There comes a time for most eCommerce businesses when they realize they don't have the skills, experience, or time to do everything themselves and seek help from others. Often they turn to 3PL or 3rd party logistics to complete tasks they can't or don't want to. If you are new to an eCommerce business, you may be wondering what exactly a 3PL provider is, the services they offer, and the benefits of 3PL.
3PL is defined by the supply chain management board as: "A person who receives, holds, or transports consumer products solely in the ordinary course of business, but does not take ownership of the products." Now that you know your 3PL background, let's take a look at some of the key benefits that the 3PL eCommerce fulfillment center offers local small businesses:
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Storage and shipping are one of the biggest costs associated with eCommerce retailers. When working with a 3PL, the rental space requirements or maintenance costs along with overhead—can be eliminated or reduced. After delivery, 3PL also maintains a relationship with the carrier, resulting in the discount being passed on to the customer.
The ability to return, exchange, and refund are as important as selling a product. Of course, many small eCommerce businesses cannot offer 24/7 support via email or phone to perform this task. 3PL, on the other hand, has the staff to do just that.
Many startups and small e-commerce businesses can handle the logistics at first, but as they grow, space can become a problem, and order fulfillment can become quite complicated, resulting in delivery delays and customer frustration. 3PL takes care of timely execution regardless of the amount of work and can save you space (and costs) even during slow times.