ShipBob is a global ecommerce fulfillment service that offers a 99.95% accuracy rate in fulfilling orders. With more than 7,000 company partners, ShipBob prides itself on offering prompt service and freedom to customize processes to all its customers. But is ShipBob all that it’s cracked up to be? Let’s take a look at the virtues and flaws of this provider to find out.
ShipBob Compared to the Best Ecommerce Fulfillment Services
At Crazy Egg, we’ve done a lot of digging into ecommerce services of all stripes. ShipBob is one quality option for fulfillment of many, which we’ve covered in our full list of the top ecommerce fulfillment services. Take a look at our premium brand picks from that list, our Golden Eggs:
Shopify Fulfillment Network’s two-day delivery system and free six months of storage make it the perfect solution for anyone that already has a Shopify store. Sign up for a Shopify account today and save up to 45% on all fulfillment orders over 4 pounds.
Easyship is the best fulfillment service for international ecommerce, allowing you to sell to customers in over 220 countries. Best of all, you can use Easyship for up to 50 orders per month with no monthly fee.
Fulfillment by Amazon is the easy option for regular Amazon sellers, letting you streamline your selling and shipping processes without excess costs. Sign up today and receive Amazon’s New Seller Incentives offer, which comes with more than $50,000 in benefits.
ShipBob: The Good and the Bad
After extensive research, we found that ShipBob offers some features that deliver unique value to potential users with a few critical drawbacks that might break the product for some prospective customers. Let’s take a deep dive into both sides of the spectrum before you decide for yourself.
What ShipBob Is Good At
ShipBob’s global reach and customizability lead its virtues. There’s a lot here to like, especially if you’re looking for a fulfillment provider that covers all the basics alongside international ecommerce perks.
Customizable orders: ShipBob has a customization suite that allows you to create an unforgettable unboxing experience for your customers. Use unique boxes or mailers, add marketing inserts, print customer gift notes, add your brand name to shipping labels, and even customize how customers view your inventory. Most of these features come standard, but ShipBob’s customizable gift notes cost $0.50 per note, while its kitting costs run between $0.02 and $0.56 per order or action.
Two-day shipping: Whether you are shipping orders out from one fulfillment center or multiple, ShipBob guarantees two-day shipping across the continental United States. Through a combination of ground, air, and regional carriers, you can get your products to customers faster than your competition. This gives you the opportunity to win lifelong customers across all of your sales channels.
Reliable international fulfillment: With centers spread across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia, ShipBob’s global fulfillment capability gives your ecommerce store global reach, too. Ship to other countries with standard and expedited options and eliminate any hiccups by using ShipBob’s delivered duty paid (DDP) shipping. Through ShipBob’s powerful analytics and dashboard, you can manage your global fulfillment from one login with the same ease as your U.S.-based orders.
Intuitive interface: That dashboard, though detailed enough to handle monitoring your worldwide fulfillment, is actually very user-friendly and easy to navigate. Whether you are a beginner or a veteran with fulfillment software, ShipBob ensures you will have an easy time navigating its platform with different color-coded tabs for orders, shipping, marketing, and general operations and good visibility into when orders are being processed, shipped, and delivered with real-time status updates.
Seamless integrations: With an extensive app marketplace, you’re likely to find the other software you’re already using for ecommerce can be synced with ShipBob, from selling channels like Walmart and Amazon to CRMs, inventory management software, and customer support platforms. Plus, ShipBob’s fulfillment experts can help you understand whether each integration is right for your business processes if you’re looking to enhance your capability with platforms you’re not taking advantage of already.
What ShipBob Is Lacking
There are some drawbacks to ShipBob we’ve uncovered in user reviews and research that you should be aware of. Examine these against the benefits we listed above to see if ShipBob is an appropriate fit for your ecommerce operation.
Customization gets pricey: While its ability to customize the orders you send to customers is a huge and unique benefit of ShipBob, the fees associated with it (particularly custom kitting) can add up fast. There are 16 different kitting actions that incur an extra fee. We mentioned they range from just a couple cents to over $0.50, but if you were to go for a deluxe kit arrangement, you might end up adding $3 in fees to each order. And that’s not even accounting for charges that can multiply for a single order, such as placing an item in a box or packaging (10 cents each time) or affixing stickers, labels, or barcodes (21 cents each time).
Growing pains: ShipBob’s two-day shipping and international fulfillment capability are rather ambitious and some user reviews have noticed a disconnect between what’s being promised and the service they’re actually receiving. A lot of these reviews focus on inaccuracies when first getting inventory into the ShipBob system and issues with getting customized orders right. A couple users smartly pointed out that ShipBob may be growing faster than their team can support, and our hope is that ShipBob irons out issues with their internally automated processes to avoid these recurring complaints in the future.
Customer service: Another fixation of negative user reviews has been slow, unhelpful, and unfriendly customer service representatives. Many reviewers didn’t get the resolution they wanted via support and ended up airing their grievances on software review sites and the Better Business Bureau website. Certainly, we hope ShipBob is making improvements in this area, but it’s a good idea to try to put their agents to the test before committing to using this platform.
ShipBob Options and Pricing
There is one main product from ShipBob—its ecommerce fulfillment platform—that can manifest in a few different ways for users of the platform. Let’s drill down into what that entails and costs, plus take a quick peek at its marketplace of integrations.
ShipBob Fulfillment Platform
With ShipBob’s omnichannel fulfillment, you can fulfill orders and manage everything related to customer orders. Handle purchases through Amazon, Walmart, Facebook, Google, Etsy, and eBay, as well as your own website and even offline channels.
ShipBob can help you prevent overselling or running into stockouts. View real-time and historical stock levels and keep a finger on the pulse of your inventory no matter how many selling channels you’re juggling.
ShipBob stores your inventory, picks, packs, and ships your orders, plus allows you to automate order management and third-party shipping.
You can also tap into B2B-specific fulfillment features to handle restock requests and new orders from retailers you provide your products to. That also includes ShipBob handling retail display packaging and other details.
That can be a big difference-maker for some businesses, as you won’t always find this capability in other ecommerce fulfillment providers.
ShipBob also delivers services that make your B2C orders stand out from the crowd, including kitting, labeling, packaging, and reboxing.
ShipBob doesn’t disclose pricing on its website for its B2B fulfillment service, but you can request a free quote. However, you can run some quick math before reaching out by using the fulfillment calculator on ShipBob’s pricing page. Enter in product dimensions and weight and ShipBob will give you an itemized breakdown of expected fees and range of what fulfillment for that product will likely cost.
ShipBob’s partner and integration marketplace is extensive, providing an array of ways to weave ShipBob into your tech stack. Tap into integrations for Shopify Plus, WooCommerce, and others to match your ecommerce platform of choice. Sync ShipBob with Gorgias, Klayvio, and others to have your fulfillment platform play nicely with your customer service and marketing software.
Those are just the most traditional integrations. ShipBob’s marketplace also includes ways to sync its platform with crowdfunding platforms, accounting and financial software, branding agencies, and more.
Keep in mind that some of these integrations may incur a fee to use, if you’re not already tapping into them. Fortunately, ShipBob’s team of fulfillment experts will be available to help you assess the cost of using these integrations and how tapping into them can enhance your use of the ShipBob platform and your ecommerce business overall.
ShipBob also gives you the option to join its partnership program, which focuses on growing direct-to-consumer ecommerce brands. As a ShipBob partner, you can help merchants grow, simplify fulfillment for your customers, and open additional revenue streams.
You can apply for ShipBob’s partnerships for free by filling out a quick and easy form.
ShipBob in Summary
Overall, ShipBob offers a few really appealing qualities: customizable packaging and kitting of orders, two-day domestic shipping, and international reach. Plus, they also deliver tools for wholesalers to improve their fulfillment to the retailers that sell those products to the public.
That being said, some user reviews about ShipBob not meeting expectations or promises are concerning. If those shortcomings outweigh the potential benefits, you can look into some of our other top choices for ecommerce fulfillment. Shopify Fulfillment Network and Fulfillment by Amazon are easy choices if your ecommerce activity is largely happening on those channels, while Easyship is a fantastic alternative for ensuring timely international fulfillment.
Want to do more research on your own? Go deep into all the brands, features, and considerations to weigh in this category by reading our full post on the best ecommerce fulfillment services and arm yourself with the best information in order to make the best decision for your business.