Deciding to turn part, or all, of your product fulfillment process over to a third party provider can be a daunting task. Our fulfillment referral program is designed to take some of the guesswork out of this process. ShipStation partners with fulfillment providers already familiar with the ShipStation platform, and who are well-respected in the market. With that in mind, here are some criteria you may wish to use in evaluating the right provider for your needs.
Do they specialize in your product?
A fulfillment provider who has similar customers is likely to know the specific needs for packaging and presenting your products. With many providers to choose from, our program helps you find the fulfillment provider who specializes in fulfilling the type of product you are selling.
If your product involves hazardous materials, dangerous goods or is sensitive in any way, a fulfillment provider specializing in fulfilling these products becomes a must.
Do they have references of customers similar to yours?
All ShipStation Fulfillment partners are required to have customer references they can make available to you. Talk to these references and ask them about their experiences, and what you can expect when turning over your fulfillment operations to a third party provider.
Where are their warehouses/fulfillment centers located?
Customers expect faster delivery more than ever before. A fulfillment provider with a warehouse closer to where the majority of your customers are located ensures low cost, faster delivery to your customers.
Do they work with the parcel carriers you already have in place?
You are already likely familiar with the policies and procedures, as well as the tracking notifications, of your current parcel carrier and how they get shipments to your customers. Finding a fulfillment partner that already utilizes the carrier you have in place ensures minimal disruption to your customer experience.
What is their typical inbound process?
Different fulfillment providers will have different procedures for getting product inbound to them. Some will require a schedule, while others will require pre-labeling of product. Others could require notification of product en route to them. It is important to identify these procedures and match them with what you are capable of doing.
What is their fee and pricing structure and does this fit with your growth strategy?
Some fulfillment providers charge for their services based on a variety of fees and price models. It is important to speak with several providers to find one that can price their services based on your needs and the needs of your growing business.
Knowing your projected volumes over the next three to six months - daily order volume, number of SKU’s, weight of shipment - as well as where your customers are located, will go a long way in helping you find the right fulfillment provider.
What are YOUR current pain points?
Fulfillment providers are professionals who work with merchants like you every day. Knowing your current pain points will help the fulfillment partner identify the best way to help you with your fulfillment needs.