E-commerce business is worth all the hype these days, as both sellers and buyers are presented with many opportunities in the digital realm. As an e-commerce business, using the Amazon platform to sell your products is a practical move, given the powerful reputation of this platform and the high volume of consumers lurking on it.
Know that this powerful platform utilizes Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) as a storage and shipping service. On the other hand, you also have the option to seek help from a third-party vendor. These FBA preparation centers receive and inspect, prepare, update inventory in seller central and create shipping labels, and ship products to Amazon.
One important facet of FBA preparation is logistics. As mentioned, it’s best to have a third-party logistics (3PL) partner. That said, below are five factors that you should consider when looking for a 3PL partner:
1. Business direction
First, assess what your e-commerce business objectives are and what direction your business is heading off to. This means planning for new product categories and setting up your monthly order volume. Knowing your business direction will help you choose the right 3PL partner that can fulfill your business goals.
2. Shipping requirements
Today’s businesses aim to offer products that are “direct-to-everywhere.” The goal of many e-commerce businesses is to sell their products and expand their customer reach. Due to the shipping complexities, however, this poses a challenge to your business. That said, you have to know your shipping requirements and deal with a 3PL partner that can meet those requirements.
As with any business undertaking, pricing is the most crucial part of making decisions. Know that there’s a price for everything that comes along with shipping. These price considerations include the number of orders shipped, the number of items picked, pallet storage, packaging, inserts, and more. When looking for the right 3PL partner, make sure to strike a balance between affordability and quality service.
The warehouse where the stocks are stored and delivered from shouldn’t be neglected as well. Know that you have two considerations to make when it comes to this factor. First, identify the cities and states that the majority of your orders originate from. Second, consider the warehouses in those areas. With these in mind, you’ll be able to decide on the best 3PL partner who can bridge out the gap between the two crucial factors.
5. Data and information
When it comes to outsourcing to a 3PL partner, handling data and information is crucial because you will still need to have some fundamental warehousing processes, which include reporting and monitoring. As much as possible, you want will a system that can combine the data from your 3PL partner with your sales channels, manufacturers, and other warehouses in your network.
Ultimately, you will want to receive dedicated customer support, quick service, access to a proprietary portal, and a professional warehouse. As far as logistics are concerned, it’s best to work with a (3PL) partner to meet your business goals. However, you have to factor in your business direction, shipping requirements, pricing, warehouse, as well as data and information.
Overall, you want a first-class preparation, logistics, and fulfillment services for your e-commerce business.
If you’re looking for a third-party logistics partner for your FBA services, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!