Scalable Fulfillment in 2023
by Kristina Lopienski, Director of Content Marketing at ShipBob
About ShipBob’s fulfillment solutions
ShipBob has two primary offerings.
1. Outsourced fulfillment
While ShipBob provides outsourced fulfillment, we’re so much more than a 3PL. We’re a global omni-fulfillment provider with locations in the US, UK, EU, Canada, and Australia. If your order volume is outpacing your capacity, outsourcing fulfillment to ShipBob frees you to grow without worrying about how you’ll scale operations. ShipBob handles receiving, inventory storage, order processing, picking, packing, shipping, and returns for thousands of brands.
“Touchland has been working with ShipBob since 2018. Their speed to scale and fast pick, pack, and ship process has been seamless, as our business grew 1,200% in a couple of weeks. ShipBob has been a great ally as they have fulfillment centers all over the US, facilitating a 2-3 day delivery time for any customer in the US. Overall, we have had a great experience having a ShipBob as a partner that can scale fast with us, paired with their advanced software that helps us quickly understand shipping costs and how to improve shipping times and costs by being closer to where our customers are.” – Andrea Lisbona, Founder & CEO of Touchland
2. Warehouse management system for in-house fulfillment
If you fulfill orders in-house, ShipBob’s Merchant Plus solution lets you use ShipBob’s proprietary warehouse management system (WMS). It’s the same one we built and use across our global fulfillment network. It powers your warehouse, orders, inventory, transportation, returns, omni-channel connectivity, and more with accurate inventory tracking. Brands with their own warehouse can also tap into ShipBob’s global network if they want a larger geographic footprint.
“Our employees’ ability to pick, pack, and ship orders has increased two-fold since we implemented Merchant Plus. We went from fulfilling around 30 orders per person per hour to anywhere from 60-70. Merchant Plus also helped improve our error rate. Before, when we were hand-picking products without scanning them, we averaged about 7 to 9 mispicks per week. Now we’re down to about 1 mispick every two weeks, and mispicks are only tied to items we don’t have barcodes for.” – Jacob Skidmore, VP of Operations at Outlaw Soaps
Sustainable Solutions for Growing Brands
Any brand that’s growing quickly and plans to continue growing needs the right logistics in place. This often entails working with the right partners to achieve fast-paced, sustainable growth.
Building a resilient, flexible supply chain is top of mind for ecommerce brands heading into 2023 — between keeping costs down and diversifying carriers, fulfillment locations, and sales channels — to reduce the impacts of inflation.
Fortunately, you can reduce risk by modernizing your operations, which lets you make smarter inventory management decisions and use real-time data for fulfillment visibility. When scaling fulfillment, it’s important to look for a solution that goes beyond the traditional pick, pack, and ship model if you outsource, or label generation software if you keep it in-house.
Modern fulfillment solutions provide technology, including inventory and order management tools, shipment tracking capabilities, integrations and APIs, reporting and advanced analytics, transparency into SLAs and performance, and new innovations and product launches based on customer feedback. Below are a few levers to keep in mind related to logistics to scale your business in 2023.
Tools to Increase Conversions
While you may not typically think of logistics when you think of increasing sales and revenue, they are actually very much related and connected.
2-Day Shipping & Badging
Offering 2-day shipping is table stakes, and ShipBob’s 2-Day Express provides 100% coverage in the continental US, even from just one fulfillment center. You can convert more customers with 2-day shipping badges and estimated delivery dates shown pre-checkout on Shopify stores product pages.
“We worked with ShipBob and introduced a Prime-like badge showcasing 2-day shipping on our product pages and immediately saw a 230% increase in customers using 2-day shipping!” – Larissa Jeanniton, Operations at The Wrap Life
Delivered duty paid (DDP) shipping simplifies cross-border shipping and helps to convert more international shoppers by optimizing checkout and delivery to prevent long delivery times and surprise fees for consumers, providing a frictionless, loyalty-building international shipping experience.
“Through ShipBob’s DDP program, customers now receive their orders in a timely manner with no surprise fees upon delivery. We are able to prevent long delivery times and delays in customs – providing a better shopper experience for our customers. Since implementing DDP shipping we’ve seen a lift in revenue of almost 25%!” – Paul Jackson, Co-Founder of AnimalHouse Fitness
Strategically Located Fulfillment Centers & Global Expansion
Distributed inventory is the ability to store inventory in multiple fulfillment centers, so you can ship each order out from the warehouse that is closest to your customer, which is done using algorithms that route each order to the optimal location.
One of the greatest benefits of working with a 3PL is utilizing their fulfillment centers in different regions (including those that you can even grow into over time). Decentralizing fulfillment also reduces costs and increases resilience against regional supply chain snafus.
ShipBob has fulfillment centers in the US, UK, Poland, Ireland, Canada, and Australia, allowing you to better serve key markets of shoppers, through a single ShipBob login. You can also view real-time inventory counts across each location, visualize your current versus ideal inventory distribution, and access demand forecasting tools to help you make better decisions.
“We’ve found that there is consistent demand for our products abroad, and ShipBob’s ever-expanding global fulfillment network enables us to tap into that demand much more cost-effectively. Currently, we have stock in ShipBob’s fulfillment centers in the UK, Canada, and Australia. We’ve also just begun moving into ShipBob’s fulfillment center in Poland, as we have customers in Germany as well! With new locations being added all the time, ShipBob will help us service customers in more and more countries around the world over time.” – Aaron Patterson, COO of The Adventure Challenge
A custom branded experience can influence purchasing decisions, generate social buzz, and boost customer loyalty and retention. Creating an unforgettable unboxing experience can help your brand stand out from the competition and leave a lasting impression (what else has a 100% open rate?). ShipBob’s Customization Suite lets you:
- Incorporate custom packaging with support for both custom boxes and mailers, using a proprietary box algorithm and triple Cubiscan process to input product dimensions and weights, along with your selected SKU-level packaging preferences.
- Customize how your inventory is prepared for customers and expedite fulfillment with ready-to-ship kits.
- Make receiving a package from your brand feel like receiving a gift by including marketing inserts for your customers.
- Have your customers add customizable gift notes or heartfelt notes to their recipients when checking out.
“We use eco-friendly mailers that are 100% compostable, and ShipBob ships orders out for us in our custom branded packaging. We rely on a great post-purchase experience for this. ShipBob is a fulfillment partner that is truly an extension of our brand.” – Manuel de la Cruz, CEO at Boie
Any growing brand should be exploring new channels to reach new audiences, meet customers where they are, and increase discoverability. With ShipBob, you can handle DTC and B2B fulfillment all under one roof.
“We’re fulfilling all of our B2B and DTC orders through ShipBob. It’s been a massive help for us to kind of centralize all of that, especially going into next year.” – Nathan Garrison, Co-Founder and CEO of Sharkbanz
Fulfilling orders for marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, Facebook/Instagram, eBay, and others is easy through ShipBob, and we’ll send orders directly to your end customers who place them online (e.g., on Target.com).
ShipBob allows you to seamlessly connect with 75+ retail partners through EDI-compliant fulfillment. You can automate sending large wholesale orders to retailers or Amazon for FBA prep. Retailers can either fulfill orders for their end customers, or place your inventory in their brick-and-mortar storefront locations.
“We stock several hundred smaller boutique wholesales across the country. We recently started selling through a few major retailers, including Kohl’s and Francesca’s. It’s going really well! ShipBob’s B2B Fulfillment Suite powers retail dropshipping and retail distribution for other retailers that we’re hoping to partner with in the future, including Target and Walmart, so we’re excited to keep expanding our retail partnerships with ShipBob. Retail is looking like it will be a huge focus for us in the coming years, and we’re hoping that with ShipBob’s help, it will continue to be a larger and larger part of our business.” – Aaron Patterson, COO of The Adventure Challenge