The E-commerce industry has benefited from this current age of technology. Analysts project that the industry may generate more than a trillion dollars in revenue each year in the next few years. As a result, companies are now making changes to their 3pl marketing strategies.
Companies rely on 3pl to create efficient shipping streams. However, some leaders are concerned about being able to reach important markets. Purchasing 3pl inventory management software is important. The software helps companies adjust their logistics to meet the needs of multiple types of consumers. One of the biggest benefits is that the software helps companies manage their space, which leads to faster logistics.
The software helps third-party packaging companies monitor supply chain issues and fix them before they lead to bigger issues. Online shoppers expect their needs to be met in a timely fashion. E-commerce companies can gain a competitive advantage if they can prevent shoppers from wasting time going through unnecessary channels. A 3pl freight broker can use the software to adapt their strategies. Companies can assess the 3pl scorecard to monitor the long-term performance of their logistics and supply chain.
3pl inventory management software is vital as companies look to compete in this current age of technology.
E-commerce has boomed and kept on booming. As much as 80% of the online population has made a purchase over the internet. Half of the online population has done so more than once. It’s estimated that by 2018 e-commerce sales will reach nearly $500 billion. For suppliers this means their marketing logistics and supply chain management focus needs to be on creating user-friendly online marketplaces, adaptable warehouse storage and faster shipping methods. A savvy Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider can help you accomplish exactly that. The tricky part, however, is determining if your 3PL is adaptable enough to provide logistics solutions that will allow you to expand into the various market segments you want to reach, be it B2B or B2C.
Let’s examine the shifts we’re seeing in the e-commerce landscape and how they’ll affect your 3PL.
With eight in 10 consumers now making purchases over the internet, your has to play well with the online marketplace. A survey of online shoppers found the three highest-ranked points of satisfaction are ease of check-out, variety of brands or products offered, and the ability for online tracking of orders. If your marketing logistics and supply chain management doesn’t address these three items for consumers, you’re missing out on valuable customer satisfaction opportunities.
Almost 40% of warehouse managers planned to implement or invest in a new warehouse management system last year. This is nearly double the number of warehouse managers who planned to do so in 2014. Their plans to implement new warehouse logistics systems are a reflection of the changes engendered by the e-commerce landscape. With B2B and B2C customers coming to the same place, having a warehousing and distribution system in place that can address both large- and small-scale ecommerce order fulfillment services is essential.
In 2014 only 28% of warehouse managers had increasing supply chain visibility as a primary focus. By 2015, that number had more than doubled to 59% of warehouse managers. According to a Peerless Research Survey, the top priority for warehouse management is optimizing the warehouse space. Over 90% of respondents said optimizing space in their warehouses was important, compared to a mere 1% who said it was unimportant to business success.
Higher demands on shipping
Online consumers today are really just the floor shoppers of yesterday. All consumers still long for instant or near-instant gratification on some level. They don’t want to spend more than they have to, nor wait longer than strictly necessary to get what they want. Almost 60% of online shoppers said free or discounted shipping was the one aspect of the online shopping experience they’d most like to see retailers improve upon. This is somewhat at odds with the fact that 40% online retail customers are willing to pay for shipping, but not entirely surprising when you consider the double-edged sword that is fast yet cheap.
What does this mean for your Third Party Logistics provider?
Usage of 3PL providers has been increasing at an expanding rate of 12 to 15% per year. The terms of their use, however, are growing shorter. Whereas five-year and 10-year contracts used to be the norm, now clients are asking for shorter, three-year to five-year contracts instead. The need to seamlessly navigate between B2B and B2C interactions has put a greater need for flexibility and adaptability in marketing logistics and supply chain management on businesses and 3PLs.
Many 3PLs began as large public warehouses that excelled at navigating the logistics of storing and shipping large orders. A great model for B2B businesses whose customers typically buy in bulk and well in advance. Trying to take that same model and apply it to the B2C e-commerce environment won’t necessarily produce the best results. B2C customers tend to buy in smaller quantities, something which has only increased with the growing eCommerce market.
Most 3PLs will specialize in either B2B or B2C. The challenge is finding one that can help you adapt your marketing logistics and supply chain management to accommodate both market segments. When you’re fighting tooth and nail for a larger share of the marketplace, the last thing you want is your marketing logistics and supply chain management holding you back.