Building a business from the ground up takes dedication and hard work and once your business is achieving a steady flow of customers and orders, you might often find yourself spending long days and draining nights packing orders and then rushing to get them posted in a timely manner.
Before you know it, this becomes a routine you can’t seem to escape, leaving you very little time to work on building the social presence of your business and developing new products.
Luckily this is where order fulfilment services come into play, alleviating you of stress and freeing up your day so you can invest more time in scaling your business.
Order fulfilment services are third party companies who specialise in taking care of the picking, packing and shipping of products on behalf of other businesses which helps you cut down on costs, provide your customers with faster shipping time and gain valuable time to invest back into your business.
In an attempt to rid eCommerce businesses of sleepless nights, there has been a significant increase in order fulfilment services worldwide in the last decade, each one holding individual qualities and values that appeal to the thousands of categories across eCommerce businesses.
Choosing the right fulfilment service can be a daunting task that requires you to evaluate the monthly order volume of your business and whether your eCommerce business website is receiving impressions and a growing customer base.
Once this is established we then suggest meticulously narrowing down the best eCommerce fulfilment services that meet your budget, order volume, personal needs and development plans and deciding which route to venture down.
An industry-leading fulfilment service provider that is popular among eCommerce businesses is Shipbob. Based in America, the company has expanded along with its client base, with warehouses across Australia, Canada and even in the UK.
Businesses can often be swayed by Shipbob’s online presence and jump into partnership with them without properly assessing if it is the right fit. We have narrowed down a list of pro’s and con’s for Shipbob to help you decide whether you want to outsource your fulfilment process to them..
It can be beneficial to also look for alternatives to Shipbob, and there are many eCommerce fulfilment competitors to Shipbob. This is why we discuss in depth about our services here at Parcel Master as we provide eCommerce fulfilment alternatives to Shipbob that include a ton of the same benefits.
Shipbob is a leading third party order fulfilment service that has achieved an established brand name and service within the realm of eCommerce businesses. The popular fulfilment provider processes, handles and oversees the picking, packing and shipping of products across different multiple businesses.
Businesses of all sizes outsource their fulfilment process to Shipbob which means they no longer need to engage in the tedious routine of processing orders and instead they can focus on scaling their business.
The company was founded in 2014 by co-founders Dhruv Saxena and Divey Gulati. Shipbob has come a long way from its origins where it would operate out of co-founder and CEO Saxena’s apartment.
Eight years later, Shipbob has a loyal customer base, improved technology, a bigger team of experts and their operations have been completely optimised to make the process smoother for clients and their customers. The company is labelled as one of the fastest growing tech companies in America and has shown no signs of slowing down, with their warehouses expanding across the world.
How does a business that was started in a Chicago apartment become an industry leading fulfilment provider and what does it take for Shipbob to scale your business at the same rate? This question is super important to discuss in order to evaluate if Shipbob’s success story means that they can speed up your own success.
Shipbob is a fulfilment provider that understands the constant need to develop and improve their process in order to stay ahead of their competitors and this is evident in their endless list of clients and benefits.
To hold the title of a successful eCommerce fulfilment service provider, a company must provide their clients with respect, dedication, care and a list of benefits.
In terms of taking care of their clients and their stock, Shipbob ensures all products are stored in quality controlled warehouses before employees pick, pack and post the orders. The company also handles all returns on your behalf giving you the space to deal with other important issues within your business.
Shipbob encourages their clients to focus on developing and expanding their business while they take care of all the orders and returns for you behind the scenes.
If you’re an eCommerce business owner in the UK and are looking to expand overseas then Shipbob has all the measures in place to help you on that journey.
Based in the US, they have over 25 fulfilment centres across America and Shipbob makes the process of expanding to the US super straightforward.
The company requires you to send your stock directly from your warehouse or manufactures to them, they then distribute it across their overseas warehouses and your business will have officially scaled across to the US and can begin the process of establishing a customer base there.
This also means that you can avoid unreasonably high import fees, custom fees, shipping costs and elongated delivery times.
Shipbob’s fulfilment centres are not just across America but across the world, from Australia to Canada and even in the UK. With over 30 fulfilment centres in total across 6 different countries. Shipbob provides an extensive range of opportunities to scale your business.
One of the main benefits of working with Shipbob is that they offer the option of integrating your marketplaces and shopping carts (Shopify and WooCommerce) into one platform. This means you can merge all your business orders, inventories and data, making it super easy to manage all your products.
Shipbob also presents its clients with the option of using customised packaging as opposed to their standard plain packaging. This is something to consider when you are looking to improve the brand identity and customer experience.
With a 99.95% accuracy rating, having worked with over 5000 eCommerce businesses, it’s safe to say that Shipbob knows what they are doing and they do it well.
Although it may seem that Shipbob is without faults due to their long list of benefits and achievements, this is just simply unachievable for any business.
There are many reasons as to why you might be looking for alternatives to Shipbob or for eCommerce fulfilment competitors to Shipbob. It is inevitable that what one company lacks, another is succeeding in.
Shipbob unfortunately does not handle products that need to be refrigerated or frozen. If your business specialises in products that need this type of storage then it makes sense that you would need to look for Shipbob alternatives which still hold the same benefits.
Similarly to the above point, Shipbob also does not hold the necessary licence needed to store, ship and work with alcohol products, creating further restrictions for your business.
While Shipbob does not hold a minimum order quantity per month, their prices would not be worth paying if your business was not selling around 250 orders each month. Thus giving you a MOQ without giving you one.
Before working with Shipbob it is important to know that the service operates on a 4 sales to one SKU ratio, this means that each SKU needs to have a sale rate of 4 or more per month for it to be stocked and handled by Shipbob.
This also means that Shipbob’s ‘minimum order volume’ of 250 per month equates to the fact that you would only be able to have around 60 SKU’s in use and stored and sold within their facilities each month.
If your order volume exceeds 250 orders per month then more SKUs can be added, so long as your sales to SKU ratio adheres to Shipbob’s requirements.
If you have a high number of SKUs which don’t all receive a high order volume each month then Shipbob’s services would not be beneficial and instead we recommend you look into more flexible alternatives to Shipbob.
Their website features a price calculator but to receive a detailed quote you must request it from them and you may find extra charges on the secure quote compared to the website calculator. This is terribly misleading as it makes potential clients think they are receiving a cheap deal until it is snached away.
Discussing the setbacks of Shipbob’s service and performance wouldn’t be complete without hearing from first hand clients of theirs. Their website includes an array of reviews from clients, with all of them portraying a positive experience.
However, the reviews left on Trustpilot by Shipbob’s less satisfied customers tell a different story. Brian Barkeley posted in August of this year stating ‘Actively searching for alternatives. Drop/off and pickup windows are very far out, picks are commonly missed, and customer service is robots/overseas without direct access to the warehouse. Fine for really small volume – problematic for scaling’.
As a business owner it is important to take into account other businesses experiences with a fulfilment company before outsourcing your process to them. This review conveys the weak spots in Shipbobs service such as delayed shipping, missing items and a lack of customer service and support.
When a company grows as fast as Shipbob, you can imagine that they begin to allocate less and less individual care and support due to their increase in demand. Looking for eCommerce fulfilment alternatives to Shipbob means you may stumble upon companies like us that provide tailored care and dedicated customer service support.
Assessing the pro’s and con’s of Shipbob can help you discover whether it is the right fulfilment service provider for your business. Below we have provided a bullet point list as to why you might decide to source alternatives to Shipbob.
• They do not hand products that need to be refrigerated
• They do not handle products that need to frozen
• They do not have a licence to handle and ship Alcohol products
• Operate on a 4 sales to one SKU ratio
• No minimum order quantity but prices suggest you should be selling over 250 products per month for it to be worthwhile
• No transparent pricing available on their website
• Customer reviews expressing neglectful customer service / delayed shipping / missing items in orders
To tell you we are the best alternative to an industry leading fulfilment service like Shipbob is a big statement. This is why we want to take the time to explain to you a little bit more about ourselves and what we can offer you. We just might be the perfect fit that your business has been searching for.
Operating here in the busy city of Nottingham, our dedicated team ensures all orders are handled with the utmost precision and care. Within our 12,500 sq ft warehouse, our skilled team handles the picking, packing and shipping of all orders and we even take care of any returns. This is to give you total ease when handing over your fulfilment service to us.
We encourage you to use the free time to invest back into scaling your business. Spend time developing your website, dreaming up new product ideas and engaging your customers on your social media platforms.
We pride ourselves on our commitment to keeping your customers happy so they decide to return to your business and even spread the word..
Here at Parcel Master, we understand the growing pains of a small business. The long nights, personal investment in time and money and the stressful nature of consumer culture.
As a small business ourselves, we truly value the hard work it takes to own your own business. Our mission is to make it as easy and stress free as we can for you and with us you can enjoy all the perks of owning your own business without the downsides.
Parcel Master specialises in helping smaller or new businesses with their businesses. We are always rooting for your success which is why our minimum order quantity is up to 10 orders per day.
This gives your business the freedom and space to continue developing while also providing current customers with an efficient and fast order experience.
Often big companies such as Shipbob may hold a high monthly price or MOQ which makes it hard for small businesses to find a third party fulfilment provider.
Many companies may assume that smaller businesses don’t need a helping hand if they don’t have a heavy flow of customers. Here at Parcel Master, we know that isn’t true, and we are committed to helping businesses of all sizes reach their goals.
We ship over 10,000 parcels every month and this has developed our expert knowledge in the field. This means we now have a tried and true method to fulfil and ship orders and our monthly order volume conveys that message.
Whether your business makes up 30 of those orders or 300, our team handles them all with the same efficiency and dedication.
With Parcel Master, you don’t just get a great fulfilment service but also an open line of communication with our delightful team. No query is too big or small, we want to help you and your business in all aspects.
Providing clear information regarding inventory, orders, customer returns. We are also happy to discuss any problems and provide helpful advice, after all, your success is our success.
Here at Parcel Master we are completely flexible and unlike our large competitor Shipbob, we do not hold restrictions against our clients.
Whatever your requirements are, our team is happy to discuss a way to make it work. Whether your products need certain storage conditions or you need us to handle items such as cosmetics or food, we are always looking to improve and expand our service capabilities.
We are a small business which means we have the ability to provide individual focus on each of our clients needs and requirements. Giving you detailed updates and the opportunity to continue expanding your range of products without restrictions.
Our fulfilment services are not the cheapest but they are honestly priced in regards to the care that we provide for you, your products and your clients. We also promise to have no hidden fees and you only pay for the space you use, not the whole warehouse.
We also offer integration with a wider variety of marketplaces, shopping carts and inventory management softwares (Ebay, Shopify, Linnworks) than other fulfilment services. To make business as smooth as possible, with us you can manage all your applications in one place.
Our fulfilment services include a cloud-based software which gives our clients real-time inventory updates so you know when your stock arrives at our warehouse and the stock volume of your products.
To end our discussion on the benefits included in our service, we must mention our maximum level of security. Keeping your stock safe is highly important to us which is why our warehouse includes a palisade fence, CCTV, shutters and an alarm system which triggers the police when activated.
Compared to Shipbob, our team offers a range of benefits which outweigh the benefits and years of experience Shipbob holds. Below we have summarised our benefits and reasoning as to how we have come to this conclusion.
• We specialise in helping small businesses and cater our prices and order quantity accordingly which Shipbob does not
• We ship over 10,000 parcels each month giving us expert experience
• Due to us being a small business we are able to provide extensive care and quality checks for orders which bigger companies like Shipbob cannot promise
• Temperature controlled storage depending on your product needs
• Open line of communication with our team which Shipbob has been criticised for not providing
• Flexible service with no restrictions which you cannot find elsewhere
• No hidden fees
• Wider network of integration services
• Cloud based software that delivers real-time update
• Maximum security at our warehouse
• Have no restrictions regarding sale to SKU ratio unlike Shipbob
Shipbob is a popular fulfilment service across the world. They have established their name and developed a loyal customer base. They also provide many benefits for their clients. However, if you own a business that is small, just starting up or that specialises in products that have special requirements, then our services at Parcel Master may be the better option.
Looking for eCommerce fulfilment alternatives to Shipbob is triggered solely due to the fact Shipbob lacks in a department that is important to you. Parcel Master includes all the benefits of Shipbob without the controlling restrictions and unstable customer service.
If you are interested in hearing more about our services, we are happy to personally get to know more about you, your business and how we can meet your needs.
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