If you’ve taken the leap and started your own business, one piece of logistics you have to figure out is how you’ll fulfill all of your orders. Many startups start out shipping their products themselves but as the order volume quickly begins to increase, so does their need for another order fulfillment option. Luckily, the number of order fulfillment companies has grown exponentially in the past decade, so there are many for startups to choose from. There are many order fulfillment costs to consider before you join any fulfillment provider. Let’s take a look at three order fulfillment companies with low cost that can be very beneficial for startups.
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense fulfillment company for your startup, Deliverr might be right for you. The company was founded in 2017 and has become one of the most popular order fulfillment companies due to its transparent pricing, fast setup, and a no-minimum order requirement. Deliverr is very responsible when it comes to choosing warehouses, as it requires they be able to process at least 2,000 orders every day and offer over 15,000 square feet of storage space. The service can handle both domestic and international fulfillments, so it even works for startups who ship locally and worldwide.
Among others, Deliverr offers full functionality with the following popular sales channels:
It is extremely easy to get started with Deliverr, and there is no credit card required to create an account. Depending on how soon Deliverr receives your products after you create an account, your startup could be up and running in just five days. Once you are in the portal, you can choose which inventory you’d like Deliverr to handle, and you ship it to them. Unlike many other fulfillment companies, you can get discounted shipping rates with Deliverr when you are sending your inventory to the company. Deliverr inputs the inventory into the system and connects it to the sales channels you choose, and then fulfills orders as they come in.
The affordability of Deliverr is a huge bonus to startups who don’t have a significant budget to allocate to order fulfillment. Instead of prices being based on multiple factors, Deliverr only has two costs – storage and fulfillment. Storage prices do usually vary a small amount depending on the time of year, but most of the time storage prices start at $0.75 per cubic foot. Fulfillment includes picking, packing, and shipping, and starts at $4.15 per unit. Shipping speeds include standard 5- to 7- day delivery, 3-day delivery, and 2-day delivery. Deliverr has also started offering a “Free NextDay Delivery badge” for eligible products, which comes at no cost to you and allows buyers to have their purchases the next day.
When you’re looking for an order fulfillment company to partner with for your startup, you’ll probably come across ShipBob as an option. The company started operations in 2014 in a small apartment and has grown nationwide since then and is now one of the fastest and most affordable fulfillment company options. Notable firms like Bain Capital Ventures and Hyde Park have even invested in the company, solidifying its reputation.
ShipBob offers direct integration with the following sales channels:
- Shopify Plus
It also has a slew of options for inventory management integrations, packaging and design solutions, CRM platforms, returns management platforms, marketing agencies and platforms, and freight/shipping solutions. The company actually gears its business towards helping small- and medium-sized businesses succeed and reports on its website that it serves over 7,000 e-commerce businesses.
The setup process for ShipBob is simple – connect your stores, get storage space in a ShipBob warehouse, and ship your items there. ShipBob will receive your items and charge $25 per hour for the first two hours of receiving and $35 per hour if unpacking time exceeds two hours. Monthly storage fees at ShipBob include $40 per pallet, $10 per shelf, and $5 per bin. Picking and packing doesn’t cost a dime for the first five items and costs 20 cents each item after that. You can have ShipBob pack orders in special branding at an extra cost, or your items can get packed in standard packaging for free. Shipping costs vary greatly depending on what is being shipped, and returns are $3 each.
ShipBob operates warehouses in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas, allowing rapid delivery to customers regardless where they are located. ShipBob says its accuracy rate is 99.95%, meaning startups spend less time dealing with order fulfillment snafus and more time selling products. ShipBob also offers amazing analytics regarding inventory, stocks, sales, and more on its portal.
Startups looking for a fast, affordable, and high-tech order fulfillment company may want to check out ShipHero. The company was founded almost a decade ago and has worked diligently to stay up-to-date with the most revolutionary software in the order fulfillment industry. On its website, ShipHero says it fulfills over 10 percent of global Shopify Plus stores, has shipped over 100 million packages, and has fulfilled over $10 billion worth of orders.
Arguably the most impressive aspect of ShipHero is the software. Users of most other fulfillment companies have to print out documents, spreadsheets, analytics, and legal contracts, but ShipHero is much different. Everything is kept on the cloud, so startup owners can access their information anytime from any device with an Internet connection.
ShipHero receives inventory and then runs algorithms itself to decide which distribution centers to send it to. The company’s nifty algorithms dictate which warehouses would be the most lucrative and business-smart, and then the inventory will get distributed accordingly. Of course, business owners can bypass the automated system and specify where they want it to go if they choose.
While ShipHero works with many store integrations, the main ones are as follows:
- Google Shopping
- Shopify Plus
Up to 10 stores can be connected at no cost, and any additional store integration costs $29 per month. However, most startups aren’t selling across dozens of marketplaces right at the start, so the additional fee likely wouldn’t apply. ShipHero can also be integrated with Shippo, Returnly, numerous shipping carriers, and many more, which are all outlined on the website.
There are no hidden fees with ShipHero, and the company will pick, package, and ship orders starting at $5.60 each. Storage fees start at $0.65 per cubic foot per day, and storage prices are calculated at the end of each day meaning you do not get charged for items that have sold and shipped. Each ShipHero account starts at $499 per month and you can have up to two users on each account, which is an excellent offering for startups. There is no fee for setup, software, onboarding, or receiving, and users do not have to enter into a long-term contract. If business owners are unsatisfied for any reason, ShipHero offers a 30-day money back guarantee.