India is a booming market for direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands and growth momentum suggests that the total addressable market size will touch $100 billion by 2025.
As D2C brands are experiencing massive growth, they are facing a dilemma—whether to outsource their fulfilment services or continue with self-fulfilment. However, keeping up with the constant increase in demand is not easy. A few misses and errors can cost customer loyalty.
In this blog, you’ll learn what is a 3PL, what are the ecommerce logistics services offered by a 3PL, and the benefits of outsourcing ecommerce logistics services to a 3PL.
A 3PL is an abbreviation for Third-party Logistics. It is a service that allows ecommerce brands to outsource operational logistics like warehousing, fulfilment, and delivery. Thus, ultimately enabling D2C businesses to focus on core business activities instead of worrying about storing, picking, packing, and shipping orders.
3PL service providers help D2C businesses meet their specific needs while maintaining a seamless supply chain and logistics.
A logistics service provider like Eshopbox specialises in ecommerce order fulfilment. With next-gen technology, Eshopbox manages end-to-end logistics to ensure efficient delivery of orders. Here are the general services offered by a 3PL provider:
1. Ecommerce warehousing
Once you manufacture or procure products, you don’t have to look for storage space or a warehouse. You can store your inventory in your 3PL provider’s fulfilment centre. The 3PL service provider offers warehousing services so that you can store your products in highly secure facilities.
2. Inventory management
Once you have stored your inventory in a 3PL service provider’s fulfilment centre, they will manage your inventory efficiently. They will track and maintain optimum inventory levels to avoid under-stocking and overstocking. They will also help you restock inventory to prevent Out-of-Stock (OOS) by ensuring timely replenishment. Moreover, a tech-enabled 3PL service provider like Eshopbox will also give you access to an actionable dashboard to provide complete visibility of your inventory in real-time.
3. Order management
As soon as you receive an order, a 3PL service provider will start order processing, i.e. picking, packing and marking orders as ‘ready-to-ship’. Essentially, a 3PL will help you maintain incredible order accuracy with powerful workflows to enhance the customer experience. Not just this, Eshopbox also provides custom packaging as per your requirements.
4. Ecommerce shipping
Once your orders are ready to be shipped out, your 3PL will make sure that orders reach the customer's doorstep using a shipping carrier. A 3PL provider like Eshopbox will also ensure fast shipping and reduce shipping costs.
5. Return management
Even if customers initiate a return, your 3PL will take care of the return management. 3PLs manage returns and RTOs to make them simple and cost-effective. It will align the return shipping of the product and conduct quality checks. 3PL will also ensure that the returned product is restocked in your available inventory and is re-sellable quickly. A 3PL like Eshopbox will also help you minimise the return rate. Moreover, Eshopbox gives access to a customer portal to turn refunds into exchanges with easy one-click exchanges.
Here are some advantages your ecommerce brand can leverage by outsourcing logistics services:
Outsourcing logistics services will enable you to focus on improving and expanding your online business. You can ensure seamless ecommerce logistics without deploying any internal resources. Thus, you can manage high priority business objectives while a 3PL service provider like Eshopbox delivers online orders much faster, safer, and more accurately while creating a positive customer experience.
3PL service providers have an extensive logistics and fulfilment network. A 3PL service provider like Eshopbox has strong tie-ups with shipping carriers that enables you to take advantage of negotiated pricing and bulk order volume. It can significantly minimise the shipping costs for your ecommerce brand. Additionally, by outsourcing your fulfilment operations to Eshopbox, you can save on making huge investments in infrastructure, technology, manpower, and more.
Nowadays, ecommerce brands are keen to split their inventory in multiple fulfilment centres located across India, rather than keeping all the inventory in one location. By outsourcing logistics services, you can reap the benefits of multi-warehousing. It can help you offer lightning-fast shipping to your customers.
Moreover, a 3PL service provider like Eshopbox follows a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to streamline order processing and optimise shipping. You can achieve maximum fulfilment efficiency with an automated pick and pack process with an order accuracy rate of 99.75%.
In today’s ecommerce landscape, it isn't easy to manage all business functions single-handedly. A third-party logistics provider can offer you the knowledge, experience, and expertise.
For example, if you are looking to expand your customer base across new regions, a 3PL service provider like Eshopbox can help you enter a new market smoothly. It can provide you with logistics support, ideal inventory allocation and technical know-how to take strategic steps.
One of the best advantages of a third-party logistics service provider is that they utilise fulfilment resources based on your current needs. It helps you manage the fluctuations in order volume effectively—without incurring additional costs or compromising on shipping standards.
When your order volume is low, you don’t have unutilised resources. Moreover, when the demands surge again, you don’t need to hire additional resources. For example, if you run a flash sale, everything is being taken care of by the logistics service provider.
Satisfying customers is the fundamental goal of all businesses that drive loyalty. With improved logistics services, you can easily delight your customers. With Eshopbox, you can create an Amazon-like experience by offering real-time order tracking, sending proactive shipping notifications, and curating an exceptional unboxing experience with custom packaging.
As a D2C brand, handling order fulfilment yourself can seem like your only option, but there are several hidden costs in self-fulfilment. By outsourcing your logistics operations to a 3PL service provider, you can stay at par with higher performance and lower costs. In addition, a third-party logistics provider like Eshopbox can offer expertise to streamline supply chain operations and allow you to focus on increasing your customer base.