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For many ecommerce businesses, order fulfillment can become a bottleneck: they can only fulfill as many orders as their team can handle or they only have so much warehousing space. As a result, they end up losing business because they don’t have the resources to scale.
A 3PL (also known as third-party logistics) can solve many of these problems, but not every 3PL is well-positioned to work with the advanced technology stacks of ecommerce merchants. ShipBob is a 3PL that focuses on the needs of ecommerce business. ShipBob easily integrates with the top ecommerce online stores and uses cutting-edge proprietary software to optimize shipping.
ShipBob also employs a unique system of distribution called distributed inventory. With distributed inventory, you have access to our entire network of fulfillment centers located in various regions across the US, and can store your products in close proximity to where your customers live. The result? More cost-effective, shorter shipping times, and happier customers.
How has ShipBob helped ecommerce businesses?
One ShipBob customer strives to offer an Amazon-like experience for their customers. They were working with a competing 3PL that didn’t meet expectations. Brand recognition and loyalty were key to their business, so they moved to ShipBob and have reduced transit times, shipping costs, and fulfillment errors.
“From expanding into a second ShipBob fulfillment center, we are able to offer 65% of our customers with 2-day shipping, up from 32% by only having a single West Coast facility. Soon, this will be 100%. Not only is this better for our customers but we also gain a 13% savings to our bottom line.”
Pablo Gabatto, Business Operations Manager at Ample Foods
ShipBob’s fulfillment services for Maryland-based ecommerce businesses
If your business is based in Maryland, then there’s a good chance that you’re looking for a Maryland-based fulfillment center. But what if you could actually cut shipping rates and speed up delivery times without having a fulfillment center in Maryland at all?
That’s the idea behind distributed inventory, and it works like this:
- Follow the data: First, see where your orders are coming from and where your customer base is primarily located. ShipBob can help provide an analysis of this for you.
- Choose from our network of fulfillment centers: Determine which of our ShipBob locations are most optimal and located closest to where your customers live. Think about it: If all your customers live on the East Coast, then you may only want to ship from our Pennsylvania fulfillment center. Or, if your customers live all over the US, you also have the opportunity to split inventory across all 5.
- Sync your store and ship your products: Once you know which fulfillment centers you want to use, you just have to ship your products to those fulfillment centers and connect your store to ShipBob’s technology. We provide a robust implementation experience so everything is configured just right.
- We handle fulfillment for you: When a customer places an order at your store, ShipBob is automatically notified and the order is routed to the fulfillment center that’s closest to the customer. The team prepares and ships the order.
- You and the customer can view tracking info: Tracking info is emailed to the customer, and you can check the status of any order from your ShipBob dashboard.
Manage your inventory in real-time
One of the biggest challenges of fulfillment is ensuring that your ecommerce inventory counts match your physical product. If you’re not on top of inventory, then you’ll run out of product at critical times and lose business.
But with ShipBob, inventory tracking is easier than ever. You can see inventory levels at each fulfillment center updated in real-time, and set reorder points so you always have enough product on hand.
ShipBob handles the retail order fulfillment process for you, but we also make sure that you’re clued in every step of the way. Using the ShipBob dashboard, you can view all outstanding orders, check order status, track packages, and more.
Our whole aim is to make fulfillment as effortless and pain-free as possible for our clients, and one way we do that is by providing the best user experience and technology. There’s no coding or programming required to get started with ShipBob, but there is a lot of room for customization if your needs require it.
Why ShipBob is the best choice for your Maryland-based ecommerce business
Ecommerce businesses tend to overlook the importance of fulfillment logistics, but think of it this way: your shipping process, speed, and cost are some of the few touch points a customer have with your business.
In ecommerce, shipping is a critical component of customer service, so the more efficient and cost-effective your shipping, the faster you’ll grow.
Effortless integration and fulfillment
As an ecommerce business, you probably already have a substantial tech stack: your ecommerce platform, shipping platforms, perhaps even ecommerce apps (e.g., customer support and email marketing) and logistics platforms (from packaging and freight, to returns).
ShipBob understands that in ecommerce, integration is a critical part of growth, and that’s why we’re integrated with many of the top solutions in various areas of ecommerce.
For instance, when luxury pillow brand Doris Sleep integrated their online store with ShipBob, 99.7% of orders started being shipped on the same day they were placed.
Scale fast and painlessly
Partner with ShipBob and you instantly adopt an entire distribution network of fulfillment centers, all linked with our proprietary technology. That means no struggle to keep up with growing order volume.
That’s how so many of our customers have experienced rapid growth after partnering with us. Men’s body shaver BAKblade, for example, experienced 291% growth since partnering with ShipBob.
Once ShipBob’s platform is synced with your store, we can put the entire fulfillment process on autopilot. That means minimal lag time between when an order is placed and when it’s shipped, and it also means we can start shipping a product the second we receive it in inventory.
When menswear brand Brummel hired us, we were able to start shipping orders for their holiday launch within three days of receiving their inventory. ShipBob also provides fast responses for support inquiries and recommendations on issues outside of fulfillment.
When should I hire a 3PL to outsource fulfillment?
With so many different components that go into fulfillment, most ecommerce businesses struggle with one or two aspects. This can be order management, optimizing shipping routes, reducing shipping costs, or something else.
So the right time to outsource fulfillment will depend on several factors. If the following situations sound familiar, then a fulfillment company can provide substantial benefit:
- You want to expand your 2-day shipping coverage but lack the resources or infrastructure to do so.
- You are shipping from a Maryland-based fulfillment and distribution center and want better rates when shipping cross country.
- You no longer have space to store your products.
- You want to expand into new markets.
- You need help to handle an influx of seasonal demand.
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