How's your online business doing these days? Too busy to stop and think about it? One of the good things to come out of the most unusual year ever, revolves around the success of online shopping. With incentives, based on the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce companies benefited from consumers' increasing preference to shop online. Besides saving time and money, online shopping and home delivery offered a safer option than in-person shopping for everything from necessary items for disinfecting homes and businesses to birthday and holiday presents.
Scaling your business
Consumers preferring to shop online increases sales and brand awareness that growing businesses require to establish their brand and move into their next phase of success. Generally, there comes a time when you find that you and your talented team are spending most of your time on the logistics of your business. Like most business owners, packing your orders, figuring out shipping regulations, and dashing to the post office several times a day isn't how you intended to spend your time as your business grows. Your business's expansion doesn't have to be chaotic or stunt your business's growth.
Are you wondering where you're going to store your increasing inventory and how many new employees you need to hire and train to manage your increasing fulfillment needs? Do you need to purchase or rent storage space that you will then need to maintain? Other costs of self-fulfillment such as renting warehouse space and staffing it are not the only concerns – packaging supplies can significantly add to your overhead costs, including:
- Purchasing branded mailing containers in a variety of sizes
- Sourcing affordable branded marketing inserts you want to include with each order
- Finding the most efficient way to ship your orders so they get to your customers on time
- Developing a dedicated customer service department for returns and exchanges and other consumer-facing issues
Third-party logistics providers or Amazon
As an e-commerce vendor who needs to delegate their fulfillment operations to an outside source, you may think Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)is your best bet for optimizing your supply chain functions for faster, more affordable and efficient deliveries. FBA does have its advantages - a massive subscriber base for more exposure and Amazon's standard-setting faster and faster delivery times seem enticing but, since Amazon is such a dominating 4th party logistics force, you have little control over your brand's quality. It's been reported that Amazon has been known to ship a product you carry from another vendor if your product isn't available at their nearest fulfillment center when ordered. With FBA you are also in competition with Amazon for the same products that Amazon sells. Additionally, some of Amazon's seller requirements are vague and confusing, not to mention you are usually unable to reach a live person for support questions, which could cost you more in fees associated with quotas and other regulations. Adding to the chaos, during the pandemic Amazon prioritized certain essential products, such as PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), plus other medical supplies and safety products leaving their other vendors in limbo as to delivery times for their Amazon products.
Third-party logistics providers
Instead, you could partner with a reputable 3PL provider, such as Phase V Fulfillment to:
- Automate your fulfillment processes
- Save on packaging because 3PLs buy supplies in bulk and employ highly-trained pick and pack crews to expedite your fulfillment processes, shaving time off delivery times
- Save on shipping rates, because our 3PL shipping logistics teams are always analyzing ways to trim your costs for your order shipping
- Give your customers a dedicated customer service department with reps available that know your brand and can knowledgeably assist with any questions and issues that may arise for your customers, promptly and skillfully
- Give you more control over the quality of your order fulfillment process, with the capacity to scale labor up or down, depending on your seasonal cycles
One of the most important aspects of an exemplary third-party logistics company is that it should provide the best-in-class, most current technology platform, helping you manage your inventory while performing data analysis to control inventory expectations throughout the year. Phase V's scalable, data-driven software features real-time inventory count to avoid running short of products. Out of stock and back-ordered messages may deter consumers from shopping on your site again, and with another seller just a click away, competition among e-commerce vendors is fierce.
Integrating your multi-channel marketplaces
Paramount to the success of your entire fulfillment operations and warehouse management, Phase V's shopping cart integration and warehouse management technology communicates with the other systems used in your fulfillment operations. Phase V now integrates with most major e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, and Magento, and other marketplaces. From the time your orders are placed to the time they are delivered to your satisfied customers, domestically
or internationally, our user-friendly software integrates the entire process. Providing a button or link on your shopping cart, Phase V allows your customer to track their orders from our warehouse facilities, strategically located in Fort Myers, Florida to delivery at your customer's address.
At Phase V, we realize that selling on Amazon increases sales and exposure but the Fulfillment by Amazon seller preparation process can be difficult to navigate. As Amazon is interested in selling items, not in e-fulfillment, Phase V offers help prepping your products for FBA, as well.
Phase V takes the busy work out of your business
At Phase V, we partner with you to streamline all of your supply chain processes and inventory management, customizing your e-fulfillment needs to meet your company's goals and visions. A one-of-a-kind third-party logistics provider, Phase V's superior technology and experienced fulfillment team help you save money and shave off delivery times. Partner with Phase V as you grow your e-commerce presence, your one-stop-shopping destination for e-fulfillment services!