Five years in and ShipBob is already making a splash in the ecommerce industry. ShipBob is a leading 3PL provider that combines nationwide in-house fulfillment with inventory management technology. The award-winning company, based in Chicago, IL, is on a mission to deliver Amazon-level logistics to small to mid-level ecommerce businesses. That’s a big mission, but there’s no doubt the team can deliver.
Unlike other 3PL providers, ShipBob has proven to go above and beyond the typical pick-pack-ship model by helping ecommerce businesses manage inventory, forecast demand, pack orders, reduce shipping costs, and more. As of today, ShipBob has a network of fulfillment centers across the US and technology that easily integrates with leading ecommerce platforms. As ecommerce brands grow, ShipBob partners with them to continually improve their fulfillment strategy.
What to Consider When Choosing a 3PL
Not all 3PL providers are created equal. The ideal 3PL is not only going to help with shipping and fulfillment but also provide support, tools, and other services for your business. There are a multitude of factors to consider, including but not limited to:
- Speed of delivery
- Returns handling
- Website integrations
- Secured inventory
- Time savings
Compared to ShipBob, here’s how other 3PL providers stack up:
The right 3PL partner will ensure you’re not paying more than you should on fulfillment and warehousing. ShipBob provides a transparent and simple pricing model that works for them as they grow, enabling ecommerce businesses to scale faster. To get started, merchants can request a quote and discuss pricing based on the unique needs of their business.
Easy, transparent pricing
To help merchants easily get started on outsourcing fulfillment, ShipBob provides a simple and transparent pricing model that is based on a total fulfillment cost for standard, direct-to-consumer (DTC) order fulfillment. They only charge for receiving, storage and shipping, and all standard B2C fees are displayed on their pricing page. Additional service pricing and fees are also easy to understand for services including B2B, pick-up orders, package insurance, and more. With ShipBob, you don’t have to worry about hidden fees or surprise costs during the entire fulfillment process.
A scalable framework
As you grow, ShipBob’s pricing model still works. ShipBob makes it easy to adjust pricing based on the changes you make to your fulfillment strategy, such as shipping speeds and other customer options. At no extra cost, you’re also able to expand into additional ShipBob fulfillment centers for more storage space.. From the ShipBob dashboard, you’re able to calculate your pricing based on certain shipping criteria so you know exactly what it will cost.
What ShipBob offers
ShipBob combines nationwide fulfillment services and technology with inventory management software built in. With nationwide fulfillment centers, merchants are able to deliver to customers across the country at the fastest, most affordable way.
1. Inventory management and tracking
With advanced inventory management and tracking technology, you’re able to manage SKUs with ease, even when they’re not with you physically. ShipBob’s inventory management and tracking software lets you track accurate inventory levels in real-time. With easy integration to several of the industry’s leading ecommerce platforms, you’re able to automate the process in minutes. Over time, you’ll be given invaluable historical data that you can use to make better inventory decisions based on customer demand and order trends to prevent stockouts.
2. 2-day shipping
ShipBob is dedicated to helping merchants offer their customers affordable 2-day shipping. ShipBob’s 2-Day Express program is a shipping option that merchants can add to their checkout that is only displayed once a customer enters their shipping destination, validating the zip code and inventory that’s in the nearest fulfillment center in real-time. Using this option is very affordable as it uses only ground shipping unlike expedite 2-day air shipping. This allows for ecommerce shop owners to provide an Amazon Prime-like experience for their customers.
3. Nationwide warehousing
ShipBob offers nationwide fulfillment locations so you can deliver to your customers across the country faster and more efficiently. Known as distributed inventory, you’re given the option to split inventory across different fulfillment locations and track real-time inventory levels all from one dashboard. By reducing the distance a package travels, you can eliminate shipping to the highest, most expensive shipping zones, which also reduces transit times and shipping costs.
ShipBob is a technology-driven 3PL that owns their entire tech stack. Merchants are given access to a robust dashboard for real-time inventory and order management with full visibility into the entire fulfillment process, while ShipBob’s fulfillment centers are enhanced with warehouse management software (WMS) to pick, pack, and ship orders more efficiently, which is connected to the merchant dashboard.
5. Customer support
The ShipBob merchant success team is there to support merchants every step of the way, from initial setup to any fulfillment inquiries that may arise down the road. Larger volume customers are given access to a dedicated account manager who can help you make smarter fulfillment strategy decisions at no additional cost.
6. Returns processing
ShipBob helps merchants process customer returns simply so products are back on the shelf faster. ShipBob provides different options on how you want returns processed and they will help automate the return in the most cost-effective way. They’ll also provide a return link that allows customers to generate their own return labels without having to contact you directly. When the return process begins, you can track the entire process of the return.
Can your site integrate with ShipBob?
ShipBob makes it easy to seamlessly integrate with major ecommerce platforms and marketplaces to automate the entire fulfillment process. Here’s some further information on a few of their major store integrations.
Ecommerce Platform Integrations
In just a few steps, ShipBob’s proprietary software easily integrates with your Shopify or Shopify Plus store. With a click of a button, you’re able to link your store, then import your products and orders in just a few minutes — no developer needed. As soon as an order is placed on your Shopify store, it’s automatically pushed to the ShipBob fulfillment center where your inventory is stored.
ShipBob’s integration with BigCommerce, a renowned SaaS ecommerce platform, helps brands with BigCommerce stores ship quickly while saving on cost. With BigCommerce integration, merchants can easily automate the order fulfillment process while focusing more time and energy on scaling their business.
WooCommerce offers numerous tools to group products and other shipping methods using ShipBob. ShipBob’s software seamlessly integrates with WooCommerce to automate order fulfillment and inventory management. With ShipBob, WooCommerce merchants are able to outsource fulfillment rather than handling it in-house or via dropshipping.
ShipBob makes it easy to integrate Squarespace to streamline the entire fulfillment process. Once you connect your store and send your inventory to one of ShipBob’s nationwide fulfillment centers, your orders will automatically be fulfilled and shipped to your customers.
ShipStation is a leading web-based shipping software that helps online retailers in the US, Canada, and the UK streamline the order fulfillment process. For online stores that ShipBob does not integrate with, ShipStation acts as the middleman in order to easily integrate any online store with ShipBob.
ShipBob integrates with Amazon and provides fulfillment services for Amazon orders. However, ShipBob does not handle FBA or SFP fulfillment options, but they do help brands offer the same level of service on their own store, or for non-Prime Amazon orders.
Integrating your eBay store with ShipBob helps merchants automate order fulfillment while saving both time and cost. By integrating ShipBob’s intuitive fulfillment software, eBay merchants are given more control over inventory management and customer communication, plus access to invaluable data and analytics to make better inventory decisions.
ShipBob also supports crowdsourcing campaigns by integrating with Backerkit to automate reward fulfillment. ShipBob works with crowdfunders to fulfill backer rewards easily and affordably through a direct integration. BackerKit’s backer survey and data management platform connects seamlessly with ShipBob’s order fulfillment software for a best-in-class crowdfunding backer experience.
Your store not listed above? ShipBob has an open API that a developer can be used to connect your store.
Alternatives to ShipBob
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, unlike ShipBob’s multiple fulfillment centers in the US to deliver to customers across the country. 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 is responsible for ensuring 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 your FBA orders to stay through Amazon and have another fulfillment 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.
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.