Whether you’re a fledgling micro-enterprise or an established brick-and-mortar store, eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce are becoming more of a necessity in today’s “always online” world. And one essential component of running a successful eCommerce platform is order fulfillment. After all, order fulfillment is what allows your products to get to your customers.
Here, we look at one of the best order fulfillment partners for one of the most popular eCommerce platforms out there, WooCommerce.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a free, open-source eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It allows anyone with a WordPress account to set up and manage an online business. As a flexible eCommerce platform, WooCommerce can be customized in a myriad of ways with its built-in features, including inventory management, order tracking, customer engagement, secure payments and delivery status – and with various integrations as well.
What is Order Fulfillment?
Order fulfillment refers to the process of receiving, assembling, packing and shipping orders to their respective buyers and other related tasks such as:
- Inventory management
- Supply chain management
- Quality control
- Customer service
- Returns and refunds
- Warehouse management
Order fulfillment is a necessary component of running a WooCommerce Shop, as it is what brings orders to customers and keeps them satisfied.
How Does the WooCommerce Fulfillment Process Work?
Because WooCommerce is primarily focused on providing small businesses with an online platform, it doesn’t have a robust order fulfillment system.
WooCommerce Shipping is a built-in fulfillment system that is accessible via the main dashboard. From the WooCommerce dashboard, store managers can manage inventory, prepare orders, automate tax calculations and live shipping rates, and print and manage DHL and USPS labels.
What Does A WooCommerce Order Fulfillment Provider Do?
Essentially, a WooCommerce order fulfillment provider would take the whole fulfillment process out of your hands and allow you to focus on the other facets of running your online business.
Order fulfillment partners take over tasks like inventory management, order picking and packing, shipping, delivery tracking, and sometimes even storage. A reputable fulfillment service will have the necessary infrastructure in place to pick, pack and ship your orders quickly and efficiently.
What Are the Benefits of Using an eCommerce Order Fulfillment Service?
By outsourcing your WooCommerce order fulfillment to a third-party provider, you free up valuable time and resources that can be better spent on other areas of your business. But the benefits don’t stop there.
Here are a few more reasons to outsource your order fulfillment:
Extra Storage Space
Renting and operating a warehouse can take a sizable chunk out of your overhead costs. And if you’re building a business from the ground up, you may not even have the money to cover warehousing in the first place. The last thing you’ll want is to have to store your products at home.
This is where an eCommerce fulfillment center can help. A lot of fulfillment service providers now offer warehouses to store their clients’ products for a minimal fee. This fee often covers storage, maintenance and manpower.
A More Affordable Shipping Solution
Many order fulfillment providers partner up with shipping carriers to send orders out in bulk and cut costs on deliveries. As bulk shipments are cheaper than single orders, fulfillment providers can offer cheaper rates for the same or even faster delivery times.
As your business grows, you’ll either have to expand your workforce or increase your current employees’ workload. The former can take a lot of time (and money), while the latter can take a toll on your employees’ productivity and overall happiness. With an outsourced fulfillment service provider, however, you can simply request a plan upgrade and boost your fulfillment capacity to handle increased demand.
Forget about having to train and monitor your order fulfillment team’s performance. Fulfillment services hire, train and supervise their crew members so that they can deliver the best service to their clients. And should you experience any issues with your supply chain, you can fall back on the opinions of experts who are equipped to handle these kinds of things.
ShipHero is here to fulfill all your eCommerce shipping needs. Take a look at our order fulfillment services.
Factors to Consider While Selecting an Order Fulfillment Partner for WooCommerce
There are dozens of order fulfillment service providers out there. How do you decide which one is right for you? Before you settle on a partner, make sure to consider the following factors first:
Order Fulfillment Speed
Due in part to Amazon’s 2-day shipping offer, eCommerce customers have grown to expect their online orders to arrive at lightning speed. When screening fulfillment providers, prioritize ones with decent track records in terms of delivery times.
And if a business can’t promise fast order turnaround times, they should at least try to stick to their delivery estimates. Look for a fulfillment provider that can at least hit their delivery range consistently.
Storage and Fulfillment Fees
Looking for a long-term commitment? A good fulfillment provider will offer better rates for businesses that are looking for long-term partnerships and that have massive inventories.
When screening fulfillment providers, watch out for hidden fees like monthly minimum fees, warehouse fees, fees for storing, handling, and restocking returned items, and assembly fees. Some service providers may issue penalties for items that are not labeled correctly, exceed weight limits, or use incorrect packaging materials.
Other special services that you may have to pay for (depending on your business) include cold storage and special handling.
Order fulfillment services must be able to handle product returns and exchanges without putting customers under any undue stress. A good return process makes customers feel valued and improves their satisfaction with your business even if they were initially dissatisfied with their initial delivery.
What To Look For in a WooCommerce Fulfillment Partner
Here are three things to ask about when shopping around for a long-term order fulfillment partner:
eCommerce Platform Integration
You have to make sure that your chosen partner uses software that can be integrated with your WooCommerce platform. This eliminates manual data entry, data silos, miscommunications and issues due to human error. It’d be best to find a fulfillment partner that can integrate with several different platforms. That way, if you decide to switch platforms down the line, you won’t have to let go of your current fulfillment service provider.
If you’re looking to switch your eCommerce platform, look for a fulfillment partner that integrates with one of the following options: Squarespace, BigCommerce, Wix, ChannelAdvisor and Square.
Multichannel order fulfillment allows merchants to send out their products from one warehouse to multiple storefronts. This eliminates the need to establish warehouses for each location, saving businesses money in the process.
Ease of Use
You’ll want an order fulfillment system that is intuitive and user-friendly for all kinds of users, whether they’re tech-savvy or not. Today, most order fulfillment systems allow store managers to monitor and manage everything from inventory to shipping from one centralized dashboard.
How We Chose the Best WooCommerce Fulfillment Companies
Before we get to our list of the best WooCommerce fulfillment companies on the market, take a look at the criteria we used to narrow down our options:
- Shipping speed
- Fulfillment software features and integrations
- Returns management
- Best WooCommerce Fulfillment Companies
These are our top picks for the best WooCommerce fulfillment partners today:
ShipHero is an order fulfillment partner and warehouse management software that promises high-speed delivery (3.5 days on average) and end-to-end order fulfillment at lower-than-average costs.
ShipHero has eight warehouses located across the US and Canada, meaning that even small businesses can reach a larger volume of customers faster through the service.
ShipHero also offers PostHero integration, which allows shop owners to track packages to their destinations. This lets them provide more accurate delivery dates to their customers.
- Two-in-one fulfillment service and warehouse management software provider
- Access to PostHero shipment tracking and estimation
- Eight warehouses spread across the US and Canada
- Occasional software issues
- Not enough options for shipping label customization
ShipHero offers no zone pricing and a flat rate that includes pick, pack, postage, materials and shipping. Contact them for a customer quote.
Ordoro is an all-in-one multichannel fulfillment platform that offers shipping management, order management and inventory management for complex fulfillment workflows.
- Supports advanced pick and pack workflows
- Provides barcode scanning and tracking number writebacks
- Supports dropshipping and automated order routing
- Does not provide inventory management features on the introductory plan
- Does not provide forecasting features
- Not accessible via mobile app
The Ordoro Starter plan is free of charge. The Express plan starts at $59/month and can accommodate unlimited users.
Dropified is a web-based dropshipping software that supports the eCommerce platforms Shopify, gearbubblePRO, CommerceHQ, and WooCommerce. Unlike the other fulfillment providers on this list, Dropified focuses on dropshipping and comes with several dropshipping-specific features. For example, it provides users with direct access to wholesalers who can dropship for your business.
- Sources top-selling products from real marketplace sales data
- Allows shop owners to add products to their online store in an instant
- Lets users place multiple orders to AliExpress and Alibaba in one click
- Exclusive to dropshipping businesses
- Limited automation tools
Dropified offers a 14-day free trial to all first-time users. Plans start at $39.17/month billed annually.
4. Red Stag Fulfillment
Red Stag Fulfillment offers cloud-based order fulfillment for both B2C and B2B online retailers. This fulfillment service provider offers picking, packing, kitting and returns.
- Same-day fulfillment guarantee
- Provides affordable shipping for larger items
- Only has two warehouses in the US
- Dashboard and user interface leaves much to be desired
Red Stag does not provide pricing information on its website. You’ll have to request a quote to learn more.
Byrd offers “scalable and digital” eCommerce fulfillment and aims to support the growth of online shops through its international logistics network.
Byrd offers a wide range of services, from warehousing and real-time inventory to efficient picking and packing to shipping and return management.
- Over 25 fulfillment centers in Europe
- Live inventory management
- Stores and ships organic products
- No free trial version
- Difficult onboarding process
Byrd does not provide pricing information on its website. You’ll have to request a quote to learn more
ShipBob touts itself as a “global omnifulfillment solution”. It boasts over 30 distribution centers across six countries and a 99.96% on-time delivery rate.
- Two-day shipping
- Custom-branded packaging
- Easy onboarding process
- Slow response time for the app
- Limited integration options
ShipBob’s website has a calculator to help you estimate order fulfillment prices. For more detailed pricing breakdowns, request a quote.
WooCommerce is a great platform for small business owners and entrepreneurs, but it’s just one part of running a successful online business. You need a great platform that can handle order fulfillment and get your products out the door and into the hands of your customers as efficiently as possible.
That’s why we put together this list of the best WooCommerce fulfillment providers. We hope it will help you choose the right partner to take care of your order fulfillment needs.
Don’t work with WooCommerce? Find the best carriers for many of the highest profile marketplaces on the web.
Order Fulfillment for WooCommerce FAQs
How do you fulfill orders in WooCommerce?
To fulfill orders in WooCommerce, you must first check to make sure you have the items in stock. Next, you’ve got to package your items, add labels, ship them out and send a tracking number to your customers.
Does WooCommerce have inventory management?
Yes, WooCommerce has built-in inventory management capabilities.
How do I fulfill a dropship order?
WooCommerce Dropshipping helps users send automated order notification emails to wholesale dropshippers when new orders come in. This automates order fulfillment of dropship orders.