E-commerce businesses are constantly seeking ways to tap into new markets. One crucial factor that can make or break their growth journey is fulfillment. We will delve into the key challenges that hinder e-commerce growth and provide insights on selecting the right 3PL fulfillment partner.
Top challenges in e-commerce fulfillment and how to overcome with 3PL
Ensuring speedy fulfillment
Customers today have high expectations when it comes to order delivery. In both the U.S. and Europe, the majority of online shoppers anticipate receiving their orders within 3-5 days. U.S. consumers have even demanded next-day or two-day delivery options more.
Meeting these expectations can be challenging for business with limited resources. By leveraging 3PL’s established infrastructure and global fulfillment centers, you can tap into an extensive worldwide network and expertise in logistics to achieve faster order fulfillment. Most fulfillment providers dispatch orders within 24 hours, enabling you to fulfill customer requests promptly. With strategically located fulfillment centers and optimized shipping methods, 3PLs can help you deliver products to your customers in a timely manner.
Operating complex fulfillment software
Managing e-commerce fulfillment software involving multiple sales channels, inventory tracking, and order management systems is an overwhelming task. Without seamless integration, workflows can become overwhelming, leading to inefficiencies and delays in meeting your shipping needs.
If you work closely with a 3PL fulfillment provider, the process can be simplified by leveraging an advanced SaaS Eco-system. This system provides comprehensive integration between your e-commerce platforms, ERP and logistics providers. By adopting such integrated systems and gaining real-time visibility into order statuses and shipping updates, you can gain better control over your fulfillment processes.
Dealing inefficient e-commerce returns
The average e-commerce returns rate is 16% in the U.S., according to National Retail Federation. In Europe, the return rates for clothing and footwear reach as high as 19%. Failing to manage returns prevents businesses from capitalizing on the revenue potential of these returned items.
3PL fulfillment providers are well-equipped to handle high volumes of returns efficiently. With optimized fulfillment processes, infrastructure, and skilled workforce, 3PLs can streamline the returns handling process and ensure prompt processing and restocking. By centralizing returns management and capitalizing on expertise in reverse logistics, 3PLs can facilitate the timely assessment and restocking of returned products.
Key considerations to choose the right 3PL partner
Find a partner commits to one-stop solutions
When selecting a fulfillment partner, prioritize finding one that offers comprehensive one-stop solutions. Look for a partner capable of providing global warehousing, commercial logistics, and customized logistics services. You can simply send them the order and rest assured that they will handle all aspects of fulfillment. This streamlined approach saves you time and effort while ensuring a seamless and efficient fulfillment process.
Choose a partner with a strong network of locations
A robust network signifies that the 3PL provider has strategically positioned fulfillment centers in key regions, allowing for optimal coverage and efficient order fulfillment. With a widespread network, they can reach your target markets with ease and ensure that your products are stored and shipped from conveniently located facilities.
Prioritize robust technology solutions
Efficiency and accuracy are essential in today’s fulfillment landscape. Seek a 3PL partner that embraces advanced technology solutions. For instance, AMR technology can significantly enhance efficiency and accuracy by automating tasks like picking and sorting. Prioritizing a partner with robust technology ensures optimized processes and improves order fulfillment speed and accuracy.