Veeqo Academy – What is Self-Fulfillment?

Self-fulfillment shipping is an order fulfillment model where retailers store their own inventory and fulfill orders through their own distribution network(s).

This usually involves leasing a warehouse space and hiring a team of pickers and packers while incorporating a system or piece of software to manage orders, inventory and shipping.

Advantages of self-fulfillment

  • Complete control. The whole pick, pack and ship process is handled in house so you have total control of the experience you provide for customers.
  • Can be the most economical option. For some businesses, self-fulfillment can bring greater control than dropshipping and be a lower cost option than a third party logistics (3PL) provider.
  • Negotiated shipping rates. Businesses shipping a high volume of orders can benefit from competitive and discounted rates.
  • Stronger branding opportunity. Fully customize packaging material to reflect your brand identity and make order fulfillment a great marketing opportunity.

Disadvantages of self-fulfillment

  • Time consuming. Setting up, overseeing and maintaining a self-fulfilled distribution network takes more time and effort than other fulfillment methods.
  • Can be costly. For fast growing businesses it will likely become necessary to need warehouse space, staff, a Warehouse Management System (WMS) and shipping software.
  • Complicated to expand. Expanding globally means setting up warehouses in different regions to avoid paying significant shipping costs and taxes.
  • Lack of scalability. For smaller or individual sellers with increasing orders attempting to match the resources of typical marketplaces, scaling your business is difficult.
  • Limited product range. You’re limited to selling only the products purchased and stored in your own facilities.

Who is self-fulfillment best for?

Self-fulfillment looks very different depending on the size and budget of a company and can be great if you have the funds to make it work. It’s perfectly suited to heavily brand-focused businesses who need complete control of their processes in order to maintain a strong image and reputation.

For single retailers with significantly less resources, self-fulfillment means being able to run a business without having to hire any staff or pay extra fees.

Who should avoid self-fulfillment?

Committing to self-fulfillment usually means a large capital outlay on warehouse leasing, machinery, staff and software. So relatively cash-poor early stage businesses who aren’t too heavily focussed on building a brand may do better by avoiding this method.

Self-fulfillment can also tie up a lot of time and focus for startups, leaving little time left over to focus on growing the business.

Get started in minutes

You’re just three simple steps from cutting your shipping costs and managing all your ecommerce in one place.

  1. 1

    Create your account

    It’s quick, easy, and always free to use, no matter how much you ship.

  2. 2

    Connect a store

    Check out how Veeqo works—it won’t affect your current sales data.

  3. 3

    Save on your very first shipment

    Enjoy faster fulfillment and happier customers!

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“I didn’t realize how efficient Veeqo would make our business. It has at least halved the time it takes to fulfill orders”

— Jason Guy, Gay Pride Shop