The COVID-19 pandemic has left many industries reeling from the different disruptions that came with it. However, one good thing to come out of the crisis is the significant boost that ecommerce fulfillment got from the situation. Ecommerce spending increased by 50% since February 2020. This is due mainly to people’s confinement to their homes as a result of government-imposed quarantines and lockdowns.
Similarly, ecommerce companies managed to cope with these changes by using ecommerce software. If you’re into online selling, it’s not enough to have the best ecommerce software; you need a reliable order fulfillment provider. This is where services like Fulfillment by Amazon come in.
Amazon’s vast network of infrastructure and services makes it one of the leading order fulfillment service providers in the world. The company has a solid system in place that works with most types and sizes of businesses. However, Fulfillment by Amazon is one of the most expensive services out there.
The platform charges for both fulfillment and storage. You may also have to pay more if you want long-term product storage. In this article, we will examine order fulfillment alternatives. Some have strong international networks, robust systems for small businesses, or affordable pricing packages. At the end of the list, you should be able to determine which order fulfillment service fits your needs and budget.
Ecommerce has indeed benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic. With the exception of some industries, ecommerce spending on electronics, health and beauty, and sports and fitness, among others, have increased, even reaching as high as 76% in June 2020.
Online stores, as well as brick-and-mortar entities, can outsource their logistics, warehousing, and shipping processes to competent order fulfillment services to save costs and enhance operational efficiency.
If an order fulfillment provider enables you to offer free shipping, your business will benefit greatly. Delivery speed is an important factor considered by shoppers. 83% of shoppers are willing to wait for two or more days if a merchant offers free shipping. These facts and figures show how resourceful order fulfillment services can boost your customer satisfaction rates and bottom line.
There are scores of quality order fulfillment vendors in the market, which pose a dilemma about how to select a suitable service for your specific needs. We help you resolve the issue by detailing the key features and benefits offered by Fulfillment by Amazon as well as the top 10 alternatives to Fulfillment by Amazon in this article.
The advantage of hiring Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is you can leverage Amazon’s vast network and quality infrastructure, and benefit by associating with their renowned brand name. FBA offers services such as customer support, returns and refunds, climate-controlled warehouses, fast delivery times, and quick processing. This provider is ideal for merchants that sell small items, those who utilize multiple sales channels, and those already doing business on Amazon. FBA takes care of all the important logistics and order fulfillment work, allowing you to focus on boosting your business. Besides, its platform integrates seamlessly with popular ecommerce and shopping cart solutions to provide you with greater flexibility.
If you wish to look beyond FBA and other options, we will still help you. Read on to learn the essential facts about the top 10 alternatives to Fulfillment by Amazon.
ShipBob is a recommended service for merchants in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago as it guarantees affordable same-day delivery for orders placed in these three cities. This provider offers two key services, physical logistics for warehouse inventory and order fulfillment; and a free software platform that sellers can utilize to manage orders, inventory, and customer communication.
Should you want to investigate the platform firsthand, you can easily do so when you can sign up for a ShipBob free trial.
ShipBob is a fast-growing order fulfillment service because it charges low rates and provides speedy onboarding. Apart from the three metro cities, this vendor offers standard fulfillment in other US cities through its nationwide network of warehouses. Also, it provides crowdfunding fulfillment support, which sellers can utilize to simultaneously ship large amounts of pre-orders and backer rewards. Finally, you get detailed reports on sales performance, split inventory, orders, and shipping.
If you want a more international service, peruse these ShipBob alternatives here.
Detailed ShipBob Review
Rakuten Super Logistics stands out in the order fulfillment services market as it guarantees 100% accuracy. This is made possible by three separate quality checks. If an error still occurs, the service is delivered free of charge. In addition to accuracy, fast shipment is also provided with 1-day order fulfillment and 1-2 delivery to 98% of the U.S.
You can easily sign up for a Rakuten Super Logistics free trial and get to know the features firsthand at no cost and without commitment.
Rakuten also offers excellent customer support by guaranteeing an effective response time of inside three hours after posting your query. Also, their support team works closely with fulfillment facility liaisons who are placed in the same center where your products are stored. Finally, this vendor also offers value-added services, such as customer loyalty program, marketing, and marketplace connection, to help drive your business growth.
For other choices, browse these viable Rakuten Super Logistics alternatives here.
Detailed Rakuten Super Logistics Review
FedEx Fulfillment utilizes its parent company FedEx’s established infrastructure to provide reverse logistics, transportation, fulfillment, packaging, and warehousing services to its clients. This vendor is ideal for small- and medium-sized businesses that fulfill orders from websites and online marketplaces. These firms can utilize the service to integrate multiple selling channels and manage inventory.
Top features of FedEx Fulfillment include analysis of shoppers’ spending habits, trend evaluation, real-time item tracking, and complete visibility over your products. This provider offers a smooth returns process, two-day shipping to most parts of the US, and same-day fulfillment cut-off times. Global retailers can benefit as they can fulfill customer orders in over 200 countries.
If you wish to scout for more options, take a look at these FedEx Fulfillment alternatives here.
Why have we included Shipwire in this list of top 10 alternatives to Fulfillment by Amazon? One of the reasons is it is another good option for companies that do global business as this provider maintains warehouses in the U.S., Europe, Asia, China, and Australia, with more being built. This vendor utilizes a sophisticated warehouse management system to securely store, handle, and ship items on time to customers. The main benefit is you can reduce shipping costs as Shipwire can select the most suitable packaging options, routes, and couriers for your products.
In addition, it uses custom as well as on-demand order fulfillment tools to support B2C and B2B sellers. Other advantages are you can choose your storage locations, calculate shipping expenses, make use of insurance policies, and promote your brand.
For more good options, browse these Shipwire alternatives here.
Detailed Shipwire Review
Red Stag Fulfillment is a recommended service for products that need light assembly or customization before shipment, goods above five pounds in weight, oversized items, and high-value and fragile items. This provider stands out among the crowd as they offer a 100% guarantee for their inventory accuracy, order speed, order accuracy, and 48-hour dock-to-stock time.
The main advantage of hiring Red Stag Fulfillment is it can ship heavy and oversized products at discounted rates as it leverages FedEx’s established transportation and logistics network. Plus, security is guaranteed for your products as the vendor utilizes state-of-the-art video-tracking equipment in its warehouses to prevent shipping damage, packing mistakes, and theft. They are so confident about the quality of their services that they offer to pay $50 to their clients each time there is a mistake.
For more good choices, browse these Red Stag Fulfillment alternatives here.
FulfillmentCompanies.net is a free service that sellers can use to find a suitable order fulfillment vendors in the US, Canada, and Europe. The company makes money by charging fees from suppliers after matching them with a customer. This firm has years of experience in researching and analyzing the storage, order processing, and pricing features of logistics companies. It helps you find the right fulfillment vendor for your outsourcing requirements. It vets fulfillment providers in a few minutes, and quotes are offered to you via phone or email from pre-screened vendors.
Apart from these features, FulfillmentCompanies.net gives you a calculator tool that you can utilize to compare the costs of in-house versus outsourced fulfillment. Plus, you also get an extensive collection of guides, resources, and industry surveys on the fulfillment business.
If you want to look at other choices, peruse these FulfillmentCompanies alternatives here.
Fulfillify states that, on average, it ships more than 75 million items per year to customers around the globe. Sign-up is fast, and setup is free. You are not required to enter into a long-term agreement, giving you the freedom to switch to another provider at any time. Fulfillify manages all the setup details, and you can start utilizing a fully functional platform from day one. The service is easy to use and allows you to track your products, inventory, and orders in real-time with any device.
Plus, it can integrate smoothly with your existing shopping cart and ecommerce systems. In short, this vendor utilizes advanced mobile-responsive technology to provide top-rate ordering, delivery, and storage services.
If you are not satisfied, take a look at these Fulfillify alternatives here.
IDS Fulfillment (IDS stands for Integrated Distribution Services) is a recommended vendor for sellers that wish to quickly ship products to domestic consumers in the U.S. This company states that it can reach 95% of the U.S. population in 2 days. This is made possible because its centers are located strategically all over the US mainland and are equipped with sophisticated technology. You can outsource a part of your fulfillment needs such as storage, distribution, or returns, or the entire process to this service.
IDS Fulfillment is an ideal option for online sellers that wish to meet peak season demands as it provides optimized service and fast shipment times. This is possible because the provider stocks products in regional warehouses, and orders from your online store, which can reach the nearest warehouse where employees work efficiently to quickly package and deliver the items to customers.
If you want an international service, check out these IDS Fulfillment alternatives here.
VelocityShip has built its own sophisticated software platform to help businesses effectively manage their order fulfillment, inventory, and supply chain processes. This platform automates the whole order process for enhanced accuracy and integrates seamlessly with more than 60 shopping carts and marketplaces via a custom API. The vendor boasts of being able to handle up to 10,000 orders per day, allowing you to simplify B2B and B2C fulfillment by enabling you to quickly process multiple orders.
Apart from bulk processing, VelocityShip is also recommended for special projects such as product labeling, inventory counting, crowdfunding fulfillment, subscription boxes, and others. This vendor enables you to promote your enterprise by branding packing slips with your company name and logo. For customer support, the vendor provides a dedicated logistics and shipping expert to each client who promptly resolves any issue that may arise.
If you wish to look at other choices, here are some good VelocityShip alternatives.
Ships-a-lot boasts an impressive inventory accuracy rate of 99.8%, thanks to its sophisticated fulfillment centers where products are constantly monitored with tablet computers, barcodes, and scanners. These technologies not only ensure accuracy but also sees to security and accountability. Ships-a-lot promises shipping with a 24-hour turnaround, and if a shipment is delayed, they will compensate you with $20. For a flat $35/month fee, you can avail of unlimited storage space and services. Simply place your orders using their online interface, and the service will automatically take care of storage, packing, and delivery.
In addition, the provider can customize their picking, packing, and shipping procedures for your specific needs. This allows you to choose only select services if you so desire.
If you are not satisfied, browse these good Ships-a-lot alternatives here.
As the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic continues, businesses continue to seek ways to protect their workers and minimizing the crisis’ disruptions to their supply chains. Companies have been investing in technology to minimize physical contact while making changes to their processes.
Modern retail business has to balance product and service quality with speedy order fulfillment. With next-day shipping becoming more common, businesses need robust order fulfillment services to compete with more prominent brands. Services like FBA provide a competitive advantage, especially for budding businesses that are looking to expand their customer reach.
Of course, unique businesses need unique solutions. That is why the alternatives listed above aim to meet your one-of-a-kind requirements for a more effective order fulfillment services. If you want to explore such services further, check out the best order fulfillment services in the market.
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