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Efficient product delivery is an essential component of managing an eCommerce business. Customers want their items to arrive on schedule and have no patience for errors.
To thrive in the industry, you must put advanced order fulfillment software to good use so that you can control orders from cart to doorstep.
We have put together a list of software providers that offer order fulfillment services to help you find some of the best-rated shipping and fulfillment tools on the market. Evaluate their features before choosing one that is best suited to your business.
How We Created This List
To bring you the best shipping and fulfillment tools, we analyzed the best-rated services and narrowed our search down to the top 50 to 100. Then, to decide on which were the best, we first assessed their ease of use before looking at customer and expert reviews to determine their key features and metadata.
Next, we experienced the services for ourselves with free demos when available and let our software experts assess the user interface and user experience design to find out which were the best-performing products.
Finally, using search intent data, Google trends, website traffic trends, and social listening tools, we were able to narrow down our options.
What Are Shipping and Fulfillment Tools?
Shipping and fulfillment are the steps taken to deliver a product from a warehouse or distribution center to the customer’s doorstep. This includes:
- Order processing
- Picking and packing
- Inventory and warehouse management
- Shipping the order to the customer
- Processing returns
An efficient, timeous delivery system is an absolute must when running an eCommerce business and staying on top of the process is essential for business owners. To help them do this, many third-party service providers offer innovative software tools that allow you to run your business remotely while still having access to important information.
Order fulfillment tools are software applications that streamline the fulfillment process, allowing business orders to track orders, view inventory, assess returns, and ensure that their customers receive their orders on time.
It also automates inventory control and warehouse management to make the order fulfillment process simpler and more efficient. Business owners also rely on these tools to learn more about customer behavior, including which products their customers prefer and which they don’t.
How to Attract and Retain Customers with the Best Shipping and Fulfillment Tools
Having these tools is great but knowing how to use them to build a successful company is the key when it comes to eCommerce businesses. With a reliable system, you can provide your customers with the experience they’re looking for when shopping online.
Here are a few recommendations on how to use your shipping and fulfillment tools to grow your business:
Free Shipping and Returns
One of the best ways to retain and attract customers is by offering free returns and shipping for orders over a certain amount. This will create trust and encourage your customers to try out your products or continue to use your services. Because of free shipping and returns, online shoppers have the assurance that they’re placing risk-free orders.
Several Order Fulfillment Options
You accomplish several things that improve your business by giving your consumers a variety of fulfillment options to choose from. This could be same-day shipping, seven-day shipping, etc.
First off, the alternatives themselves already demonstrate a higher level of professionalism. A limited selection of delivery alternatives, or even worse, just one, makes it plain to your customers that the order will be delivered when it’s convenient for you, not when it’s suitable for them.
What Problem Do Shipping and Fulfillment Tools Solve?
When you choose one of the best shipping and fulfillment tools from our list, you can expect several benefits. Here are some of the problems these software applications have been designed to solve:
It Gives You Greater Control Over the Process
Running an eCommerce business can be stressful. You’re selling goods to customers you can’t see, using service providers you aren’t working with in person. This can lead to confusion and affect your product delivery efficiency.
However, with a fulfillment and shipping tool, you can see your inventory levels in real-time, which orders have been picked and packed, which are awaiting delivery, and how many orders are on their way to your customers.
It Helps You Provide Excellent Customer Service
The truth is that poor customer service can seriously harm your business. Customers will not order from companies that don’t know where their orders are or cannot track their returns. Fortunately, with shipping and fulfillment tools, you can rest assured that you can deal with your customers’ queries and problems quickly and efficiently by simply logging into an app.
It Puts Everything in One Place
Having data all over the place can be frustrating. It also makes things a lot harder to track and analyze. However, when you use order fulfillment software, you can see everything at a glance on one user-friendly platform.
Many software tools also allow users to generate reports, so you can free time to focus on driving sales rather than spending hours retrieving data from multiple sources.
It Improves the Customer Experience
The customer experience has less to do with the orientation of products on store shelves and more to do with fast delivery, user-friendly online stores, efficient returns, and being able to order the products they want. Therefore, order fulfillment tools are more important for improving the customer experience than you might think.
It allows business owners to ensure that their products are always in-stock and that customer orders are shipped as quickly as possible.
The Main Features of the Best Shipping and Fulfillment Tools
When determining which software application best suits your needs, it is essential to look at the features of some of the best-rated options. However, there are certain basic features shipping and order fulfillment tools must include. Here are some of the most important things to look for:
Integrations are among the most important features of any type of business tool. Integration is something that connects various platforms or parts into one unified system. It takes order capturing systems from your online store, analytical tools, databases, order management systems, and more and combines them on one intuitive platform.
If the software you choose doesn’t have this feature, you will probably spend a lot of extra time pulling data from different sources to run your business efficiently.
Ease of Use
Another thing that you should look for when choosing any software solution is how easy it is to use. There’s no point in having the best technology at your fingertips when you cannot actually use it.
Your order fulfillment tools should also help you manage the fulfillment process from order placement to delivery. This means that it should have the following basic functions:
- Order viewing and management capabilities
- Control of and real-time information about inventory
- Warehouse management features
- Customer service
The Benefits of Using Shipping and Fulfillment Tools
If you have been processing your own orders, you might still be on the fence about using a third-party service provider and its associated tools. However, there are several benefits to making the switch.
You Can Focus on More Pertinent Matters
When you outsource your order fulfillment and shipping and have all the relevant data in one place, you’ll spend less time on packing orders and more time on growing your business. The truth is that the eCommerce industry is highly competitive and attracting and retaining customers takes work.
By automating the process, you will have more time to create engaging content, market your business through paid ads, concentrate on improving your search engine rankings, and more.
Providing Accurate Information at Checkout
The truth is that for online shoppers, consistency and openness are crucial since it provides them the assurance to click the buy button.
One survey found that just over 60 percent of consumers are more inclined to make a purchase if they know delivery times for their products. On the other hand, the study found that over 47 percent of customers say they won’t place another order from that company if there is no transparency.
Using third-party order fulfillment tools, you may provide precise shipping information at checkout. When you self-fulfill, things like a busy shopping day, bad weather, or a broken-down car could easily affect your ability to honor a delivery commitment.
However, your fulfillment provider will be more dependable. They have the necessary expertise, resources, and backup plans to ensure that your orders reach their destinations on time.
Improve the Customer Experience
More satisfied consumers result from faster, more affordable shipping, accurate delivery details, a worldwide reach, and increased time invested in sales and marketing. This is the main objective of your company, and outsourcing fulfillment can significantly increase your chances of success.
Order Fulfillment Tools Help You Stay Organized
When it comes to eCommerce, third-party logistics providers are frequently at the cutting edge of technology. Their solutions not only work with your online store, but they also generally give you more insight into crucial parts of your business.
Having your fulfillment data in one place will keep you organized. You can identify inventory shortages, identify trends in your customer purchases, and keep closer tabs on your finances.
Increase Product Delivery Speed
Shipment speeds are further impacted by having numerous warehouses spread out across the country. Outsourcing fulfillment enables you to offer quicker delivery by putting stock closer to your customers.
This is a huge benefit for retail companies. A staggering 67 percent of US consumers demand two-day or faster deliveries for their purchases. You will need a competent fulfillment partner if you want to compete with the biggest chain stores and match their high standards.
Keeping Your Customers Updated
There’s something reassuring about receiving a message saying your order is currently on its way to you. It builds trust and increases the chance that you’ll order from an online store again.
Although online shopping is a widely accepted way to purchase goods, some are still skeptical and hesitant to entrust some unknown entity with the task of delivering their orders.
However, when you inform them of their order and shipping status, you can build a relationship of trust and set yourself up for success. Since fulfillment software provides you with the information you need about your customer’s order, you can provide your customers with regular updates to keep them engaged.
Who Should Use Shipping and Fulfillment Tools?
Are you wondering whether order fulfillment software is for you? Here are some of the people that can truly benefit from using these tools:
Small Business Owners
If you are a small business owner, you’re probably here because you feel overwhelmed. The truth is that the owners of small online stores often have it the worst in terms of workload, as they’re often left with no other choice but to do everything themselves.
However, this leaves little time for things like marketing and focusing on your sales funnel, which drives business growth. By freeing up your time with reliable order fulfillment tools and services, you can take your business to the next level.
Owners of Mid to Large-scale eCommerce Businesses
As a company grows, having a streamlined system becomes more important. With the right tools, you can have greater control over the shipping and fulfillment process. Since these tools allow you to integrate a number of different platforms, it makes managing your business a lot easier.
What Do Shipping and Order Fulfillment Tools Cost?
One of the most pressing questions eCommerce business owners have is what fulfillment tools and services will cost. When it comes to order fulfillment services, you can expect to pay anywhere from $8 to $40 per pallet per month.
Additionally, you’ll also have to pay for the use of the service provider’s software. While many fulfillment companies offer integrated packages that include the cost of these digital tools, others charge for these features separately.
According to Savannah.net, you can expect to pay up to $125 per month or $25,000 once-off for these applications.
Trends in Shipping and Fulfillment Tools That You Need to Know About
Order fulfillment software is a growing technology, and developers are continuously finding new ways to improve it. The truth is that these trends can affect the service provider you choose. In the section below, we’ll discuss a few of these trends in greater detail.
- Automation. This technology is developing rapidly, which is fantastic news for fulfillment centers and warehouses that are under intense pressure to take advantage of the eCommerce industry’s explosive expansion. The more advanced the system, the more advantageous it will be for your business, taking care of mundane tasks to allow you to focus on growing your business.
- AI and Data Technology. Advances in data technology have made it possible for fulfillment centers to gather useful data and use its findings to guide supply chain decision-making.
To fully achieve their potential for process optimization, fulfillment centers today make use of modern analytics applications, logic-based technologies, and electronic data interchange (EDI). The application of data in order fulfillment has grown to include AI technology.
- Augmented Reality. Finding employees will be more difficult if present labor market trends continue. Distribution centers are using augmented reality to increase their existing workforce’s speed, competence, and efficiency in response to a severe shortage of skilled and unskilled labor.
Companies such as DHL are already using portable AI devices to assist shop floor workers in deciding where to place items in a cart.
- Mobile compatibility. Smartphones are our personal digital assistants that we use for almost everything, so it makes sense that order fulfillment tools should include mobile-friendly apps. Not only should your tools be mobile friendly, but the mobile version of your website should also integrate seamlessly with your software solution.
Which Is the Best Shipping and Fulfillment Tool?
The truth is that choosing the right fulfillment software and service provider isn’t easy. There are thousands of options, and each company promises to provide quality service. Undoubtedly, the best way to find the best tool is to try the software applications out for yourself.
This is precisely what we did when assessing the various options. We also used other significant user trends, as well as customer and expert opinions, to arrive at our list of recommendations, so when you choose one of the options on our list, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best.
How to Choose the Right Shipping and Fulfillment Tools for your eCommerce Business
Although we have narrowed down your options, the choice of which software to choose is ultimately yours; so, what should you look for when making your decision? In addition to the obvious factors, such as ease of use, integrations, and more, what other features are important?
First, you should consider the affordability. If you have a small business, choosing a highly-priced option with a host of features you may not even need isn’t a wise decision for growing your company.
Next, you will also need to look at how data storage is managed. Many service providers offer cloud-based technology, so you won’t have to invest in storage options for your computer.
You must also look at its sales and order processing capabilities to determine whether the software has the capacity to handle your order volume.
Fortunately, you won’t have to do much digging to find the best options. Simply use our list of recommendations to find a fulfillment solution quickly and easily for your eCommerce store.
The world and how we sell goods and services are changing, and the way you do business must change, too, if you want to keep your business afloat in a competitive market. However, to streamline your order processing, you’ll need reliable tools to help you stay on top of things.
Order shipping and fulfillment tools can help you streamline operations, meet customer demands, and build a successful business.
You can use our list of recommendations to find the perfect fulfillment solution for your online store!