Start-up fulfilment: an entrepreneur planning their eCommerce venture on a laptop

Fulfillment services for start-up businesses

When you embark on a new eCommerce venture, it’s tempting to use a start-up fulfillment service from the get-go. But unless you’re consistently taking 150 – 200 orders per month, it’s unlikely to be cost effective.

That’s because fulfillment services for start-ups tend to charge minimum monthly fees, regardless of the number of orders you take. If you’re spreading this fee across hundreds of orders, it’ll be affordable. But if it’s just a handful, the cost won’t outweigh the benefit. 

Here we explain when the time is right to talk to us about outsourcing your fulfillment.

When should you use a fulfillment service for start-ups?

We typically advise start-up owners to come to us when they’re taking 150 – 200 orders each and every month. But there are a few exceptions to this rule.

Crowdfunding and pre-orders

If you’ve launched your new venture through Kickstarter, Indiegogo or another crowdfunding platform, you’re likely to have thousands of pre-orders to dispatch quickly. Outsourced fulfillment can help you get over this initial peak, and provide ongoing storage and shipping thereafter.

International expansion

If you’ve already had success in another market and are looking to launch in the US or UK, we can support your global growth. Our worldwide network of fulfillment centers and real-time, cloud-based software make it simple to manage international operations.

Experienced entrepreneurs

Maybe this isn’t your first venture. Maybe you’ve worked for an established brand and are now launching your own thing. If you’re experienced at gaining traction in your chosen market, we can help you reach the point that outsourced fulfillment makes sense much quicker.

Angel investment

If you’ve secured outside investment to get your idea off the ground, you’re likely to have a clear marketing plan to ramp up your order volumes quickly. If you’re confident you’ll hit 150 – 200 in the next few months, let’s talk about outsourcing your fulfillment now.

Is our start-up fulfillment service right for you?

Our service is best suited to retailers that have:

A parcel: we recommend taking at least 100 orders per month to use our order fulfilment service

150+ orders every month

We’re as happy processing five orders a day for one client, as 500 for another. But to get the best value out of us, you should take 150+ orders each and every month.

A football: our order fulfilment service is optimised for products smaller than this

Small to medium-sized products

Our processes are optimized for products that are smaller than soccer balls and lighter than laptops. We pick, pack and ship these with maximum accuracy and efficiency.

A checklist: we recommend a small product range to get the most out of our order fulfilment service

A small, perfectly formed range

We recommend that the number of orders you take per month is five times more than the number of SKUs you hold, helping you control stock and grow manageably.

A pallet: we recommend holding only three months' worth of stock with our order fulfilment service

Less than 3 months’ stock

We support fast-moving product lines, by offering you affordable, short-term pick and pack storage, plus the tools to manage your inventory and maximize sales.

Not taking 150+ orders every month yet?

We’ve put together a six-part guide on how to start an eCommerce business and make it a success:

An icon of a light bulb: a metaphor for having eCommerce business ideas.
How to have a brilliant eCommerce business idea

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An icon of a shopping cart: a metaphor for eCommerce platforms
What’s the best eCommerce platform for you?

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An icon of a megaphone: a metaphor for getting traffic to your online eCommerce store
8 cost-effective ways to get traffic to your online store

Read now

An icon of a mouse pointer hovering over a buy button: a metaphor for eCommerce conversion rate optimisation
15 conversion rate optimization tips for eCommerce

Read now

An icon of a paper aeroplane: a metaphor for eCommerce shipping
How to pick the right shipping strategy for your store

Read now

An icon of a bar graph on a blackboard: a metaphor for eCommerce stock control and inventory management
6 reasons stock control is key to eCommerce success

Read now

How have we helped other start-ups grow?

Anne Beauty doubles turnover, cuts time spent processing orders by 75%

By setting up a Shopify store and integrating with James and James, Anne Beauty has saved time processing orders, and re-focused on growth.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend James and James. Their level of service, advice and professionalism has been outstanding – it’s taken away many of the issues and risks of scaling our business.” – Shareen Akhtar, Founder

Read Anne Beauty's success story

An Armadillo Merino t-shirt, fulfilled by James and James

Armadillo Merino shoots for the stars

With a customer base of soldiers, firefighters and even NASA astronauts, Armadillo Merino needed a global fulfillment partner that could deliver on time, every time.
“We’re building an international brand with a reputation for high-performance garments that solve health and wellbeing issues. We see James and James as an important partner in this global marketing strategy.” – Andy Caughey, Co-founder

Read Armadillo Merino's success story

Auteur Limited grows sales and product line

With a focus on design-led, sustainable products, Auteur Limited has “grown massively” with support from James and James, and our off-the-shelf WooCommerce integration.
“What’s great about WooCommerce and James and James is that we get notifications if there’s a problem, meaning we can really stay on top of the orders. We’d 100% recommend it.” – Kirstie Pendry, Marketing Associate

Read Auteur Limited's success story

An eye shadow palette with the MEMI logo

MEMI – a growing cosmetics brand – competes with global giants

When building a unique vegan makeup brand, MEMI enlisted James and James to manage stock and deliver quickly, even during influencer-driven sales spikes.
"When people buy online, it’s not just the website experience that’s important, it’s how quickly they get the product. James and James offers a fantastic service and we’ve had great reviews from customers.” – Jack Thompson, Co-founder

Read MEMI's success story