If you’re starting an online business, your shipping process can make or break your success. Reading ShipBob reviews like this one can help you decide if it’s the best solution for your business.
Whether you’re just starting out or growing and looking to scale your efforts, your fulfillment partner is a crucial part of business operations.
In this review, we’ll look at ShipBob features, pricing, integrations, ease of use and more.
What to Consider When Choosing a 3PL
Not all 3PL providers are created equal. The ideal 3PL helps with shipping and fulfillment and provides support, tools, and other services for your business. There are several factors to consider, including:
- Speed of delivery
- Returns handling
- Website integrations
- Secured inventory
- Time savings
Compared to ShipBob, here’s how other 3PL providers stack up:
What is ShipBob?
ShipBob is a cloud-based software you can access from any internet connection. Targeted at small business owners, it offers ecommerce businesses a:
- Fulfillment solution
- Inventory management solution
- Warehouse management solution
Years ago, fast shipping was a competitive advantage. Now? It’s a requirement. Nearly half of shoppers have abandoned a shopping cart because of unsatisfactory delivery options. With ShipBob’s fulfillment services, you can offer two-day shipping, which is necessary to keep up with evolving customer and market demands.
ShipBob lets businesses use custom packaging. A branded unboxing experience helps make a strong first impression on customers.
How ShipBob Works
If you’re interested in using ShipBob, you’ll need to request information and wait for an expert to get back to you. They’ll take time to learn about your business and develop a custom quote suited to your needs.
After the consultation, you’ll be able to sign up for an account. The account contains demo data, which you can use to help you set everything up. Once you’ve added your product catalog and you’re ready to go, you can push everything live.
ShipBob uses a transparent pricing model based on total fulfillment cost for standard, direct-to-consumer (DTC) order fulfillment. They charge for receiving, storage and shipping. There’s even a price calculator in the dashboard.
ShipBob users can also take advantage of other services like:
- B2B order fulfillment
- Pickup orders
- Package insurance
- And more
There are no hidden fees or surprise costs to worry about. There are no setup fees to get started, and no minimum monthly order threshold to hit.
It costs $25 for the first two hours spent unpacking shipments into the warehouse. If it takes longer than two hours to unload the shipment, you’ll be charged $40/working hour after the first two hours.
Storage rates are:
- $10/per shelf/month
Order fulfillment costs are free for the first four picks in an order. After that, it’s $0.20 per pick in the order.
Standard packaging is free – including plain boxes, mailers, tape, and the dunnage (bubble wrap, filler, etc.) required to pack items.
Shipping costs are specific to the packages you ship out, based on size, weight, etc.
Additional services are available for B2B orders, kitting, freight shipping, etc.
ShipBob Shipping Rates
ShipBob has contracts with many shipping carriers to secure the best possible shipping rates. Because of the high volume, their rates are better than what most small businesses can get.
Shipping rates vary from carrier to carrier. They also vary based on the size and weight of the package, the originating zone, the destination zone, and the delivery speed.
ShipBob will always use the best carrier for your specific packages, based on what shipping options you offer and what option your customers choose.
ShipBob offers nationwide fulfillment services with built-in inventory management software. With a large network of fulfillment centers across the country, merchants can get orders to customers quickly and affordably.
Inventory Management and Tracking
ShipBob’s software makes it easy to track and manage inventory in real-time. You’ll also get inventory alerts to avoid stock-outs. ShipBob integrates with many ecommerce platforms to make automation easy. With historical data, you’ll be able to make better inventory decisions based on customer demand and order trends.
ShipBob’s 2-Day Express program allows merchants to offer customers fast shipping. Once a customer enters their shipping destination, ShipBob validates the zip code and checks inventory at the nearest fulfillment center in real-time.
The 2-Day Express program uses ground shipping only, saving merchants money compared to air-shipping. This allows for ecommerce shop owners to provide an Amazon Prime-like experience for their customers.
ShipBob has multiple warehouse locations across the globe, so you can keep inventory anywhere. The split inventory approach saves time and money.
Your customers receive inventory from the closest warehouse. You can track how much inventory is in each location from your dashboard.
With locations across the United States in major metro areas like New Jersey, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Chicago, ShipBob offers fast shipping to the vast majority of customers in the United States.
Additional USA locations include:
- Woodridge, Illinois
- Yorkville, Illinois
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Geneva, Wisconsin
- Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
- Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Ontario, California
- Hillsboro, Oregon
International shipping is also available, with fulfillment centers in:
- Melbourne, Australia
- Ottawa, Canada
- Kilkenny, Ireland
- Feltham, UK
- Heywood, UK
ShipBob’s receiving hours are Monday-Friday for all centers, except for certain U.S. federal holidays and international holidays.
Best in Class Technology
ShipBob owns their entire tech stack. As a merchant, you’ll have access to a dashboard where you can track inventory and orders in real-time.
ShipBob’s warehouses are managed with enhanced warehouse management software (WMS) to pick, pack, and ship orders more efficiently.
The WMS is linked to the merchant dashboard, so you have full visibility into the fulfillment process.
The cloud-based platform ensures you can access your customer portal to check stock levels from any device that has an internet connection.
ShipBob helps merchants process customer returns simply so products are back on the shelf faster. As a merchant, you can choose how you want ShipBob to process the returns.
ShipBob will give customers a return link so they can generate their own return labels without needing to contact you. You’ll be able to track the returns process from start to finish.
If your company ever changes the return policy, you can adjust things in ShipBob to match.
ShipBob makes it easy to seamlessly integrate with major ecommerce platforms and marketplaces to automate the entire fulfillment process.
No matter what ecommerce platform you use, ShipBob can work with you.
Ecommerce Platform Integrations
ShipBob will link to your Shopify or Shopify Plus store in a matter of minutes. Within a few clicks, you’ll link your store, then import products and orders.
When a customer places an order on your Shopify store, it’s automatically transferred to the ShipBob fulfillment center where the inventory is stored.
If your business uses BigCommerce, ShipBob makes it easy to automate the order fulfillment process. Link your store in a few minutes. Orders placed on your site will transfer to ShipBob for fulfillment.
With the ShipBob WooCommerce integration, you can connect to your store so that as orders come in, they’re sent to ShipBob for fulfillment.
ShipBob integrates with Squarespace to streamline the entire fulfillment process. Connect your store and send your inventory to ShipBob’s fulfillment centers. When customers place orders, they’ll automatically go to ShipBob for fulfillment.
Selling from somewhere other than your online store? ShipBob centralizes all your orders to make management easier.
If you’re selling on Amazon, you can use ShipBob to fulfill orders. However, ShipBob does not handle FBA or SFP fulfillment.
Selling items on eBay? Integrate ShipBob with your eBay store for fast and affordable fulfillment.
You’ll have more control over inventory management and customer communication. You’ll also get historical data and analytics to make better inventory decisions.
Considering a crowdfunding campaign and need an easy way to ship out rewards to your backers? ShipBob works with Backerkit. The direct integration automates reward fulfillment.
ShipStation is a web-based shipping software that helps online retailers streamline the order fulfillment process. If you use a platform ShipBob doesn’t integrate with, ShipStation can help. It serves as a bridge to connect ShipBob to your platform.
Your store not listed above? ShipBob has an open API that a developer can connect to your store.
Ease of Use
The ShipBob dashboard summarizes all your products and inventory that’s been distributed across all the warehouse locations.
You can easily set reorder notifications so that when your inventory reaches a certain point, you know it’s time to place another order with your supplier.
If you don’t set reorder notifications, ShipBob will still provide inventory alerts when it reaches a certain level at a fulfillment center.
ShipBob has a merchant care team available to help merchants with anything they need. Large volume customers have a dedicated account manager for fulfillment strategy support.
The support team is available via phone and email. There’s a help center and a blog with resources to help you find answers, too.
The support team is also available to assist with onboarding customers.
Compared to other 3PLs, ShipBob is the ideal fulfillment partner that delivers to a wide range of industries, small and large. They also provide the perfect formula that leads to fulfillment success by combining nationwide fulfillment centers with proprietary technology. However, there are a few alternatives to ShipBob.
Rakuten Super Logistics
Rakuten Super Logistics offers international fulfillment centers along with diverse shipping and warehousing options.
Although they deliver a robust fulfillment service, they don’t specialize in working with independent ecommerce stores like ShipBob. If you’re running logistics for a large business (e.g., shipping 100,000 orders per month), Rakuten is probably your best bet.
Red Stag Fulfillment
Red Stag Fulfillment specializes in delivering packages greater than ten pounds and fulfilling high-value goods that require extra care.
They have only two warehouse locations, which may affect delivery timeframes. If you ship items over 50 pounds or over 48 inches long, Red Stag is your best option every time.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) gives Amazon sellers direct access to their fulfillment centers to store inventory, and Amazon ensures shipments meet Amazon Prime shipping standards.
Although this model can simplify the process for sellers, the downside is it can be costly and you’re not given as much control over your branding and customer interactions. FBA is your best option if you’re looking to ship Amazon Prime orders every time, but you can also split inventory, so FBA orders to stay through Amazon and have another 3PL provider like ShipBob handle website orders.
Is ShipBob Meant for Your Online Shop?
It’s no surprise that ShipBob delivers more than your traditional 3PL. They are the ideal partner that will help you efficiently fulfill orders as you scale your business. With ShipBob, you’ll be given the support, facilities, and technology you need so you can focus more time on being the owner rather than the operator.
That said, it’s not the right option for every online business. It’s best for small businesses that are shipping at least 100 products every month. If you’ve not hit that level yet, it may be more cost effective to handle your own shipping with USPS, FedEx, or UPS.
Larger businesses can also use ShipBob for order fulfillment, but may find other solutions more effective.
Leave Your ShipBob Reviews
If you currently use ShipBob, or have been a customer in the past, we’d love for you to leave a review. To provide value to our readers, we rely on ShipBob reviews from actual customers. Share your thoughts below.
ShipBob provides a tremendous amount of support to help you get started. If you’re interested in learning more about the leading, technology-enabled 3PL, visit www.shipbob.com.