Shopify continues to be one of the most commonly used ecommerce platforms and rightfully so, the amount of options merchants have is limitless. Now that you’re selling products, the next big steps are Shopify shipping and fulfillment. How do you optimize your company’s processes around shipping and fulfillment to ensure the best possible ROI?
While sales is always the top pillar for your ecommerce business, shipping and fulfillment is a close second. In this guide, we’re going to help you choose the best possible options for your specific scenario. Let’s get started!
What Is Shopify Shipping?
In the past, Shopify customers would get most of their tools from their online store with Shopify. That was a problem though, the design of the service meant that business owners still needed to go and find their shipping support on their own. Just like the Shopify app, it’s a great tool to have if you do have a Shopify store, but it’s not a complete solution.
Due to this, Shopify decided to remove this issue by rolling out an entirely new system for Shopify Shipping. Shopify Shipping is a solution that can help merchants of all sizes to simplify shipping. The integrated shipping suite ensures business owners have access to the best possible rates, so that they can deliver excellent customer service.
While the shipping suite is great, it does not focus on all areas of order fulfillment. With order fulfillment being such a vital component of the ecommerce process, that becomes a problem.
Shipping vs Fulfilment
Before you can fully decide whether Shopify Shipping is the service that you need, it’s important to know the difference between shipping and fulfilment. Shipping services are designed to address the process of shipping goods to your customers, through services like DHL, FedEx, and UPS.
With Shopify Shipping services, you can choose things like how quickly an item will get to a customer, and how much they need to pay for postage and packaging. However, with fulfillment services, you’re accessing help for the entire order fulfilment process.
This means someone isn’t just shipping for you, they’re also handling packaging too. A fulfillment service may be something like a dropshipping solution, when your customers order a product, you send that order to your provider, and they send it on the other end. While you still manage most of your business with a shipping service, fulfilment services basically make you into a middle man between a supplier and your customer.
While Shopify shipping is a great tool to have, it’s not addressing your needs to get your orders fulfilled. This is where a Shopify fulfillment service can help give a complete solution to your Shopify shipping needs. You’re going to have a few options, you can do your own fulfillment or you can outsource your fulfillment. Either way, you need fulfillment.
(1) Self Fulfillment
Many business owners start out with a self-fulfillment model, meaning they do their own shipping and fulfillment. When your sales volume is small, you can provide a solid service fulfilling your own orders. Shopify shipping is simple when you don’t have a lot of sales, Shopify fulfillment is easy too.
However, if you’re manually fulfilling orders and shipping them, mistakes can be made.
Some companies have the resources to fulfill their own orders, they have warehouses, assembly lines, and staff to fulfill orders in bulk. While there’s nothing wrong with that approach, fulfilling your own Shopify orders can cost you a lot of time, effort, and money.
For example, if your company is selling 100K products a month, you’re going to need warehouse space to hold inventory. How will you pay for that warehouse? Are you renting it? Did you purchase the warehouse? If you don’t have a warehouse, you may need warehousing services.
If your Shopify orders are skyrocketing, you’re going to need processes in place, you’re going to need teams in place to fulfill those orders. Who’s going to manage all of this? Will it be you or will you have to hire a manager?
(2) Outsourcing Fulfillment
Instead of doing your own Shopify shipping, you could have all of your Shopify order fulfillment outsourced. Companies and merchants that are growing sales or have large sales volume often outsource fulfillment.
There’s a wide range of benefits for outsourcing Shopify Fulfillment, and if you’re counting on Shopify Shipping to be a complete solution, this would be your answer to achieving that goal.
3PL Fulfillment Company – Companies like Thill Inc. provide full scale 3PL fulfillment services.
A fulfillment service is defined as a third-party company that provides these order fulfillment steps on behalf of another party, such as eCommerce marketers, direct response marketers and subscription box sellers.
In today’s marketplace, order fulfillment and fulfillment services can apply to a wide range of orders, from small/mid-tier/large direct-to-consume (D2C) orders, to business-to-business (B2B) orders.
Since our primary focus is serving clients as an ecommerce fulfillment company, we’re going to take this opportunity to specifically talk about order fulfillment as it relates to the internet and ecommerce transactions. Due to that, we’ll be discussing the specific steps that are involved in receiving, inventory management & storage, order processing, packing (kitting) and shipping online orders to customers at their residence.
To help you better understand exactly what ecommerce order fulfillment is, let’s break down the core steps involved in the order fulfillment process. As we discussed above, they are;
- Inventory Management & Storage
- Order Processing
- Packing (Kitting)
As you can see, fulfillment plays a key role with Shopify shipping.
We understand this is a lot to unpack, but if you have any questions, you can always reach out to us. Our fulfillment experts are here to give you clarity on your fulfillment and everything that involves.
If you do have a question or want to learn more, reach out by calling 1-920-967-9201 – you can also reach us using this contact form.