Shopify Fulfillment Network: A Quick Review
Order fulfillment is costly and complex.
It costs between $13 to $26, depending on the carrier you choose, to ship a product from Indiana to California. And it could take days or weeks to get it shipped.
It is complex because, without being done carefully and systematically, you may end up shipping an order to the wrong person and making your data a mess.
Luckily, we have Shopify Fulfillment Network, a fast and cost-effective solution for Shopify store owners to fulfill their orders.
This is a comprehensive review of Shopify Fulfillment Network.
By the end of this article, you’ll learn about:
- what Shopify Fulfillment is
- how much it costs
- whether you are eligible to use Shopify Fulfillment Network
What is Shopify Fulfillment?
Shopify Fulfillment Network (or SFN) is a service that allows merchants to outsource their order fulfillment to Shopify. It can handle most aspects of order fulfillment – including warehousing, order tracking, secure packaging, shipping, and returns. With SFN, it takes less than 1 day to fulfill and at most 2 days to deliver within the US.
Key features of Shopify Fulfillment Network
Below are the key features of Shopify Fulfillment Network:
- Fast and Automatic Order Fulfillment: Shopify Fulfillment Service automatically fulfills orders as soon as they are placed. Shopify Fulfillment offers fast shipping times to ensure that your customers receive their orders quickly.
- Real-time Tracking: Shopify Fulfillment Network provides real-time tracking for orders, so merchants can easily monitor the progress of each order and ensure that customers receive their orders in a timely and accurate manner.
- Seamless inventory Management: Shopify Fulfillment Network allows merchants to track and manage their inventory, so they can quickly respond to any changes in demand or supply. It also provides an overview of their current stock levels, helping merchants improve their inventory management process.
- Quick returns and reorder processing: Shopify Fulfillment will handle returns and exchanges for you so that you can focus on other areas of your business. All returned, saleable items will be repackaged and added back to your active inventory.
- Custom packing slips: You can have your own packing slips, which could help enhance your brand.
- Customer Support: Shopify Fulfillment Service provides customers with 24/7 customer support, so they can get the help they need when they need it. It also ensures that orders are fulfilled without any errors or delays.
Who can use Shopify Fulfillment Network?
Shopify Fulfillment Network is available to all Shopify merchants. However, you have to meet these requirements to use SFN.
- Your business is located in the US or Canada
- You use SFN to fulfill at least 1 order per day
- You have an active Shopify Payments account
- You don’t sell products prohibited by SFN
Shopify Fulfillment pricing: How much does Shopify Fulfillment Service cost?
Shopify Fulfillment Network has no overhead cost – you only pay once the product is sold. The final cost for the sold product depends on the weight of your products and the services you use. Plus, there is no upfront fee for the first six months.
For one single delivery of multiple products, you’ll enjoy some discount on the delivery fee.
You can click here to see how much money you could save per delivery by selling more than one item.
But the total cost doesn’t just about the delivery fee. Here are other fees for services you may use when fulfilling your order using SFN.
The SFN fees depend on the size and weight of the product and the destination the product is shipped. These fees include inbound receiving, picking, packing, supplies, and shipping.
Domestic fulfillment fees are billed once the order is completed. Meanwhile, international fulfillment fees are billed daily.
Storage fees apply to inventory that remains in their stock longer than 180 days (six months).
That means if it’s less than six months, you don’t have to pay.
If it’s longer than six months, the fees will be billed nightly. You’ll pay the fees monthly ($2.25 per cubic foot divided by 30 days) along with all other fees once.
The storage fees are billed monthly, along with your monthly subscription plan.
Return fees and exchange fees
The domestic return fees include the fees to receive, transport, and process a return from a customer. They are charged daily.
The return fees are billed daily.
Special project fees
If you need additional customization for your fulfillment process, which involves SFN staff, you are charged an additional hourly fee.
The return fees are billed monthly.
Non-compliant inbound receiving and barcode relabeling fees
For each product that has a missing, unreadable, or inaccurate barcode, you’re charged a relabeling fee.
For each shipment that is non-compliant with SFN, you’re charged a non-compliance fee.
These fees are billed daily.
Pros and Cons of Shopify Fulfillment Network
Here are the pros and cons of Shopify Fulfillment Network:
Pros of Shopify Fulfillment Network:
- Easy to use: Shopify Fulfillment Service is integrated with Shopify’s ecommerce platform, making it easy for store owners to manage their orders and shipments.
- Fast and efficient fulfillment: Shopify Fulfillment Network uses advanced technology and automation to quickly fulfill orders, reducing shipping times and improving the customer experience. Notably, it can deliver orders in two days within the US.
- Reduced shipping costs: Shopify Fulfillment Network offers competitive shipping rates, which can help store owners save money on shipping costs.
- Improved inventory management: With Shopify Fulfillment Network, store owners can manage their inventory in one place, reducing the risk of overselling and improving accuracy. They can easily track their stock levels and manage orders.
- Reliable delivery: Shopify Fulfillment Network partners with trusted carriers to ensure reliable delivery, reducing the risk of lost or damaged shipments.
Cons of Shopify Fulfillment Network:
- Limited geographic accessibility: Though it allows international delivery, Shopify Fulfillment Network is currently only available for merchants in the US and Canada. Sellers based in other countries cannot use this service.
- Restrictions on product types: Shopify Fulfillment Service has restrictions on the types of products that can be fulfilled. So those who sell these certain types of goods cannot use this service.
- Increased fees: While shipping costs may be reduced, Shopify Fulfillment Network charges a fee for every single order fulfilled and service used. This can add up over time and increase the overall cost of doing business for store owners.
- Dependence on Shopify platform: Shopify Fulfillment Network is integrated with Shopify’s ecommerce platform, so store owners must use Shopify to use the fulfillment network.
Shopify Fulfillment Network vs. Amazon FBA: A comparison
Here is a quick comparison of Shopify Fulfillment Network and Amazon FBA, the two most popular fulfillment solutions in the fulfillment service market.
Amazon FBA is available in many countries worldwide, which means sellers from these regions can use it. Meanwhile, Shopify Fulfillment Service is currently only available for merchants in select countries, like the US and Canada.
⇒ Amazon FBA is available in more countries than SFN.
Amazon FBA charges fees for storage, fulfillment, and shipping, while Shopify Fulfillment Network charges fulfillment and storage fees, with shipping costs included in the subscription.
However, the fees depend on several factors, including the size and weight of the products you are selling, the volume of orders you receive, and the shipping destinations for your orders.
⇒ It’s hard to tell if Amazon FBA or SFN is more expensive.
Ease of use
The ease of use for each solution depends on the user’s experience and comfort level with the platforms. Some may find Amazon FBA easier, while others think Shopify Fulfillment Network is easier.
⇒ It depends on the user to decide if Amazon FBA or SFN is easier to use.
Amazon FBA has more strict policies and procedures, with limited flexibility for customizing the fulfillment process.
Shopify Fulfillment Network offers more control over the fulfillment process. With Shopify Fulfillment Network, you can customize your branding and packaging to create a more personalized customer experience. Additionally, Shopify Fulfillment Network offers more flexibility in terms of order processing, with the ability to fulfill orders from multiple locations.
⇒ SFN gives more control to you than Amazon FBA.
In short, you should consider your experience with one of these platforms and plan for your business to decide whether Amazon FBA or SFN is right for you.
Does Shopify Fulfillment Network ship internationally?
The answer is yes. Shopify Fulfillment Network does ship internationally. You can set up shipping zones for different countries and regions, and Shopify will automatically fulfill orders to customers there.
However, note that international shipping can be more complex and may involve additional costs, such as customs duties and taxes.
Before setting up international shipping with Shopify Fulfillment Network, be sure to research the requirements and regulations for shipping to the countries you plan to serve.
Do I need to commit to a long-term contract with Shopify Fulfillment Network?
The answer is no. You do not need to commit to a long-term contract with Shopify Fulfillment Network. Shopify Fulfillment Network is a pay-as-you-go service. This means you pay only for the orders fulfilled.
Which fulfillment services does Shopify support?
Shopify supports several fulfillment services, and they are:
- Fulfillment services like Shopify Fulfillment Network, Shipstation, ShipBob, etc.
- Dropshipping apps such as Spocket ‑ US & EU Dropshipping, Zendrop ‑ Global Dropshipping, DSers‑AliExpress Dropshipping, etc.
- Print-on-demand apps such as Ink POD: Print on Demand, Printful: Print on Demand, Printify: Print on Demand, etc.
- Custom fulfillment services require you to manually request a fulfillment order to use a third-party service.
What are Shopify Fulfillment Network alternatives?
Here are top 7 alternatives to Shopify Fulfillment Network for sellers on Shopify:
- Rakuten Super Logistics
- Fulfillment by Amazon
- Red Stag Fulfillment
- ShipHero Fulfillment
- Order Fulfillment Guru
Fulfillment is a big and complex part of any business selling physical products. Luckily, you have Shopify Fulfillment Service do all the hard work for you, so you can focus on promoting your business. With its seamless integration with Shopify, fast and efficient shipping, real-time tracking information, and excellent customer support, Shopify Fulfillment Network is an excellent choice for businesses looking to take their ecommerce efforts to the next level.