Keeping up with modern trends
The modern society has changed alongside the rapid development of the Internet. Speed and efficiency is now the new norm. Ecommerce is one of the representatives of this change, and 3PLs are working behind-the-scenes.
If you have started an ecommerce business and it’s starting to grow, it’s good to keep this in mind. Start thinking about getting a 3PL partner. Because utilising a 3PL is the easiest and cheapest way to continue providing speed and efficiency.
Let’s look at some other reasons why your growing business needs a 3PL.
You want to focus on your brand
When you started your ecommerce business, you probably didn’t imagine a hectic life surrounded by your products and boxes. Well, that’s what is likely to happen when you continue on your own as your business grows.
What you want to do is to let everyone know about your brand. You want your existing customers to love your brand. You want to count the money in your pocket.
To do that, you need to conduct strategic tasks. Tasks include marketing, sales and providing excellent customer service. But order fulfilment gets in the way as orders increase. You’ll be so busy trying to survive the day. And at the end of the day, you’ll have no energy or time to do the other tasks.
Then, there will be a point where there are too many orders that you can’t fulfil. This will drag down the growth of your business. Because new customers can’t find your brand, and existing customers won’t recommend it.
A 3PL can automate the logistics for your business. They will provide the time for you to focus solely on the strategic tasks that you wished to do.
You need to scale depending on the season
Businesses deal with fluctuating demands. This is the same for your ecommerce business. Fluctuation usually causes overcapacity, which is a common problem in in-house fulfilment.
For example, you need to expand your logistics during the holiday shopping spree. You will rent warehouses. Hire more people.
When the peak calms down, you’ll end up having more space and people than you need. This is overcapacity.
The hard part about this is that you cannot adjust it in a flexible manner. Once you rent a warehouse or hire more people, there is a term to follow. You’ll end up using more money for what you don’t need.
A 3PL provides the flexibility you want for scaling your business. The amount of space and service is automatically scaled to your current needs.
This leads to an efficient supply chain for your brand.
You need to save costs
As the number of orders increases, you’ll eventually find out how costly it is to fulfil orders in-house. Even though you’re getting increased sales, you might not have much left in your hands.
Why? You have to prepare packaging materials. You need to ship your products individually. Holiday shopping increases warehouse rent and staff salaries. You even need money for paid advertisements and product development.
There are so many investments to make in running an ecommerce business in-house. The money will keep on flowing out of your hands.
However, 3PL provides a much cheaper solution for fulfilment. This is because a 3PL charges only for the space and services that you use. As a result, it can lead to low capital commitment and overall cost savings.
You don't have fulfilment expertise
Let’s face it. You are not a logistics professional.
There are many complexities in the process of shipping. Domestic and international differences. Shipping logistics. Quarantine laws and tariffs, and more.
You already have trouble fulfilling orders for local people. Why should you go through the trouble of learning all of this? You shouldn’t.
3PLs are professionals of logistics. They have all of this knowledge. Therefore, a 3PL can take away these hassles for you to focus on maximising your core competencies.
You need continuous optimisation
Outside of scalability, you will need a variety of optimisation. Those can include:
- Transportation management (e.g. air, sea or land);
- Personalised or marketing materials;
- Refund procedures;
- Delivery tracking; and more.
More optimisation means increased customer experience. But you won’t be able to achieve all of it by yourself. Again, you’re already going to be busy with just the order fulfilment.
A 3PL can not only fulfil on your behalf but can also provide resources to these optimisations. A 3PL usually have courier partnerships in order to access many different shipping options. Some even provide services to produce marketing materials on your behalf.
If you want to grow your ecommerce business, these options are a must.
Your customers can be based anywhere
Your existing customers may be local citizens. But who knows? Your product might be the next rage in a different country!
If you are looking to grow your business, you’ll need to think about markets around the world. Ecommerce businesses are especially prone to this trend.
The next question is, “How do I get the opportunity to expand my market overseas?” The answer is, “Use a 3PL.” A 3PL can have easier access to various locations around the world.
Plus, their connections can help reach out to new customers overseas.
Besides international shipping benefits, a 3PL can also have multiple warehouses distributed in different locations. The reason for this is so they can store the products closer to the customers. A closer location means cheaper and faster shipping.
You want to grow your industry connections
There are many aspects to running a business. One of them is to gain connections.
In in-house fulfilment, you need to obtain connections by yourself. For example, you need to find someone who provides the materials for your product. You also need to find a printing company in order to print your personalised cards. This is a lot harder than it sounds.
If you connect with a 3PL, this means you will also connect with a global network of resources. A good 3PL usually maintains solid relationships with their partners. This allows access to a large range of logistics services that will ultimately boost your ecommerce business.
Do you remember from earlier that using a 3PL is cheaper and efficient? Well, the secret to it is related to the 3PL’s connections.
A 3PL connects with the ethical courier experts for superior delivery services and volume discounts. You and your customers won’t have to worry about delivery errors and high shipping fees. This will ultimately lead to a boost in your ecommerce business.
Additionally, some 3PLs can hold networking events for ecommerce business owners. It’s a great chance to connect with fellow owners. You also might be able to deepen your insight through their stories.
You want to be yourself
Up until now, it has all been about your business. Let’s start talking about yourself.
Working is hard. As a human being, we need free time to fulfil our personal needs. While your ecommerce business is important, taking care of yourself is more important.
A 3PL can take care of your order fulfilment. However, it will be up to you whether your products will actually be sold. If you tire yourself out, who will be able to spread the beauty of your brand?
So, take the free time you get from using a 3PL to rest. Rest and enjoy your hobbies. Catch up with your family and friends. Eat well and sleep well.
As long as you stay healthy both physically and mentally, your ecommerce business can wait for you.
We have looked at the various reasons why your business needs a 3PL. These reasons are all based on the premise that your ecommerce business is starting to grow. Plus, that you want to achieve more with it.
The benefits of using a 3PL are tremendous for the successful growth of your business. However, it can be a bit confusing once you start researching.
But you don’t have to feel lost. Feel free to ask questions to 3PLs, like us! Reach out to us through email or phone, and we’ll gladly answer your questions.
It’s good to try and check out our other blog posts as well. There may be additional information that will benefit you.