The good news is that there are a bunch of options available for shipping and order fulfillment. One option is to simply pay the costs to ship your items yourself through suppliers like FedEx and USPS. However, that's rarely the most affordable solution or a growing company.
The better choice is to choose a shipping fulfillment partner that can handle the hard work for you and give you a discount on your shipping rates.
Two of the leaders in fulfillment solutions today are ShipBob and ShipMonk. In this side-by-side comparison, we're going to be looking at both companies in-depth to help you determine which option is right for you.
In our opinion, ShipBob continues to outpace all of the other competitors in the fulfillment landscape. By highlighting the pros and cons of each service in this review, we're going to show you how ShipBob can give you more bang for your buck, better technology, and a stronger experience all around.
ShipBob vs ShipMonk: Table of Contents
- Overall Review: ShipBob
- Pros & Cons of Using ShipBob
- ShipBob: The verdict
- Overall Review: ShipMonk
- Pros & Cons of Using ShipMonk
- ShipMonk: The Verdict
- ShipBob vs. ShipMonk: The best value for money
Overall Review: Your Guide to ShipBob
ShipBob is a market leader in eCommerce fulfillment. Scalable and easy to use, this all-in-one system gives you the fulfillment services you need to strengthen your relationships with customers and improve your chances of ongoing profits.
ShipBob helps you to deliver the products that your customers want most from you to their location – no matter where they are in the world. In some cases, you can even tap into next-day, and 2-day deliver options – perfect for impatient clients.
Features of ShipBob include:
- 10 fulfillment centers across Europe, the USA, and Canada
- International fulfillment across Europe, the USA, and Canada for storage
- Shipping available anywhere in the world
- Only a handful of fixed costs for a transparent pricing plan
ShipBob has a TrustScore of 4.3 too – making it one of the more reliable services available when you're searching for a fulfillment company. Another bonus that ShipBob offers is the in-depth analytics that you need to make the right business decisions. The analytics and reporting tools within ShipBob are a recent development – launching to help customers keep their logistic costs down. Companies can use these analytics for:
- Checking how many orders you complete on time
- Determining which orders you can’t perform due to inadequate stock levels
- Finding out how many days it takes for orders to be delivered
- Learning how often ShipBob misses it's SLAs
The Pros and Cons of Using ShipBob Order Fulfilment
Just like any fulfillment solution, ShipBob comes with it's positive and negative points to consider. Although this solution stands out as an excellent tool for customer support and order management, some eCommerce companies may prefer an alternative.
For instance, while ShipBob has fulfillment centers around the world to support a wide range of brands, it doesn't help marketplaces like Etsy, Wish, or Groupon.
Here are some Pros and Cons to consider:
- Global scalability and analytics mean you can optimize order fulfillment
- Excellent pricing model with no hidden costs to worry about
- Robust integrations marketplace full of extension opportunities
- Best-in-class technology
- Fulfillment centers located across the globe
- Shipping available worldwide
- Easy-to-use interface for beginners
- Suited to small and large businesses alike
- Works with the existing tools of eCommerce companies
- No order fulfillment options for Wish, Groupon, Jet, or similar marketplaces
- No SFP solution, only FBM
- Not as much support available for those with under 400 shipments a month
- Not ideal if your sales are mostly for FBA or B2B
For more info about this service check out our detailed ShipBob review.
ShipBob Order Fulfilment: The Pros
Let's have a closer look at some of the advantages that you can expect when you sign up with ShipBob order fulfillment.
Global Scalability and Incredible analytics
With ShipBob, you can choose the fulfillment locations that work best for you, expand into new environments over time, and let your company grow organically. You have the freedom to explore fulfillment centers in new countries, without having to find a new partner. You also get the analytics you need to make positive decisions for growth.
Simple pricing model with no hidden costs
ShipBob is one of the few fulfillment companies online that are transparent with their prices. There are no hidden charges for store owners to worry about, which means you can plan your spending and budget for each sales period.
A Growing Integrations Marketplace
As we mentioned above, ShipBob stands out because it integrates smoothly with your existing eCommerce business tools. The platform also integrates with other solutions, making it easier for companies to track everything from inventory purchase orders to returns management.
Easily one of the best features of ShipBob is the fact that it's a leading innovator in the fulfillment landscape. The dashboard available for companies and merchants of 3PLs is fantastic. You can see everything you need to know about the purchasing journey on the back-end, with inventory that's automatically accounted for.
On top of these four leading features of ShipBob, there are also plenty of other bonuses to consider, including extensive networks and powerful tools.
ShipBob Order Fulfilment: The Cons
So, where does ShipBob fall short?
Although ShipBob generally stands miles ahead from its competitors in terms of state-of-the-art fulfillment experiences, there are some limitations to what you can accomplish with this tool. For instance:
Although ShipBob has integrations with some of the major online sellers, like Walmart, Amazon, and eBay, the options stop there. The company doesn't offer any fulfillment services for Etsy, Groupon, Wish, and other similar marketplaces.
Only Offers FBM, not SPF
The ShipBob Amazon integration that is available only offers Fulfilment by Merchant. There's no Seller Fulfilled Prime solution. If you want to work with ShipBob, you also need to think about using the FBA.
More of a DIY or Self-service Model for Small Merchants
Although companies of any size can benefit from help from ShipBob, you won't get as much support or hand-holding if you're selling zero to 400 products per month. There's less direct support regarding things like account setup too, although you can still technically use the service if your store is just small and getting started.
Not the Best Option for B2B or FBA Sellers
ShipBob specializes in order fulfillment for direct-to-consumer business models. While they perform B2B fulfillment services, you may need to think about the vast majority of your orders, and whether they're eCommerce based. In the same way, if your sales come from Amazon, you'll need to keep FBA options separate.
ShipBob: The Verdict
ShipBob is one of the leading solutions on the market for eCommerce order fulfillment for a reason. With so many eCommerce and inventory management choices to pick from, it's often difficult to know for sure which one is right for you – but ShipBob checks a lot of boxes.
You can integrate your experience with your existing eCommerce business platform, which means that you spend less time jumping between tools. At the same time, you get access to a host of bonus features that make running your company a lot easier. Warehouse management tools, fulfillment centers, and inventory management are all part of the parcel.
As a cloud-based offering, ShipBob is flexible and convenient, with the ability to split inventory across multiple fulfillment centers located in some of the world's biggest cities. What's more, as your business grows, your functionality can evolve to suit you.
Overall Review: Your Guide to ShipMonk
So, when you're looking for a fulfillment company that can support your crowdfunding business, online store, or dropshipping brand, how does ShipMonk compare? We know that ShipBob can offer things like one day shipping to locations around the world, but does ShipMonk offer the same service?
Well, ShipMonk is a growing provider of fulfilment services for brands. It's gaining a lot of attention among small businesses interested in warehousing and SKU tracking. ShipMonk, comes with access to a range of integrations for your current sales channels so that you can grow faster.
The 4-in one cloud-based software comes with things like LTL shipments, warehouse management software, inventory management technology, and packaging support. However, there are a lot of limitations to what ShipMonk can do.
- 3 fulfilment centers (all located in the USA)
- International shipping rates, but no global shipping fulfilment
- Decent pricing, although there are some hidden costs
- All in one software for inventory and order management
- Transparent inventory overview
- User friendly platform with modern easy-to-use interface
- Lots of marketplace integrations with places like Etsy, Sears, and Jet
- Seller Fulfilled Prime is available
- Subscription fulfilment, custom packaging, B2B orders, kitting, and onboarding
- FBA prep and claims management, as well as returns processing
With around 1,000 customers worldwide, ShipMonk is a lot smaller than ShipBob. Many of the features offered are similar, and ShipBob does have more marketplace integrations. You can sell through locations like Etsy, whereas with ShipBob, you can't.
However, ShipMonk suffers from a high pack fee and a lot of hidden costs that can easily ramp up the expense of your software. At the same time, ShipMonk doesn't integrate with as many ecommerce platform options. This makes the fulfillment process a little trickier.
The Pros and Cons of Using ShipMonk
As a reliable solution for your order fulfillment network, ShipMonk will help you to serve your customers all around the world. You can access everything from shipment tracking to order volume statistics in real-time through Shipmonk.com. Unfortunately, ShipMonk doesn't have the same reputation or excellent results that you get from ShipBob.
The Trust Score for this platform is only 3.1, and the hidden costs make it unappealing to some smaller businesses who need to predict their budget use. The most common ShipMonk Pros and cons are:
- Lots of customization options, including curated boxes and thank-you notes
- No order minimums to work with them for your order fulfillment services
- Good for crowdfunding and Groupon/Etsy fulfillment
- Plenty of marketplace integrations
- Limited scalability regardless of order volume
- Hidden costs and fine-print price elements
- No international reach for your shipping options
- Expensive monthly minimums in some circumstances
For more info about this service check out our detailed ShipMonk review.
ShipMonk Review: The Pros
Just as we took a closer look at some of the most significant pros and cons for ShipBob, it's worth exploring the benefits and negatives of ShipMonk too. This solution often stands out as a reliable tool for small businesses in search of shipping options.
You can use ShipMonk for subscription box companies, and access various unique tools that aren't available elsewhere. However, there are some significant downsides too. Let's start by looking at the pros.
Lots of customization options
Customization is important when you're trying to build a positive relationship with your target audience. ShipMonk offers access to thinks like handwritten thankyou notes and other kitting projects. You can also use specialty stickers, packing materials, and promotional items.
No Minimum orders
Because there aren't any order minimums to worry about, you don't have to worry if you're a new business that's just getting started. You can ship as little as one order every day, and the company will still be happy to work with you. This ensures that everyone can get involved with ShipMonk.
Suitable for different styles of business
While other providers don't offer as much functionality for crowdfunding solutions and marketplaces, ShipMonk offers plenty of versatility. The ShipMonk service is great for crowdfunded campaigns and Etsy, or Groupon. There's no limit to the kind of business you might be able to build.
Many marketplace integrations
Like ShipBob, ShipMonk does give you quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to integrations. However, instead of focusing on eCommerce tools, ShipMonk looks at marketplaces like Jet, Wish, and Etsy. This could make this software the best choice for people who want more wholesale shipping services.
ShipMonk Review: The Cons
All software solutions have their ups and downs to consider. In the case of ShipMonk, although there are a lot of benefits to the service, there are also several issues that can make it harder to trust and use this software too.
From fine print pricing and hidden costs, to issues with international reach, here are some of the biggest negatives to working with ShipMonk.
Hidden Costs and Pricing
Customers frequently report that there are various hidden costs associated with ShipMonk, including fuel surcharges, and very high pack and pick fees too. This is an issue for a lot of companies that are starting on a limited budget. Many complicated rules can lead to overcharging that eats up your profit margins.
Compared to other fulfillment options, ShipMonk doesn't offer a lot of room for growth. There are only 3 fulfillment centers in the US, and shipping costs are a little higher with this provider too. There's no international fulfillment option to help you spread your company around the world.
Expensive Monthly Costs
Although there aren't any minimums on the number of products you have to ship with ShipMonk, there is a minimum to the amount you'll pay for your picking fees and storage fees. You'll end up paying around $250 a month for these confusing costs, even if you're not sending a lot of products to your customers.
ShipMonk Review: The Verdict
Ultimately, ShipMonk does have a lot of functionality to offer in some regards. You can use this service very quickly if you're a small business that wants to ship through marketplaces like Groupon and Wish. Additionally, ShipMonk gives you a lot of freedom to customize your shipping experience.
The trouble is that ShipMonk just isn't suitable for long-term growth and larger companies. As you begin to grow, you'll have trouble getting your products out of the US, which limits your profit margins.
Speaking of profit margins, the hidden costs, and secret pricing factors of ShipMonk make it hard to trust this company to give you the best deal. It's hard to predict how much you're really going to have to pay each month in terms of professional fees. That's a serious problem for any growing company.
ShipBob vs ShipMonk: The Best Value for Money
Both ShipBob and ShipMonk offer a handy way to upgrade your fulfilment processes. With technology like this, you don’t have to rely on things like screenshots of SKUs or endless excel spreadsheets to keep your customers happy. However, although both tools are beneficial, they’re not necessarily as good as each other.
In a lot of ways, ShipMonk feels like a toned down version of ShipBob. It comes with less functionality, bigger fees to worry about, and fewer opportunities to grow. You can’t expand your brand on an international basis with ShipMonk, and although you have access to various marketplaces, that single benefit isn’t enough to outweigh ShipBob’s performance.
If you need an inventory management, WMS, and fulfilment service in one, then ShipBob is clearly the better pick. The software grows with your business, and it can even keep up the pace if you’re growing quickly and you decide to expand into different regions. ShipBob consistently stands out as the leading 3PL of choice for direct-to-customer fulfilment.
However, there is one area where ShipMonk takes the prize – and that’s in marketplace sales. If you want support for marketplace selling in the US, and nowhere else, try ShipMonk.
ShipBob vs ShipMonk: FAQ
Still have some questions about ShipBob and ShipMonk?
Hopefully, these quick answers will help.
How do ShipBob and ShipMonk compare on price?
A: ShipBob and ShipMonk are both relatively affordable as fulfilment companies. However, while the pricing for both of these solutions is quite similar, there are some important differences. For instance, with ShipBob, the pricing is very transparent. You know what you’re going to pay from day one, and there are no nasty surprises to hold you back.
On the other hand, ShipMonk isn’t quite as trustworthy from a pricing perspective. A lot of customers complain that the hidden feels make working with this provider much more expensive than they expected. There seems to be endless fees to discover with ShipMonk, which can be quite stressful for some.
How do ShipBob and ShipMonk compare on inventory and order management?
A: Pricing is important, but it’s not the only thing to consider when choosing the right software for your needs. With fulfilment tools, it’s important to check out the available features. Both ShipBob and ShipMonk are 3PLs with a lot of amazing tech to offer.
ShipBob is more appealing from an analytics point of view. The analytics services are free to use, and they can help you to figure out what to do next with your business. ShipBob also has its own warehouse management system. On the other hand, there are quite a few issues with ShipMonk’s technology. ShipMonk sometimes records inaccurate inventories and deliveries.
How do ShipBob and ShipMonk compare on hidden costs?
A: As mentioned above, one of the biggest negatives of ShipMonk is that it comes with a lot of fine print pricing issues to overcome. ShipBob makes it clear exactly how much you’re paying for your order fulfilment services from day one. Your quote doesn’t suddenly change.
ShipMonk has a lot of hidden charges which can be easy to overlook, particularly if you’re new to building a business online. This is problematic for small businesses.