The e-commerce challenge
You have been running an e-commerce business for some time now.
And what turned out to be a humble little online store has turned into something bigger.
Now you have product flooding your bedroom, boxes in your living room and more stock in your spare room. You’re happy that your e-commerce business is doing well but you feel as if your e-commerce dream has become more of a nightmare.
Long nights, early starts picking, packing and sorting through orders, customer service emails coming in thick and fast, marketing deadlines to meet and the list goes on. All this leaves you thinking “How am I going to make my business work for me.”
If this is you don’t fret. The solution to this problem is quite simple.
A third party logistics or 3PL provider will be able to easily and affordably scale your e-commerce business by taking over the operations side of your e-commerce store. Leaving you with more time and freedom to focus on growth orientated tasks and not to mention your bedroom and living room won’t be flooded with product anymore.
Can’t I do this in-house?
But why use a 3PL? Can’t I just build my own fulfilment centre in-house?
Yes, you can fulfil your orders in-house. Many small retail businesses both on and offline do their fulfilment themselves. However, there are challenges and costs in running fulfilment in-house. For example, the setup costs for an in-house fulfilment centre are quite high in comparison to using a 3PL fulfilment partner.
In-house fulfilment also presents the possibility of unnecessary overheads when volume fluctuates.
In-house fulfilment involves the following set up tasks;
- Setting up a physical location to fulfil your orders from
- Organising and hiring staff
- Working out the best method of fulfiling orders efficiently and accurately
Scaling with a 3PL
Working with the pros
Learning all the ins and outs of shipping and logistics is hard. Learning all the ins and outs of shipping and logistics while trying to grow an e-commerce store is harder still. The main focus of 3PL’s is to optimise how a company sends out goods. They are the experts when it comes to fulfilment warehousing, and shipping. So why do it yourself when you could partner with a fulfilment provider and take all their expertise onboard and grow your business faster.
Cheaper shipping rates
3PL’s push out some serious volume. As a result, 3PL’s are offered some heavily discounted prices on shipping which work out to be far cheaper than the standard prices offered to many e-commerce businesses. By partnering with a 3PL your business will have access to these reduced shipping costs. Help you scale in a more cost effective manner.
Cheaper to set up
Setting up with a 3PL is far cheaper and easier than running fulfilment in-house. As mentioned earlier in-house fulfilment requires some significant capital outlay. From finding a location to fulfil your orders, hiring and managing staff and working out operational efficiencies. Running fulfilment in-house can be quite a challenge.
With a 3PL the onboard process is easy. For new customers, it involves 2 steps.
- SKU upload
- Product pickup
3PL’s have some serious tech that helps with inventory management, order management and fulfilment. The first step in onboarding is uploading your product SKU’s onto your 3PL’s system. A SKU or “stock keeping unit” is a unique code used to identify products. This code is used by 3PL providers to store, manage and send your products to your customers.
The second step is product inbound. Product inbound is basically a fancy term for a 3PL receiving your product. This is done by sending all your product a 3PL provider to pick pack and ship once you receive an order. Some 3PL providers like KeepSpace will physically pickup the stock from your storage location and assist you through the inbound process.
Most merchants call too late … Call a 3pl today and scale your business
Most 3PL’s require an order minimum of 200 orders per month to use their service. At KeepSpace we believe in partnering with growing E-commerce businesses who are at the beginning of their E-commerce journey. So they can focus on all the fun stuff while we look after all those “other tasks. See if KeepSpace fulfilment is right for you here