Choosing the Right E-commerce Fulfillment Partner in Canada: Here Are the Factors to Consider

Choosing the right e-commerce fulfillment partner is crucial for the success of your online business. With the growing demand for online shopping, it’s essential to have a reliable and efficient fulfillment process in place. Your eCommerce company’s success largely depends on how well orders are fulfilled. In today’s competitive e-commerce landscape, partnering with the right fulfillment provider can significantly impact your business’s efficiency, customer satisfaction, and overall growth. This may sound trite, but a trustworthy e-commerce fulfillment partner will support the expansion of your brand’s consumer base. Contrarily, a subpar e-commerce fulfillment service can cost you customers and damage the reputation of your company, regardless of how amazing your product is.

So how do you choose the right e-commerce fulfillment partner? What are the factors to consider when choosing an e-commerce fulfillment partner? In this article, we will take a look at e-commerce fulfillment services in Canada and help you better understand them and get into the factors that will guide your decision.


What is e-commerce fulfillment?

E-commerce fulfillment refers to the process of receiving, storing, picking, packing, and shipping products to customers who purchase them online. It involves various stages, including order processing, inventory management, packaging, labeling, and last-mile delivery. An effective fulfillment partner streamlines these operations, ensuring smooth and timely order fulfillment.

You may consider eCommerce fulfillment services as the control center for your online store, where they manage the post-checkout delivery of consumer orders.

  1. commerce fulfillment, however, entails more than merely leaving a delivery on a customer’s doorstep. Receiving and storing inventory, processing orders, selecting products, packaging them into boxes, and shipping them to customers’ locations are all parts of fulfillment. It also includes any necessary internal and external contacts.

What are your Fulfillment Requirements?

Before selecting an e-commerce fulfillment partner, it’s essential to assess your business’s specific requirements. Consider factors such as the size and nature of your product inventory, order volume, seasonal fluctuations, and geographic reach. Understanding your fulfillment needs will help you identify a partner that can accommodate your unique demands.

Who would need e-commerce fulfillment partners?

  • Direct-to-consumer companies without a physical location on the main street or a storage facility
  • Businesses whose internal fulfillment capabilities have expanded to the point that they are unable to ship orders at scale
  • Businesses with omnichannel strategies who want to expand into e-commerce

Although current fulfillment solutions make use of numerous smaller warehouses known as micro-fulfillment centers, traditional fulfillment services often operate out of huge warehouses on the outskirts of cities. These micro-fulfillment centers, which are located in metro areas, rely on automation to satisfy consumer demand and provide quicker, more reliable delivery across various geographic locations.

What is the difference between traditional 3PLs and e-commerce fulfillment partners?

Although traditional 3PLs and eCommerce fulfillment services overlap to some extent, most 3PL firms only concentrate on offering the fundamental logistics services (such as pick and pack, warehousing, distribution, etc.), whereas full-service e-commerce fulfillment centers offer more comprehensive Services, such as customer support and returns.

Delivery speed: Due to their business strategy, traditional 3PLs are unable to provide companies with fast delivery; at most, they can cut wait times to two days (next-day delivery). But they pay a price for shorter lead times. However,   Ecommerce Fulfilment Services delivers same-day delivery, frequently in under two hours.

Cost: 3PLs normally charge according to weight, transit time, and distance, while cutting-edge eCommerce solutions charge a flat rate. When using just-in-time commerce systems, inventory is frequently pre-placed at local micro-fulfillment facilities around the nation, greatly lowering the amount of shipping and delivery needed for each order even as the number of specialized deliveries rises.

Sustainability: Being close to the consumer allows these contemporary e-commerce fulfillment services to use environmentally friendly delivery methods, such as bicycle messengers, pedestrians, and electric vehicles, and to lessen the need for unnecessary cardboard packing. 

How to choose the right e-commerce fulfillment partner in Canada?

Today’s biggest challenges in retail sales include shipping, scalability, inventory management, subscription processing speed and accuracy, and profitability.

You need a fulfillment partner capable of delivering local services reliably enough to meet and exceed more than three leadership areas described above. In the below, we explore the key factors to consider when selecting an e-commerce fulfillment partner in Canada.

Fast Delivery

If your clients are like the majority of young consumers, they are likely to anticipate fast delivery and anticipate getting their orders even quicker.

We are all aware that fast shipping is one of the most significant factors for customers when they order online.

The benefit or advantage of two-day delivery as a competitive edge has started to fade with the introduction of same-day delivery and two-hour or fewer delivery possibilities. That’s because contemporary consumers aren’t quick enough to examine these alternatives. As a result, rapid delivery is becoming more and more popular among e-commerce companies that have a growth mindset because it is a tried-and-true method for enhancing customer experience and aiding in both client acquisition and retention.

Location and Coverage

One of the main factors to consider when choosing an e-commerce fulfillment partner in Canada is their location and coverage. Find a partner with strategically located fulfillment centers that can efficiently reach major Canadian cities and regions. This ensures faster transit times and lower shipping costs, enhancing the overall customer experience.

Today, consumers are increasingly dissatisfied with two-day delivery. And it’s nearly impossible to meet today’s customer demands delivery speed with outdated fulfillment models that rely entirely on huge warehouses in remote locations with cheap land. While this may seem attractive on the surface, consider what this fulfillment method means for your last-mile delivery experience and delivery speed.

If speed is what you’re after, you’ll need to look for a micro-fulfillment-based solution that utilizes small warehouses or micro-fulfillment centers in densely populated urban areas to reduce time/distance to end customers. By keeping your inventory hyperlocal to customers, the last-mile delivery experience can be very fast, as delivery couriers can deliver one order at a time (point-to-point) instead of loading hundreds of orders by truck.

Scalability and Flexibility

As your e-commerce business grows, it’s critical to have a fulfillment partner that can scale with your needs. A good potential partner should be as concerned about your company’s ongoing development as you are. Additionally, they should be flexible and ready to adapt to your environment and grow with you as your business grows. You should see evidence that they have the capacity or are actively increasing capacity to meet your growing order volumes while maintaining high standards of operational excellence and your most important customer experience.

All in all, make sure you work with an e-commerce fulfillment provider that is flexible, adaptable, scalable, and able to handle unprecedented conditions and volume surges.

Integrations and Technologies

When selecting the best e-commerce fulfillment company, technology is one of the most important factors. How your online business interacts with fulfillment services and how they may assist you in using data are the two most crucial factors.

Without requiring additional knowledge from you or your team, you may distribute product orders from your e-commerce platform to your fulfillment provider with the use of the proper technology. Additionally, they should have a system in place that can automatically integrate into your company website, the warehouse, and order status. These should be straightforward automated procedures created to streamline your business operations and maintain the dependability of your internet store.

Order Accuracy and Quality Control

The only way to scale your business is to fully understand your metrics to maximize your efforts in growth areas and create solutions for identified bottlenecks. In addition, as an important part of brand differentiation, e-commerce businesses must be able to provide excellent customer service, which depends on having accurate and timely data at hand at all times.

So maintaining high order accuracy and quality control is crucial for any e-commerce business. Look for fulfillment partners who prioritize strict quality control measures throughout the fulfillment process. They should have solid procedures in place to ensure accurate picking, packing, and shipping of orders.

Return Management

Handling returns is an unavoidable aspect of e-commerce. When choosing an eCommerce fulfillment partner, be aware of their returns management process. Reputable partners will have efficient systems in place to process returns, inspect items and restock. Fast, hassle-free returns are critical to maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty, so choose a partner that excels in this regard.


Think over the prices and pricing plans potential e-commerce fulfillment partners offer. While there are some upfront costs involved in outsourcing your order fulfillment requirements to an eCommerce fulfillment service provider, you will probably end up saving a lot of money in the long run on labour, overhead, packaging supplies, and other variable costs. Therefore, you need to assess your pricing strategy and charge structure, taking into account costs for shipment, pick-up, and storage. Additionally, it is necessary to assess the fulfillment partner’s overall worth, taking into account elements like service quality, responsiveness, and dependability.

Once you have gathered all the necessary information and evaluated different options, it’s time to make the final decision. Consider the overall fit, taking into account factors that we discussed in this article. Consider employing a combination of fulfillment partners who collaborate to meet client needs rather than just a traditional 3PL partner.

Selecting the right e-commerce fulfillment partner in Canada is a crucial choice that can have a big impact on your online business’s performance. You may make an informed decision that aligns with your company’s objectives and client expectations by taking the aforementioned aspects into account.

Read more:

Shift From In-House To Outsourced Fulfillment – When it’s Better & How to Do it Right

How Third-party Logistics Services Can Ensure E-Commerce Growth?

The Top 6 Reasons For Outsourcing in Supply Chain Management For Your eCommerce Business

At SPExpress, we offer services from order fulfillment to supply chain management services that include freight forwarding, transportation, warehousing, picking and packing, inventory and supply chain management, and order fulfillment. We work closely with our customers to ensure their 3PL needs are being met properly. Since we understand how valuable working with a reputable 3PL provider can be, and how it can help our customers to focus on growing their businesses. 

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