Can you outsource your entire shipping process to a 3rd party logistics (3PL) partner and still be in control? For most eCommerce business owners, the last thing you want to think about is logistics. That is until it stops working. Or, maybe you’re fresh off the boat and are looking for a reliable order fulfillment partner? One way of doing that is through ShipBob.
It’s an order fulfillment solution that offers fast and affordable shipping. But as you know, choosing the right order fulfillment company can make or break your business. That’s why we created this ShipBob review to help you decide if it’s right for you. Stick around to find out if this shipping service is the right option for your small business.
Features of ShipBob
Some of you reading this are in the retail business i.e. you sell physical products. That means you know how much of a headache it is to pick, pack, print labels, and ship your products.
It’s stressful but necessary. After all, your customers expect to get what they paid for, and it’s your job to get it to them. But that’s not what you signed up for when you started your business.
Your dream is slowly becoming a shipping nightmare. As an all-in-one cloud fulfillment service, ShipBob offers end-to-end retail order fulfillment. It comes with features that allow you to outsource your entire shipping process.
1. 2-Day Shipping
More than a decade ago, to beat your competitors, you had to offer fast delivery. After a few years, it was no longer a competitive advantage. That was until Amazon, began offering 2-day guaranteed shipping. That is Amazon Prime’s Two-Day Delivery.
It set the stage for what today’s customers expect; fast shipping times. In fact, about half (48%) of online shoppers say it usually takes 2-3 days to receive their package. So how do you, a small business owner, keep up with the fast shipping expectations of your customers?
Start offering 2-day shipping. ShipBob helps you offer customers 100% 2-day shipping coverage. You also get access to 2-day shipping badges that you use on your website to boost conversions. At its price tag, you’ll make cost savings on fulfillment.
The biggest drawback of 3PLs that offer convenience and speed is that it usually comes at a cost. It’s typically customer experience and satisfaction. To prevent this, ShipBob developed its customization suite.
Their customization suite allows you to create personalized and unboxing experiences that boost customer loyalty. It allows you to stay on brand, create positive experiences and leave a good impression.
3. Global Expansion
ShipBob offers a decent solution for businesses that are ready to go global. By leveraging their global network of fulfillment centers, you can deliver products worldwide. How? Using their web of fulfillment centers found in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia.
Additionally, with their large network and analytics technology, you can focus on growing your business. Moreover, they make it easy to ship around the world. You can also offer your customers the option of choosing between standard or expedited shipping.
4. Omnichannel & B2B
ShipBob gives you the flexibility to sell. You can offer your customers a positive, memorable experience both offline and online.
They built a central order and inventory management hub to manage all your sales channels. That includes Facebook, eBay, Etsy, Google, Amazon, and Walmart. ShipBob also allows you to see historical and current stock levels in real-time. You can sit and watch both online and offline customers’ orders get fulfilled in one place.
5. Apps & API
ShipBob offers a variety of integration options. It also has an API that developers can use to open up a world of possibilities for your business. It connects to all the major marketplaces and eCommerce platforms. That means you don’t have to migrate your store.
That includes Shopify, Bigcommerce, Woocommerce, Amazon, eBay, Squarespace, ShipStation, and BackerKit. ShipBob lets you set up and automate your store’s entire shipping process in minutes.
6. Fulfillment Software
Behind Shipbob’s fully-automated shipping solution is state-of-the-art fulfillment software. It’s a proprietary cloud-based app that allows you to automate all your fulfillment needs.
It helps you manage orders, track inventory and get notifications live from anywhere. And the best part is that you get all that at no extra cost. But it’s limited to Shipbob’s “unlimited users” plan.
ShipBob also comes with efficient algorithms, in-built reporting, and analytical tools. These tools work together to help you focus on growing your business. You also get access to a multi-talented team of experts at your beck and call. And they only have one mission: to help you optimize shipping operations at scale across all channels and regions.
7. Merchant Plus (Warehouse Management Solutions)
ShipBob’s merchant plus software offers a cheat code to warehouse management. It offers a unique way of scaling in-house fulfillment with its warehouse management solution. Imagine using a global shipping operations application to handle fulfillment in your store.
That’s what ShipBob’s proprietary warehouse management solution is. It helps eliminate the need to use a duct-tape solution to run and scale your shipping operations. ShipBob’s all-in-one system was built to replace the different platforms and systems you use.
You also get full control over your fulfillment network. That means you can manage everything from brands to logistics experts to carrier partners, etc., in-house. Moreover, thanks to their global fulfillment centers, it’s easier to scale your operations worldwide.
Pricing of ShipBob
After finding a 3PL that meets your needs, the next thing you’re wondering is how much it’s going to cost you. That’s because running an online business costs money. From payroll to marketing to advertising, etc. Whether you’re handling 20 or 1000 orders a day, your 3PL partner should add to your bottom line. Not subtract from it.
ShipBob offers a unique pricing model. It depends on the cost of getting a package from your store to the customer’s door. They have a transparent pricing structure which gives you a precise figure of the total cost. That means no hidden fees.
There are three main parts to its standard fees. That is the cost of receiving inventory, warehousing, and delivery. You can expect to pay:
- $25-35/hour for receiving inventory
- $5/bin, $10/shelf, or $40/pallet per month for warehousing
- Picking and packing are free for the first five items, then $0.20 per item
- Standard packaging is free, but you’ll have to pay more for customized packaging
- Shipping costs will depend on the dimensions, weight, delivery destination, and shipping requirements.
While they give you an overview of their pricing structure, you’ll need to contact them to get an accurate quote. That said, here are a couple of reasons why we love it and what could be better.
Pros and Cons of ShipBob
ShipBob has a lot of features for outsourcing order fulfillment, but it’s not perfect. Its most significant benefit is that it’s built to help small to medium sized businesses scale. With global fulfillment centers and expert customer service, it’s got a lot going for it.
- Great order fulfillment solution when you need fast shipping on a budget
- Multiple integration options and an API that connects seamlessly with eCommerce platforms
- Easy-to-use and intuitive dashboard design that allows you to hit the ground running
- Centralized dashboard to manage orders and inventory in real-time
- Best-in-class fulfillment technology for improving shipping efficiency and scaling operations
- Transparent pricing with no hidden fees
- Global fulfillment network in several continents i.e. US, Europe, Canada & Australia
- 24/7 Expert support to help optimize operations
- Inexpensive 2-day shipping to meet demanding customer expectations
- Offers customization suite for personalize and unforgettable customer experience
- Fully-automated and hands-free shipping process
- Flexibility to sell in a variety of ways and channels
- Offers a simple, easy and fast onboarding process
- Missing a few essential features that make managing stock faster e.g. viewing historical stock levels.
- Lack of simpler and improved integration options for different shipping options
- Some manual work is sometimes required e.g. changing packing labels
- Slow-loading pages
- Technical customer support could be better
- The user interface looks a little dated and could use a facelift
- Outdated tutorials
For a 3PL application, ShipBob does a great job at automating order fulfillment. And like every other product or service in the market, there’s always some bad mixed in with the good. But if you’re in the market for a partner that can help you scale shipping operations globally, then try ShipBob. It offers one of the best-in-class logistics and shipping technology. And it allows you to track and manage orders and inventory, earning it a spot among the best 3PL in the market.