and logistics warehouses, allowing them to provide two-day ground shipment coverage to 98 per cent of the continental United States. It guarantees a 100 per cent order turnaround the following business day. Advanced fulfilment options, such as climate control storage for delicate products like electronics and musical equipment, are now available.
Some of the service’s drawbacks include a shortage of fulfilment centres in other countries – typical of freight-focused 3PLS – and some missing capabilities, such as bespoke packaging. The Rakuten Americas marketplace unexpectedly shuttered in September 2020, and it’s unclear whether this would have a broader impact on its product. Some customers have complained about having issues receiving support and having trouble with more complicated integrations.
Red Stag Fulfillment
Even if they can handle a wide range of items, many third-party logistics companies specialize in specific areas and product types. One such company is Red Stag Fulfillment, which specializes in shipping large and heavy products like furniture, and it frequently receives prizes for excellence in these areas.
Working in this sector allows Carrier to offer special discounts on huge, heavy, and high-value items. Its staff also advises customers on how to cut transportation expenses by adjusting for dimensional weight.
3PLs should provide you with detailed guarantees and explain how they work.
Red Stag has two warehouses that can deliver to 97 per cent of the United States in two days, and the company plans to expand its speedier delivery options in the coming months. The company provides shipping and order completion assurances to back up its delivery time. It also offers an accuracy guarantee, with compensation for your business if an order is sent out wrong.
When compared to in-house operations, video surveillance and product scanning techniques significantly reduce shrinkage.
On the other hand, Red Stag Fulfilment is not the most excellent option for businesses with little or light-weight products. If you have low sales quantities, it may be a more expensive option. While it works with some platforms, such as Shopify, it does not work with all retailers, such as Walmart.
Because it is well-known and provides a wide range of products and services, ShipBob is a top ecommerce fulfilment provider. Users praise its customer service and frequently comment that its rates are lower than many other ecommerce logistics providers. It’s a good option for companies that do a lot of business with individual customers. Still, it might not be the most excellent solution for B2B ecommerce brands or those who make a lot of Amazon sales through the Fulfilled by Amazon programme.
The typical shipment for ShipBob is modest and weighs up to 20 pounds, but the 3PL claims it can handle more important things if necessary. You can provide it with custom packaging for your products, or it will ship them with free packing supplies like plain boxes, tape, and inserts.
Although there aren’t many procedures in ecommerce fulfilment, each one must be completed correctly.
Within its system, the service offers several integration options as well as real-time inventory and order tracking. You can also review orders across numerous channels using a single dashboard. It’s one of the more economical solutions, and it’ll almost certainly work with the platform you’re using to run your business.
ShipBob has a limited set of advanced product support, such as not providing refrigeration services, which may cause you to explore elsewhere. It also focuses on sending to end-consumers at home, so you might not have all of the delivery tools you need for advanced B2B delivery.
ShipMonk has three warehouse sites to assist clients to get their products faster, and it’s a rising ecommerce logistics partner in a variety of industries. The most critical area appears to be its subscription box fulfilment services, which start at around $2 per box and can be reduced if you start filling thousands of orders every month.
- ShipMonk provides consultancy services, as well as assistance in developing a subscription product and, once you’re ready, complete assembly and shipment. Because they’re focused on startups, their team will do a lot of the legwork for you and let you choose what’s ideal for your customers and budget.
Specialization enables 3PLs to provide the most excellent service to specialized consumers, keeping everyone pleased.
- Customers praise its integration capabilities for most major platforms, albeit it does not support some website-building platforms like Wix. Across call, email, and chat channels, the service’s customer care and support teams are consistently scored highly, particularly on the IT side of things.
- At lower order volumes, their prices are a little more than others for typical ecommerce fulfilment—however, technologies like their retail-specific fulfilment solution help balance this out.
- It may be a niche player, but that can benefit startups and small businesses. You can avoid many of the headaches that come with crowdsourced items by supporting things like completing Kickstart initiatives or Groupon offers.
The Fulfilled By Amazon program allows you to sell items on Amazon and other platforms while simultaneously benefiting from Amazon Prime shipping rates and savings. Adopting FBA will provide you with some safeguards and move features like customer support to Amazon. To preserve the FBA service, you’ll need to maintain high levels of quality and user reviews.
FBA is popular with customers since it allows them to apply their Prime membership advantages to your products. You might enjoy it since Amazon can support a wider choice of products and generally follows through on its shipping commitments. While it has one of the more convoluted pricing schemes among the 3PL providers we’re looking at, it can benefit high-volume inventories or high-margin commodities.
On other platforms, such as your own Shopify store, you can utilize FBA to manage your inventory and fulfil orders. There is still some integration to be done. You might run into some limitations, such as how you set your store’s currency limiting Shopify’s built-in Fulfillment by Amazon integration. Other interfaces appear incomplete, so you’ll have to check things manually or do activities manually, such as cancelling FBA order fulfilment on Amazon’s site when a non-Amazon order is cancelled.
Many physical retailers use FBA as a backup for their physical retail.
Your fulfilment partner should make the cost of their service simple to comprehend.
The main disadvantages of FBA are related to inventory management. FBA service from Amazon necessitates extensive and detailed preparation. Depending on your team’s warehouse and packaging skills, you might find it more cost-effective to have another company execute this work for you, which is why companies like EFS offer FBA prep services. Amazon’s charge structure also changes frequently, making it difficult for some to budget. Finally, losing access to your Amazon seller account due to negative product ratings or other concerns might lock you out of the programme, making it difficult to resell your inventory.
Ruby, a Fortune5000 company, has a stellar track record, with over 99 per cent on-time shipment, 400+ clients, and fulfilment hubs in six different locations. They just announced the opening of a 374,000-square-foot built-to-suit fulfilment center in Las Vegas, with automation and climate control technologies perfect for health and beauty businesses and other climate-sensitive verticals.
- Same-day Fulfilment and shipping are available – they take pride in their ability to ship orders received before 2 p.m. the same day from any of their US fulfilment centres.
- Subscription boxes are supported, and most ecommerce systems and marketplaces have substantial integration.
- Return Management: They can handle returns quickly and efficiently while providing excellent customer service, relieving retailers of a load of dealing with complicated return orders.
Customers may find RubyHas pricing a little too confusing, as there have been concerns regarding hidden fees when working with RubyHas. As a growing business, they just purchased EasyPost, a separate ecommerce fulfilment service.
Because their inventory and fulfilment systems aren’t perfect, there have been reports of order handling failures from RubyHas.
Fulfillment Bridge, based in Hong Kong, promises to service consumers all around the world. As a relatively new (just three years!) ecommerce fulfilment company, they take pride in their solutions.
- Fulfillment Bridge has a developing network of warehouses and distribution hubs that spans four continents and fourteen countries, including Hong Kong, the United States, France, Italy, Australia, and China.
- Most ecommerce platforms, including Shopify and Prestashop, are supported by a simple and easy-to-use administrative dashboard.
- With advanced order and inventory management software, we offer low-cost warehousing and delivery.
- Pricing schemes and options are spelled forth.
Fulfilment Bridge is not the ideal alternative for large enterprises with many orders to process because it is a young firm. Because their customer service hasn’t been fine-tuned, there have been complaints concerning the slowness they respond to.
Fulfilment, known for being one of the most excellent dropshipping firms, also offers fulfilment services. As an Amazon FBA partner, Fulfillment can handle your inventory in all capacities and satisfy all standards 100% of the time. Services include sourcing, inspection, preparation and packaging, and storage. They also offer photographic and branding services.
Despite having a limited number of integration choices (Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and eBay), Fulfilment has been hailed as one of the best Amazon FBA fulfilment services.
Xpert Fulfillment, a US-based order fulfilment firm that caters to startups and Fortune500 organizations was founded in 2008 and takes pride in its experience in fulfilment services and exceptional customer care.
Founded in 2008, Xpert Fulfillment is proud of its founders’ combined experience of over forty years in the eCommerce fulfilment industry and its partnerships with European Union-based providers to expand its international services and cater to both startups and Fortune 500 companies around the world.
- Pricing and quotation transparency.
- There are no order minimums.
- Low fulfilment costs, as well as reduced shipping rates and surcharges
- Real-time inventory information and automatic notifications when orders are shipped or received. Cloud-based services that are dependable
- Ecommerce integration that is up to pace, including but not limited to Amazon, Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce
Going with Xpert Fulfillment makes sense if you have a constant order volume over time and are confident that your margins will meet the costs. If you’re a tiny retailer with a moderate growth expectation, though, adopting the Xpert Fulfillment service may not make economic sense.
Knowing when outsourcing is a good idea for your company
There is no magic question to ask that will tell you absolutely whether outsourcing to one of these partners is the appropriate decision for your business. Outsourcing a vital part of a business, such as Fulfilment, necessitates a thorough examination of your capabilities, warehouse space, and inventory-shifting expenses.
When you outsource, you lose control over how your products are stored, handled, and distributed to clients. Improved order accuracy rates, cheaper order costs per order, and less risk to persons and products are all standard benefits.
When your facility and fulfilment costs start to spiral out of control, or you’re forced to spend a lot of overtime to avoid delays, it’s time to start looking for a partner.
Because 3PLs have the people, policies, and software to speed up the pick, pack, and ship process, companies tend to achieve faster shipping speeds when they first outsource. You have access to specialists without having to seek them out and hire them.
Examine your company’s requirements. Examine what you can accomplish and where you’re having trouble keeping up with demand or customer satisfaction.
Inquire about how these partners can assist you. You should receive clear responses that are specific to your company, products, and customers.
During the RFP stage, look for a partner who serves you well, is transparent about price, and gains your confidence. It’s the most effective technique to assure that you have a partner who will stick by you in difficult times and fulfil their promises about order speed, accuracy, and other factors.