In an extremely competitive eCommerce space, brands want to provide excellent products & services to make and keep their customers happy. Fulfillment plays an important role in that happiness when your customer receives the product securely on time, making it one of the most important factors in the success of any eCommerce business.
Let’s say you have a great product, with an effective marketing strategy you start getting a good amount of orders. Now comes a very important stage of order fulfillment within time in a safe manner to meet your customer’s expectations.
This 3PL fulfillment process includes all the steps from warehousing, inventory management, picking, packing, shipping, and processing the returns if any. With the increasing number of orders, fulfillment becomes overwhelming and consumes a lot of time, cost, and energy which you can spend on other important aspects of your business if you decide to outsource fulfillment to a third party logistics (3PL) provider.
What Services are Provided by 3PL Fulfillment Companies?
A 3PL logistics company can provide much more than just logistics services, that is why choosing the right partner is very crucial to the success of your business. A good third party logistics company typically provides these following services:
- Technology stack
- Inventory management
- Payment processing
- Shipment tracking
- Returns management
- Customs brokerage
- Freight & inventory audit
When Should You Outsource Fulfillment to a 3PL?
If you are deciding to outsource your eCommerce fulfillment for the first time, you must consider the following variables.
Is it financially viable?
Outsourcing to a 3PL company enables to you save huge upfront capital investments in building/leasing warehouses and logistical resources. It also saves cost on the investment in technology stack to run your eCommerce business.
Can you manage in-house?
While your orders are increasing or you are meeting an unexpected increase in customer demand due to seasonal fluctuations, can you manage the rising costs of staff and facilities? If you are shipping nationwide or globally, can you keep your shipping costs in check?
Can you efficiently manage your inventory?
Are you able to manage your inventory efficiently or are you facing the issues of inventory shrinkage, theft, lost items, and shipping issues?
Considering the above-mentioned variables you can decide if your business is ready to outsource fulfillment to a 3rd party logistics company. Besides these variables, there are other benefits to turning to a 3PL.
Advantages of Switching to a 3PL for eCommerce Fulfillment
There are several benefits to outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL provider.
Scalability & Flexibility
While working with a 3PL partner you can easily scale up and down according to the needs of your business. Scalability becomes much easier whether you are exploring the new markets or customer bases or adding new SKUs to your inventory. You can save a lot of time, hassle, and money while growing your company without worrying about staff, labor, infrastructure, and logistics issues.
Logistics & supply chain is a complex industry. By partnering up with a 3PL, you are outsourcing all these complexities to the experts with tons of experience in the industry. A 3PL company works with industry best practices, regulations, support, and development processes to make the fulfillment process more efficient.
3PL companies allow you to leverage their premium technology stack. ShipBots for instance provides you easy integration with their powerful built-in technology system designed for end-to-end fulfillment. You can also manage your inventory, get real-time reports, and use analytics to make crucial decisions for the success of your business. This feature saves you a massive amount of investment in logistics or inventory management systems.
Third-party logistics companies keep themselves updated with all the regulations of customs and FTC. They use industry best practices to ensure the security of the shipment reducing the risk of loss shipment.
Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, outsourcing fulfillment also helps in streamlining your business operations to give you more time in strategizing marketing, sales, and product development to grow your company. It saves higher upfront investment costs in technology, warehousing, and logistics. By significantly reducing the shipping time, it allows you to achieve maximum customer satisfaction which is the end goal of most businesses.
Disadvantages of Switching to a 3PL
While there are a lot of advantages of outsourcing fulfillment there are a few disadvantages that you may have to face if you didn’t choose the right 3PL company.
Loss of Control
When outsourcing you are giving up some level of control to the 3PL company. Make sure to discuss everything before making a contract in order to avoid situations like a data breach or late deliveries.
ShipBots provides you with enterprise-grade security in order to ensure your data and privacy.
Going with a 3PL can no doubt save you a lot of upfront costs, but hidden prices can be more expensive going forward. ShipBots provides transparent billing and its services are more budget-friendly.
How ShipBots Streamlines eCommerce Fulfillment
Location & Network
ShipBots treats you like a partner to streamline your eCommerce fulfillment process. With strategically located fulfillment centers covering the east and west coasts, ShipBots provides the quickest turnaround time with affordability and shipping discounts.
Technology & Security
With enterprise-grade security and easy integrations with all the major eCommerce platforms, you can leverage the best-in-class fulfillment technology available in the industry. You can also use the real-time information to make actionable decisions regarding your business.
Billing & Optimization
With transparent billing and no minimum order requirement, you can instantly choose ShipBots as your fulfillment partner. ShipBots offer customized plans and services to cater the businesses of any scale and size.
Streamline your eCommerce fulfillment today with a free 30-day trial here.