Crowdfunding campaigns are a popular choice to start a new business or launch a new product. If you run a successful crowdfunding campaign, however, your work isn’t done until you have the rewards in the hands of your backers. Dealing with the logistics of crowdfunding fulfillment while you’re also starting a new supply chain can be challenging. That’s why it’s important to find the best crowdfunding fulfillment company.
Red Stag Fulfillment recently reached out to our competitors to create a list of the best fulfillment companies. We did that because we know that we aren’t the right choice for every eCommerce business. We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision. After all, it’s important to choose the best fulfillment company for you. Now we have taken that a step further and put together a list of the best crowdfunding fulfillment companies.
You’ll notice that Red Stag Fulfillment is not on this list. We don’t do crowdfunding fulfillment. We do provide award-winning order fulfillment services for established companies. Feel free to reach out to Red Stag Fulfillment if you need eCommerce fulfillment.
But if you’re running a crowdfunding campaign, you need the best crowdfunding fulfillment. All of the companies on this list provide excellent crowdfunding fulfillment services. Each offers something a little different. Here are the details on their services, so you can choose the best crowdfunding fulfillment company for your campaign.
Why Crowdfunding Campaigns Need to Plan for Fulfillment
When you’re thinking about your crowdfunding campaign, fulfillment is probably the last item on your list. After all, you should be so lucky to be so successful that you need crowdfunding fulfillment services. Initially, your focus is probably on the elements of your campagn. Your first job is to create a campaign that attracts enough backers to succeed. If you’re using a platform like Kickstarter, for example, you won’t even need fulfillment unless you reach your funding goal.
You shouldn’t leave fulfillment out of your calculations, however. If your campaign does succeed, you’ll need to have a good fulfillment plan in place. Forgetting to factor in the cost of shipping could turn your fantastic crowdfunding campaign into a money-loser.
You can use crowdfunding as a way to start a new business or to launch a new product in your existing business. In either case, planning is the key to success. You need to choose the best fulfillment companies for your campaign. You also need to think about how you will provide your rewards if your campaign is successful. That means lining up manufacturing capacity. It also means developing a fulfillment plan.
If you don’t factor shipping costs into your campaign, you may not ask for enough funding to pay for your rewards. That could leave you short on cash as you try to jumpstart your new business or product. Pro tip: Find a fulfillment provider and figure out shipping and fulfillment costs before your campaign goes live.
How to Find the Best Crowdfunding Fulfillment Company for Your Business
The particulars of your crowdfunding campaign will help you determine your best crowdfunding fulfillment company. It’s important to consider the best crowdfunding fulfillment choice for your project early in your campaign planning. The best crowdfunding campaign can fall short of its goals if your logistics are a mess. Professional fulfillment is important if you are using crowdfunding to start a new business. Today’s supporters can become tomorrow’s loyal customers — if they have a good experience. And your crowdfunding fulfillment company can become your ongoing fulfillment company.
The best crowdfunding fulfillment company for you is the one that has experience with products like yours. Some fulfillment companies handle a range of products, while others specialize in small, large, or fragile items. If your products need special handling, such as keeping cool during storage and shipping, check out the details ahead of time. Make sure you pick a crowdfunding fulfillment company that provides the services that are most important to you.
Here are some of the best crowdfunding fulfillment companies. Pick the ones that match your needs and talk to a few of them to find the right fit.
What to Look for in a Crowdfunding Fulfillment Company
In this post, we will give you basic information on some of the best crowdfunding fulfillment companies. This information will point you in the right direction to start your fulfillment research. The factors to consider include:
- Types of products the fulfillment company typically works with (specialization)
- Platform integration
- Add-on services available
This post has information on the services and requirements of these top crowdfunding fulfillment companies:
- eFulfillment Services
The best crowdfunding fulfillment company for you is one that specializes in shipping rewards like yours. That could be small and light or heavy or fragile.
Fulfillrite specializes in smaller, lightweight items with low SKU counts. For crowdfunding fulfillment, Fulfillrite can work with other items if they ship as-is.
ShipMonk also specializes in smaller and lighter products, under 5 pounds and 24 inches. It works with a range of products, including apparel and cosmetics. The company is equipped to handle fragile and hazmat shipping. ShipMonk doesn’t work with products that are heavily FDA-regulated or need temperature-controlled conditions.
Floship mostly works with crowdfunding rewards that are made in China, though it sometimes takes items made elsewhere. Most of the items that Floship handles are consumer goods, apparel, board games, and other similar products. The company has the capacity to ship products that need to be kept cool. It can also handle items that include batteries or liquids.
EFulfillment Service works with a broad range of products. You can ship your crowdfunded rewards directly from the manufacturer to eFulfillment Service. The company can do quality control and inspect your items, as well as packing and shipping.
Easyship is open to any crowdfunding fulfillment, but its operations team likes a challenge. Heavy, fragile, or other hard-to-ship rewards are welcome. While Easyship doesn’t specialize in a particular type of product, it has shipped a high volume of board games. The company handled fulfillment for some of the largest crowdfunding campaigns in the last two years. These include Mate Bike and Waverly Labs.
Amplifier provides crowdfunding fulfillment for a range of crowdfunding rewards. It has experience shipping small, light, heavy, and fragile rewards. Amplifier also offers print-on-demand and screen printing services.
InterFulfillment considers itself a specialist in shipping all product types. Flexible service offerings for crowdfunding fulfillment are InterFulfillment’s stock in trade.
Crowdfunding platform integration
Almost all the best crowdfunding fulfillment companies can integrate with any crowdfunding platform. Each fulfillment company integrates with one or more of the most popular crowdfunding platforms. You can use a CSV upload, custom API, or open API to load orders from any crowdfunding platform. So, all the best fulfillment companies can essentially work with all crowdfunding platforms.
Crowdfunding fulfillment minimums
If you use a platform with no minimum for funding, you could end up with a small number of orders to process. Indiegogo is an example of this kind of crowdfunding platform. If you have only a few backers, you could decide to pack and ship rewards yourself.
However, there are advantages to using a professional crowdfunding fulfillment company. A professional fulfillment warehouse will do a better job of packing and shipping your rewards. Experienced packers can make the package appealing and ensure that the reward arrives safely. If your crowdfunding campaign is part of the launch of an ongoing business, outsourced fulfillment is an excellent choice. That way, you have a relationship with a fulfillment company. That company can continue to handle your order fulfillment as your business grows.
Several of the best crowdfunding fulfillment companies have no minimums for your rewards fulfillment. However, some fulfillment companies do have minimums for ongoing shipping. On the other hand, some have minimums for crowdfunding, but not for monthly orders. If you plan to continue to use the 3PL company after your crowdfunding campaign, check its minimums.
Additional fulfillment services
The best crowdfunding fulfillment companies offer add-on services as well, such as light assembly and kitting. These additional services allow you to offer more exciting rewards to your backers on a shoestring budget.
- Fulfillrite can do labeling and kitting and insert marketing materials into your rewards. The company will also personally guide first-time creators through the fulfillment process, step by step.
- Floship offers free inbound receiving, custom packaging, and labeling. It can also handle marketing inserts and communication with clients in more than 12 languages.
- ShipMonk does kitting and special projects, and sources custom packing. Plus, it can ship domestically and internationally, and offers shipment tracking.
- EFulfillment Service helps crowdfunders with packaging and kitting. In addition, labeling, pre-order, and international shipping are no problem.
- Easyship offers free logistics consultation and quotes to all backers and can work directly with manufacturers. It also has more than 250 shipping options, and will handle taxes, duties, VAT, and customs for every country in the world.
- Amplifier can actually produce rewards. Its in-house services include screen printing, laser engraving, sticker production, poster printing, mugs, and skins. In addition, it has a supplier network for embroidery, book printing, and more.
- InterFulfillment offers custom packaging and kitting, among numerous other custom services.
Each of these companies may offer additional fulfillment services. Don’t be shy about asking for more help and support from your crowdfunding fulfillment company.
Special Challenges for Crowdfunding Fulfillment
The best crowdfunding fulfillment companies have seen the problems that can arise in fulfillment for crowdfunding campaigns. So, we asked them to highlight the special challenges of crowdfunding fulfillment. If you’re aware of the pitfalls, you may be able to avoid them.
- If you forget to factor shipping costs in your rewards pledges, you could end up losing money. This is one of the biggest mistakes that crowdfunded make. By the time you discover it, however, you may be stuck paying for shipping out of your own pocket. Almost every one of the best crowdfunding fulfillment companies mentioned this. They have experienced this with clients in the past. Now, you have been warned so you can avoid this mistake.
- Fulfillment can be complex and confusing. This is especially true if it’s your first time running a crowdfunding campaign. Choose a fulfillment company that can help you with the process.
- If you ship rewards across borders, you’ll need to deal with customs. Customs can be a challenge, particularly if you ship to multiple countries. Make sure your fulfillment center is prepared to help you with this challenge.
- DIM weight pricing can trigger higher shipping fees. This is a factor if your products ship in boxes that are too large. Fortunately, you can work with your crowdfunding fulfillment company to package your orders as efficiently as possible.
- Don’t value low-cost fulfillment over crowdfunding backer experience. At the end of the day, what seems like the cheapest solution might end up costing you more. Don’t discount the value of your fulfillment company to be your partner in your crowdfunding campaign.
- If your campaign has a long lead time between completion and fulfillment, costs such as shipping could go up. This is a particular concern for products with a long development cycle.
7 Tips for Successful Crowdfunding Fulfillment
The crowdfunding 3PL companies also shared some great tips for successful crowdfunding fulfillment.
- Research your fulfillment company. Find out what kind of customer service and support you can expect.
- Find out shipping costs ahead of time. Get your crowdfunding fulfillment company to give you quotes for shipping and fulfillment costs. Make sure you understand any special shipping requirements for your rewards. Do a shipping cost analysis that includes international shipments before you set rates for your project.
- Communicate target dates with your fulfillment company. Tell your crowdfunding 3PL service company when to expect your inventory. Communicate your target ship date as well.
- Limit backer reward combinations. It can complicate your fulfillment if you have too many different orders going out. Shoot for a small number of possible combinations with at least 50 customers in each batch. Don’t include too many SKUs in one campaign.
- Choose a fulfillment company with crowdfunding fulfillment experience. The best crowdfunding fulfillment companies have trained and experienced staff. These crowdfunding pros can help you understand fulfillment and avoid costly mistakes.
- Make a plan for collecting and conveying order data to your fulfillment warehouse. Don’t wait until the last minute to figure out how to give the data to your crowdfunding fulfillment service. Try to transmit the orders as you receive survey results. Sending them in one giant batch can cause headaches.
- Model your rewards shipping ahead of time. Spec out your packaging and shipping costs based on the weight and dimensions of each of your items. Your fulfillment company can be a great resource to help with this process.
We hope this helps you find the best crowdfunding fulfillment company for your next campaign. Good fulfillment is part of the foundation of crowdfunding success.