What does ecommerce fulfilment actually cost?

February 6, 2014

Ecommerce is rapidly becoming the number one way to sell products, cutting out the need for costly ‘shop fronts’ and all the expenses that come with them.

When you start your search for the right fulfilment house to cover your ecommerce business, the first question on your lips is probably going to be “how much will it cost me?”

Every fulfilment company will be different; most will offer a basic ecommerce fulfilment service that will cover all the essentials (distribution, pick and packing, handling etc) but there will be slight differences depending on the size of the company, their experience and other details.

Below is a brief guide to some of the service fees that you are likely to find on your fulfilment bill:

Warehouse preperation

Some fulfilment houses may charge you for any initial work that needs to take place before they store your goods. This is usually the case when you require things like specialist racking or staff must be trained on how to handle your product.

Storage space

Most fulfilment companies charge per pallet, or per sq ft of space your products take up. Look out for minimum order terms, where you may be charged for the price of a whole pallet even if your stock only takes up half.

Inventory/account management systems

These charges are pretty self explanatory, as they cover the management of your account, i.e. when you receive additional services or support, or detailed inventory information. It might not show up as a separate charge as some companies bundle it with other fees.

Packaging fees

You will be charged for any additional packaging services your fulfilment company provides, as well as any specialist hand enclosing and finishing procedures that you need.

Although this is only a very brief guide on what kinds of charges you can expect to find when partnering up with a fulfilment company, there are still plenty more services that individual companies can provide, so ask if a complete price guide is available so you can pick and choose a flexible ecommerce fulfilment service that’s right for you.

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