March 1, 2022

Tips to Help You Choose the Best Shopify Fulfillment Services in 2022

Kelsey Huber

A profitable online eCommerce business requires more than just a well-designed Shopify eCommerce website. You’ll also need a leading Shopify fulfillment service provider to ensure that your orders arrive on schedule and in perfect condition.

Running a Shopify store isn’t always easy. Suppose you choose to run the business without the help of integrations like fulfillment services. In that case, you will be responsible for storing, processing, and shipping goods to your customers, which can be incredibly costly and time-consuming.

The truth is that order fulfillment is essentially the critical link in the supply chain connecting eCommerce businesses with customers. It can make or break your business.

Fulfyld is a leading Shopify fulfillment services provider that offers low shipping costs that decrease if your order volume increases.

If you want to see consistent business growth through efficient order processing and delivery, give us a call for a free, no-obligation quote!

Because every business is unique with its own special needs, finding the right fulfillment center can be difficult, which is why we have come up with some tips to help you make the right choice.What Is a Fulfillment Service? 

Before we begin discussing how to choose the right fulfillment service for your business, it may be helpful to first understand precisely what fulfillment services are.

A fulfillment service involves processing and distributing orders on the business owner’s behalf. The cost of packaging and shipping goods, as well as updating product inventory, are all fulfillment services that you can expect to receive from a fulfillment services provider like Fulfyld.

This final stage of the supply chain occurs at a third-party warehouse, so business owners need not set up storage facilities and deal with inventory management independently.

 

Fulfillment Could Make or Break Your Business  

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to find out how to fulfill orders precisely and swiftly so they may be dispatched as soon as they’re placed. Customers can simply find what they need elsewhere if an online company cannot ship orders on time.

When it comes to fulfillment, there is a lot to consider. The process begins with Shopify stock storage and management, followed by selecting and packing products correctly and then dispatching Shopify orders for delivery.

If you plan to fulfill orders on your own, you’ll need to calculate the costs of packing, technology, shipment, and other expenses associated with logistics. While this approach may be feasible for a small business, it can become complicated, time-consuming, and expensive for medium to large-scale operations.


Top 3 Fulfillment Options For Shopify Store Owners 

The truth is that Shopify business owners have three options when it comes to order fulfillment. They are dropshipping in-house fulfillment and third-party Shopify fulfillment services. In the section below, we discuss these in a little more detail.

  1. Dropshipping

    While dropshipping may be the least hands-on approach, it also provides you with the least control over the process. If you choose dropshipping, the supplier or manufacturer will essentially be in control of the overall order delivery procedure.

    Although dropshipping has advantages and disadvantages, it has a considerably longer delivery time and often raises quality control concerns because your buyer is the first to view the manufactured product. If there are product defects, it could earn you poor online reviews and deter potential customers who may be interested in using your online store.

  2. In-house Order Fulfillment

    You can fulfill orders privately if you’ve just started your online business or simply don’t have the funds to engage a team and lease a storage facility. While this provides you complete control over every stage of the fulfillment process, it can also consume a lot of time and increase logistical costs as your company grows.

    The truth is that it’s not unusual for companies to transition from in-house fulfillment to outsourced fulfillment as they grow. Instead of investing in fulfillment facilities, such as storage facilities, labor, machinery, fulfillment technology, and more, you can use someone else’s facilities for a fee.

    It is important to remember that while in-house fulfillment services are great for small businesses, they can be impractical and expensive for medium to large-scale businesses.

  3. Third-party Shopify Fulfillment Services

    Most fast-growing Shopify businesses connect with a third-party logistics vendor to save time and money while preserving control. Third-party fulfillment is a fulfillment option where business owners outsource this part of the supply chain to a vendor, also known as third-party logistics providers or 3PL.

    When you hire a third party, you rely on that vendor to store your items, assemble, and package shipments, and manage shipping logistics on your behalf. Examples of 3PLs include Fulfyld, Shopify Fulfillment Network, Red Stag Fulfillment, and ShipBob.

    Many fulfillment service providers have a number of fulfillment centers (including foreign fulfillment sites that form a Shopify fulfillment network), cutting-edge technology to streamline and optimize inventory management, and analytics to help you make smarter fulfillment choices for your business.

    The fulfillment company will set up a group of fulfillment centers to improve efficiency.

The Benefits of Choosing a Third-party Shopify Fulfillment Company

If you are wondering whether hiring a 3PL like Fulfyld is really necessary for your Shopify store, you are not alone. This is a choice that every Shopify eCommerce site owner must make. Below, we discuss some of the major benefits you can expect to receive when you choose a fulfillment provider.

  1. You Have More Control

    If you have been running a Shopify store for a while now, you would have noticed that every item will require its own type of packaging. With dropshipping, you will have little control over the type of packaging and the overall user experience. However, when you choose a 3PL like Fulfyld, you have more control over this final stage of the process.

    • Different Packaging for Different Products

      Some things require more attention in terms of packing than others, while others can be safely delivered in simple plastic envelopes.

      Regulated or perishable products must also be packaged according to certain standards to prevent them from becoming contaminated or damaged during transition.

      A 3PL provider will choose the appropriate packaging materials and the appropriate amount of dunnage, which prevents items from moving around too much while being transported.

      Custom packaging is also an option with 3PLs like Fulfyld to offer a unique unboxing experience, which increases the likelihood of a customer using your online store again. Fulfyld also offers environmentally safe packaging materials for businesses with an eco-friendly approach.

  2. Storage Facilities

    Warehouse management requires a significant amount of work and a substantial commitment of time and effort that may be better spent on other elements of your eCommerce business.

    Fulfillment providers often have a several distribution and order fulfillment centers to accomodate ecommerce sellers. They are also experts at maximizing storage space and carefully storing merchandise in a way that speeds up the picking and packing process while still maintaining order and accuracy.

    A warehouse management system, which supervises and analyzes activities throughout the facility, is often used by fulfillment centers to ensure seamless and consistent fulfillment services across the order fulfillment warehouses.

    You won’t have to worry about managing inventory, storing it, training workers to run the warehouse, or spending money on innovative technology if you delegate storage and logistics to a company like Fulfyld.

  3. A Fulfillment Center Will Help You Manage Your Inventory

    Inventory management involves keeping track of inventory data, procuring, and replacing inventory, and gathering customer data to aid in predicting the required stock levels.

    Fulfyld has built-in features that allow you to see real-time inventory levels at every fulfillment center or distribution warehouse. It also allows you to establish reordering requirements ahead of time to avoid running out of stock and gain insight into the performance of different products, including which sold fast and which didn’t sell at all.

  4. Affordable Shipping

    While there’s no doubt that fulfillment services are useful, many business owners wonder whether using a third-party warehouse is affordable. The truth is that as you see business growth, you will also see lower shipping costs, as Fulfyld offers discounts for bulk orders.

    Because 3PL firms like Fulfyld work with several partners, including DHL, FedEx, UPS, and USPS, along with a number of regional shipping carriers and retailers, they may negotiate wholesale international and domestic shipping prices to provide you with more affordable shipping.

    You can offer these savings to your clientele, boosting your chances at higher sales rates, and you’ll be able to provide more delivery options and promotions, such as free deliveries. Fulfillment services that offer these rates coupled with dedicated account management are rare, so be sure to find a partner that can offer both.

When You Should Outsource Your Fulfillment Operations

Most businesses begin by fulfilling their own orders, and as they grow, they may opt to use a third-party service. The difficulty is that knowing when and how to make the changeover can be tricky, especially if you’re running a small firm on your own.

It turns out that storage and fulfillment services may help companies of all sizes, so whether you have a small, medium, or large business, third-party fulfillment services can be a game changer. There are several third-party service providers to pick from, some of which focus on larger or smaller enterprises. Here are a few pointers to help you determine the best time to use third-party services. 

You Have No Time to Focus on Other Aspects of Your Business

If you’re so preoccupied with order fulfillment that your business has become stagnant, it’s time to outsource your fulfillment tasks. The reality is that if you want to be in business for the long haul, you’ll need time to invest in things like marketing your business and landing sales. 

If You Are Outgrowing Your Infrastructure

When a company expands fairly quickly, its infrastructure may become obsolete before it has had a chance to adjust. Shipping to places around the country or the world presents logistical issues that increase costs and delivery time. This could hinder large-scale expansion.

Outsourcing to an international fulfillment partner will enable a business to better service a growing clientele base by leveraging multiple places and streamlining fulfillment processes. 

Changing Logistical Needs

If the quantity of orders you receive varies all year fluctuates, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to afford to maintain and staff your own storage facility. A fulfillment service company in the US will adjust to your requirements as they change throughout the year and can typically accomodate global shipping.

Similarly, while beneficial to your revenue, unanticipated sales spikes can jeopardize your delivery commitment. When your everyday order volume spikes, a professional fulfillment service provider can handle it so you can provide an effective and reliable experience to your customers every time.
 

What to Look for in a Fulfillment Service Provider

Now that you understand what fulfillment services are and the benefits of such services for a Shopify store, you may be wondering how to choose the right service provider for your business.

Because every business is unique when it comes to fulfillment service needs, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. However, by asking yourself the questions listed below, you can narrow down your options and find a network of fulfillment centers that caters to your needs.

Does the Fulfillment Service Provider Have Experience in Your Niche?

Another important consideration is the supported integrations. The fulfillment service provider you choose must support your preferred integration to ensure smooth sailing.

Although most 3PLs have integrations with popular online platforms like eBay, Shopify, and WooCommerce, it doesn’t guarantee their technologies will be optimized for your business. From product pages and shopping carts to your delivery confirmation emails, ensure that the software a service provider uses is compatible with your framework from start to finish.

Finding a 3PL company that has experience providing fulfillment services to businesses similar to your own increases the likelihood of a seamless transition to outsourced shipping and fulfillment.

A provider with a client base of firms in similar industries, sectors, and capacities is more likely to handle your fulfillment service requirements without overcharging or making logistical blunders.

If you sell regulated or perishable products, for example, you’ll need a fulfillment service provider with a proven track record of on-time deliveries and rigorous temperature control. Find a company specializing in the industry or niche you are in and has received a lot of positive feedback from clients.

What Data Management and Analytics Software Does the Fulfillment Company Use?

According to a study, excellent technology capabilities are a crucial characteristic in a fulfillment service provider for 93 percent of eCommerce organizations. Working with a third-party logistics provider allows you to take advantage of statistical insights for your Shopify store.

Fulfillment service providers like Fulfyld are at the cutting edge of shipping and fulfillment technology and the real-time collection of data, allowing them to improve customer service while lowering logistical and operational risks.

Go for a fulfillment service provider  or 3PL company that offers more than simply delivering orders. Inquire about how the fulfillment company is investing in software, extending its integrations, and assisting business owners in using data and analytics to solve challenges their businesses may face.

Do You Understand the Associated Costs?

The fulfillment service provider you choose should be upfront about the pricing structure you can expect. As a business owner, it is important to plan ahead. Knowing what to expect can be the difference between a smooth shipping and fulfillment process and a problematic one.

Some third-party fulfillment service companies charge by the pallet, order, SKU, or unit, while others may choose to bill you by the hour. A fulfillment service provider may also itemize fees, such as storage and setup fees and shipment expenses.

Whatever the case may be, the pricing structure should be clear and easily understandable so that you can budget accordingly. Some of the better 3PL companies provide monetary guarantees if products are damaged or delivered late, which can be handy, especially if your business deals with regulated or perishable products.

What Are the Supported Integrations?

Another important consideration is the supported integrations. The fulfillment service provider you choose must support your preferred integration to ensure smooth sailing.

Although most 3PLs have integrations with popular online platforms like eBay, Shopify, and WooCommerce, it doesn’t guarantee their technologies will be optimized for your business. From product pages and shopping carts to your delivery confirmation emails, ensure that the software a service provider uses is compatible with your framework from start to finish.

Fulfyld: Providing an Impressive Number of Integrations

The good news is that Fulfyld includes a large number of integrations, including:

  • Shopify                     

  • eBay                            

  • Amazon

  • Magento2

  • BigCommerce

  • Shopify Plus

  • 3D Cart

  • Walmart Marketplace

  • ShipStation

  • TradeGecko/Quickbooks Commerce

  • ChannelAdvisor

What Procedures Does the Fulfillment Company Have in Place in the Event of a Supply Chain Disruption?

  • Examples of Events That Could Cause Supply Chain Disruptions

    Outbreaks, weather extremes, fraudulent activities, severe labor shortages, and other unforeseen occurrences have no miracle cure for mitigating their economic effects. However, every fulfillment network should have the resources and alliances in place to assist limit losses and avoid delays while maintaining safety and health.

  • Inquire About the Plans in Place Should the Unthinkable
    Occur

    Inquire about the catastrophe preparedness program of any potential fulfillment partner before making your choice. How does the Shopify fulfillment 3PL you have in mind plan to keep its products fresh, and its clients updated?

Are They Able to Provide Custom Packaging?

As mentioned before, you can expect a more personalized customer experience when you choose a Shopify fulfillment service. However, every business is unique, so you should inquire whether the fulfillment service provider you are considering can provide the packaging you require.

This is especially important if your business deals with regulated or perishable products, as only food-safe packaging may be used.

How Does the Company Manage Customer Data?

While managing customer data may only seem applicable when it comes to making deliveries, you will need to inquire about a company’s customer data policy before you choose to use its fulfillment services.

This is because privacy is essential for eCommerce businesses, as one data leak could have devastating effects on your revenue and reputation. Be sure to check that the fulfillment service provider you choose does not share customer information with third parties.

What Is the Size of Its Network of Fulfillment Centers?

Another factor that can influence the delivery time and efficiency is the size of the company’s fulfillment network. A service provider with a larger network of fulfillment centers is more likely to provide faster shipping times than a smaller fulfillment network. However, some service providers are able to provide outstanding service even with one fulfillment center.

Take Your Time When Choosing a Service Provider

When looking for a logistics business, do your homework. You don’t want to be forced to change providers after a few months.

Get to know the company, communicate with them, ensure that they’re competent enough to handle the demands of your business and that they’re a good match. Examine the promises made by the firm and check with previous or existing customers to see what experience they had with the company.

This is particularly crucial if you’re unsure if you’re ready to move to outsourced fulfillment. Don’t be scared to walk away if something doesn’t feel quite right.


Four of the Best 3PL Service Providers for Your Shopify eCommerce Business

If you are still unsure of which fulfillment company to use, we have drawn up a list of some of the best shipping and fulfillment service providers for you to choose from. They are Fulfyld, Shopify Fulfillment Network, ShipBob, and Red Stag Fulfillment. There are other options such as Deliverr, Stord, Shiphero and more, but we’ll do a separate post later to help you pick the top fulfillment company for your ecommerce business. In the section below, we discuss the previously mentioned four options in greater detail.

  1. Fulfyld

    Fulfyld, situated in Huntsville, Alabama, is an outsourced logistical firm that focuses solely on the eCommerce industry. Our company has become a specialist in many aspects of eCommerce logistics as a result of concentrating only on the eCommerce business, and we pass that knowledge on to our customers.

    The Pros and Cons of Working with Fulfyld

    Pros

    • Personalized system

    • Two-day shipping

    • Dedicated Account Manager

    • The company specializes in eCommerce

    • It has a large number of integrations

    • Several services are on offer, including custom packaging, logo design, and subscription box fulfillment

    • Efficient customer support system

    • Easy startup process

    • Upfront fee structure

    Cons

    • Only one fulfillment center located in Alabama

    • Higher level of service that can sometimes cost more than others

     

    Dedicated Account Manager

    Fulfyld provides personalized service that includes your own dedicated account manager throughout numerous major online markets, including Walmart Marketplace, Shopify, Shopify Plus, eBay, and Amazon. If you need assistance, you can simply pick up your phone and call your account manager or pop him or her an email requesting assistance.

    Because the account manager is your contact point, he or she is consistently up to date on your specific business requirements, so you don’t have to spend hours on the phone discussing your business needs every time you contact us for help.

    Two-day Shipment

    Although Fulfyld’s fulfillment center is situated in Huntsville, Alabama, our warehouse location has no bearing on our ability to provide efficient and efficient delivery. Fulfyld delivers shipments within two days, which is on par with Amazon prime. Huntsville Alabama is also in between all the major carrier hubs (Memphis, Atlanta, Nashville, Lousiville) – all within 3 hours.

    Services

    The truth is that Fulfyld has much to offer for any eCommerce Shopify store, all of which can be tracked via our website and the handy tracking app. Fulfyld allows customers to view stock levels and combine all our eCommerce channels into one queue using proprietary technology, so business owners can always find out where their stock is.

    When it comes to delivering your item, we use the packing material you specify, whether it’s bespoke packaging you give or packaging they receive from our own commercial sources. Furthermore, Fulfyld employs a package designer that can assist you in creating a unique packaging design and logo to help your business stand apart.

     

  2. Shopify Fulfillment Network

    Another popular choice for business owners with Shopify stores is Shopify Fulfillment Network. The Shopify Fulfillment option offers fulfillment services that allow Shopify business owners to store and deliver products.

    When you get an order, Shopify’s 3pl partner packs and delivers your goods to your consumer, with most purchases arriving within two days in the United States. You can manage all your business information in one location, including order tracking, client data, and stock levels.

    The Pros and Cons

    Here are the pros and cons of choosing Shopify Fulfillment Network for your fulfillment service needs.

    Pros

    • Affordable shipping

    • Large network of fulfillment centers

    • You only need to deliver inventory to one fulfillment center

    • The company handles returns for you

    Cons

    • Does not ship regulated or perishable products

    • Since these warehouses are outsourced, your level of service can vary

    • Services are limited to businesses in the United States

    • You must ship a minimum of three products a day

    • SKUs are limited to 200 units

     

    The Services You Can Expect from Shopify Fulfillment Network

    With Shopify Fulfillment, only one fulfillment center needs to receive your merchandise. Your stock is then distributed throughout the company’s network so that your goods are kept near your customers, which means that they will be shipped faster.

    Shopify Fulfillment Network Requirements

    The truth is that, unlike other fulfillment service providers, Shopify Fulfillment has a list of requirements that businesses must meet before they can qualify to use the company’s services. They are listed below.

    • The business must be situated in the United States

    • Minimum shipments of 84 orders and a maximum of 6,200 orders per month

    • No regulated or perishable products are supported

    • The Shopify store must have a maximum of 200 SKUs

  3. ShipBob

    ShipBob is an eCommerce 3PL that assists you in delivering the things that your consumers have purchased from your website. It is a service that helps businesses strengthen their ties with their customers by providing next-day and two-day shipment choices to companies that aim to provide good customer service.

    Pros and Cons

    Here are the pros and cons associated with ShipBob.

    Pros

    • Good customer service

    • The company gives you access to the expertise of its knowledgeable staff

    • Numerous cost and location options for you to choose from

    • Easy-to-use interface

    • Good shipping rates

    Cons

    • Limited integrations

    • It may not be suitable for beginners

    • The pricing structure is not easy to understand

    • Pages often take a long time to load


    Services

    ShipBob offers a cloud-based stock management system and allows you to manage your orders remotely. It also helps you manage returns and provides helpful data analytics.

  4. Red Stag Fulfillment

    ShipBob’s services are comparable to Red Stag Fulfillment’s. However, they focus on transporting weighty and oversized items. It has a simple Shopify integration as well as a proprietary API. The fulfillment system from Red Stag is also cloud-based, so you can retrieve your information and analytics from any device.

    Businesses that send heavy or oversized items will benefit from Red Stag’s fulfillment services. Because of the extra care and costs associated with handling heavier goods, Red Stag is a suitable fit for companies that offer items that aren’t small or lightweight.

    Pros and Cons

    Below are some of the pros and cons associated with Red Stag Fulfillment.

    Pros

    • Good transparency when it comes to operations

    • Focuses on heavy, large, and fragile orders

    • You don’t need to sign a long-term contract to do business with Red Stag

    • The company offers low minimum order fulfillment

    • Affordable shipping

    • Fast turn-around times

    • Two and three-day shipping offered

    Cons

    • Small fulfillment center network

    • Poor transparency when it comes to billing

    • No climate control measures for cold-chain products

    • The user interface isn’t very easy to use

     

Let Fulfyld Take Care of Your Shipping and Fulfillment Needs!

In-house fulfillment, dropshipping, and third-party fulfillment services are all viable choices for increasing revenue and improving the customer experience. To manage fulfillment processes as your business grows, you shouldn’t need to employ 100 people or sign long-term warehouse leases.

Allow a skilled eCommerce fulfillment service to handle your ordering, restocking, packing, shipment, and returns so you can focus on driving your business’s profit margins.

At Fulfyld, we believe that our customers should always come first, which is why we provide a tailor-made fulfillment strategy for every business that addresses its unique shipping and fulfillment needs. Whether you are looking for solutions to apparel fulfillment, supplement fulfillment or even home goods fulfillment, Fulfyld has the knowledge and expertise to help your ecommerce company fulfill orders like having your own warehouse.

Our Shopify fulfillment service ensures that your customers receive their orders on time and our warehouse management procedures are efficient, maximizing our efficiency and delivery time. Contact us today for a free quote!

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