Have you ever been swamped with orders, struggling to manage stock and ensure timely deliveries for your apparel business? Well, you’re not alone.
As an e-commerce business in the clothing and apparel sector, you know there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Unique problems that are quite different from your regular e-commerce stores. It can be a hassle keeping track of it all while building a successful brand.
This is where apparel fulfillment companies come in. Unlike general dropshipping stores, your apparel business faces specific issues, which means you need specialized services to achieve a seamless workflow. These companies cater specifically to the apparel sector managing your tasks for a streamlined process.
But with so many out there, how do you pick the right one?
In this article, we break down what these companies do and list the best ones out there for you to make an informed decision.
What Do Apparel Fulfillment Companies Do?
Ever wonder how online clothing shops manage their stock and send out orders so smoothly? That’s where apparel fulfillment companies come in. They’re like the backstage crew for an online store, helping it run without a hitch.
Running an online clothing store has its fair share of challenges. When I first started out, I was swamped with orders and constantly juggling stock. I kept hearing about apparel fulfillment companies, but what did they actually do?
Turns out, they’re like a lifesaver for shop owners like me. Firstly, they’ve got the whole stock thing down. Fashion is a tricky beast, always changing. These companies make sure you always have the trendy items available for your customers.
The way they store clothes is another game changer. No more wrinkled shirts arriving at customers’ doorsteps. They carefully hang and fold items, ensuring everything stays in tip-top shape.
And packaging? It’s a dream. With their help, every package sent out feels like it’s been wrapped with care, like a personal touch from your store to the customer.
But what sealed the deal for me was how they manage returns. It’s a given in our line of work – not everything fits or suits everyone. These companies make returns smooth, keeping customers happy and making life a whole lot easier.
Benefits of Using a Fulfillment Service
Now, before we talk about the benefits of using an apparel fulfillment company for your business, Let’s talk about the benefits of using a fulfillment service in general:
Fulfillment Services gives you real-time inventory management. You won’t need to train staff or build infrastructure to handle your stocks because they’ll take care of it all. In addition, they often have systems that help you check how much you have in stock with just the click of a button. This gives you the freedom you need to make informed decisions.
Fulfillment services help you handle the packaging and branding experience. One of the most crucial ways your business can stand out is by having unique packaging. Using a fulfillment service helps you achieve this at little to no extra cost to yourself. This means you can create an amazing product branding experience for your customers.
Fulfillment services are experts at fulfilling orders and shipping them out. They take your goods from the border to your customers’ doorsteps faster and easier than you could on your own. By leveraging their networks and supply chains, they make sure that your goods are (almost) always delivered on time.
A benefit of using a fulfillment company like Globallyfulfill is that you get 24/7 customer service. This is a key thing to look out for when outsourcing an entire aspect of your business. With good customer service, you can be sure that any issues you have will be sorted out quickly. This means that your business and its reputation are never in danger.
Importance of apparel fulfillment services for businesses in the fashion industry
Now you know why investing in a fulfillment service is beneficial, let’s dive into the importance of apparel fulfillment services for businesses in the fashion industry.a
Complex inventory management
Handling the inventory for an apparel store can be particularly tasking, especially because of all the different types of clothes you must manage. It can be difficult to keep track of it all. And that’s where apparel fulfillment companies come in.
Because they specialize in catering to apparel stores, they have various solutions and systems that make handling it all a breeze.
They’re like the backstage managers of a store. They use smart systems to neatly arrange clothes on racks and shelves, ensuring they look fresh and wrinkle-free.
Even better, they keep a close count of every item, updating you on how many you have left. So, for instance, when winter shifts to spring, you’re not left scrambling, wondering if you have enough stock.
Demand for fast delivery
A crucial aspect of selling clothing items is that people want and expect fast shipping, which can be a challenge. However, apparel fulfillment services can leverage their experience to reduce shipping times and keep your customers happy.
Because they understand that delivery is key, they can partner with high quality firms. They usually use the amount of overall units they will be shipping to leverage and get a better deal. This leads to your customers’ orders always being on time.
Higher fulfillment accuracy
Different clothes have different needs. Some vary by size and color, while others vary by style and quality and lots more. So, there’s a lot that can go wrong when sending them out. Apparel fulfillment services know how to handle these challenges. They have the tools and experience to fulfill orders quickly, ensuring accurate delivery with zero errors.
By leveraging experience, they can reduce their margin for error. Thus reducing cases of customers getting the wrong size or color. This means that they create a better customer experience.
Demanding need for efficiency
Apparel stores can experience a lot of factors that regular stores don’t like. A good example of such is high return rates. To combat this, apparel fulfillment agents offer services that ensure that your work process is efficient and productive while meeting the ever-changing needs of customers.
They have trained employees and structures in place to boost efficiency. They also leverage their skills to have the best systems for fulfillment in place as well.
Flexibility and scalability
In the fluctuating world of fashion, it’s essential to have an apparel fulfillment partner who can swiftly adapt.
Whether it’s managing the rush of peak seasons or efficiently navigating off-peak periods, these companies excel by seamlessly handling order volume changes, saving you the hassle of adjusting the workforce or incurring extra labor costs.
Improved customer experience
An apparel fulfillment service helps you provide your customers with good experiences. They help provide fast shipping, faster returns and amazing packaging. They help you curate an experience your customers will enjoy.
Shipping in high volumes
As a clothing brand or apparel store there’s often the need to ship large quantities of clothing during seasonal periods and sales. That is where apparel fulfillment services come in. They use their network and experience to streamline the process of making high-volume shipments to make sure all orders arrive when they should.
This is especially good during sales and seasons of high demand. Majorly because you can be sure that your customers will all get their goods when they should.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Apparel Fulfillment Company
There are a lot of advantages to using an apparel fulfillment company. But there are also a lot of factors to consider. Let’s take a look at a few:
Quality of Service
The first thing you should always look out for is the quality of service.
What do I mean?
The efficiency and accuracy of order processing can make or break your brand’s reputation. Check for companies with high accuracy rates and fewer order mistakes. Also, check for agencies that provide efficient packing to ensure products arrive in perfect condition.
It’s always best to remember that a history of on-time deliveries is also a testament to their commitment to quality service. Reviews and testimonials can shed light on their past performance and give insights into their operational excellence.
You only want to work with the best companies to offer the best services to your customers. A happy customer is a happy business.
The pricing structure of a potential fulfillment partner is an important thing to consider. This is especially true for small and medium-scale stores that have small budgets. You need to see their pricing model, including their storage fees. Some companies will give you volume discounts. Others will help you haggle for the cheapest shipping prices possible.
You must always be aware of the costs and their implications for your prices and profit. That way, you can ensure it aligns with your goals and budget. You never want to pay more than you can afford or need to.
Scalability and Flexibility
As your apparel business grows, your fulfillment partner needs to be able to scale and adapt as well. Scalability ensures that as your business expands, the company can handle increasing order volumes without hitches. You have to consider if they can handle the fluctuations that come with seasons and sales when demand is high.
Companies that offer scalable solutions and quickly adapt to changing demands are more likely to provide seamless service, ensuring customer satisfaction. That way, they can cater to increased demand and volume without sacrificing the quality of their services.
Technology and Integration
It’s the digital age, and technology plays a key role in having efficient and effective fulfillment operations. You need to look at the quality of your potential partners’ companies. The ideal company offers seamless integration with your e-commerce store. They allow you to have real-time inventory updates. They also let you track your customers’ orders and automate your order processing.
By implementing solutions like barcode scanning and data analytics, they improve accuracy. They can also boost their efficiency as well as the customer experience. Improving your brand experience as a whole.
When looking for an apparel fulfillment agent, you need one with a strong customer care system. Examine how available and attentive they are. Also, their readiness to handle any issues or concerns that may emerge.
They need to provide customer support and guarantee clear communication at all times. They also need to be good at problem solving and help provide whatever information you need.
Pick a fulfillment service that offers specialized account managers or support teams. That way, you’re always in the loop.
Review of Top Apparel Fulfillment Companies
Here are our top picks of the best apparel fulfillment companies to consider for your business:
ShipBob is an apparel fulfillment firm that provides warehouse, order fulfillment, and shipping services. They provide same-day shipment, real-time inventory updates, and integration with well-known e-commerce platforms. When it comes to helping businesses expand, ShipBob focuses on offering quick and inexpensive fulfillment options.
- Good shipping rates
- Provides excellent customer service support.
- Easy to use for eCommerce sellers of all levels
- Integrates with major eCommerce platforms
- Global reach
- Only handles order fulfillment from the US, UK, Europe, and Australia.
Whiplash is renowned for its technology-driven fulfillment services. They provide sophisticated reporting, configurable packaging choices, and real-time inventory visibility. Whiplash offers integrations with several e-commerce platforms and serves businesses of all sizes.
- Streamlined return process(Sub 48 hours)
- Offers customization services
- Allows Order Tracking
- Automated management system
- Only has warehouses in America
Order processing, kitting, and return handling are just a few of the many services that ShipCalm provides and specializes in providing for the apparel industry. They provide same-day shipping and cutting-edge tracking technologies with a focus on accuracy and efficiency.
- Offers detailed inventory control
- Offer customization options
- Integrates with major eCommerce platforms
- Complex pricing system
ShipMonk provides complete fulfillment services, including shipping, pick-and-pack, and warehousing. To ensure a flawless fulfillment experience, they provide cutting-edge technological integrations, open pricing, and individualized assistance.
- Integrates with major eCommerce platforms
- 4-in-1 cloud-based solutions
- Strategically located warehouses
- Excellent customer support
- No setup fees
- No order minimum
- Complex to use for beginners.
- No warehouses in Europe (yet)
Fulfillment by Amazon
A common choice for apparel and clothing companies selling on the Amazon marketplace is Fulfillment by Amazon. With FBA, Amazon takes care of order storage, selection, packaging, and shipping. They provide quick delivery alternatives, Prime client access, and round-the-clock customer service.
- Strong brand reputation
- Product protection
- Multichannel options
- Amazon’s New Seller incentives
- Products eligible for Amazon Prime 2-Day Shipping
- Branding limitations
- Increased returns
- Lack of control when it comes to inventory organization
Shopify Fulfillment Network
For companies using the Shopify platform, the Shopify Fulfillment Network offers a comprehensive fulfillment service. They provide services for order processing, shipping, and storage. Providing fast delivery, precise order fulfillment, and simple scalability are their main priorities.
- Manage everything from one platform.
- Pack, ship, and track orders
- Inventory distribution
- Shopify handles returns and exchanges.
- Limited to sellers located in the US.
- Minimum of 10 orders per day and a maximum of 10,000 orders per day.
Globallyfulfill is an apparel fulfillment company that provides services such as 3PL eCommerce fulfillment, drop shipping, and China sourcing. They offer private label and product branding options. They also have quality control services and competitive pricing plans.
- Helps source goods from China
- Provides real time inventory monitoring
- Integrates with major eCommerce platforms
- Real time order tracking
- Warehousing is only free for 30 days
How To Choose the Right Apparel Fulfillment Company for Your Business
Selecting the right apparel fulfillment company is a critical decision. The effects on your business can either be positive or negative. Below is how to choose the right apparel fulfillment company for your business.
Assessing Your Business Needs
Before selecting an apparel fulfillment company, conduct a business analysis. Check factors like shipping options, product variety, packaging needs, and order volume. When you properly understand these factors, you can make informed decisions. It enables you to identify a fulfillment provider that aligns with your goals.
Also, identify fulfillment providers that can effectively meet your customers’ expectations. During the process, consider the geographic scope of your operation. It helps to check if the fulfillment company has the infrastructure to handle your distribution needs. By thoroughly assessing your business needs, you can narrow down your options. Then, find a partner that aligns with your specific requirements.
Ensuring Brand Alignment
Select an apparel fulfillment company that understands and respects your brand identity. Look for a partner who values your brand. A partner that can personalize packaging or include branded items in shipments. They should have quality control processes that align with your brand’s values. As well as deliver a seamless experience to your customers. Check if they’ve worked with similar companies in style, audience, or industry.
A fulfillment partner who knows and supports your brand can improve the customer experience. It will also strengthen your brand’s image.
Gauging Operation Scale
Now, consider your current and anticipated order volumes. You can also check for promotional campaigns that may result in increased demand.
Check the warehouse capacity and technology infrastructure of potential fulfillment partners. This is to ensure they can accommodate your needs. A fulfillment company that can grow with your business can reduce fulfillment errors. You will also meet customer demands. Ensure you meet with an apparel fulfillment company that can handle your business’s needs.
Evaluating Cost vs. Value
Affordability is important when choosing an apparel fulfillment firm, but it shouldn’t be the only issue. Check the overall value a potential partner brings to your business. Besides price, consider quality, speed, shipment accuracy, and customer support.
A fulfillment company that provides value-added services will enhance business operations. These services include real-time inventory visibility, return processing, and customized reporting. You make an informed decision when you strike a balance between the price and the value they offer. This decision will be such that it aligns with your business goal.
Checking Company Expertise
When selecting an apparel fulfillment company, check their expertise and experience in the industry. Look for a track record of success. Also, check for industry certifications and partnerships with reputable brands.
You can also check out their challenges. Some of them include inventory management, order accuracy, and return processing.
Also, consider their technology, such as integration, analytics, and reporting tools. A knowledgeable and experienced fulfillment company can handle the day-to-day logistics. They can also provide strategic guidance to help your business thrive.
Several perks come with having a fulfillment firm’s services customized to your specifications. This results in smoother order processing, reduced errors, and improved productivity. Some of these benefits include:
- Brand consistency
- Customer experience
- Efficient Inventory management
- Strategic Support
Customer satisfaction is the name of the game in the fashion industry. Businesses need to meet their customers’ insatiable desire for the latest styles. That’s where apparel fulfillment services come in.
They handle the nitty-gritty of stock control. This lets you focus on what you do best—creating fabulous fashion.
Apparel fulfillment services also deliver the ultimate in 24/7 customer service. But how do you find the perfect fulfillment partner for your fashion empire? It’s like finding the perfect accessory to complete your outfit.
Selecting the ideal apparel fulfillment company for your business is necessary to ensure smooth operations.
It can also result in satisfied customers and long-term success. You unlock many benefits by assessing your business needs and aligning with a partner who understands and caters to those specific requirements.
The selection shouldn’t be made in a hurry. Take your time to choose a partner that fits your needs.
By doing so, you lay a good foundation for efficient operations. It further stirs exceptional customer experiences and sustains business growth.