eCommerce fulfillment is one of those processes that looks simple at first for most online merchants - until they actually have to do it! Indeed, fulfillment does tend to take up a lot of time and energy, sapping your resources for other business components such as marketing, research, sales and the like.
The solution? In order to avoid such issues, the best option is to outsource your eCommerce fulfillment needs to a professional order fulfillment service. This way, you can concentrate on other aspects of making your online business a success.
But what exactly is eCommerce fulfillment? How does it work? Here are the answers to those questions, plus a detailed look at 10 order fulfillment companies to consider!
What is eCommerce Order Fulfillment?
eCommerce fulfillment is the process of storing products, packing orders and shipping goods to customers. Essentially, it involves everything that occurs behind the scenes from the time a customer places an order until they receive it.
Order fulfillment usually starts with accepting orders from customers and progresses with sorting your stock, picking out the items, packing them, labeling them and finally shipping them to the customer. This process does not end until the order fulfillment center being used has successfully delivered the ordered items to the recipient.
How Does eCommerce Order Fulfillment Work?
When using order fulfillment services, the eCommerce fulfillment process is typically as follows:
- Inventory is delivered to the fulfillment company
- The fulfillment company receives, sorts, and stores the stock
- Customers place their orders
- The customers’ orders are routed to the order fulfillment companies being used
- The orders are picked from the inventory, packed, properly labeled and shipped to your customers
Most times, the company handling your order fulfillment needs will also process any customer returns that come up. Other times, extra charges may be imposed for handling returns, depending on the prevailing agreement between you and the fulfillment company.
10 eCommerce Order Fulfillment Services to Know
Many order fulfillment companies are available to assist eCommerce businesses with all of their fulfillment needs. 10 order fulfillment services that can potentially help your own company include:
1. Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)
With this fulfillment service, retailers are able to sell their products easily on Amazon, which handles all of the picking, packing and shipping services after orders for your products have been placed. All that’s required of online merchants, besides paying the service fees, is that their stock is currently in an Amazon warehouse.
In addition, Fulfillment by Amazon also sees the eCommerce giant handle all storage, returns and customer service on behalf of participating merchants.
Compare FBA and Seller Fulfilled Prime, another fulfillment service offered by Amazon, here!
Unique Features of Fulfillment by Amazon:
- Ideal for multi-channel sales
- Discounted shipping rates available
- Reliable returns policy handled by Amazon
- Vast warehouse network around the world
- Amazon handles all aspects of fulfillment
2. FedEx Fulfillment
FedEx Fulfillment offers extensive warehousing, packaging, fulfillment and logistics services for clients. Launched in 2017, this service is available mostly for small and medium-sized businesses.
Unique Features of FedEx Fulfillment:
- Multi-platform integration
- Global customer reach
- Customized services
- Reverse logistics services available
- Excellent tracking system
- Supply chain consulting available
As a modern order fulfillment company, Whiplash takes it upon itself to manage the day-to-day inventory and fulfillment needs of your SMB. It also provides integration and technical support to make your life a lot easier!
The downside to this service is that the support hours are relatively short and might not suit high-volume retailers, but for startups and smaller companies, Whiplash can absolutely be a cost-effective and reliable order fulfillment service.
Unique Features of Whiplash:
- Charges are clearly laid out
- Specialized services
- Scalable operations
- Caters to various sizes of businesses
- Connected system
- Automated process
4. Shopify Fulfillment Network
Offering two-day shipping to 99 percent of the U.S., the Shopify Fulfillment Network was announced on June 19 and is available for merchants who ship between 10 and 10,000 packages daily.
Unique Features of Shopify Fulfillment Network:
- Great option for qualifying Shopify clients using Easyship
- Affordable pricing options
- Quick shipping to multiple U.S. destinations
- Early access for U.S. customers
- Smart inventory-allocation technology
With fulfillment centers in Europe and the U.S., Printful is among the leading order fulfillment companies, especially when it comes to dropshipping. A solid choice for startups and SMBs, Printful fulfills in partnership with many leading eCommerce platforms, including Amazon.
Unique Features of Printful:
- Competitive storage charges
- Allows multi-channels selling
- Quickly ships your branded products on demand
- No minimums
- Free signup
- No monthly fees
- Automated order imports
- eCommerce integration and partnerships with top eCommerce platforms
- Custom branding options
6. Symphony Commerce
Symphony Commerce is an order fulfillment company that pitches itself as a Commerce as a Service solution for companies in need of eCommerce fulfillment. Natively built so brands can manage their customer life cycle in its entirety, Symphony Commerce aims to simplify eCommerce by offering a broad range of services in addition to fulfillment.
Unique Features of Symphony Commerce:
- Reliable customer service
- Flexible pricing
- Ready-to-go eCommerce platform
- Affordable delivery services
- High-impact online stores
- Unified eCommerce structure
- End-to-end fulfillment capabilities
For all sorts of businesses seeking for effective order fulfillment streamlining, Fulfillrite handles delivery of a variety of all sorts of products, including technology items, consumer goods, electronics, apparel, mobile devices, cosmetics and more.
With its order fulfillment center strategically located close to major airports and seaports in New Jersey, Fulfillrite offers top-notch eCommerce fulfillment services.
Unique Features of Fulfillrite:
- Integration with Easyship
- Unlimited customization of packages
- Custom pricing options
- Fully integrated eCommerce platform
- Excellent compatibility with all major eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento and Amazon
- Discounted shipping rates
- Dedicated service manager
Established in 2001, eFulfillmentService is a veteran order fulfillment service that offers customers fast eCommerce fulfillment. Its end-to-end fulfillment services caters to various sizes and types of businesses globally.
Unique Features of eFulfillmentService:
- Flexible pricing options
- Discounted shipping rates
- Multiple shipping options
- International order fulfillment
- Return handling services
- Insurance coverage for standard ground, expedited and overnight shipments
- Tracking codes available
- Extensive experience in eCommerce fulfillment
9. Xpert Fulfillment
Founded in 2008, Xpert Fulfillment is a U.S.-based order fulfillment company that offers reliable service on a global scale. With its cloud-based inventory and order management system, this order fulfillment service helps customers maintain real-time access and communication while their goods are in transit and until delivery.
Unique Features of Xpert Fulfillment:
- Transparent pricing
- Centrally-located distribution center in Michigan
- Efficient automated tracking and communication system
- No minimum order requirements
- Affordable fulfillment costs
- Reliable cloud-based services
- Discounted shipping rates
10. Fulfilled by Sears
Also known as FBS, this fulfillment service is offered by iconic department store chain Sears.
Their third-party order fulfillment services are offered mainly to those growing businesses that need to effectively streamline their fulfillment needs without negatively impacting on their profit margins.
Unique Features of Fulfilled by Sears:
- Decades of experience and expertise
- Effective management of seasonal peaks
- Global shipment
- Proper inventory control
- Excellent integration with other providers of eCommerce solutions
- Affordable shipping rates
- Services available to sellers on other online marketplaces
- Great for different types and sizes of businesses
eCommerce Fulfillment: Choose the Best Order Fulfillment Service for Your Company
When you partner with the right order fulfillment companies, your online business can focus on growth rather than get bogged down with constantly fulfilling orders.
Easyship partners with many warehouses all around the world to help your company with both B2B and B2C fulfillment and shipping. Sign up for free today to streamline your shipping process to your clients throughout the world!