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ShipBob Review: Fulfillment Solution for eCommerce Stores

ShipBob is a third-party logistics and fulfillment solution for e-commerce websites, Read on for our full review with Pros & Cons.
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Fulfillment can be a headache for merchants. Getting your products from the warehouse to your customers is not as easy as it sounds. So many things can go wrong from the time the product leaves your warehouse to when it gets to the final consumer—if it gets there. The customer expects the order to get there on time, but they might also expect free shipping.

A BigCommerce survey revealed that 36 percent of shoppers would give up coffee and Netflix in exchange for free online shipping.

Another survey in 2019 from research company Convey shows that estimated delivery dates played was a determinant factor in their online shopping decisions. Fulfillment is vital for the online business, and not getting it right could destroy your business before it gets off the ground.

This is where a third-party logistics (3PL) firm could be a game-changer. This guide takes a look at how tech-enabled 3PL firm ShipBob can power your ecommerce company to the top with cost-effective and fast shipping options.

Visit ShipBob

The Importance of Delivery to Ecommerce Businesses

Before diving into what ShipBob does, it’s worth noting the problem that it tries to solve — order fulfillment.

Shipping challenges have plagued e-commerce businesses for long. Think of the last time you tried shopping online but had issues with delivery and order replacement.

It could have been a lost or damaged order, or even a delayed delivery. Whatever it was, you probably swore never to go back again. In 2018, a Customer Report from Narvar showed that 53 percent of e-commerce customers in the U.S. wouldn’t purchase a product if it didn’t arrive on time.

Metapack also reported in 2016 that 38 percent of online shoppers said they wouldn’t order from a retailer with nasty shipping experiences. So, beyond just having the right product that customers want, attractive website, you also need to ensure the speedy and efficient fulfillment of your goods.

ShipBob Homepage
ShipBob Homepage

Delivery Delays: Causes and How They Affect Businesses

For so long, fulfillment has been the Achilles heel for many e-commerce merchants. Walker Sands reported in 2018 that only 15 percent of American e-commerce shoppers were happy with the level of their retailers’ delivery service — compared to 30 percent for Amazon. Why do businesses experience delivery delays? There are so many factors that hinder fulfillment across America, and they include:

  • A lack of visibility throughout the supply chain
  • Inadequate technology
  • Auto accidents
  • Inclement weather
  • Lost packages
  • High-volume shipments
  • Traffic conditions
  • Customs challenges (for cross-border deliveries)

Shipping delays affect customer expectations in different ways. Some customers expect a specific level of service delivery, and when shipping deadlines elapse, they find it difficult to purchase more items from the merchant. No one wants their order to spend two weeks when they can quickly drive down to the nearest brick-and-mortar store and pick it up—efficient shipping breeds loyal customers. According to the Office of Consumer Affairs at the White House, loyal customers can be worth as much as ten times as much as their first purchase. When a person knows that your shipping methods are subpar, you can’t win them back.

ShipBob: Your All-in-One Ecommerce Fulfillment and Order Management Solution

As an e-commerce startup, some logistics issues might be out of your control. Even when you handle delivery yourself, it’s only normal for challenges to arise. However, several companies have dedicated themselves to helping you along the process and making the order fulfillment process as easy as possible. One of them is ShipBob.

What is ShipBob?

ShipBob is a third-party logistics (3PL) and fulfillment solution for e-commerce services. The company handles shipping and deliveries to customers who have made purchases on your site, thus taking the hassle of moving your products off your shoulders.

Based out of Chicago, ShipBob is suitable for small and medium businesses trying to scale. It offers a cheap and convenient way of handling order and fulfilling them, while also ensuring full control over the customer experience and facilitating returns where possible.

ShipBob offers affordable two-day shipping, helping businesses improve service delivery to their customers. It gives the company the fulfillment power and scale of a large retailer. The 3PL has warehousing centers across the U.S. Once the customer places an order, your items are picked, packed, and shipped without you lifting a finger. You can easily track, analyze, and monitor your inventory and orders from a single dashboard.

How ShipBob works
How ShipBob works

ShipBob Integrations

As a 3PL, ShipBob relies on integrations with e-commerce solutions and website builders. Thankfully, ShipBob integrates with some of the top website builders and e-commerce solutions in the world. These include:

ShipBob Integrations
ShipBob Integrations

Shopify

Shopify offers a shipping feature called Shopify Shipping that allows merchants to access discounted rates of big logistics firms like DHL, USPS, and others. But, you still have to create, process, and print shipping labels and then send them over to the delivery partner. This is a lot of legwork, which poses more challenges as your customer base grows.

ShipBob’s integration with Shopify is quick and easy. You merely click a button and link your store. Then, import your products and orders, and you’re good to go. You don’t need any developer or technical support. Any order placed on your Shopify store will be pushed to the ShipBob fulfillment center for immediate processing.

BigCommerce

ShipBob also has integrations with BigCommerce. With this integration, BigCommerce merchants can automate the order-fulfillment process, allowing them to focus more on the other parts of their business.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce merchants can access several options for shipping, including ShipBob. The service also allows WooCommerce merchants to outsource their order fulfillment for faster delivery. With the ShipBop integration, WooCommerce users can expect guaranteed two-days shipping, real and transparent inventory management, leading to a more streamlined supply chain. Other platforms that enjoy seamless integration with ShipBop are Squarespace and Amazon.

How ShipBob Works

ShipBob’s services are in two classes. First, you have a software solution that allows you to manage orders and communicate with your customers. The second is a logistics service that works in the back end to fill orders and warehouse inventory.

All you have to do is connect your store to ShipBob and send your products to its fulfillment centers. It handles the rest of the order fulfillment processes on your behalf.

ShipBob maintains the same working procedure as every other 3PL. Generally, the process is broken down into:

  • Receiving: You send a product to ShipBob, and they place it in one of their fulfillment centers. You will need to fill out some documentation about the product, although ShipBob will send you that. ShipBob receives, stores the product and maintains it.
  • Picking: When a customer makes an order on your platform, the order is pushed to ShipBob. The picking team gets a packing slip, which includes essential order information — order number, quantity, and the storage location.
  • Packing: ShipBob packs the product to protect it from damage and send it over. Remember that you can choose to have your boxes at the company’s fulfillment center if you want.
  • Shipping: The next stage is shipping. ShipBob will handle this process on your behalf, thanks to its partnership with shipping companies. Once the product ships, the firm sends you the order tracking information, which you can immediately share with your customers. So, everyone can get information about the order and its status.

ShipBob’s Top Features

Inventory Tracking and Management

Thanks to ShipBob’s inventory management service, you can track your parcels as they move from warehouse to the customer’s location. The service’s inventory management software keeps you abreast of your product’s location in real-time. Easy integration with several top industry platforms helps you automate the process. Managing inventories is never an easy task. With ShipBob, you get timestamps every time your product moves from one fulfillment center to another

Inventory management
Inventory management

You can also change delivery details post-purchase, regardless of whether it is a direct-to-customer or wholesale order.

In time, the platform will provide you with valuable historical data that will help you make better routing and shipping decisions.

Advanced Filter

The advanced filter on ShipBob allows you to search for what you need and get reports later. You can filter products by order date, tracking number, fulfillment center, and even the destination.

Order and Return Management

Apart from being able to track and manage orders from the moment they leave your warehouse, ShipBob allows you to keep customers updated on their orders’ status and whereabouts. Just share the tracking details, and they will be able to check on their orders too.

Order management
Order management

Since ShipBob is an end-to-end shipping provider, it also allows your customers to return goods that they’re not satisfied with. The software enables customers to process their returns and get confirmation almost instantly.

You could automate the returns process and allow customers to get their return shipping labels. This way, both parties can track the shipping in real-time too.

Two-Day Shipping

One of ShipBob’s primary objectives is to help you improve your service delivery. With two-day shipping, the platform makes this possible. If you have ShipBob integrated into your e-commerce store, you can offer two-day shipping to your customers. Simply add it to your checkout.

54 percent of American e-commerce retailers pointed to same-day shipping as their top purchase drivers, the Walker Sands report explained. You might not be able to match this, but given how disgruntled choppers seem to be with their shipping experiences, two-day shipping offers a stable delivery level.

With the shipping option, you get to give your customers a rival experience to the industry-standard — Amazon Prime.

An Intuitive Dashboard

ShipBob is a 3PL that owns its entire stack. So, as a registered merchant, you get the firm’s full technology features on your dashboard. These include real-time order management and full visibility into the complete fulfillment process.

Your merchant dashboard also accesses ShipBob’s fulfillment centers, which have been enhanced with Warehouse Management Software to select, package, and ship orders more efficiently. Today’s customers expect to be kept in the loop concerning the details of their orders. With ShipBob, you can share order tracking information with your customers and help them keep real-time tabs on their deliveries.

With greater control over order statuses, you can relay accurate information to your customers and keep them in the loop always.

Reporting and analytics
Reporting and analytics

Distributed Inventory

ShipBob has warehouses in five of the most significant commercial hotspots in the United States; Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Dallas, and Chicago. This broad location coverage allows the company to access merchants and markets more effectively and at low costs.

So, you can deliver to your customers across the country quicker and more effectively.

The service also provides distributed inventory, which allows you to split inventory across several fulfillment centers and track them all via one dashboard.

The distributed inventory service will help reduce the distance that packages travel. You can eliminate the most expensive shipping zones, thus optimizing your shipping service to the fullest.

Ready Customer Support

All merchants on ShipBob get access to its customer service team. You can contact them if any issues arise via email, phone, tickets, and live chat support. Larger-volume customers get dedicated account managers who will help improve their shipping strategies — all at no additional cost.

ShipBob Pricing

Generally, ShipBob collects standard charges on three fronts:

Receiving inventory

ShipBob charges a flat rate of $25 for the first two hours. After the first two hours, the company charges $35 per man-hour.

Storage and warehousing

ShipBob’s monthly pricing for storage is broken down into:

  • $40 per pallet
  • $10 per shelf
  • $5 per bin

Pick-and-pack costs

These are free for the first five order picks. From the sixth pick, the company charges $0.20 per pick.

Shipping

Shipping fees on ShipBob vary. The company calculates this based on the product’s weight, dimensions, destination, and the shipping service used. However, costs usually range between $5 and $50.

ShipBob also provides prorated pricing options. So, if the products on a shelf sell out halfway through the month, you pay $5 instead of the standard $10 fee.

ShipBob Pricing
ShipBob Pricing

ShipBob Pros and Cons

ShipBob Pros

  • Handles the entire fulfillment and order management processes for you
  • Two-day shipping improves service delivery
  • Integration with top e-commerce service platforms
  • Seamless, user-friendly interface
  • Several warehouse locations to choose from

ShipBob Cons

  • You might have a hard time understanding its pricing
  • Some service pages might load slowly

ShipBob Comparisons

ShipBob vs. ShippingEasy

ShippingEasy is one of the top competitors in ShipBob’s service. Both platforms help automate the shipping and order fulfillment processes, thus taking the pressure off their merchants. Looking closely, it’s easy to find similarities between both platforms, including their offering of air shipping, tracking options, and warehouse management.

For costs, ShipBop charges customers based on the services rendered, while ShippingEasy prices its services based on the volumes of your shipments. The lowest is called the Starter Pack, and it costs $0 with 50 shipments monthly. In contrast, their most expensive option is Premium at $99/month.

ShipBob vs. Freightview

Freightview is more of a management system than centralizes your existing operations with 3PL, allowing you to book, track, compare, and analyze multiple shipments from one platform. Unlike ShipBob that’s targeted at small business owners, Freightview’s pricing puts them in the league of medium-sized businesses that have scaled. They offer a Free Trial but their Standard Package starts at $99/month, which provides 100 shipments per month and the ability to connect unlimited carriers.

ShipBob vs. ShipStation

ShipStation is one of the most established companies in the online shipping industry. The service actually has integrations with ShipBob, although they’re still fierce competitors nonetheless.

ShipStation Review
ShipStation Review: Great eCommerce Shipping Software

Both services see to the needs of the same set of people — small and medium-scale businesses. The most significant difference between them, however, is availability. While ShipStation is available on both mobile and desktop platforms, ShipBob only has a desktop client.

ShipStation also has more variable pricing tiers, which will give you more options when selecting your payment. The service allows for a free trial, so you can test its services and decide for yourself.

ShipBob vs. EasyShip

EasyShip and ShipBob are also strikingly similar. However, while they both solve shipping and fulfillment challenges, EasyShip focuses more on cross-border solutions. So, in a way, EasyShip targets larger companies with foreign customers.

easyship review
Easyship Review: All-in-One Shipping Platform for eCommerce Sellers

Both services employ quote-based prices, so you can’t have a clear view of how much you’ll pay from the onset. The benefit of this is that you can access their full suite of features with an account. You don’t face any restrictions based on how much you pay.

The two services are also primarily web-based for now.

Conclusion

Success in the e-commerce industry depends on several factors. While you can have a vast catalog of products available, it doesn’t make much of a difference if your customers have to wait weeks to get them.

You need to optimize your order fulfillment and shipping options to ensure that you can keep your existing customers coming back. With statistics showing that customers aren’t too happy with their current e-commerce shipping options, doing this will also help put you in the perfect position to get new customers.

With ShipBob, you have a solution that effortlessly handles this process on your behalf and lets you focus on other areas of your business. While it has its downsides, this service provides a cheap, stress-free, and reliable solution for small and medium-scale e-commerce businesses.

Visit ShipBob

ShipBob

8.4

Features

9.0/10

Price

9.0/10

Support

8.0/10

Ease of Use

8.0/10

Design

8.0/10

Pros

  • Handles the entire fulfillment and order management process
  • Two-day shipping improves service delivery
  • Integration with top e-commerce service platforms
  • Seamless, user-friendly interface
  • Several warehouse locations to choose from

Cons

  • Pricing Structure hard to follow

Based in the UK, Jimmy is an economic researcher with outstanding hands-on and heads-on experience in Macroeconomic finance analysis, forecasting and planning.He has honed his skills having worked cross-continental as a finance analyst, which gives him inter-cultural experience.He has a strong passion for regulation and macroeconomic trends as it allows him to peek under the global bonnet to see how the world works.

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