It can feel like there are endless possibilities when it comes to your eCommerce business and selling online, and you’re right. The world is your oyster.
For eCommerce businesses looking to grow, omnichannel fulfilment is the way to go, as it’s the only way to fully maximise the number of customers you reach while ensuring your operations and fulfilment processes are more efficient.
Today we are going to discuss omnichannel fulfilment and its benefits, as well as how a 3PL can improve your omnichannel fulfilment so you can make the most out of things.
Let’s dive in!
What is omnichannel fulfilment?
Omnichannel fulfilment is the process of picking, packing, and shipping orders that are sold across multiple online marketplaces, sales channels, and stores.
Orders are managed from one centralised system, and omnichannel fulfilment requires inventory allocation for different stores to ensure products aren’t over or under-accounted for to help prevent overselling and overstocking.
Wondering what the benefits are? We’ll get to that.
First, let’s talk about how the process works;
- Choose your 3PL provider
- Integrate your channels
- Send your inventory to the fulfilment centre
- Manage your inventory
- Let the 3PL handle everything else for you
What are the benefits of omnichannel fulfilment?
Your omnichannel fulfilment strategy makes the end-to-end fulfilment process more efficient since everything is connected and accessible from one centralised platform.
Having all of your orders stored in one system makes picking, packing, and shipping orders more accurate, consistent and efficient.
New, happy customers
It is always hugely beneficial to have the ability to sell across multiple channels, stores and online marketplaces since you have the chance to reach new customers. You may find success in just relying on one channel, but omnichannel is always a no-brainer if you want to start expanding and reaching new customer bases. Not also this, but if customers keep seeing your products across a range of channels, they’re more likely to think you’re the ‘real deal’, therefore giving your business more credibility.
As times have changed, so have customer expectations. To be blunt, customers are more impatient now and expect immediacy. Using omnichannel fulfilment means your customers can get their orders faster and even opt for the ‘in-store pickup option’. Omnichannel fulfilment can ensure your customers get the best service, which in turn can help form brand loyalty.
Reduced logistics costs and time
Using a 3PL to improve your omnichannel fulfilment is beneficial because a fulfilment centre has the resources to keep up with the demand. When selling across multiple platforms at once, you assume that order volumes are likely to increase a great deal- while this sounds ideal, it’s not that ideal if you can’t actually keep up with picking, packing, and shipping every single order by yourself.
A fulfilment centre can, though. You save yourself time and money and won’t have to deal with unhappy customers as a result of not being able to meet their expectations due to not having the proper resources.
Also, when selling across multiple platforms, you end up requiring more space for inventory and using a 3PL means that you will have that space available at a reduced cost since you won’t need to do everything in-house (your own warehouse) by yourself.
An increase in orders across multiple platforms mean an increase in orders that require shipping, when operating by yourself, shipping prices can quickly stack up. A good, well-established 3PL will have strong relationships with a range of couriers and can use their buying power to get you the best deals on shipping (and even packaging), meaning you can save money while still continuing to grow.
Not only this, but a 3PL has the correct systems and technology required for omnichannel fulfilment, meaning you can save money when it comes to order management and inventory management systems.
As you may already know, multichannel fulfilment requires you to have multiple dashboards with large amounts of data open at one time, which can