The Best Fulfillment Services for Shopify
The best fulfillment services for Shopify are designed to help ecommerce business owners deliver products to their customers quickly and efficiently. After all, once your customer has made a purchase, they’re relying on you to ensure it gets to them with minimal hassle.
This means you need to plan how you’re going to store your goods, pick and pack them for delivery, ship them through the right providers, and so on. Fulfilment services can help to make this whole process less time consuming and frustrating.
The good news for Shopify merchants is there’s a range of fulfillment solutions specially suited to your business model. These solutions can integrate directly with your Shopify store, so it’s easy to keep track of orders, and synchronize inventory.
What are the Best Fulfillment Services for Shopify?
Here are some of the top fulfillment services specifically for Shopify.
Shopify Fulfillment Network
Perhaps the most obvious route for business owners already invested in the Shopify landscape, is to leverage the Shopify Fulfillment Network directly. Shopify has its own comprehensive tool, which makes it easy to store inventory across the globe, and access a host of valuable data points, including order tracking, customer data, and inventory labels.
Shopify boasts a rapid 2 day delivery time, so you can reach your customers faster and deliver a phenomenal experience. Plus, there are no up-front fees charged for your service within the first six months, making it ideal for smaller businesses in the initial stages of growth.
There’s a dedicated order packing and delivery process, where Shopify experts are responsible for finding, packaging, and sending your goods with no input from you. This means you can focus on promoting your brand and growing your stores. The delivery date of your orders will be calculated automatically and show straight on your product pages. Plus, you can create custom packing slips to improve the quality of your brand image.
Notably however, you do need to be located in the US, have fewer than 200 SKUs, and you’ll need to ship between 84 and 6,200 products per month in order to be eligible.
One good thing about Shopify’s fulfillment network, is you only pay when you actually sell your products, so the overhead costs are minimized. When you do sell something, the cost you pay is based on the weight of the product, with discounts for orders with multiple items.
For storing your products, Shopify offers a free service for the first six months. After that, you’ll be paying a $2.25 per cubic foot storage fee.
- Affordable two-day shipping options
- Excellent inventory syncing and tracking
- Rapid access to order delivery times
- Custom packaging and packing slips
- Fantastic customer data access
- Only suitable for US brands
- Limitations on the number of SKUs you can use
Found as an add-on within the Shopify app marketplace, ShipBob is one of the most popular tools for ecommerce fulfillment. The company already handles thousands of Shopify stores, and is certified for Shopify Plus. The organization works with both B2B and DTC customers, ensuring products are delivered to consumers as quickly as possible.
Using powerful shipment technology, ShipBob essentially puts your fulfillment process on autopilot, offering quicker and more effective ways to connect with your customers. You can use ShipBob to maintain comprehensive visibility into the entire fulfillment process, tracking orders in real-time and filtering your orders by status. There’s also a quick and convenient onboarding process.
Aside from working perfectly with Shopify, ShipBob also conveniently integrates with a range of other ecommerce solutions, so you can make sure your entire technology stack works well together, allowing for a powerful end-to-end solution.
ShipBob can fulfil sales if you’re selling across different marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and allows for customizable shipping materials for branding. There’s also access to wholesale order fulfilment and retail dropshipping.
ShipBob has a dedicated pricing page where you can request a clear quote for how much the service is likely to cost. The standard fees include the costs for receiving your inventory, warehousing your products, and shipping each order. Though there’s no transparent pricing structure to plan for, there is a calculator on the website where you can get an idea of how much you might spend.
- Omnichannel order fulfillment with multiple integrations
- Customizable shipping materials
- Quick and easy onboarding process
- Wholesale and dropshipping fulfillment options
- Powerful analytics and insights
- Can be difficult to predict pricing
- Some storage options may be expensive
Red Stag Fulfillment
Ideal for beginners, Red Stag Fulfillment makes managing your shipping and order requirements as quick and straightforward as possible. The service offered is quite similar to ShipBob, although the company focuses more on oversized shipping and heavy items. The solution integrates fully with Shopify, and there’s access to a custom API too.
The cloud-based fulfillment software from Red Stage ensure business owners can access reports and data from anywhere, using any device. There’s also a fantastic 30-day free trial, so you can test some of the services before you commit completely. What’s more, Red Stag boasts an impressive 100% customer order accuracy service, so you’re less likely to deal with returns.
With same-day fulfillment, you can start getting your orders to your customers as quickly as possible. Plus, users gain access to comprehensive inventory and warehouse monitoring, so you know how much of any product is available at any given time. Red Stag is particularly good for dealing with heavier, more complex items with a higher degree of care, reducing the risk of order damage.
There’s no direct insight into pricing available from Red Stag Fulfillment for beginners, so you will need to get in touch with the team to get an idea of how much you’re likely to spend. Your pricing will be based on a number of factors, including the amount of storage you need, what you’re shipping, and how far you’re going to be sending products.
Fortunately, there is a 30-day trial you can access at the beginning of your service, to see how everything works before you commit.
- Easy integration with Shopify and other shopping carts
- Excellent management of heavy and unusual items
- Fantastic order accuracy and speed
- 30-day risk free trial for beginners
- Warehouse and inventory monitoring included
- May be expensive for basic product shipping
- API access can be complex for beginners
If you’re looking for a fulfillment solution for Shopify with warehouses across Europe, ShipMonk might be the ideal option for you. Outside of warehouses in the UK and other parts of Europe, you can also access storage in Mexico and Canada. This makes ShipMonk a good choice for companies who plan on selling to a wider international audience.
Like all of the apps on this list, ShipMonk supports integration to Shopify, making it great for connecting directly with your inventory and order tracking. In fact, there are more than 100 integrations available for the service, so you can connect to virtually all of the tools you use every day. Transparent reports and billing give you an easy way to track how much you’re spending on fulfillment too.
There’s support for all kinds of fulfillment services, covering ecommerce brands, retail, subscription boxes, crowdfunding solutions and more. The cloud-based environment makes it easy to keep track of your inventory and shipping speed. Plus, you can identify your best selling SKUs in no time. ShipMonk even offers 24/7 customer service and amazing shipping discounts.
Since there’s no one-sized-fits-all strategy for fulfillment, you’ll need to reach out to the ShipMonk team to get an idea of how much you can plan on paying. However, there’s also a handy shipping calculator on the website which can give you an estimation of how much you might spend on pick fee per order, additional items per order, promotional inserts, and return processing.
- Excellent worldwide fulfillment centers
- Convenient integrations with a range of tools
- Transparent reporting and analytics
- Powerful order and inventory tracking
- Shipping discounts to save businesses money
- Prices can quickly add up in some cases
- Some warehouses are still waiting to be set up
ShipHero is another excellent fulfillment solution for Shopify store owners with a convenient and straightforward app integration for Shopify store owners. It offers access to seven different warehouses throughout the US and Canada, and can distribute your products across each environment, to ensure you’ll get your items to customers as quickly as possible.
The scalable solution comes with a comprehensive warehouse management system, and a powerful 99% shipping accuracy. Orders are shipped direct from the warehouse closes to each customer, for a smoother experience. Plus, you’ll be able to track your orders every step of the way, and keep a close eye on inventory so you know when to replenish your stores.
There are in-package snapshots available, so you can see what your orders are going to look like when you’re shipping them. Plus, there’s an integration with PostHero for tracking packages from the warehouse all the way to the destination. Shipments are fast and efficient, and there’s a range of dedicated account resources to explore.
ShipHero promises up to 30% faster shipping speeds than most solutions, and promises predictable pricing with flat zone costs.
The price you pay for accessing ShipHero will depend on a number of factors, including whether you’re using the warehouse management system. You’ll also need to consider the package size, the choice of shipping service, and where you’re going to be shipping too. Storage prices start at around 65 cents per cubic foot, which is quite affordable.
When it comes to shipping to various locations, ShipHero also offers flat-rate pricing which includes picking, packing, mailing supplies, shipping, and postage.
- Convenient flat rate pricing
- Instant integrations with Shopify
- Lots of shipping fulfillment centers
- Access to inventory and warehouse tracking
- Ultra-fast shipping options
- Not suitable for all worldwide brands
- Slight learning curve
Fulfillment by Amazon
Ranked among the better-known and most popular tools in the fulfillment space, Fulfillment by Amazon makes it quick and simple to sell products in a range of environments. The solution is designed primarily for Amazon sellers. If you already have an account with Amazon, you can easily access promotions like free shipping to fulfillment centers, free storage, and free return processing.
You’ll need to send your products directly to Amazons fulfillment centers, where you’ll be able to automatically leverage Amazon Prime two-day shipping, to ensure your customers can access your product rapidly. Amazon also offers various alternatives to FBA for those who need specialized shipping solutions, such as Fulfilled by Merchant, and Seller-Fulfilled Prime.
Although the service is mostly focused on Amazon selling, there is multi-channel fulfillment, with integrations to Shopify so you can connect your online store too. There’s access to 24/7 support from the Amazon team for all users, so your customers can reach out with questions. You also get a dedicated inventory performance dashboard, and helpful return management.
Like most of the fulfillment options for Shopify and other ecommerce sites, Fulfillment by Amazon doesn’t have a transparent pricing page or subscription package. Instead, the amount you pay is based on a number of factors, including the product’s size and weight.
However, you can access various tools to help cut down your ricing, such as free storage, free liquidations, and free shipping to fulfillment centers.
- Multiple money-saving options for ecommerce store owners
- Excellent support with shipping and returns
- Powerful inventory performance dashboard
- Multi-channel fulfillment options
- Convenient and quick delivery
- Some options can be quite expensive
- Focused mainly on Amazon sellers
How to Choose Your Fulfillment Services Provider
As you can see from the options above, there are plenty of options out there when it comes to choosing the ultimate fulfillment company or service for your Shopify business. Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here. The right option for you will depend on a range of factors, including what kind of features you need, and what sort of business you’re going to run.
The following tips could help you to narrow down your choices:
- Integrations with ecommerce platforms: First, it’s important to ensure your fulfillment solution of choice has a strong link not just to Shopify, but any other ecommerce tools you might be using. The right fulfillment partner will make it easy to track inventory, orders, and other information throughout your entire online business. You can even find integrations with other ecommerce services like BigCommerce, Wix, and WooCommerce.
- Inventory management tools: Unless you’re going to be outsourcing all of your inventory management to another company, it helps to have a fulfillment service with built-in solutions for inventory tracking and alerts. Many of the top online fulfillment services make it easier to track everything from your best-selling products, to when you’re running out of stock.
- Low shipping costs: The cost of your online fulfillment service will depend on a number of factors, including shipping rates, packing and kitting costs, and in-house storage expenses. However, some applications and tools make it easier for small businesses to manage their budget with special deals for shipping to specific locations. Partnerships with delivery companies like FedEx and UPS can save you significant cash on your order fulfillment services. Some brands also offer discounts based on order volume.
- Fast delivery: A good fulfillment solution, whether it’s Amazon FBA or Shopify FBA will ensure you can get your products to customers as quickly as possible. Brands with multiple distribution centers in different regions can usually offer faster delivery times by sending products from the location closest to the company. Some vendors and third-party logistics brands also offer same-day and next-day delivery.
- Analytics and insights: Reports and analytics built into your ecommerce fulfillment services can help with more than just tracking inventory levels. They can also give you the insights you need for forecasting profit opportunities, and making sure you optimize delivery times. The best reports will give you a behind-the-scenes look at your supply chain, so you can streamline the way you ship orders and serve clients.
- Customer support: A strong commitment to excellent customer experience is a must when searching for the right fulfillment solution. Some vendors will give you your own dedicated account manager to help you with setting up your strategy. Others offer FAQs and learning tools to help entrepreneurs solve their own problems quickly. A good fulfillment service provider should be able to assist with answering questions about inventory storage, returns, and order management.
Of course, it’s also worth thinking about how much you’re going to spend overall to work with your chosen order fulfillment company. The costs for order processing, pallet hiring, and delivery can quickly add up. Look for transparent pricing from your shipping and logistics company so you can budget for the shipping process.
Keep in mind, while some solutions are specifically designed for smaller businesses and startups, others are intended for big enterprise brands. The larger your company, the more your fulfillment costs are likely to increase.
Choosing the Right Fulfillment Service for Shopify
There are plenty of fantastic tools available for companies looking to streamline and simplify order fulfillment for their Shopify stores today. The right third-party fulfillment company for your needs will depend on various factors, from your average order volume and stock levels to your required shipping speeds and support needs.
Remember to take the time to explore your options carefully, and find out how each vendor supports ecommerce companies with local and international shipping, inventory storage, automation, and order tracking. The best order fulfillment services should give you all the tools you need to accelerate your sales, boost customer experience, and unlock new opportunities.