It is estimated that by the end of 2021, there will be over 230 million online shoppers in the United States. Although this astounding number accounts for approximately 96% or more of the entire country's population, there are still obstacles that present a challenge for e-commerce retailers. Most online shoppers when surveyed state that the top reason they often avoid shopping online is to avoid high shipping costs (58%). Difficulty with returns processing (34%) and shipping times (34%) account for the next two reasons these customers avoid e-commerce shopping options. Thankfully, these issues can all be mitigated and avoided through establishing a strong and sound supply chain and 3PL fulfillment strategy.
The biggest advantage that e-commerce retailers have over traditional brick and mortar stores is that they have extremely low overhead costs. As many of us know, online stores have significantly less staff members running the day to day operations. While this allows a greater ability to spend on advertising and driving traffic to their storefronts it also comes with a major downside. These online stores do not have a strong supply chain developed or the infrastructure in place to move their product quickly or efficiently. This is where a third-party logistics (3PL) partner can provide the additional support to both the online and/or the traditional retailer.
Supply Chain Management
Remember the old adage that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link? Lets apply that to a virtual chain or in this case a supply chain. Each link of the supply chain has its own unique challenges and requirements when working with the logistics side of your e-commerce operation. A solid 3PL will provide not only the flexibility to scale during your peak and seasonal operations but they also have the expertise and industry experience to deploy the best practices to improve your service levels and reduce overall costs.
Omni-Channel Fulfillment for E-Commerce
Consumers today have more options than ever before in how, where, and when they can place and receive online orders. Having a supply chain that can adapt and has the ability to offer omni-channel fulfillment should be a driving force in your decision when vetting any 3PL service provider. I'm sure that many of you did not know that over 34% of online sales are made by consumers from their mobile devices with over 43% of those individuals shopping from their beds. This trend will not only continue to grow but will be the standard point of sale for almost all purchases by 2025.
Having an e-commerce 3PL that is centrally located in a hotbed for e-commerce fulfillment such as in Las Vegas, Nevada, it can be a valuable resource to manage the operational demands of your omni-channel fulfillment needs.
Since online and e-commerce demand will only continue to grow. It is inevitable that the competition will only continue to increase. Supply chain management and strong fulfillment strategies are going to become even more critical to both omni-channel and traditional brands when trying to scale their businesses and their network.