By: Maggie M. Barnett, Esq., COO at ShipHero
Meeting consumers’ growing shipping expectations is critical to maintaining customer loyalty and staying ahead of the competition. 2-day shipping is now the minimum shipping speed that most customers expect. Unfortunately, as these expectations become more demanding, growing eCommerce brands struggle to keep up with them.
Here’s a particularly alarming statistic to give you an idea of where eCommerce shipping currently stands: 75% of consumers expect brands to offer same-day delivery options.
This is a lofty expectation to meet on your own, especially because free shipping is one of the most important purchase-driving factors. So how can eCommerce brands offer faster delivery times? Let’s just say there’s a reason 90% of Fortune 500 companies have partnered with 3PLs.
Why eCommerce merchants need a 3PL
Third-party logistics providers help eCommerce merchants meet consumer shipping expectations without compromising on revenue. 3PLs have specialized logistics teams that optimize your inventory management, order fulfillment, and returns management, among other benefits. In short, 3PLs handle fulfillment while your team focuses on other areas of your business.
Keep up with Amazon’s delivery speeds
Amazon Prime set the benchmark for consumer shipping expectations with its famous 2-day delivery option. Unfortunately, consumers don’t realize how difficult it is for growing eCommerce brands to offer expedited shipping.
Partnering with 3PLs lets you offer 2-day and overnight delivery so you don’t keep losing customers to Amazon and other megacorps, without driving your logistics costs through the roof.
Building your own fulfillment network is costly & time-consuming
Building a fulfillment network lets brands offer expedited shipping by reducing travel costs and time. Unfortunately, building a network is costly and demands a larger labor force – merchants have to rent out, or purchase, multiple warehouses and distribute their inventory, and then hire a workforce for each fulfillment center.
3PL providers have their own fulfillment centers with dedicated logistics teams. You can partner with a 3PL and strategically distribute your inventory across their multiple fulfillment centers, reducing shipping times and costs, without incurring large overhead costs.
3PLs can grow your business
3PLs have their own specialized logistics workforce that’s equipped to help your business expand at scale. Otherwise, if you’re relying on an in-house team, you’ll need to gradually hire more workers as your eCommerce brand grows and the volume of orders increases.
Additionally, if your in-house team lacks experience, pick and pack errors and other problems increase, ultimately affecting your bottom line. 3PLs, on the other hand, have employees with years of logistics experience.
Logistics, including reverse logistics, demand plenty of human resources and management. Thus, outsourcing your order fulfillment to a third-party frees up your own workforce to focus on growing your business.
Enterprise-level reporting capabilities & insights help grow your business
Leading 3PLs have their own warehouse and inventory management software with enterprise-level reporting capabilities, including:
- Real-time insight of inventory levels
- Inventory valuation reports
- Shipment reports that cover every shipped item
- Team-specific reports
- Replenishment monitoring to determine the best time to reorder
And more. Having the right data and analytics just a few clicks away helps eCommerce brands streamline their fulfillment processes and identify problem areas.
3PLs integrate with your eCommerce platform & marketplaces
3PLs solve the multiple marketplace integration dilemmas by seamlessly integrating with all platforms, and making vital information available on one centralized dashboard.
Why eCommerce merchants choose ShipHero
ShipHero serves more than 10% of Shopify plus stores globally and many Fortune 500 companies. We’re trusted by many leading high-growth DTC brands, which is reflected in our outstanding user reviews – Shopify merchants rated us 4.8/5 and TrustPilot users gave us a solid 4.8/5.
Here are 5 reasons that eCommerce merchants choose ShipHero.
Done-for-you fulfillment services
We’ll take care of your warehousing and inventory management, pick and packing operations, shipping, and even reverse logistics. Our experienced, highly trained workforce specializes in efficiently managing logistics operations, minimizing errors, and ensuring orders are always shipped on time.
Direct integrations with eCommerce platforms & marketplaces
ShipHero’s leading warehouse management software (WMS) directly integrates with major eCommerce platforms and marketplaces, including BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Shopify, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and more.
After integrating with different platforms, you can view detailed analytics, insights, and reporting from your central ShipHero dashboard. Additionally, eCommerce merchants can set automation rules to streamline fulfillment operations.
Automation rules perform actions in response to “triggers” – for example, a shipping method could apply automatically in response to a matching zip code, or emails with order tracking links can be sent to customers after their order is shipped.
Easy returns management
With more than 82% of online shoppers willing to say goodbye to a brand due to a bad returns experience, making the returns process seamless is critical to improving your customers’ experience and maintaining their loyalty. Poor returns management can put you at risk of losing customers to your competition.
Here at ShipHero, we process returns as they come in, which is easy thanks to our direct integrations with marketplaces and eCommerce platforms. We offer done-for-you returns processing, so you can focus on growing your brand while we handle the logistics and reverse logistics.
Additionally, ShipHero supports direct integrations with partners like Returnly and Loop, to make return processing easier and risk-free.
Fast delivery & shipping speeds
Fast growing eCommerce brands can struggle with managing their own logistics; as the volume of orders increases, you’re forced to expand your workforce and scale your fulfillment operations accordingly.
Keeping up with the high volume is difficult enough (especially during the peak holiday season), but the costs start adding up too as you hire more logistics personnel. However, eCommerce brands can’t afford to delay orders or deliver incorrect items; convenience is one of the primary reasons consumers have turned to online retailers.
For these reasons, many fast-growing eCommerce brands turn to ShipHero. Our fulfillment services let eCommerce brands consistently offer 2-day and overnight delivery options as you scale.
ShipHero has a network of fulfillment centers for eCommerce brands to distribute their inventory across. A distributed inventory is vital to fulfill orders faster and keep delivery costs low – when customers place an order, it’s shipped from a center closest to them.
Additionally, our integrated WMS uses real-time carrier rate shopping to minimize shipping costs. Thus, offering customers free shipping options becomes more feasible.
ShipHero’s Bulk Ship process helps brands keep up with large order volumes by streamlining the pick and pack processes. This feature is especially useful during the holiday season when your order volume spikes dramatically.
Detailed reporting & insights
ShipHero’s industry-leading WMS arms eCommerce merchants with detailed analytics, reporting and insights. You can instantly access real-time inventory data (including inventory valuation), access team reports, or pull up order information.
Our inventory management and shipping software monitors your inventory levels in real-time and automatically notifies merchants about replenishment needs. You can also set automatic reorder points to prevent shortages or overstocking.
Online consumer expectations have evolved rapidly in recent years, especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers are expecting better shopping experiences, expedited shipping options, lower shipping costs, and hassle-free returns.
Meeting all these expectations on your own is challenging, which is why many leading eCommerce brands have partnered with ShipHero. We’re not sales-focused; our primary goal is to help our partners achieve their fulfillment goals and grow sustainably.
So start growing your brand with ShipHero today.
If you’re new to ShipHero Fulfillment, please schedule a meeting today with our experts to learn more about how we can help you get your orders picked, packed and delivered with our fulfillment service. No setup fees, simply pay as you go. ShipHero works to ensure that organizations invest in the solutions that match their needs, to improve productivity, revenue and success.
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Maggie M. Barnett, Esq., COO
About the author: Maggie M. Barnett, Esq., is the COO of ShipHero. She is responsible for planning and executing the overall operational, legal, managerial and administrative procedures, reporting structures and operational controls of the organization. Barnett’s greatest strengths are leadership, risk mitigation, change management and a passion for business transformation. She is known for her expertise in delivering operational excellence and an ability to provide guidance and mitigating risk. Her leadership of ShipHero is grounded in a servant mentality, always doing the right thing for our stakeholders. Her passion for ShipHero comes from the ability to drive operational excellence throughout the organization impacting the lives of our employees, customers, and partners.