Ranking the best eCommerce companies is a subjective process. For each consumer, the best eCommerce companies are the online stores where they like to shop. Some rankings look at gross sales or revenue from online sellers but that doesn’t equate to providing excellent products or services.
And, for eCommerce brands, the best eCommerce service companies, such as eCommerce fulfillment providers, are the ones that offer the specific services your company needs. The same is true in reverse as well. For example, Red Stag Fulfillment turns away more than three-quarters of the businesses inquiring about its services because they aren’t the right fit.
Here’s a look at the best eCommerce companies to partner with a 3PL like Red Stag and how to find your ideal 3PL match.
Best doesn’t always mean the largest eCommerce companies
Listings of the best eCommerce companies tend to focus on the biggest ones. The rankings vary by year and method of calculating, but the top of the list usually includes (not necessarily in this order):
- Amazon (based in the U.S.)
- Alibaba (China)
- Jingdong aka JD.com (China)
- Walmart Marketplace (U.S.)
- Rakuten (Japan)
- Facebook (U.S.)
- Apple (U.S.)
- eBay (U.S.)
- Liberty Interactive (QVC, HSN, Zulily, and more – U.S.)
- Suning (China)
- Otto Group (3 Suisses, Freemans, and more – Germany)
Many of the “top” eCommerce companies are actually marketplaces that facilitate online sales rather than eCommerce brands that produce the direct-to-consumer products that consumers want. These businesses bring in a large amount of revenue, but the best eCommerce companies and the best eCommerce service providers aren’t always the ones with the highest sales volume.
The right online marketplace and the right 3PL are a matter of fit for eCommerce companies
Amazon is the best-known online marketplace in the U.S., with 147 million Prime members in 2021 — more than half the U.S. population over 18. Amazon has grown from its roots as an online bookseller to become an online shopping site where customers can buy everything and anything. But the online marketplace isn’t the best eCommerce company for everyone, and particularly not every seller. For example, makers of handcrafted and custom products may do better on Etsy.
And Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a perfect 3PL for some sellers but a nightmare for others. In fact, receiving delays, service changes, and lack of security have led many Amazon sellers to look for an FBA alternative, like Red Stag Fulfillment.
The best eCommerce companies to work with a 3PL like Red Stag Fulfillment
Red Stag Fulfillment isn’t the largest order fulfillment company in the U.S. But it is one of the best. Since Red Stag’s founding in 2013, it has grown exponentially, expanding to West Coast and East Coast fulfillment locations and adding warehouse space. And Red Stag has become known as one of the best eCommerce fulfillment companies.
Central to our growth strategy is recognizing the best eCommerce companies to partner with. We didn’t grow by taking on every business interested in working with us. If we’d tried to serve every brand and ship every product type, Red Stag Fulfillment would have been less profitable and less successful. By only taking on the best eCommerce companies for our fulfillment model, we ensure that we can provide the industry-leading service on which we’ve built our reputation.
Here are some of the characteristics of the ideal online businesses to partner with Red Stag Fulfillment.
Selling to the U.S. market
Many international companies find that a U.S.-based 3PL opens the American market to them. Individual orders don’t have to wait for customs clearance, and you save on shipping costs.
Red Stag Fulfillment works with many eCommerce companies based outside North America. We provide national fulfillment services that can reach 96% of U.S. addresses in two days or less. And we offer that coast-to-coast coverage from just two warehouse locations, so your inventory planning is simplified.
Ready for growth
Even the best eCommerce companies can struggle to grow if they don’t have excellent 3PL services. Red Stag Fulfillment’s founders learned this firsthand when inadequate fulfillment got in the way of their business growth trajectory.
At RSF, we’ve seen online businesses accelerate their growth when they partner with a 3PL that can deliver flawless order fulfillment. You can read the stories of two of them: Pop-A-Shot arcade basketball games and Homestead Brands furniture.
Want fulfillment that improves your customer experience
Delivering an outstanding unboxing experience is an asset to your brand. If you truly delight your customers, they will film the unboxing and post it on social media. That gives you free testimonials and expands brand awareness. Fulfillment errors or poor packing can ruin that customer experience.
Ship at least 500 orders a month
Every fulfillment warehouse has parameters that work for its business model. Some 3PLs specialize in high-volume, high-SKU count fulfillment. Others work with startups and may have no minimum monthly fee or service minimums.
Red Stag Fulfillment doesn’t have a monthly order minimum, and the number of orders you ship per month isn’t a disqualifier. But the best eCommerce companies to work with RSF have an average monthly order volume of 500, and ideally 1,000 or more.
Understand that accurate fulfillment services can help build your brand
The best eCommerce companies, defined as the most successful D2C brands, understand the value of fulfillment in building their businesses. After all, one of the ways that Amazon became wildly successful was by developing logistics that allowed them to deliver orders within two days.
The best eCommerce companies understand that fulfillment costs are more than pick and pack and storage fees. Too many errors can torpedo your brand image. On the flip side, accurate fulfillment saves you from return costs, negative reviews, and inventory shrinkage. Red Stag Fulfillment’s clients understand that working with a 3PL can save them money in the long term and that industry-leading logistics are a valuable asset for their companies.
Seeking a 3PL that can take fulfillment worries off your hands
A 3PL that provides outstanding service will free you to focus on business growth. You can spend time on other things because you know your customers are in good hands. Red Stag Fulfillment provides set-it-and-forget-about-it fulfillment. We complete a comprehensive review of your business during onboarding, so we understand your operations and your fulfillment requirements. Once we’re up and running, you don’t have to think about fulfillment — we take care of it for you.
Sell heavy, bulky, high-value, or hard-to-ship products
Some 3PLs will provide fulfillment services to anyone who wants to sign a contract. That isn’t in the best interests of eCommerce companies, especially if you need specialized fulfillment services. The ideal 3PL match for your company is one that ships many orders similar to yours in weight, size, and the number of items in the box.
Red Stag Fulfillment specializes in shipping large items. We are skilled at packing boxes to avoid or minimize dimensional weight charges. Most of the products we handle weigh 20 pounds or more; these are items that are often damaged in other warehouses where the workers aren’t trained in order handling for oversized products. However, we also ship smaller items, mainly if they are high-value. We understand how to get expensive products safely to their destinations.
Why Red Stag Fulfillment turns away most of the brands that inquire about its services
At Red Stag Fulfillment, we get many inquiries from online sellers interested in our services. More than 85% of the time, we decline. RSF is committed to working exclusively with the best eCommerce companies for its business model. So we partner with brands we can serve well. We often steer prospective clients to our competitors that are better set up to process their orders.
If we took on every D2C company that approached us, we wouldn’t be able to provide the industry-leading fulfillment services that are the foundation of our success.
Recently, an online brand approached Red Stag Fulfillment. The owners knew that high-quality fulfillment would enhance their business and our reputation made them eager to work with us. We declined, not because the business wasn’t one of the best eCommerce companies, but because the product it sold wasn’t a fit for our services. We knew we weren’t the right fit for their business.
Next steps to source excellent fulfillment for your eCommerce company
Red Stag Fulfillment isn’t the right fit for every top eCommerce company. But, if your business model meshes with ours, we are the right 3PL partner to help your business grow and scale.
We’ve compiled a fulfillment company questionnaire[link] to help eCommerce companies find the best 3PL. We’re happy to answer those or any other questions you have[link] if you’re ready for eCommerce fulfillment that builds the best eCommerce companies.
More about the best eCommerce companies and working with RSF:
- Tips for Faster Onboarding When You Switch Fulfillment Companies
- The Value of Superior Third-Party Logistics
- How to Get Started Working with Red Stag