There are a lot of different ways to make sure your ecommerce products get to your customers on time. Our team of expert researchers here at Crazy Egg explored different ecommerce fulfillment services before landing on the best options on the market. We consider Shopify Fulfillment Network to be the best option for most people, as it reliably delivers fast shipping and versatility with simple pricing.
The Best Ecommerce Fulfillment Services for Most
If you want to offer fast shipping to your customers without paying a fortune, Shopify Fulfillment Network has you covered. They provide everything you need to fulfill ecommerce orders, all offered at a flat fee per item fulfilled. Shopify will even store your items for free as long as they’re fulfilled within six months of arrival.
You’ll have access to logistics and fulfillment experts 24/7, so if you need to scale or you have questions about optimizing your process, you can get answers day or night. Shopify Fulfillment Network discounts the cost per item if there are multiple items per order, so you can save even more if you’re shipping a lot of product.
The Best Ecommerce Fulfillment Options to Consider:
- Shopify Fulfillment Network — Best for most
- ShipBob — Best for omnichannel fulfillment
- Easyship — Best for international ecommerce
- Fulfillment by Amazon — Best for Amazon sellers
- Falcon Fulfillment — Best for custom packaging
When it Makes Sense to Invest In Ecommerce Fulfillment Services
If you’re launching a new ecommerce website, you might decide to fulfill your own orders in the very beginning. While this might seem like a good way to save money in the early stages of your business, it’s not scalable or sustainable for long-term growth.
Running an ecommerce store out of your home, garage, or small office can be challenging as your inventory grows and new orders keep coming in. If your inventory has taken over your space and you don’t want to rent a warehouse, then you’re ready to invest in a fulfillment service.
Investing in ecommerce fulfillment services also makes sense if fulfilling orders is taking up your entire day, taking away from focus on other aspects of your business. You still need to be marketing the brand, providing quick customer service, and laying the groundwork for future growth.
Plus, if you are having problems managing returns at scale, an ecommerce fulfillment service can be your saving grace. No more returns will be sent back to your office and your trusted third-party can handle the ins and outs.
Ultimately, ecommerce fulfillment services represent a quick and cost-effective alternative to ramping up a fulfillment center on your own. Instead of renting a warehouse, setting up deliveries, buying boxes, hiring more employees, and managing a production line, you can just outsource this to a fulfillment service that handles everything for you.
#1 – Shopify Fulfillment Network — The Best for Most
Shopify Fulfillment Network is an all-in-one solution for fulfillment. Its simple-to-grasp pricing and exceptional service make it an easy choice for our top recommendation.
There are no up-front costs to get started, and Shopify offers everything you need to manage ecommerce fulfillment at scale. You’ll benefit from inventory management, safe product storage, handling, postage, and packing supplies.
Shopify Fulfillment Network even facilitates smooth returns. They’ll inspect your products, re-package any undamaged items, and update your inventory accordingly.
Best of all, items will be sent to your customers quickly, with two-day delivery available in eligible areas. They also offer international fulfillment services, which can’t be said for every provider on the market.
You’re never kept in the dark, either. Shopify provides professional fulfillment support and logistics expertise, so if you have any questions or need help, you’ll get assistance from a real human at any hour of any day.
The all-inclusive pricing offered by Shopify Fulfillment Network is based on weight per item. For example, a 12-ounce product costs $8.63. But, the rate for that item drops to $6.12 if there’s a second item in that order and down to $4.90 with three items in the order. So, you’ll save a good bit when you have multi-product orders.
Plus, storage is 100% free for items sold within six months. That’s an incredible extra bit of value. Any items kept beyond six months will cost you a bit, starting at $2.25 per cubic foot.
#2 – ShipBob — The Best for Omnichannel Fulfillment
More than 7,000 global brands rely on ShipBob for ecommerce fulfillment. They have over 30 fulfillment centers in six different countries and a service-level agreement guaranteeing a 99.95% accuracy rate and 99.96% delivery rate.
If you’re shipping products directly to consumers through multiple sales channels, look no further than ShipBob. This platform integrates with any ecommerce platform you might be using, as well as marketplaces like Walmart, eBay, and Amazon.
Its integrative capability is vast, syncing with a wide array of other software and platforms you may be using and allowing you to provide high-quality order fulfillment wherever your customers purchase from you, including social selling and buying on Google.
ShipBob provides affordable two-day shipping and simple pricing agreements. Fulfillment costs start at $5.38 per item with flat rates for storage per bin, shelf, or pallet. You can even calculate costs for your items based on their dimensions and weight right on ShipBob’s website without even signing up.
#3 – Easyship — Best for International Ecommerce
Easyship offers warehouses across four different continents and they work with more than 250 global courier services to help you save up to 91% on worldwide shipping rates. This is by far the best option for ecommerce stores with an international presence.
Plus, they’ll handle the complicated task of calculating tax and duty while maintaining compliance with customs regulations for any country you might ship products to.
Easyship has your back when it comes to international shipping costs. The shipping services help you avoid unnecessary tariffs—streamlining your logistics by putting your inventory close to its final destination.
Easyship helps you deliver your products to customers in over 200 countries. Never worry about limiting your revenue because global shipping and fulfillment is too hard.
You’ll get a dedicated account manager when you sign up with Easyship, who will help you set up the perfect strategy for your needs and ensure the onboarding process is seamless.
ShipBob plans start at $29 per month ($23 per month when paying annually), plus shipping rates. But, you’ll get the most competitive rates on that front because of ShipBob’s negotiated prices with shipping partners.
That entry level plan allows for up to 500 shipments per month. If you need more, you’ll pay a bit more on the monthly fee. But if you’re only shipping 50 or fewer orders each month, you might be able to get away with using Easyship’s free-forever package.
#4 – Fulfillment by Amazon — The Best for Amazon Sellers
If Amazon is your primary sales channel, why overcomplicate things? Look no further than Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) for order fulfillment and inventory storage.
New Amazon sellers have amazing incentives to sign up. Amazon offers free ad clicks, free shipping to fulfillment centers, free storage, and free return processing.
Getting started is simple.
Once you have an Amazon seller account, you can set up FBA from your Seller Central dashboard. Then, it’s just a matter of selecting the products in your Amazon catalog that you want to include as FBA inventory.
From there, items must be prepared for transportation and shipped to Amazon. Amazon’s warehouses will take care of the rest.
Shipping costs are included in your fulfillment fees. It’s a pay-as-you-go service, meaning you’re only charged based on storage space and the orders that get fulfilled.
There’s no extra charge for eligible orders purchased with Amazon Prime’s two-day free shipping.
If you’re an Amazon seller, sign up for Fulfillment by Amazon and use the revenue calculator to estimate your fulfillment costs.
#5 – Falcon Fulfillment — The Best for Custom Packaging
Falcon Fulfillment is a third-party logistics and fulfillment service that specializes in high-volume ecommerce. They have the capability to handle a wide range of industries, from health, wellness, and beauty to D2C sellers, wholesalers, and more.
But it’s how they can elevate your products themselves that makes Falcon Fulfillment really shine.
The custom packaging options offered by Falcon Fulfillment is what separates this service provider from the rest. They’ll help you personalize every aspect of your shipments, including the box, size, material, inserts, packing tape, and more.
Falcon Fulfillment has eco-friendly packing options as well. They make a conscious effort to use recyclable materials and reduce shipping waste per order—which is a great marketing point for your ecommerce brand to extend to your customers.
The potential is vast. Not only can you deliver products in eye-catching packaging, but you can leverage Falcon Fulfillment’s services to offer subscription boxes and new types of products or combinations. Falcon Fulfillment also offers personalized kitting services and helps you develop custom solutions for the way your items are packaged and displayed within each shipment.
Methodology for Choosing the Best Ecommerce Fulfillment Services
Ecommerce fulfillment is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are certain factors and considerations you need to keep in mind as you’re shopping around and comparing different services.
These are the factors that we looked at when deciding which fulfillment services were worth recommending and how they accommodate the needs of different businesses. You can use this as a buying guide as you weigh the criteria according to your personal needs.
Like it or not, consumers have grown to expect fast shipping. Any online retailer that sells consumer products should be trying to match Amazon’s bar of two-day free shipping.
To deliver on this promise, you need an ecommerce fulfillment service that offers you two-day deliveries without any extra charges.
You should also look beyond the service’s advertised shipping times. See what real businesses are saying about the service. Are they actually delivering on that promise?
Your customers don’t care who is fulfilling your orders. If you’re offering two-day free shipping and the package comes late, they’re going to blame you. So, it’s really important for you to find a reputable fulfillment service that offers fast shipping and meets its SLA.
What types of products are you selling?
There’s a big difference between shirts and pants compared to glass sculptures, televisions, and meal prep subscription boxes.
Look for a fulfillment service that has experience in your product category. This is especially important if you’re selling items that are fragile, expensive, perishable, or need special packaging.
If you’re selling electric bicycles, kitchen tables, couches, or other large specialty items, make sure your fulfillment service can accommodate the storage, packing, and shipping of these hefty products.
This buying criteria is crucial for subscription services as well. Let’s say you’re selling shaving kits that come with a razor, shaving cream, and balm. You need a service that can properly take each item and assemble everything into a custom package based on the unique order.
You need to think about your inventory today, as well as your inventory in the future.
Let’s say you’re selling about 5,000 units per month right now. You might find a fulfillment service that can easily accommodate that volume.
But what happens if your business grows over time? Will that same fulfillment service be able to accommodate 10,000 or 20,000 units per month? What if you have a huge holiday season and sell 50,000 units in two weeks?
Look for a fulfillment service that can grow or flex with your company. Having warehouses in multiple locations is really important. You should also consider international delivery options if you’re planning to sell products in different countries. Which leads to the next point.
Supply Chain Logistics
Your supply chain might be easy to manage if you’re only selling a handful of product variations in a single region within your home country.
But for online sellers that have international customers and sell multiple product SKUs, you should look for a solution that offers supply chain consultancy.
Having someone to walk you through your supply chain logistics can save you a fortune. They can provide you with unique insights based on your order volume, customer locations, and delivery structure. They’ll also be able to help you figure out which items should be delivered to which warehouses and how much of each you need to have available at a time.
Storage, packing, and shipping is obviously the bulk of fulfillment services, but you should also look at the technology offered by the provider.
The best ecommerce fulfillment services provide powerful back-office solutions to manage all of your needs and integrate with the other software and platforms you’re already using.
You should be able to view your inventory, track orders, set up custom options, and forecast your budget from a web-based dashboard.
While this is not a must-have feature for everyone, it’s important to consider for online stores with variable sales cycles. The information in a tech platform can save you thousands of dollars if you know how to read the reports properly. Otherwise, you could end up paying for storage on items that will just sit in a warehouse for months without being touched.
The Top Ecommerce Fulfillment Services in Summary
Shopify Fulfillment Network is the best fulfillment service for most online stores. It’s affordable, easy to get started, and provides everything you need for a fixed fee per item, all delivered by one of the most trusted names in ecommerce.
But each of the options on our list has serious virtues to consider. Some make a better argument for international shipping while others can elevate your brand through additional services beyond fulfillment. Use this list and our methodology to guide you to making the best choice for your ecommerce fulfillment service.