Outsourcing logistics to fulfillment companies is the next step for growing eCommerce sellers. Unfortunately, many online businesses partner with the wrong 3PL and find themselves experiencing a multitude of issues. Messed up orders, high costs, lost inventory, and late deliveries are all signs that your fulfillment company is failing your business. If this sounds like your experience, switching your 3PL is the only solution. Here’s how to make this process seamless.
Compare Fulfillment Companies
The first step in changing fulfillment companies is to compare your options. With so many 3PLs to choose from, it can be stressful picking which is the right one for your eCommerce business. Looking at several factors will help you narrow down your choices. First, look at their shipping network. Do they have multiple warehouses? If so, where are those fulfillment centers located? The closer your inventory is to your customers, the lower your shipping cost will be. Second, compare available discounts. Do they have partnerships with a variety of postal carriers that can help cut your costs? Most 3PLs have exclusive discounts with carriers due to the high volume of shipments they send out each day. Third, what type of technology do these fulfillment companies have? Seamless integration into your online store and real-time tracking options are crucial to both you and your customers. You want to avoid partnering with fulfillment companies that are using outdated software which can’t keep up with your customer’s expectations.
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Identify Your Ideal 3PL
After you’ve compared your options, the next step in transitioning to a new 3PL is identifying who you want to work with. Your ideal partner should have a shipping network that can reach your customers quickly, no matter where they live. They should guarantee 100% order accuracy for all of your packages, and be able to easily manage returns and exchanges. All of these factors play into the efficiency of your business. If your shipping partner cannot provide the space you need for your inventory or the team and technology to get the job done accurately, they are not an ideal match for you.
Prepare Your Inventory
Moving inventory from one warehouse to another is time-consuming no matter where your warehouses are located. The next step in the transition process is to prepare your inventory for the big move. This means anticipating incoming orders, processing orders you’ve already received, and keeping everything organized. Keep in mind, you also need to think about the shipping cost you're offering your customers. If your new 3PL is in a different city, your cost will change. That new amount needs to be factored into your pricing beforehand.
Communicate with Your Customers
Although your customers don’t need to know everything, it’s important to communicate potential delays with them. Moving your merchandise to a new facility could push back orders for days. During your transition, you need to consider how quickly you can get orders out and let your customers know this ahead of time. If you normally offer free two-day shipping, that may not be attainable while your inventory is enroute to a new location. Ensure that any changes in your normal shipping options are clear on your website as well as your other marketing communications.
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Changing fulfillment companies is not easy. There are many moving parts including contracts, inventory, and customer expectations to consider. However, partnering with the right 3PL can help ease all of this frustration.
Rakuten Super Logistics has been in the logistics business for 20 years. Our eCommerce logistics experts can easily navigate you through the transition from your old 3PL and help you improve all aspects of your online business’ shipping and fulfillment.
We have all of the qualities you’ve been looking for in a lasting 3PL relationship and are more than just another summer fling. We’ll be your passionate, reliable, and dedicated lifetime partner. Ready to give us a try, no-strings-attached? Get started today for $1.
Rakuten Super Logistics (RSL) is the leader in eCommerce order fulfillment services and freight brokerage. RSL offers national fulfillment services and a network of 15 US fulfillment centers located in Anaheim (CA), Atlanta (GA), Austin (TX), Chicago (IL), Denver (CO), Houston (TX), Las Vegas (NV), Olean (NY), Reno (NV), Salt Lake City (UT), and Scranton (PA). Their state-of-the-art technology allows for integration with popular shopping cart platforms and online marketplaces including Amazon, Big Commerce, Channel Advisor, eBay, Magento, ShipStation, Shopify, Volusion, Walmart Marketplace, and WooCommerce.
Rakuten Super Logistics is a leading eCommerce order fulfillment company that provides the scalability, flexibility, and cost savings retailers demand.
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