Coffee Break

E-commerce Fulfillment: Do It Yourself Or Outsource?

There is a lot to consider when you are starting an e-commerce store but nothing is as important as figuring out how you’re going to get packages to your customers. There are two different paths that you can take in this regard. There is the option of maintaining your own warehouse and handling the fulfillment yourself. Or, you can outsource the entire operation to a fulfillment center that will pick, pack, and ship orders as they come in.

There are pros and cons to each so you have to think carefully about each option. Then, you should be able to determine which one is going to work best for your business. In this article, we will go over several things to think about so you can determine the best way to go.

Why fulfill yourself?

 There is a big extra layer of commitment when you decide to do your own fulfillment. You’re responsible for making sure that things work the way that they should. The nice thing about doing the fulfillment yourself is that you have full control over every aspect of it. You have the choice of the multi-city courier companies to do the deliveries, the software systems used for sorting and shipping, and the storage.

You also gain an advantage by making sure the packaging is how you like it. Many returns of products bought from online stores are because of the product getting damaged during the delivery. Doing the packaging yourself means that you can avoid many of these returns.

Why you shouldn’t do your fulfillment

Fulfillment is a complex system and since you have many facets of your business, it is difficult to dedicate the man-hours and budget to run it properly. The warehouse needs to have its own software systems to make sorting efficient and accurate. It is a complex procedure and it deserves to have its own systems.

When you outsource your fulfillment, that company does one thing only and that is fulfilling orders. They have no other divisions that you have to deal with so they can focus on doing the job the right way.

Scaling your business is also important. When you are trying to run two distinct parts of your business at the same time then one of them will suffer. This means that you could be holding your business back since you don’t have the time or resources to devote to growing your business.

Lastly, you will probably save money in the long run by using a fulfillment center instead of running your own. Those companies work with large volumes and end up getting great rates from shipping companies as well as insurance companies to ensure their business. These savings will be passed on to your business.


As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. Now that you can see how each of them works you should be able to decide for yourself what the best way forward is.