As your ecommerce business starts to take off, you’re bound to hit all kinds of new and exciting milestones, including the need to make decisions about things you may not have considered before – particularly the potential for outsourcing the logistical aspects of your business, like packaging, warehousing, transportation and order fulfilment. Likewise, if your business has reached a plateau and you’re plotting your next move, it may be time to consider outsourcing your logistics, and how 3PLs can unlock ecommerce growth.
For those not already familiar with the abbreviation, 3PL stands for third-party logistics. 3PL companies are ones that offer comprehensive solutions for supply chains specifically in the areas mentioned above: packaging, warehousing, transportation and order fulfilment. These companies integrate into your existing ecommerce business processes and offer streamlined logistics solutions that promote efficiency and support growth management.
Whether your ecommerce business is already growing or you’re simply laying the foundation for future growth, there are many benefits to be gained from working with a 3PL provider. We’ve found these five to be among the most valuable:
When you work with 3PLs, they’re able to offer you lower rates than you would otherwise pay for shipping services because of the exclusive relationships they’ve established within the logistics sector. Those relationships lead to greater influence during pricing negotiations, as well as the ability to offer bulk or volume shipping discounts.
When you have someone else handling the logistics of your ecommerce business, it frees up your internal team’s time for other (more lucrative) tasks, like those directly related to your core products and services.
You may not be in the logistics business – but your 3PL provider is. So no matter what logistical challenges get thrown your way as your ecommerce business grows, your 3PL partner will have the experience and expertise to handle it with ease.
As a growing business, one of the great things about working with 3PL providers is that they can scale their offerings to meet your changing needs. They also provide seasonal or other businesses whose workflows fluctuate throughout the year with the ability to adjust their logistical resources accordingly.
When your ecommerce business is running smoothly behind the scenes, your customers can feel it too. Their orders arrive properly fulfilled, neatly packaged, and on time – and it puts the finishing touches on an overall positive buying experience. The better you can make that experience for your customers, the more likely they are to remain loyal to your brand. And the more often they come back to buy from you, the more money you make.
Outsourcing your logistical needs can be a big step for a growing ecommerce business to take, but it’s one that also comes with a long list of benefits that make the investment well worth it. When you work with a 3PL provider, you open up yourself and your business to the freedom of growth.