E-Commerce has created new opportunities for selling products outside of the traditional brick-and-mortar store. And, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are turning to their screens to make purchases. The influx in selling and spending via the web, plus easy-to-use selling platforms on the market like Shopify, Amazon, Etsy, and more, has made starting an e-commerce business more accessible.
While selling online allows many conveniences for both the seller and the customer, like working and shopping from home, there is one aspect that can be particularly challenging—fulfillment.
From keeping inventory organized, to shipping labels, and everything in between, it’s easy to make mistakes during the fulfillment process. Incorrect, delayed, or lost orders can have devastating effects on your customer base. For this reason, e-commerce businesses of every size should consider utilizing fulfillment software to streamline their supply chain operations.
About Fulfillment Software
Fulfillment software helps business owners with some or all aspects of fulfilling customer orders, including the six essential aspects of fulfillment:
- Storefront Management
- Order Management
- Inventory Management
- Shipping Management
- Picking, Packing, and Labeling
This software will also help sellers to process orders via one of three main fulfillment methods:
- Self-Service: Self-Service is the “do it yourself” approach to fulfillment where a seller fulfills their own orders. This could be done in a warehouse with a team of workers or by an individual in their own home.
- 3rd Party Logistics (3PL): To fulfill via 3PL, sellers ship their products to the 3PL provider’s warehouse. The 3PL provider will then store this inventory until an order is placed. Once an order is placed, the 3PL will then pick, pack, and ship the order to the customer.
- Drop Shipping: Drop shipping is similar to a 3PL, except that sellers do not own the items they sell. When an order is placed, the drop shipper is notified and will then fulfill that order with items from their warehouse, shipping the order out directly to the customer.
By utilizing fulfillment software, you can save time and money on your fulfillment process, allowing you to focus on the aspects of your business that you love.
What to Look for In Fulfillment Software
While fulfillment software can offer a wide range of useful services, order management tools and smart shipping are two essential aspects a fulfillment software should provide.
Order Management Tools
Order management tools help simplify many aspects of your orders and integrate directly into your storefront or marketplace. Order management software addresses a number of fulfillment pain points, such as syncing inventory across multiple sales channels, viewing all orders in a single dashboard, stock level alerts to ensure inventory availability, and helping create custom orders.
When it comes to shipping and packaging, fulfillment software should recommend the best shipping rates and shipping packaging. These recommendations will help make the picking, packing, and labeling process more efficient.
Keeping the above points in mind, here are the 7 top fulfillment software options available for e-commerce sellers today:
7 Best Fulfillment Softwares
Soapbox is an all-in-one software that makes e-commerce fulfillment easy and efficient, at scale. Whether you’re a small business owner or a large corporation, Soapbox has tools to simplify your fulfillment.
- Add and sync storefronts and marketplaces or input custom orders under a single-view dashboard.
- Automatically recommends the best shipping packaging for your orders based on the packaging you have available.
- Print your pick list, pack list, and purchase and print your labels in one convenient place.
- View, split, and fulfill orders from all your storefronts and marketplaces.
- Simplified product, inventory management, and reconciliation across your stores with restock alerts.
- Automatically shops and selects the most cost-effective shipping carrier for every order.
- Top-notch customer service including Slack channel communication.
- Free Plan
- Basic Plan: $10/month
- Growth Plan: $25/month
- Commercial Plan: $45/month
- Mainstream Plan: $300/month
- Mid-Market Plan: $1,000/month
- Enterprise Plan: $3,000/month
- Worldwide Plan: contact Soapbox for pricing
For additional plans and services, reach out to Soapbox for a custom quote.
Fulfillrite offers order fulfillment for your e-commerce brand or crowdfunding campaign. This all-in-one order fulfillment platform allows you to scale your business with a logistics partner that feels like an extension of your team.
- Integrate Fulfillrite with your Shopify store to fulfill orders on autopilot.
- Several e-commerce fulfillment features, including real-time inventory tracking, remote order and inventory management, and seamless shopping cart integrations.
- Fulfillrite preps items for Amazon FBA.
- If you’re a subscription box service, Fulfillrite can customize your packaging.
- When customers return items, Fulfillrite can help repackage and refurbish them so that they can be resold.
- Crowdfunding fulfillment specialists and software allow for quick turnaround time on large, crowdfunded orders.
For plans and services, reach out to Fulfillrite for a custom quote.
When it comes to managing inventory and orders, inFlow has got your back. This all-in-one software is designed to simplify the pieces of inventory management such as keeping track of current inventory, how much additional inventory to order, fulfilling customer orders, and more.
- All-in-one barcode software allows small businesses to create and optimize a barcode system.
- Sales and invoicing software allow you to sell, ship, and invoice in one place.
- inFlow’s Showroom B2B portal allows you to create custom, online product catalogs.
- Purchase order software keeps track of each inventory item throughout its sales journey.
- 38 sales, purchasing, and inventory reports help sellers make educated business decisions.
- inFlow integrates with a number of platforms. If the desired integration is not available, the software’s API feature allows developers to read and write their own data.
- Use your smartphone to manage orders, products, fulfillment, and even act as a barcode scanner.
- Entrepreneur Plan: $99/month or $948/year
- Small Business Plan: $279/month or $2,628/year
- Mid-Size Plan: $549/month or $5,268/year
For additional plans and services, reach out to inFlow for a custom quote.
ShipStation can help you sync, manage, and ship your orders efficiently. With direct integrations to over 70 selling channels plus automation rules and filters, you can save time managing all of your orders.
- Integrate shopping carts, order management systems, and more from your storefronts and marketplaces.
- Manage inventory remotely, viewing stock levels, setting inventory alerts, and allocating stock.
- Customize shipping labels, return portal, and tracking page with your branding.
- Generate discounted shipping labels.
- 400+ available partner integrations.
- Import orders, manage shipping, print labels, and receive instantly updated tracking for orders.
- Starter Plan: $9.99/month
- Bronze Plan: $29.99/month
- Silver Plan: $49.99/month
- Gold Plan: $69.99/month
- Platinum Plan: $99.99/month
- Enterprise Plan: $159.99/month
For additional plans and services, reach out to ShipStation for a custom quote.
Easyship’s goal is just as its name says—to make your shipping process easy. This cloud-based fulfillment software provides solutions for e-commerce sellers, crowdfunding campaigns, and even developers.
- Save up to 91% on 250+ couriers.
- Integrates with a number of storefronts, marketplaces, and fulfillment softwares.
- Easyship provides one tool to manage and automate your shipping needs, including comparing shipping quotes, generating labels, scheduling pickups, and monitoring finances.
- Access to Easyship’s global network of warehouses.
- Optimized store checkout allows customers to choose recommended shipping options.
- Easyship’s Branding Suite will notify customers with shipping updates as well as add your logos and advertising material to emails, landing pages, and packing slips.
- Free Plan
- Plus Plan: $29/month
- Premier Plan: $69/month
For additional plans and services, reach out to Easyship for a custom quote.
6. Zoho Inventory
Zoho Inventory is an online inventory management software for growing US businesses. This software enables sellers to control inventory, manage orders, and streamline multiple sales channels.
- Item management allows users to track, manage, and customize items from a single application.
- Customer lifecycle removes the stress of having to fill in information at every step of the fulfillment process.
- Manage back orders, drop shipments, vendor price lists, purchase orders, and billing solutions all in one place.
- Post-Shipment, EDI, marketplace, shopping cart integrations, accounting solutions, and CRMs can help expand your business.
- Automation features include barcode scanning, email and field updates, webhooks, and custom functions.
- SKU generator, reorder points feature, and reporting and analytics tools all help to keep your business up to speed with the latest industry trends.
- Free Plan
- Standard Plan: $79/month or $708/year
- Professional Plan: $129/month or $1,188/year
- Premium Plan: $199/month or $1,908/year
- Elite Plan: $299/month or $2,868/year
- Ultimate Plan: $399/month or $3,948/year
Multiorder’s inventory and order management allows your e-commerce business to have the power of four platforms in one. Sync inventory and automate order fulfillment and reporting from a single dashboard.
- Inventory software helps multi-channel e-commerce sellers create bundles, manage variations, tag and categorize products, and more.
- Insights and reports provide full visibility of your inventory.
- The order management system allows for multichannel orders, merging of orders, and manual orders.
- Multi-Carrier shipping management software provides a number of features, including discounted shipping rates, expedited shipping processes, and bulk printing.
- E-Commerce analytics and reports provide full visibility of your inventory, shipment monitoring, and an overview of all of your order statuses.
- Data provides insights into inventory levels, sales across all stores, best-selling products, and total shipping costs.
- Pro 500 Plan: $49/month or $490/year
- Pro 1K Plan: $99/month or $990/year
- Pro 2K Plan: $149/month or $1,490/year
- Pro 5K Plan: $249/month or $2,490/year
How to Know Which Software Is Right for You
With all of these choices, how will you know which software is right for you? Here are some points to keep in mind as you’re weighing your options:
Quality Customer Service
It is crucial to find software with exceptional customer service. How does this software address problems when they arise? What is this software’s preferred method(s) of communication? What is their average response time?
Additionally, if there is a method of communication that you prefer, like text messages or a messaging app like Slack, see if this software can accommodate this. Reading reviews can also help to shed some light on how responsive the team will truly be.
What aspects of your business are the most challenging? Walk through every step of your current fulfillment process, taking note of every change you would like to make along the way. Once you’ve compiled this list, decide which points are deal breakers and which you are willing to compromise on. Finally, consider any new aspects you would like to add to your fulfillment process.
Consider how you’re fulfilling your orders now, as well as how you’d like to fulfill them moving forward. Are you looking to fulfill via self-service, drop shipping, or 3PL? Additionally, are you looking to ship domestically or internationally? Most software has a specialization, so knowing this will help you to narrow down your options.
Do you need to have fulfillment software or services customized for your brand, or can you use a ready-made solution? Explore what features most ready-made solutions offer, and if there are features missing that you feel you need, explore what customization offers are out there as well. While many softwares offer customization, even this can have its limitations. If you are looking for custom software, speak to a few different providers to weigh your options.
Finally, consider the costs associated with the fulfillment softwares you’re looking into. Be wary of anyone charging significantly less or more than similar softwares. These costs should all be in the same ballpark as one another, so if one is drastically higher or lower than the others, this could be a red flag.
Lauren Moore is Digital Media Content Manager at Soapbox. She creates a wide range of e-commerce content regarding fulfillment education, small business spotlights, and industry news.