Offloading all of the website’s logistics and shipping onto a 3PL company altogether might sound intimidating. After all, you are handing over the most important aspect of an e-commerce business to someone about whom you have never heard.
Order fulfillment is not something everyone can manage seamlessly; many e-commerce retailers will second this statement. If you are running an online store there is chance that
- You pack and ship your orders yourself.
- You have a website with the product catalog, warehousing and shipping are handled by another company (Dropshipper) altogether. (Dropshipping)
- Your shipping and handling are done by a third party company.
There is no harm is managing the logistics all by yourself. In fact, you do not have to depend on anyone for your customer satisfaction quotient. Your company’s reputation and goodwill lie completely in your hands.
Does this mean you should always choose to ship on your own rather than trusting a 3rd party for the same? Absolutely not. With time, as your order processing increases, you need more capacity to handle your shipping. To put it into Uncle Ben’s perspective, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”
This is where the order fulfillment companies come into the picture. Unless you have a dedicated workforce for Shipping and handling, it is recommended that you try one of these 3PL (3rd Party Logistics) companies.
Let’s look at some of the most distinguished order fulfillment service providers
Shipstation can be easily integrated with the likes of Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce. Whether you are a small business owner or you have a large order processing requirement, Shipstation has robust solutions for almost every e-commerce platform out there.
They also provide an option to make customized packing slips and branded labels. Shipstation has live chat, phone supportn and e-mail support for any queries. The price ranges between $9 to $145.
The price ranges between $9 to $145.
This is an award winning fulfillment company. Red Stag is one of the most reliable fulfillment companies out there. They promise and deliver speed and accuracy. Do not worry about your customers getting furious over delivery, Red Stag handles logistics with precision. They will pick your order, pack it and ship it out. They also handle returns exceptionally well.
Red Stag says they pay you $50 if they don’t do what they said they would. Their pricing model is designed around individual needs. There is no long term commitment with RSF, no setup fees, no account management fees, no SKU management fees and no hidden fees. They provide a 30-day risk-free trial.
If you are a small business owner, Shipbob is the ultimate answer to all your order fulfillment questions as it has close to no startup costs. They also provide expedite and overnight shipping (to some locations) from their strategically located warehouses in Chicago, Los Angeles and Brooklyn.
You can also choose custom packaging to showcase your brand name. Their pricing is also designed around individual needs. However, their model is quite cost-effective compared to others.
Rakuten has developed their customer software, SmartfillTM, that works seamlessly with all the e-commerce platforms. Their system integrates with your shopping cart which sends notification to them as soon as a customer places an order on your website. Once they get this notification, they will pick, pack and ship your order to the concerned location.
According to them, if you take complete advantage of their fulfillment centers, 98% of US can be reached within 1-2 business days.
Do not judge a company solely based upon their pricing model. When you are shipping products to your customer, it becomes the most sensitive aspect of your business. If delivery goes wrong, your company’s goodwill comes crashing down. Look for quality. Choose a company that has an excellent track record and ensures the trust and loyalty that you have built for the customers outlives your business.