ShipBob vs Deliverr: Choosing the Best Ecommerce Shipping Option in 2020

Which Shipping Service Will You Choose?

Love it or hate it, shipping is an essential element to any ecommerce operation, and when done well, it's another opportunity to wow your customers. In the era of Amazon Prime, consumers now expect reliable and exceedingly fast shipping times.

This is why engaging a reliable fulfillment solution is imperative. It's key to taking the hassle out of what can sometimes be a headache of a process.

So, we've taken an in-depth look at ShipBob and Deliverr, two key players in the ecommerce fulfillment game, to see which is the better option.

Read on to find out!

ShipBob vs Deliverr: Summary

After careful consideration, ShipBob emerged the all-round winner for the better fulfillment company. Overall, it's clear ShipBob actually operates fulfillment centers and offers ecommerce business owners peace of mind through reliable handling, tracking, shipping, and delivery.

In this review, we'll highlight the pros and cons of both ShipBob and Deliverr to demonstrate why we think ShipBob is the most robust third-party shipping option for your online business. We'll also examine pricing, customer service, and the areas in which both these services excel.

That's a lot to cover, so let's dive straight in!

Overall Review: ShipBob

ShipBob makes order fulfillment easier for merchants. It's a tech-enabled 3PL that utilizes high-grade software across their entire fulfillment network for a more cohesive experience. Orders are automatically sent to their warehouses where your inventory is picked, packed, and shipped directly to your customers.

On top of that, ShipBob also runs its own fulfillment centers and provides inventory management services. You, as the merchant, retain full control over your inventory at all times. With access to ShipBob's easy-to-use dashboards, users are kept in the loop whenever an item is sent out.

ShipBob has fulfillment centers across the United States, Canada, and the EU. Its services are far-reaching, which enables them to offer international shipping costs and global order fulfillment. Thanks to its vast network of fulfillment centers, you can strategically allocate inventory to wherever's closest to your customers. This ensures your items are shipped quicker and more affordably, and enables you to stay competitive with ShipBob's 2-day express delivery.

Order management is also made easy with ShipBob's order management software. Here you can view all your direct-to-consumer and wholesale shipments with just a glance. You can manage subscriptions, make changes to your orders post-purchase, and set your shipping options. You even have the tools to automatically share tracking information with customers, and see in a timeline format, what stage your orders are at in the fulfillment process.

ShipBob integrates with all the leading ecommerce platforms and features several tech integrations to streamline the whole experience. And if any issues or questions arise, ShipBob’s customer service team is well-renown for providing quick responses.

Control and Visibility

As we just said, you, as the ecommerce merchant, retain full control over your inventory – at all times. And you're kept updated every step of the way as to where your items are.

ShipBob’s analytics tool is free and provides you with easy-to-understand reports and charts. This includes year-end reporting and real-time data that enables you to make better decisions regarding your supply chain.

Thanks to these insights, you'll see which fulfillment centers most benefit your business, the impact of promotions on stock levels, how many days are left before you run out of inventory, and the average cart value of each shipping method. You can also estimate your fulfillment cost per order, storage cost per unit, and much more.

International Fulfillment

In the US, ShipBob's warehouse management services are located across the country, including Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, California, Illinois, and Tennessee. In Europe, they have fulfillment centers in Ireland, and their Canadian center is based in Ottawa. As such, its services are far-reaching across the globe.

Integrations

ShipBob seamlessly integrates with all major ecommerce platforms. Most notably, Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace, Wix or BigCommerce.

Amongst ShipBob’s many integrations, you'll also find tools that enable more straightforward returns management and plugins that make centralizing your sales channels a breeze. They also partner with various inventory, order management, freight, and shipping solutions.

Some of ShipBob's most popular integrations include:

  • Happy Returns
  • Returnly
  • Cin7
  • InventoryPlanner
  • TradeGecko
  • Skubana
  • OrderDesk
  • PackageBee

ShipBob's Returns Procedures

ShipBob offers returns as a value-added service to merchants. It appreciates the importance of providing easy returns for customer satisfaction. If you want them to, ShipBob will handle the entire process from start to finish; all you have to do create and set up returns through your ShipBob dashboard.

ShipBob charges a base processing fee for simple returns, and you can purchase shipping labels from them directly. This allows you to track your returns while they're being processed. ShipBob can also dispose of, restock, quarantine, and/or inspect item(s) for you, upon their return.

However, additional inspection steps come at an extra cost. But, if you're getting lots of returns on one particular product, this can come in handy for getting to the root of the problem.

Overall, ShipBob does a pretty good job of getting your products back into sellable inventory as efficiently as possible.

ShipBob's Pricing

ShipBob’s pricing reflects the costs of direct-to-consumer order fulfillment. The standard fees include a one-time implementation fee, for which you'll get: 30 days of support, they'll receive your inventory, warehouse your products, and ship each order.

All ShipBob customers receive standard boxes, mailers, and packaging supplies and same-day shipping for pre-noon orders. You'll also get access to a merchant dashboard. From here, you can access ShipBob's inventory and order management tools, as well as their other useful integrations.

You'll have to contact ShipBob directly to request a quote. But, for some guidance with regards to price, ShipBob’s flat rate for receiving products is $25 for the first two staff-hours, and then 35$ per staff-hour after the two-hour mark.

Storage is priced monthly at $40 per pallet, $10 per shelf, or $5 per bin. Pick, pack, and standard packaging are included in the cost. Shipping rates are specific to each order and varies depending on the destination, weight, dimensions, and the chosen shipping service.

ShipBob's Customer Support

ShipBob’s customer service team provides quick responses. You can reach out via the help button on your dashboard, or email, call, or chat them. Their support line is open between 9 AM and 5 PM CST, Monday to Friday.

As ShipBob runs its own fulfillment centers and works through your orders every step of the way, they're the only point of contact you need to think about to get your shipping-related questions answered. ShipBob has on-site representatives at each fulfillment location to help troubleshoot any issues that arise.

If you prefer the self-help route, over on their website, you'll also find help documentation and frequently asked questions for you to use.

The Pros & Cons of Using ShipBob Order Fulfillment

At the heart of any comparison are the advantages and disadvantages of using a service. So, let’s take a closer look at what this means for ShipBob:

ShipBob: The Pros 👍

First, for the perks…

Best-in-class tech:

You can trust ShipBob to provide accurate inventory information and updates. You can easily merge products, bundle items, and view SKU counts in real-time. Customers can automatically be notified whenever an order is out for delivery. This order fulfillment company prides itself on full transparency, keeping you in the loop at every step.

Scalability:

ShipBob lets you choose which fulfillment center(s) location you use. You can quickly expand into other sites over time. These kinds of fulfillment-related decisions are made all the more accessible through analytics that tell you how to save money and speed up deliveries.

Simple pricing. No hidden costs.

Once you've contacted ShipBob for a quote, they're transparent with their prices. There are no hidden charges, so it's easy to pick the right plan for you. ShipBob’s reliable pricing structure makes it possible to plan your spending for any given period.

ShipBob’s tech integrations:

ShipBob smoothly integrates with all the leading ecommerce platforms. This makes handling ecommerce order fulfillment even more straightforward. You can do so directly through the dashboard of your preferred ecommerce solution.

Custom packaging for all orders:

If you want to add a touch of branding to your products, ShipBob makes this easy. The service offers custom packaging solutions (like your own custom branded boxes or poly mailers). You can even add marketing materials, promotional inserts, and any other extras that might help promote your brand.

ShipBob: The Cons 👎

Now, for the drawbacks:

ShipBob doesn’t integrate with Wish.

This drawback is obvious: If you're looking to handle customer orders you receive via Wish, ShipBob isn't the right service for you.

ShipBob is the more expensive option.

ShipBob boasts a value-add model with premium support and technologies. These additional services come at a price. If you're looking for the cheapest pick and pack 3PL, ShipBob may be out of your price range. But, in the long-term, you should save money with them through their continuous value. As such, you'll have to do somewhat of a cost-benefit analysis before committing your hard-earned cash.

They don’t support Walmart 2-Day.

ShipBob integrates with Walmart. However, they don’t support the 2-day badge. If this is important to your conversion rate, ShipBob might not be the best option.

High SKU counts get expensive

As we've just hinted at, ShipBob’s warehousing fees are more expensive than some of its competitors. You have to pay for storage for each SKU. As such, the cost adds up fast. However, merchants with a low SKU count, on the other hand, might find the service ideally suited to them.

No FBA

If you rely on Amazon Prime, you're out of luck with ShipBob. While they offer an Amazon integration for FBM, they don’t currently offer any Prime/SFB services. As such, you might want to stick with Amazon FBA if that's what you're using already and you could use ShipBob just to fulfill your website orders.

ShipBob: The Verdict

ShipBob is the order fulfillment service that does it all. With full transparency, you can enjoy an all-encompassing service with international coverage that uses high-grade tech to its advantage. ShipBob might not be the cheapest option on the market, but we believe that those with a low to mid-range SKU count can rely on this service to provide the best possible value.

The most advantageous element to ShipBob is its willingness to work with merchants to provide a high-quality seller-to-customer experience…for any type of business. This shines through all the features this service offers- especially their customization options and the ability to handle and inspect returns, all within full visibility of the merchant.

In short, ShipBob works well for anyone that wants full control and visibility across the whole of the order fulfillment process. If you're using one of the many ecommerce platforms ShipBob integrates, this may well be the best ecommerce shipping option for you.

Overall Review: Deliverr

Deliverr offers quick and affordable fulfillment for marketplace sellers. Their process is simple. Merchants send their inventory and get access to fast shipping tags for direct selling platforms. The service is straightforward to launch across multiple selling platforms.

Similar to Amazon, you can also add prime-like badging to whatever platform you're selling products on. Deliverr also supports Walmart’s 2-day delivery, eBay Fast ‘N free, and Wish Express. This makes boosting sales across a variety of fast-paced online marketplace environments a breeze.

Deliverr promotes this as an excellent way to improve search rankings. Deliverr's fast-delivery badges make products eligible to appear in search engine categories tagged for fast delivery. As such, your products are much easier to find on the web. This is worth its weight in gold for standing out against the competition.

Integrations

Deliverr primarily integrates with direct sales channels, including Walmart, Amazon, Wish, and eBay. However, the only ecommerce platform they integrate with is Shopify.

For added functionality, Deliverr has partnered with a variety of inventory management systems and listing tools, including:

  • Sellbrite
  • SellerActive
  • GeekSeller
  • Skubana
  • ChannelAdvisor
  • EcomDash
  • Zentail

Fulfillment Locations

Instead of running their own fulfillment centers, Deliverr partners with different warehouses around the US. Deliverr connects merchants with outsourced fulfillment services and warehouses that have empty, unused space. As such, it operates very differently from ShipBob and can't offer the same degree of control and involvement throughout the fulfillment process.

Their coverage ensures 95% of US customers can order your merchandise with fast shipping to boot. Their warehouses are located across the country, including California, Texas, Missouri, Ohio, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Usually, merchants split their inventory across 3-5 locations. At the time of writing, Deliverr doesn't operate internationally.

Deliverr's Returns Procedures

Currently, Deliverr doesn't handle or process customer returns. If buyers return an item to one of Deliverr’s partner warehouses, the product is marked as ‘unfulfillable inventory,' i.e., it's not returned to sellable inventory due to fraud concerns. Returned items are reported to the merchant, and removal and/or disposal fees may apply.

Deliverr's Pricing

Deliverr’s clear and affordable pricing competes with Amazon’s multi-channel order fulfillment service. Fulfillment fees apply to each unit processed and are based on weight, dimensions, and service level. Receiving, shipping, order handling, pick and pack, and box costs are included in the price.

Deliverr supports three service levels. The standard variant takes 5-7 days. Alternatively, you can opt for a three-day or two-day delivery. These times are measured from the date the order was placed and run through to the delivery date.

Fulfillment costs start at $3.99 per unit for something as small as a phone case. Prices for something as substantial as a computer monitor, for example, start at $17.98. You can visit their cost calculator online to get a full breakdown of Deliverr's pricing.

Deliverr's Customer Service

Customer service responses can take longer as Deliverr doesn’t operate its own fulfillment centers. As such, the majority of conflict resolution relies on communicating with third-party logistics providers.

However, support documentation is available on their website. Or, to get in touch, you can email their support team, or submit a request online. Currently, there aren't any live support options available.

If you’re considering Deliverr as a potential fulfillment provider, they offer one-to-one onboarding. To set up this consultation, you'll need to provide Deliverr with your email address, and they'll put you in touch with the right person.

ShipBob vs Deliverr: The Pros & Cons of Using Deliverr

Deliverr: The Pros 👍

Let's start with the brighter side of Deliverr…

2-day shipping for marketplaces:

If you're primarily a marketplace merchant operating on Amazon, Walmart, Wish, or eBay, Deliverr offers an impressive 2-day shipping option.

Affordable rates:

Deliverr’s own overheads are pretty small – namely because they don’t operate their own fulfillment centers. As such, their prices are more affordable than lots of their competitors, making them a viable option for small businesses with tighter budgets.

Badges for marketplaces:

With a few simple clicks, users can activate fast-shipping. Deliverr’s software enables badges and fast-shipping tags across various platforms. This certainly comes in handy for gaining a competitive edge amidst increasingly crowded online marketplaces.

Deliverr: The Cons 👎

Now, for the drawbacks…

No return procedures in place:

Deliverr doesn't have any procedures or policies in place for customers to return products. This is a significant disadvantage. As such, you may lose inventory and face disposal fees if an item gets returned to one of Deliverr’s warehouses.

Deliverr doesn’t run its own fulfillment centers:

This presents several drawbacks. Put simply, Deliverr acts as the middleman between you and the US fulfillment centers it partners with. As such, communication is limited, and you have much less visibility over the actual fulfillment process.

No international fulfillment partners:

Deliverr only partners with fulfillment centers around the US. If a part of your audience is located elsewhere, your options are limited.

Deliverr doesn’t offer any customization:

If customized branding is essential to you, this isn't the right option for your order fulfillment needs. Deliverr doesn’t offer any custom packaging or marketing inserts.

Deliverr: The Verdict

If you're a marketplace seller looking for Amazon FBA-like fulfillment, Deliverr may be an affordable option for you. However, for any other eCommerce platform, it doesn’t provide the same range of services as its competitors. It falls severely behind where transparency, customization, and control over the order fulfillment process is concerned.

Deliverr is also only based in the USA, so if you hope to expand globally, this service will limit you in the long-run.

All in all, we only recommend this service for marketplace sellers with no particular focus on growing their own brand.

ShipBob vs Deliverr: Which Is Best for Ecommerce Brands?

When comparing ShipBob vs Deliverr, it's vital to remember that the services are as different as apples and oranges. Both have a niche target audience who will find quality fulfillment services with either provider.

Deliverr is an affordable option for marketplace sellers that primarily promote their products on Amazon, eBay, Wish, or Walmart. It provides fast shipping options within the USA and can help sellers grow their reach on these platforms.

Whereas, ShipBob is better suited to anyone building their own brand via an ecommerce platform like Shopify or WooCommerce. Although ShipBob is typically the more expensive option, it provides an all-encompassing fulfillment service that affords users full visibility and control over their inventory. The branding options on offer further enhance ShipBob's service, and the fact they have fulfillment centers dotted across the US, Europe, and Canada, so international fulfillment is a possibility.

We think ShipBob is the better all-round winner, making it the best ecommerce shipping option out of the two.

ShipBob vs Deliverr: Final Thoughts

When done well, order fulfillment is a great way to provide extra value to your customers. Fast shipping, returns, and customization are all excellent ways to improve the customer experience. If you’re looking for hassle-free fulfillment, ShipBob and Deliverr can both help you store and ship your products.

But, as we've just said, unless you're a marketplace seller, we believe ShipBob provides the best levels of control and visibility through their all-inclusive order processing.

ShipBob vs Deliverr: FAQ

Last but not least, we'll wrap up this article with answers to some of the frequently asked questions concerning ShipBob and Deliverr:

How Do ShipBob and Deliverr Compare on Price?

Deliverr is often the cheaper option, as they don’t run their own fulfillment centers and have no overhead costs. They're merely a software company. ShipBob's typically more expensive, but you gain access to a lot more services with their vertically integrated solution including a vast fulfillment network.

How Do ShipBob and Deliverr Compare on Customer Service?

ShipBob’s customer service provides fast responses, and you can contact the team via direct telephone numbers. As such, you'll connect with the relevant contact from the get-go. ShipBob also offers customized implementation and online training for new customers.

Deliverr, on the other hand, struggles to provide fast customer service. As they don’t handle fulfillment themselves, they have to negotiate with third parties, which can sometimes cause delays in communication.

How Do ShipBob and Deliverr Compare on Custom Packaging?

ShipBob’s customer service provides fast responses, and you can contact the team via direct telephone, chat, and email. As such, you'll connect with the relevant contact from the get-go. ShipBob also offers customized implementation and online training for new customers.

Rosie Greaves

Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist who specializes in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. In addition to e-commerce platforms, you can find her published on Reader's Digest, G2, and Judicious Inc. Check out her website Blog with Rosie for more information.