How to Choose the Best Order Fulfillment Software
Let's face it. The right order fulfillment software has become one of the most critical weapons in your business arsenal. Over the past decade, consumers have set an extraordinarily high bar for retailers. In the wake of Amazon Prime, more than 90% of U. S. online shoppers opens in new tabnow expect free two- to three-day shipping from every company. Studies show that when delivery times are too long, almost 50% will simply choose another retaileropens in new tab. As a result, speed and accuracy when shipping orders have become an absolutely essential element of a successful retail business. This means that efficient order fulfillment has never held a more important role. Fortunately, technology has come to the rescue in the form of order fulfillment software.
What is order fulfillment software?
Order fulfillment software is technology used to manage the entire fulfillment cycle from the moment a customer orders an item until it arrives on their doorstep. Modern order fulfillment software includes a few key features:
- Manages, orders, and updates inventory in real time
- Creates and assigns pick lists for your warehouse team
- Automates and coordinates the packing process for your team
- Shares real-time tracking of orders during every stage
What are the benefits of using order fulfillment software?
With order fulfillment solutions, companies benefit from reduced errors in order entry, automated invoices, increased order visibility, managed returns and more. Reasons small businesses use order fulfillment software include:
- Eliminates need to own or rent a warehouse
- No need to hire additional employees to handle your order fulfillment
- Ability to scale business as quickly as desired
- Saves businesses time and money
What to look for in an order fulfillment software
Hundreds of different order fulfillment software options are available out on the market. What should you be looking for when selecting the right one for your unique business? The best order fulfillment software will have the following characteristics:
- Easy integration with your other important technologies. From your WMS to your ERP and everything in between, all of your tech stack should communicate easily with one another.
- Automation, automation, automation!! This should nearly go without saying, but order fulfillment software that doesn’t leverage automation isn’t worth your time. Automation will help speed up processes and reduce errors significantly and is one of the main reasons companies use order fulfillment software.
- Intuitive navigation. It’s a fact of life that warehouse staff come and go far too often. Your order fulfillment software should be easy for new team members to understand. In addition, make sure the software you’re considering makes it easy to search for, edit, and view orders and/or invoices.
- The ability to manage inventory. Having just the right amount of inventory is the goal of every company. You want enough that you can meet demand but not so much that you are sitting with a warehouse full of unwanted goods. The right order fulfillment software will include inventory alerts to help you keep your finger on the pulse of your inventory at all times.
- Easy returns processing. Returns are a normal part of the shipping process. Be sure that the order fulfillment software you select makes returns as easy as possible.
- Access to data and reports. The ability to run reports and see metrics is critical in order for you to be flexible and make adjustments whenever necessary. These reports should be accessible from both a computer and mobile device and include a centralized dashboard so you can quickly get all the information you need.
Our favorite order fulfillment softwares
Not all order fulfillment software platforms are created equal. We’ve put together a short list that we at EasyPost really love (and the reasons they are great!).
<b>ShipBob</b>opens in new tab
Who are they? ShipBob is a global omni fulfillment solution trusted by 7,000+ brands to ship orders from everywhere their customers shop.
How does it work? From personalized and memorable unboxing experiences to faster shipping, ShipBob provides best-in-class supply chain solutions and fulfills global orders from the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, and Australia to meet customer expectations.
Why do we like them? Their unique order fulfillment software allows organizations to closely monitor and oversee their shipping process. This includes the ability to manage, edit, and customize orders; track real-time stock levels across any location; receive reorder notifications; and drive better omnichannel shopper experiences. ShipBob supports a host of custom features including cross-border order fulfillment, carbon neutral shipping, B2B expansion, 100% coverage for 2-day delivery, and custom unboxing experiences. With so many businesses using more and more complex tech stacks these days, we especially love their easy integration with various ecommerce platforms.
<b>Shipmonk</b>opens in new tab
Who are they? ShipMonk is an order fulfillment that operates with one goal in mind: to help ecommerce businesses grow. They do this by offering the latest in order fulfillment software technology. ShipMonk has busy facilities in Fort Lauderdale, FL; Pittston, PA; Los Angeles, CA; Bay Shore, NY; Las Vegas, NV; Dayton, NJ; Louisville, KY; Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; Tecate, Mexico; the United Kingdom and Prague, Czech Republic.
How does it work? Using ShipMonk is quick and easy. The process can be broken down into ten basic steps:
- You create an awesome new product.
- You then ship your inventory to ShipMonk using discounted freight rates.
- All of your systems get integrated into the ShipMonk platform.
- Your orders start flowing directly to ShipMonk.
- Orders are packed according to your specifications.
- Shipmonk's algorithm suggests the best shipping method.
- An email with a tracking number is sent to your customer.
- Your customer is excited to receive your product.
- You have access to a robust returns portal for exchanges and returns.
- You can oversee and manage inventory directly in the ShipMonk platform.
Why do we like them? A few of the things that excite us the most about ShipMonk’s order fulfillment software include their lack of monthly minimum for orders, the fact that they integrate with 75 or more different platforms, and the large number of warehouses that they have from coast to coast.
<b>Whiplash</b>opens in new tab
Who are they? Whiplash is a cutting-edge order fulfillment software designed to help businesses grow by taking care of the daily fulfillment workload for your ecommerce and online selling business. Whiplash uses automation to streamline all pieces of the fulfillment process including ordering, payment, product tracking, shipping and delivery. Using a network of warehouses located in both the U.S. and the U.K. allows for easy product storage and global distribution. In addition, its real-time item monitoring and information ensures that every product stored and shipped is accounted for.
How does it work? Whiplash makes the order fulfillment process easy.
- Input your items to Whiplash. Your products are entered into the Whiplash system automatically. This is an easy process since Whiplash integrates with most major sales platforms (Shopify, Magento, etc.). The integration will automatically import your products to their system.
- Create a ship notice. It’s time to send your products on to Whiplash! Before doing so, you simply fill out a basic document to give Whiplash’s warehouse notice that your product is on the way.
- Ship your products to Whiplash. Send your inventory on to Whiplash and let them handle the rest.
Why do we like them? We feel that Whiplash has a really smooth integration with a variety of technological tools. This gives businesses the ability to use the tools they need to use without interruption. In addition, its API allows businesses to create customized apps that work seamlessly with their unique system. Whiplash helps a business scale really well. Whether you’re processing one order or thousands, Whiplash provides the same level of fulfillment by leveraging its many different facilities, flexible staffing, and multiple shipping options. Finally, Whiplash has expertise in key retail sectors that allows them to understand and best meet the needs of retailers that other more generic systems may not be able to do.
EasyPost makes integration with order fulfillment platforms easy
No matter which order fulfillment software you choose, you can rest easy knowing that integration with EasyPost is possible. EasyPost integrates with order fulfillment platforms to make running your business as profitable and smooth as possible. Our company’s best-in-class multi-carrier shipping API removes the technical complexities of logistics, allowing users to find the best carrier for their situation, verify addresses, print labels, deliver parcels more reliably, add insurance to their shipment, purchase carbon offsets to reduce their carbon footprint, and save money in the process. As one of only four PC Postage vendors, we provide a software solution that allows customers to print their USPS postage and pay for it online.
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