If you are in the eCommerce world, especially if you are a new player, you might have heard other sellers or recommendations for using a 3PL eCommerce fulfillment for your Shopify store. But like with any paid-for service that you use for your online business, you’ll want to know first if it’s worthwhile. Should you pay extra money for this type of service? Will it positively help your shop? Well, generally speaking, the answer is yes. But before we look into the reasons why you should consider 3PL eCommerce fulfillment for your Shopify store, let’s have a quick look at what it is for those who are not overly familiar with the concept.
What Is 3PL ECommerce Fulfillment?
A company that operates a 3PL fulfillment center is there to take over the running of your shop’s logistics. 3PL stands for third-party logistics, and it’s a way for you to hand over responsibility for the picking and packing of the products you sell. To put it simply, you rent out space in a 3PL warehouse, this space will be filled with the goods that your Shopify store sells. Then, when an order comes through, the 3PL company will also be notified and it is their job to pick, pack, and ship the order.
They also keep on top of stock-taking, and some companies will deal with customer complaints relating to shipping also. While on the face of it, it seems like a great service, it does come at a cost. So what are the benefits to you using a 3PL eCommerce fulfillment for your store?
1. Save Storage Costs
For most people, even if they can run their Shopify store from home, rarely can they keep the stock in their home too. Perhaps you have a spare bedroom or a little free space in your garage, but it’s not very practical to be filling your home with boxes and packages. So, people end up having to pay for outside storage. Maybe a unit where they can collect a few boxes here and there or pay for an office that’s big enough to house everything. If you have to pay for storage, you might as well use the money to put towards the 3PL fulfillment storage instead, right?
2. Save a Ton of Space
As a follow-up to point one, using a 3PL frees up any space you might have to be using in your home. You can get your spare bedroom and garage back by not having to have a single box at your home. You can keep your home life and work-life clearly separated when you can have your stock elsewhere.
3. Avoid Long-Term Lease Agreements
If you are currently using an office or other storage space for your products, you’ll no doubt be locked into a long-term lease. Usually for a year, although in some circumstances the lease has to be for three years. Having to commit to a long-term lease is never a good idea, you have no idea what could happen during this period and you don’t want to be left stuck paying for a lease agreement when you’re not using the building or space. However, when you opt for a 3PL eCommerce fulfillment service, you can pay monthly. Paying monthly gives you a lot of freedom and stops a large portion of your money from being tied up in rental contracts.
4. Save Staff Costs
If you are a larger company and have in-house staff that is dealing with the stock, packing, and shipping, well, you’re already throwing money away. The amount of money it costs you to train and employ people to take care of the logistics aspect in-house will always be far more than you’d have to pay a 3PL company to do the same job for you. Trimming back in-house staff and outsourcing the work is usually a great money saver, especially in the long run.
5. Have More Time for Your Business
Whatever size your business has grown to, there’s no doubt you’ll always want to make it bigger. After all, who doesn’t want to be as successful as possible with their Shopify store? And if you are a smaller business, then you’ll need a lot of free time to work on marketing your store and establishing your brand to build a customer base and a presence online. However, if you’re having to spend time every day with inventory, picking, labeling, packing, shipping, and follow-ups, then you’re never going to have as much time as you need to grow your business. Using a 3PL eCommerce fulfillment center can enable you to have the time you need to increase your store and presence.
6. Cheaper Shipping
If there is ever any way that you can reduce your expenses, you should do it, and using a 3PL can help you massively reduce your shipping costs, particularly if you send out a lot of orders each day. You may get good shipping rates, but a 3PL company will get the lowest rates possible and you will benefit from their business savvy low-cost shipping prices.
7. Better Customer Service
A professional and reputable 3PL company can help you improve your customer service in two ways. One, because they use the best technology available to pick, pack, and ship, rarely will an order go wrong. You can be sure that mistakes are near non-existent and your customers will receive their orders promptly with no complaints. However, the second way they can help improve your customer service is by dealing with it for you. Most 3PLs offer a 24/7 customer service line meaning they can deal with any situation quickly before they escalate, even if you’re sleeping!
Any one of these benefits can be a huge help for your Shopify store, but put them all together and you are left with few reasons why you shouldn’t use a 3PL company. If you’re at the point where you’re ready to hand over the responsibility of logistics, free up your time, and focus on growing your business then we’re here to help!