Omnichannel is trending in eCommerce. Online selling demands an omnichannel retail approach because businesses have a better opportunity to reach the right consumers if they sell on multiple platforms. An omnichannel strategy can benefit your eCommerce fulfillment operations as well. When you outsource your fulfillment to an omnichannel third-party logistics provider, you improve customer experience and enhance your supply chain operations.
Here’s everything you need to know about omnichannel third-party logistics.
What is omnichannel third-party logistics?
Omnichannel fulfillment is an approach that unifies your fulfillment operations. Multi-channel fulfillment takes a different approach to order fulfillment for each sales channel while omnichannel third-party logistics ensures that your customers have the same brand experience no matter which channel they came through.
For example, if you sell on Amazon Marketplace, you might use Amazon FBA to ship your Amazon orders. At the same time, you could also use the Shopify Fulfillment Network to send orders from your Shopify store and a 3PL to send drop-shipped orders placed through other retailers’ websites.
With the right omnichannel third-party logistics partner, you could even use a single 3PL services provider for all your fulfillment. That fulfillment company would ship orders from multiple channels using your branded packaging. Your customers would have the same unboxing experience whether they ordered on Amazon, your website, or another sales channel.
In general, fulfillment is moving in an omnichannel direction, but there are sometimes reasons to take a multi-channel approach. Here are the pros and cons.
Pros and cons of multi-channel fulfillment
Multi-channel fulfillment offers some benefits:
- You can take advantage of the Amazon Prime shipping option that FBA can provide while giving your customers a more customized and branded experience through other fulfillment channels.
- FBA is a convenient way to ship Amazon orders for many sellers, even if you don’t want to give all your fulfillment to Amazon.
- If you want to keep different sales channels separate, multi-channel fulfillment offers that diversity.
However, a multi-channel approach to logistics can complicate your supply chain operations. These are some of the downsides:
- You’ll need to hold more stock to have inventory in multiple warehouses. That increases your carrying costs, ties up your capital, and could leave you with unsalable merchandise at the end of the season.
- Without sophisticated demand planning, multi-channel fulfillment can complicate your inventory management. Otherwise, you’re likely to end up with too many of a SKU in one fulfillment channel and not enough in another.
- A multi-channel approach can muddy your brand image because your goods are packaged and shipped differently depending on the sales channel. For example, Amazon ships only in Amazon boxes, so you lose a branding opportunity when using FBA.
- Fulfillment management will take more time, as you must manage multiple 3PLs.
Omnichannel fulfillment solutions
Omnichannel third-party logistics solves many of these issues:
- Your inventory planning is easier because you can store your products in fewer warehouses. You don’t have to predict the exact number of each SKU that will sell on each channel, and you have more flexibility to meet consumer demand.
- An omnichannel approach also saves you money on inventory because you don’t need to have as much product on hand.
- Your 3PL ships every order to your specifications, and you can reach your customers with a strong brand message.
- You have fewer 3PLs and warehouses to manage, easing the supply chain management work for your company.
How outsourced logistics services can improve your supply chain management
Of course, you could handle your fulfillment in-house, but outsourcing your logistics provides crucial support for omnichannel eCommerce.
Your 3PL can become a seamless part of your supply chain. An excellent fulfillment company will facilitate communication with other suppliers, from your manufacturer to your transport providers and the carriers that deliver your orders.
When you find an omnichannel third-party logistics provider you can rely on, like Red Stag Fulfillment, your 3PL can take order fulfillment off your to-do list. As you grow your business and expand to new sales channels, outsourced fulfillment allows you to devote more time and energy to building a successful brand.
And, while you’re dreaming up new products and killer marketing campaigns, you’ll benefit from professional warehousing and fulfillment services and fewer pick and pack errors. That will save you money and generate glowing customer reviews to help expand your brand further.
Benefits of outsourced omnichannel third-party logistics
When you work with a top omnichannel fulfillment company like Red Stag Fulfillment, you can lean on a broad set of 3PL services. That will give you an almost limitless ability to expand your sales reach.
Here is a sampling of those benefits.
An omnichannel third-party fulfillment warehouse will integrate seamlessly with all your sales channels individually or with your order management software. For example, Red Stag Fulfillment provides a plugin for Shopify and easy integration for most other eCommerce platforms, including Netsuite, Demandware, and CommerceHub.
Consistent customer experiences
Providing consistent and positive experiences is one of the best ways to build your eCommerce brand. The package that lands on your customer’s doorstep is the closest you get to a personal experience. It’s a great opportunity to make the online shopper feel special. The omnichannel strategy ensures that every order puts the best face on your eCommerce company.
Supply chain integration
The right logistics partner is an asset that will help your business grow. One of the advantages of working with a terrific omnichannel third-party logistics company is that your 3PL can knit together many elements of your supply chain. You can bring products from diverse suppliers into a single warehouse. And you can ship orders from a broad range of online channels from a single inventory.
Excellent inventory visibility
At Red Stag Fulfillment, we send inventory updates to our clients many times throughout the day. And, because of our inventory accuracy and zero shrinkage policy, you know that the stock you see in your system is in the warehouse and ready to pick.
Fast and efficient pick and pack fulfillment
Fulfillment speed is an essential KPI that can significantly impact customer reviews and your business’s success. Red Stag Fulfillment offers same-day fulfillment. So, your orders can often ship within hours of the customer completing the checkout process. The faster an order gets on a delivery truck, the sooner it will reach your customer.
Reliable order fulfillment
Nobody can take the same care in packing your orders that you do. But you don’t have time to manage fulfillment in-house as your business grows, so the next best thing is an excellent 3PL. At Red Stag Fulfillment, we treat our clients’ businesses as our own and pack every order with care. Our warehouse associates are trained and experienced, so we can optimize your pick and pack fulfillment for customer satisfaction. And our order and inventory accuracy rates are near perfect, so you can rely on our logistics services.
Lower shipping costs and other savings
Outsourced fulfillment can actually save you money. For instance, renting your own warehouse is a fixed cost you have to cover even during slow seasons. When you use a 3PL, you only pay for the space you use. That makes it easy to scale down or expand your stock.
And you could also save on shipping costs. Red Stag Fulfillment is a high-volume shipper, so we can negotiate lower shipping rates and dimensional weight factors with the major carriers. We pass on those discounts to our clients.
Omnichannel returns processing
The omnichannel approach isn’t just about forward logistics. Your 3PL can also handle reverse logistics or returns from all your sales channels and process your returned inventory consistently and cost-effectively.
How Red Stag Fulfillment became one of the best omnichannel 3PLs in the logistics industry
Red Stag Fulfillment was founded by eCommerce entrepreneurs who discovered that excellent fulfillment was essential to their success. When they were disappointed by the quality of the third-party logistics providers available to them, they set out to create a new kind of 3PL.
Our founders understood the value of customer relationships. So they built a company centered around the flawless execution of our clients’ fulfillment strategies. We offer value-added services like kitting, secure warehousing and shipping for high-value products, and personalized onboarding support. Our focus is on constant improvement and providing the best fulfillment for our clients and their customers. That’s how Red Stag Fulfillment became one of the leading companies in the logistics industry.
More about omnichannel third-party logistics:
- Omnichannel Order Management: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
- How a 3PL Can Help Simplify Omnichannel Order Management
- Omnichannel Fulfillment vs. Multichannel Fulfillment