When someone asks you for the biggest and best fulfillment network, there’s a very good chance that Amazon comes to mind. Though the online ecommerce giant continues to dominate the industry, numerous companies are trying to outdo Amazon in every imaginable way. Shopify recently announced its own fulfillment network, which will directly compete with Amazon and give sellers yet another fulfillment option.
Shopify’s New Features for Merchants
Each year, Shopify hosts a developer conference called Shopify Unite. The 2019 event was one of the most exciting in the company’s history as the team announced some amazing new features coming to its merchants and partners. These include:
- Shopify Plus Improvements – Priced for bigger brands, Shopify Plus offers much more than just an ecommerce platform. With Plus, clients get staffing, management, and more.
- A Shopify POS System – The retailer announced that it would offer its own unique POS system rather than software based solely on iOS.
- Updated Online Store Design Experience – Shopify’s store designer will also be updated, providing merchants with brand-new features and a simpler user interface.
- A New Fulfillment Network for US Merchants – In the biggest announcement of them all, Shopify announced that it would provide its US merchants with an optional fulfillment network.
Merchants currently utilizing Shopify as their platform of choice will soon have far more options available to them, and those who aren’t currently utilizing Shopify will have more reasons to consider them – if they can follow through on their promise to deliver outstanding customer service to their merchants.
Can Shopify Compete with Amazon?
Though many news outlets have claimed that Shopify is attempting to compete with Amazon by rolling out this new fulfillment network, some experts disagree. They believe that Shopify’s decision to create a US fulfillment network was made in order to allow Shopify to remain relevant in today’s world of near-instant gratification with next-day shipping. In other words, failing to create their own network would mean being left in the dust as more and more merchants chose Amazon or other fulfillment partners.
Is Either Giant the Best Choice for Fulfillment?
While Amazon, Shopify, and other similar ecommerce platforms offer fulfillment services in order to attract more merchants, there is a great deal of debate as to whether their fulfillment networks are really the best choice. Like many other industries, merchants often find that leaving fulfillment to highly specialized companies is often the best route. By choosing a company that only does fulfillment and inventory management, merchants get better and more helpful customer service. Rather than speaking with agents who know a little about many topics, they can speak with agents who are experts in their fields, and that can make the world of difference when it comes to picking, packing, shipping, kitting, assembly, and more.
Amazon is slated to continue to dominate ecommerce for the foreseeable future, and other companies like Shopify are certainly fierce competition. However, despite their success as ecommerce platforms, they simply cannot offer the same personalized and specialized services as a dedicated fulfillment partner.