Top eCommerce Order Fulfillment Services 2021

Contributor, Benzinga

A fulfillment company is a physical location where a third-party logistics provider (3PL) can fulfill orders for eCommerce retailers. Fulfillment companies process, pack, deliver and return customer orders for businesses. These companies are important for getting online orders to their customers intact and on time. Fulfillment companies also play an essential role in relieving stress for eCommerce merchants or businesses who don’t want to worry about the packing, processing, and shipping of orders. 

Keep reading to learn more about order fulfillment and the top eCommerce companies to help you with these services. 

What Is Order Fulfillment?

Order fulfillment is the process from sale to delivery and everything in between. 

The process starts when goods are received at a fulfillment center. The goods are then processed and delivered to their intended customers. Along with delivery, if a buyer would like to return a product they received, this return is managed within the order fulfillment process as well. 

What Are eCommerce Order Fulfillment Services?

ECommerce order fulfillment is the whole process from the start of when an order is made to when it is delivered to a customer. Services include receiving and storing inventory, processing orders, picking items, packing boxes, and transporting items to the customer’s shipping address. 

Benefits of Order Fulfillment Services 

Maintaining your business’ order fulfillment can quickly become stressful. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything it takes to keep up with picking, processing, packing, and shipping, especially if you do not have a ton of knowledge in this area. 

Key benefits of working with an order fulfillment company include: 

  • Lower shipping costs 
  • Reach extension 
  • Improved customer service 
  • Ability to  focus more on selling 

Top 5 eCommerce Order Fulfillment Services

With many eCommerce order fulfillment services to choose from, we wanted to narrow it down to our top five choices. Continue reading to find out what our top 5 choices are for order fulfillment. 

Print Bind Ship (PBS) is a modern approach to eCommerce and a best-in-class fulfillment company. PBS is one of our top picks due to the abundance of services it offers. From order fulfillment, package redesign, storefront integration, worldwide shipping, and more, this fulfillment company seems to have it all. 

Pros

PBS has been in the printing business for more than 60 years. Individuals at PBS can offer new ideas, strategies, and services that can get your small or large business up and running. Other pros of using PBS for your eCommerce fulfillment include: 

  • In-house fulfillment 
  • Cost-effectiveness 
  • Managed inventory 
  • Dedicated staff
  • Client retention 

Cons

Depending on what your products are, PBS  may or may not be the eCommerce fulfillment company for you. PBS tends to not work often with perishable products and items involving batteries or aerosol cans. However, if these limitations don’t apply to the products you are looking to sell, take advantage of all that PBS  has to offer. 

Great For: 

PBS is terrific for small or large businesses and anything in between. With worldwide shipping, industry knowledge, and resources for warehousing, this company suits various clientele. 

Rating

All and all, PBS  is a highly accredited and rated fulfillment company. With the many services provided, this eCommerce fulfillment company is bound to be an ideal fit for your business. 

Amazon 

Amazon is a very well-known fulfillment company. This multinational business not only focuses on eCommerce but on cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence as well. Amazon is one of our top picks due to its phenomenal operations. It is fast and efficient, and its strict processes often allow for more success than other leading fulfillment companies. 

Pros 

When running an eCommerce business, you probably have enough things on your mind. The last thing you want to worry about is logistics and shipping. The good news is, these activities are two of   Amazon’s areas of expertise. When working with this fulfillment company, these two aspects will simply be hassle-free. 

Along with the ease of logistics and shipping, Amazon allows its customers to utilize multi-channel fulfillment and ultimately sell more in the end. With Amazon, you are not limited to where you can sell your products. Your items can be marketed and sold through any channel you would like including multi-channel orders. 

Cons

Once you are able to build up your product offering, it can become a little tricky to keep track of your inventory. It’s possible that not all of your products will sell as quickly as you anticipate, and it can rapidly become hard to gauge what you have, what you need, and what you might want to cut back on. 

Along with keeping track of your inventory, returns are something you will possibly have to keep on your radar. Returns are made simple for customers on Amazon, so naturally, people tend to do easy tasks over those that are more complicated. With this being said, it is very possible that you may see an increase in returns with your products. 

Great For:

Amazon eCommerce fulfillment is best for businesses with high volume and high margin products. Businesses selling solely through this channel reap the greatest benefits. . If Amazon happens to be just one of your sales channels, it could become a more expensive way to fulfill your orders. 

Rating

Rightfully so, Amazon is a popular company in general. When it comes to being an eCommerce fulfillment company, it does not fall short. With the simplicity and ease Amazon brings to its customers, it is clear why it is on our list of top five fulfillment companies.

Printful 

Printful is not only a high-scale fulfillment company but also an on-demand printing and warehousing business. This company ranks as one of the best due to its ability to turn customers’ ideas into successful brands and products. From online branding to printing personalized products, Printful has the power to go beyond expectations. 

Pros

There are many benefits to using Printful for your eCommerce fulfillment needs. 

Some pros include: 

  • Quick and easy setup
  • Low-risk dropshipping business model 
  • User-friendly interface 
  • High-quality products 
  • Warehouses both in the U.S. and Europe

Not only does Printful offer a simple setup and provide a user-friendly interface, but it integrates easily with other platforms too. This service makes it even more efficient for selling your products. 

Cons

Printful does have some limitations to the product categories it offers.  A couple more cons are the starting price and the refund policy it has in place.

With Printful, some products have an expensive starting price in order to gain a good margin. Also, customers won’t receive refunds if an order is not lost or damaged. If you happen to order the wrong size or color of an item, reshipments will cost you more money.  

Great For:

Printful can be a good choice for someone who is just getting started in the business or even for someone who has a larger, more established company. Printful has shown itself to be user-friendly, making it ideal for beginners.  It specializes in branding, helping your company grow, and being a reliable source for more than just your fulfillment needs. 

Rating

Overall, Printful offers many products and fulfillment services, which is why it is ranked as one of the top companies. With same-day shipping and different warehousing options, Printful makes for a highly recommended fulfillment entity. 

Shopify

Shopify’s fulfillment network is efficient, fast, and affordable when delivering orders to your customers. Fulfillment by Shopify is ranked near the top as it is superior at maintaining full visibility of your inventory, as well as keeping everything throughout the fulfillment process well-managed so you and your customers can have a positive overall experience. 

Pros 

The main perk of using Shopify is having the integrations it provides. Everything can be completed on Shopify’s platform for integration purposes, which makes set-up and management very simple. Some of these pros include: 

  • Ability to sync inventory information 
  • Management of all information on the same platform 
  • Reduced shipping costs 
  • Reduced operating costs 

Cons

Cost is often a factor that comes up when discussing Shopify’s cons. This fulfillment company tends to be comparatively more expensive for its premium plans. 

Along with cost, when using Shopify you may have slightly less control over third-party providers. Shopify integrates with many third-party fulfillment providers, but with this service, you retain a little less control. 

Great For:

Shopify fulfillment is best for businesses selling in the U.S. that have fewer than 2,000 SKUs. It is also a favorite for businesses that ship between 10 and 10,000 orders a day and don’t carry regulated or perishable products.

Rating

For a larger company or for a growing business, Shopify is one of the premier choices for your fulfillment services. Though possibly a bit more costly than its competitors, Shopify has numerous resources, integration, and an exceptional platform to make it well worth its price. 

ShipBob

As a global logistics platform, ShipBob fulfills eCommerce orders for direct-to-consumer brands. ShipBob prides itself on its ability to make its clients more successful by providing outstanding fulfillment to ensure fast and affordable shipping. 

Pros

ShipBob combines its technology and fulfillment services to facilitate fast delivery to customers. A huge pro for ShipBob is how its system gives you the ability to power your online store on multiple channels. 

Other pros of ShipBob include:

  • Fast delivery with modern eCommerce fulfillment services
  • Integration with popular eCommerce platforms 
  • Customized pricing with personalized services 

Cons

Customers have pointed out few negatives when it comes to ShipBob’s platform,  although there have been some critiques on its customer service response time and occasionally slow website.      

Great For:

This eCommerce fulfillment company is best for budding businesses and enterprises that are looking to grow even further. 

ShipBob’s fulfillment allows customers strategic distribution for its products by offering a network across various states. Not only does this benefit make delivery simple, but it cuts down on premium delivery services from shipping companies. 

Rating

With many fulfillment companies out there to choose from, ShipBob is certainly a reliable choice to use for your business. As it offers customized pricing and premium delivery and integrations, you could not go wrong working with ShipBob.    

Summary

Your choice of what fulfillment service to work with and which one may be best for you will most likely depend on what you are selling, what your budget is, and what you’re looking for in a fulfillment company.

Print Bind Ship, Amazon, Printful, Shopify, and ShipBob are our top choices when it comes to the best eCommerce fulfillment companies around. They are shown to have great customer service, offer many services, and have years of experience and expertise. 

When working with any one of these companies, you can be assured you and your customers will always be satisfied.