eCommerce is highly competitive with companies looking for ways to differentiate their brands and products. The only physical connection between the seller and the buyer is the delivery experience. That is why many eCommerce brands are partnering with 3PLs. But how can you know that you’re selecting the right 3PL?
It has become routine when ordering products online that you’ll receive them on your doorstep within one to two days. In today’s fulfillment world consumers continuously demand more – a delivery experience that is more personalized or more unique than customary. In the past, when visiting a retail store a customer might have received styling assistance from a clerk or a glass of champagne as they roam around the store as that “something extra”.
Now more than ever, the only physical connection between the seller and the buyer is the delivery experience. Companies are beginning to understand creative ways to stand out from their competition, for example giving a gift if you spend “x” amount or a personalized note from the CEO. However, that goodwill and brand loyalty can all be unraveled with the smallest slip up in execution. A missed shipment, a battered box, or even an unfriendly delivery person results in a poor customer experience. This creativity in standing out must be married with excellent supply chain management, inclusive of advanced tracking technology, efficient warehouse operations, well-managed product fulfillment and distribution, and robust delivery services to deliver on positive customer experience.
For companies in the highly competitive eCommerce space, partnering with an experienced 3PL partner can make all the difference. Expertise in warehousing, physical distribution, and information technology are a must! The 3PL provider must also offer flexibility and scalability in managing fluctuating volumes smoothly.
What is scalability? It means having a plan to handle demand peaks and a corresponding plan to scale back resources when demand subsides. The ability to deliver fast and flexible Omnichannel distribution and having access to a nationwide, multi-modal shipping network that can reach your customers within two days or less. This ability to scale is one of the major advantages of outsourcing eCommerce fulfillment to the right 3PL.
Beyond these core capabilities, eCommerce businesses are looking for additional characteristics when choosing a 3PL provider. These may include:
- Data visibility for inventory control
- Open and transparent communication
- Trust to deliver a positive customer experience
Partnering with a 3PL is personal. This is why it is important to align with a 3PL that mirrors your values and business approach. Proven experience is a given, but many want a 3PL partner who not only preaches good intentions but will deliver on those intentions.
For over 50 years, WSI has been leading the way with innovation, flexibility, and a commitment to adding value for our customers, Because Reliability is Everything™. If you are looking to grow your eCommerce business and become more efficient, faster, and reliable to your customers, WSI is here to help.