Retailers are entering uncharted territory with ecommerce fulfillment. Customers have always wanted the best products for their dollar, but now they also expect the best delivery service. Teaming up with an experienced 3PL can help you meet the demands of your customers 24/7.
Satisfaction ratings are closely tied to delivery timelines. A late arrival can mean big trouble for customer loyalty. If you want to ensure fast delivery times for your customers, mobility is key. Are your distribution centers backlogged? Do your drivers have to wait around for unloading or pick up?
Retailers can save lots of time and money when a 3PL is able to step in and help with transportation. After assessing your current setup, they can design a strategic solution to improve productivity around your facility. When tractors transport your trailers to the appropriate docks, you free up drivers for their next shipment. And since the 3PL can provide their own equipment, you won’t be responsible for additional upfront costs.
Many retailers today struggle with manual processes. It can be challenging to retain the right staff when workloads fluctuate by season. Onboarding can often be inefficient for short-term projects, but you still need enough “hands on deck” to get your shipments out on time. The same thing can happen with returns. When your customers need to make returns or exchanges, you want to use that opportunity to “wow” them with streamlined service and quick order processing. Otherwise, you’re dealing with a lot of unhappy customers.
Partnering with a 3PL can help minimize staffing issues. Talk to your provider about supplemental staffing to meet your periods of high demand. Ideally, they’ll be able to provide you with skilled workers that have already been trained for the kind of work you need.
A Personal Touch
Another way supplemental staffing can help with ecommerce fulfillment is with personalized packaging. More and more retailers are looking to vie for their customers’ loyalty by including coupons or little thank-you notes with their orders. Of course, this type of work is extremely hands-on.
Without the right staff—either with your own employees, or contractors through your 3PL—it may not be realistic to implement these processes. But doing so offers huge pay offs. Adding a personal touch can prompt customers to leave great product reviews online and can even create more interest for your company’s social media. Both types of engagement help spread the word about your brand in a really positive and organic way.
Finding the Right 3PL
When you pass off the challenges of retail fulfillment and logistics to a qualified 3PL, you can start putting your resources towards continuing to grow your business. Streamlining your distribution chain won’t just help your bottom line—it’ll strengthen your company’s reputation. You want your customers to count on your quality service, and custom logistics from a 3PL can certainly help.