Here’s a frightening statistic. 53% of shoppers won’t buy if they are unsure when their order will arrive. If you can’t keep your 2-day delivery promise, that’s a lot to lose. To meet the customer’s expectation of 2-day deliveries requires more than solving warehousing and shipping challenges. If you are currently using FBA or looking for a reliable fulfillment company, consider the following before switching. We advise our clients to use platforms like ShipBob to save time and money.
5 Reasons to Consider Alternatives to FBA
Almost every seller or buyer knows Amazon. This global conglomerate company is a platform for many eCommerce sellers. They make it easy for anyone to do business, but it comes with a price. You must pay each time you sell your product with FBA, plus there are fulfillment and storage fees, variable closing fees, and a minimum referral fee. The type of account will also affect your cost.
Here are five motivations to consider an alternative to FBA:
- 2-Day Shipping – Amazon’s “2-day shipping guarantee” starts from when they process the order, have the item in stock, and is available to ship. They don’t count the days that your package may sit in the fulfillment center before they get to it.
- Accurate Inventory Control – Mishandled or misreported inventory is a significant issue that Amazon FBA sellers commonly report.
- Customized Packaging - One major issue for D2C (direct-to-consumer) brands is that every package promotes Amazon’s brand, not yours.
- Reducing Excess Fees – Amazon’s fee table seems extensive and complex. eCommerce fulfillment fees add up fast depending on the length of storage, the weight, and the size of each item.
- Lower Storage and Shipping Costs - As of August 16, 2020, Amazon began imposing storage limits based on a merchant’s inventory performance index (IPI). During the holidays, Amazon’s storage fees can jump to as much as four times higher.
3PL (third-party logistics) companies can provide cost-effective and flexible solutions for D2C brands.
Advantages of Utilizing 3PL For Your Products’ Fulfillment
Following are some of the benefits of working with a reputable 3PL:
- Reduced Shipping Rates
- ERP Inventory Management System
- Better Control of Fulfillment and Inventory
- Scalability and Flexibility
- Expert Operational and Industry Advice
Additionally, you have better quality control ensuring the right products get packed and shipped in your branded packaging.
Choose Wisely - 3PLs Are Not Alike
Selecting the right 3PL partner is crucial to your eCommerce business. Poor services from a partner will impact your brand’s reputation and sales.
Here are the five characteristics of a reliable 3PL:
- Scalability & Flexibility – An experienced 3PL company offers scalability in all areas such as labor, warehouse space, and technology.
- Proactive Communication – Look for a partner who understands your needs and is proactive when things don’t go according to plan. A good 3PL communicates quickly, so you can alert staff and customers to find alternative solutions.
- Provide Ideas & Solutions - Quality 3PL companies provide innovative approaches to improve logistics effectiveness.
- Willing to Collaborate - Look for a 3PL that acts like a consultant rather than a service department.
- Access and Traceability - Your 3PL should have a network of fulfillment centers to expedite shipping.
Looking for the right 3PL company can be time-consuming and confusing. One company in particular that we work with can provide quality fulfillment for fast and affordable shipping.
ShipBob – Logistics, Fulfillment, and Inventory Solutions
Dhruv Saxena and Divey Gulati began ShipBob in 2014 as an affordable 3PL alternative for small and mid-size businesses. Based in Chicago, they have over 900 employees and 5,200 clients using fulfillment centers in America, Canada, Ireland, and the UK.
If you are seeking an alternative to FBA, ShipBob provides fulfillment solutions for eCommerce sellers. Here are some of the advantages.
Splitting Orders for Faster Service
Using ShipBob’s extensive network of fulfillment centers, merchants can position their inventory closer to their target markets for faster delivery. Their proprietary software manages fulfillment, shipping, reordering, and returns. The software integrates with all major eCommerce platforms.
2-Day Express Shipping Program
ShipBob understands that today’s demanding customers expect 2-day delivery on most orders. Statistics show an 18% reduction in cart abandonment and increased AOV by 97% when a merchant implements a 2-day delivery. This company harnesses its proprietary algorithm to find the best combination of ground, air, and regional carriers so merchants can provide consistent 2-day deliveries in the U.S. and U.K.
Automated Inventory and Order Management System
Merchants who use ShipBob can automate order management and fulfillment processes. Sellers have quick access to all the fulfillment process data, including order tracking, picking, packing, and shipping information. Their robust inventory management software keeps you abreast of stock levels and changes across all locations.
Reporting and Analytics
ShipBob offers complete control over your inventory and shipping with the most advanced 3PL reporting tools available. Benefit from comprehensive reports and charts that help you make better decisions regarding which fulfillment centers you need to stock. Reports include remaining days of inventory, the impact of promotions on stock levels, each shipping method’s average cart value, shipping cost, days in transit, your fulfillment cost per order, and storage cost per unit, to name a few.
The pricing model is straightforward and covers five core costs. You can visit their pricing page for more details.
Merchants have full use of their proprietary software and dashboard to monitor their eCommerce stores. For start-ups and companies shipping less than 400 orders per month, there is a “Growth Plan” with simple fees for receiving, storage, and fulfillment.
The Complete Customer Experience
ShipBob provides eCommerce merchants with comprehensive, end-to-end order management software. Merchants can:
- Select the lowest cost shipping
- Share tracking data with customers
- Ship using custom branded boxes
- Allow customers to print return shipping labels and track their returns
- Use one system to track inventory and manage orders
ShipBob manages the physical aspects of fulfillment, including picking, packing, shipping, and returns. Letting them handle the day-to-day fulfillment allows merchants to focus on the strategic activities that help them scale faster. To learn more about customer experience, here is a resource on customer experience and conversion rate optimization.
Economical Warehousing & High-Performance Fulfillment Centers
ShipBob is a tech-enabled 3PL company using proprietary ERP software. The system automatically fulfills the orders, ships, and reorders replacement inventory. They can deliver within 2-days in the U.S. and U.K.
Their system integrates quickly with all major eCommerce platforms and marketplaces, including Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, Amazon, and Walmart. To see if ShipBob fits your company’s requirements or you need help integrating your store, give us a ring anytime!