Third-Party Logistics Filling an eCommerce Gap

29 May
3PL Returns Management

Third-party logistics, or 3PL, is emerging as a key driver of growth for eCommerce players as they seek to develop core competencies as retailers while outsourcing their logistical requirements.

As online retailers already must deal with an array of high-involvement technological and operational aspects, it is financially more feasible for them to outsource the complicated and capital-intensive logistics requirements to third-party logistics companies to increase their efficiency by tapping into the superior service delivery of 3PL service providers.

Dealing with the Returns Process

One of the biggest challenges retailers face is dealing with the returns process. How can a 3PL such as Fullers help ease returns for eCommerce?

Every product-driven company deals with product returns. However, eCommerce companies face a bigger challenge. While physical retailers can handle returns in their stores, what do online businesses do about it? Increasingly, third-party logistics companies step in to fill this gap. A good thing too, because an online sale often hinges on how you handle returns.

It's no surprise that online channels experience a higher return rate than physical retail. Depending on who’s buying what, any business can face up to a 45% return rate on some products. While a generous return policy can win a sale, managing shipment back to the warehouse can be tricky. This is where the right multi-channel fulfilment provider can support you with a solution that can scale up or down as your business needs change.

Shipping Methods

While shipping is a major part of handling eCommerce returns, your chosen warehouse solution is equally important. There shouldn’t be any functional difference in the warehouse. An eCommerce business must have the mechanism to take the product back into inventory and apply an exchange or credit according to the returns policy.

With revolutionary concepts such as express delivery and one-day delivery, sometimes goods are required to be shipped via multiple modes of transport. Moreover, tracking the product also becomes essential in this specific case as delay in delivery results in a direct violation of the service-level agreement, thus making the respective player liable for reparation. The multi-mode transportation model of 3PL companies and product tracking through RFIDs at various checkpoints eases the hectic affair for retailers and enhances the level of consumer satisfaction they can offer.

Talk to us if you need a partner that will constantly look for ways to improve processes, increase efficiency and share any cost savings made.

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