An Excerpt from “5 insights from Canada’s fastest-growing retailers” by Canada Post, 2020
Getting fulfillment right has never been more important. Not only can it save you time and money, but it can help you win repeat customers.
Growth leaders are starting to recognize that fulfillment has the power to deliver a competitive advantage, and they’re looking to third-party logistics (3PL) providers for help.
3PL providers warehouse e-commerce goods and fulfill orders on behalf of e-merchants. Though outsourcing fulfillment to 3PL providers is only somewhat higher (11%) for growth leaders than the rest of the market, growth leaders are three times more inclined than other e-merchants to say that outsourcing fulfillment will be a high priority for them over the next 12 to 18 months.
They’re also 49% more inclined to say that expanding their fulfillment capability – for example, by opening a new fulfillment centre – will be a high priority during this time frame.
Benefits of outsourcing order fulfillment
Free up more time for selling
As they scale their business, many e-merchants find the task of fulfilling orders starts to become overwhelming and takes working hours away from selling their products. If your business is facing this challenge, it might be time to consider partnering with a 3PL provider.
Reduce operating costs
When you partner with a 3PL provider, you can benefit from their operational efficiencies and may be able to leverage their buying power on packaging and shipping costs.
Improve customer service
High-quality customer service is essential to customer acquisition and loyalty. Almost half of online shoppers say they’ve avoided repurchasing from a particular retailer or abandoned their shopping cart because the customer service they received when they encountered an issue with their order was not helpful. Many 3PL providers offer 24/7 customer support for executing returns, exchanges, refunds, and more. This is accomplished via email, website, or phone.
Growth leaders are enhancing their order fulfillment process
Expert Perspectives: When asked about what they’re seeing from fast growing clients that are making the most of outsourcing fulfillment, SCI Logistics shared that they’re seeing retailers benefit most from the partner’s ability to support their needs today and prepare them for the future. With the right fulfillment partner, retailers benefit from so much more than space that can easily scale. They get access to guidance and best practice for their specific business, technology (WMS) that can help streamline their operations and expertise to help them handle fluctuations and growth curves in their business.
Pro tip: Know your business and do your research. If you’re growing quickly and have the cash on hand to outsource, third-party warehousing and fulfillment is worth exploring. However, outsourcing might not be for you if you have unique packaging needs.
Reality check: You do lose some control over how your products are shipped when you outsource fulfillment – so it’s important to find the right partner and to keep the lines of communication open, especially when it comes to inventory.