Over the last several years there has been a major shift in consumer buying habits. With the rise of ecommerce and mcommerce, businesses of all types and sizes should be focused on developing or sustaining a strong online presence. And this involves more than just listing and selling products effectively. It’s about committing to solid, cost-effective logistics that will keep inventory safe and organized, costs down, and orders fulfilled. Finding ways on how you can save on shipping and warehousing can be simple. As a starting point, having the right fully-integrated 3PL provider in place allows you to better manage your costs.
What Are the Pain Points Surrounding Shipping and Warehousing?
Simply put: shipping matters to consumers. In a 2019 Forbes report, 84% of consumers made a purchase specifically because shipping was free. As ecommerce continues to evolve and expand, it can be difficult for businesses to stay competitive when it comes to free shipping. When overhead costs associated with things like shipping and warehousing start to grow, some businesses may lose the ability to stay competitive in a market where added fees mean unsatisfied customers.
In the same Forbes report, 77% of respondents abandoned a purchase because of unsatisfactory shipping options.
For American businesses, reaching a rapidly-expanding market of Canadian shoppers also presents uniquely difficult challenges. Shipping and fulfilling from the United States presents avoidable inconveniences to Canadian end customers.
Stores located in the USA often charge Canadian customers a 25-40% shipping premium when it would otherwise be free for American customers. Plus, for orders of $151 or more, Canadians must pay customs duties on top of the already hefty shipping costs. In comparison, the minimum threshold for this import tax for Canadian goods shipped to the United States is USD $800.
When you add these fees and discrepancies, Canadian customers are far less likely to convert when it comes to cross-border shopping.
Another Pain Point: Receiving, Warehousing, and Reverse Logistics
Shipping aside, the fulfillment process can be a complicated one. Receiving, storing, managing, picking, packing, shipping and managing returns are all essential steps to successful order fulfillment that must work in tandem. The more third parties involved, or steps ignored, the higher chance there is for headaches. One of the most prominent areas is reverse logistics. From delivery fees and re-stocking expenses to inventory losses and damages, returns can be costly and drastically affect the bottom line. Plus, returns matter to consumers as well.
- At least 30% of products purchased online are returned vs. 8.9% in brick and mortar stores
- 92% of customers will buy something again if the returns process was easy
- 67% of shoppers check the returns page before making a purchase
- 47% want an easy-to-print return label
It’s essential to work with a fulfillment partner who prioritizes returns and handles them efficiently, effectively and affordably.
If you want to ship between countries without the sky-high cost of opening a new operation in another country, your best bet is finding a 3PL partner.
Healthier Margins, Lower Shipping Costs, and Easier Fulfillment
By working with local postal services, like USPS, FedEx, and UPS, the right 3PL can secure discounted postage rates for ecommerce fulfillment clients and their consumers. The savings get passed directly to you, and therefore your customers when you don’t have to mark their shipping up.
A Single-Partner Solution to Help Streamline Every Stage of the Ecommerce Fulfillment Process – Even Reverse Logistics
Receiving, storing, managing, picking, packing, shipping and returning online orders are all essential steps to successful fulfillment. The more steps your dedicated ecommerce fulfillment partner can handle, the less you have to worry about back-end logistics. This gives you the flexibility you need to focus on the aspects of the business that you manage best.
Instead of working with multiple third-party logistics providers, you can rely on the right 3PL provider at every stage of the order fulfillment process. This ensures that you get the best, most comprehensive service for your dollar.
When it comes to reverse logistics, you want a partner who helps make it easier for you to reduce costs and improve inventory management at every stage. When your customer requests an exchange or a return, a fully integrated 3PL should receive the information before creating and sending the packing label at no cost to the customer. Once the returned product is back in the warehouse, your 3PL provider will receive and inspect the product before adding it back into your inventory. Easy.
With the right partner in place, you’ll find yourself saving on shipping and warehousing from day one.