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Benefits of a 3PL for Retail Order Fulfillment

A warehouse employee standing next to a forklift.
Last Modified: April 4, 2024
Explore the many benefits of a 3PL for retail order fulfillment with our in-depth article, and learn to improve your retail supply chain.
Joe Weaver
September 27, 2023
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The benefits of a 3PL for retail order fulfillment are helpful to retailers who wish to improve their logistics process. A 3PL, or third party logistics provider, performs several vital duties in the supply chain. By partnering with a 3PL, retailers can focus more on their core business functions. While the advantages are substantial, setting up a successful 3PL partnership can come with its own challenges.

The International Warehouse Logistics Association has come to recognize the benefits of a 3PL for retail order fulfillment within the logistics industry. They offer retailers expertise in many aspects of the supply chain, such as:

  • Warehousing
  • Distribution
  • Transportation

This leads to cost savings and improved customer satisfaction.

In this article, we’ll explore how 3PLs add value to retail fulfillment services. You’ll also learn how Fulfillment and Distribution can meet your business’s 3PL needs.

Benefits of a 3PL for Retail Order Fulfillment: The Basics

The benefits of a 3PL for retail order fulfillment on display in a warehouse populated by several workers.

What is 3PL in a supply chain? To put it simply, a 3PL service is like a trusted ally in the business world, making sure products reaches their destination consistently. In retail, 3PLs provide seamless storage and delivery of products, from the warehouse shelves to the customer’s hands. 

To better illustrate the benefits of using a 3PL, let’s take a look at the services they offer.

Role of a Third Party Logistics Company in Retail

An experienced 3PL can take the bulk of complicated work off a retailer’s plate and execute that work with unsurpassed efficiency. 

In addition to the services mentioned above, they also offer:

  • Order Fulfillment
  • Technology Solutions
  • Inventory Management
  • Customs Brokerage
  • Reverse Logistics (Returns)

Returns are worth some additional scrutiny. With each passing year, American consumers factor the ease of returning products into their buying decisions more and more. Retailers need to have a streamlined return process to compete in the modern era.

To further reinforce the importance of efficient reverse logistics, consider the return rates for some items commonly sold via e-commerce.

Clothing and Apparel10.01%
Jewels and Jewelry8.31%
Consumer Electronics8.28%
Sporting and Outdoor Equipment6.10%
Cosmetics and Beauty Supplies4.99%

Source: richpanel.com

By incorporating 3PLs into their logistics strategies, retailers enjoy improved logistics and get to partner with experts who understand the nuances of the market. In the competitive and fast-paced retail landscape, having a 3PL on your side offers an edge against other retailers in your sector.

Get more details about how 3PL fulfillment works here.

What Are the Major Strengths for Third Party Fulfillment Centers?

Three forklifts parked inside a third-party logistics warehouse.

The benefits of 3PLs really stem from their experience in a variety of logistics practices. Placing these related practices under one umbrella lets a 3PL provide consistent, retail fulfillment solutions. 

The specific benefits of third party logistics require a more in-depth look to be properly appreciated.

Advantages of Third-Party Logistics: Why Use a 3PL?

Third-party fulfillment centers are experts at providing logistical solutions for modern supply chain needs. As such, they offer a wide range of advantages to retailers who want to improve the order fulfillment process.

Customized Fulfillment Solutions!  Don’t let fulfillment and distribution challenges hold your business back. Our team is here to help you overcome them. Contact us today at (866) 989-3082 and let us help you reach your goals.

Advantages of having a 3PL logistics strategy include:

  • Efficient Retail Fulfillment Process: 3PLs optimize every aspect of the logistics process, improving delivery times and productivity.
  • Expertise in Logistics: Their specialized knowledge in logistics management ensures the entire supply chain is streamlined and managed professionally.
  • Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: By ensuring timely and accurate deliveries, they improve the overall customer experience.
  • Risk Management: With their knowledge and experience, they reduce risks associated with logistics. This results in smooth, hassle-free operations.
  • Advanced Technology: They implement state-of-the-art technologies to manage inventory, track shipments and optimize the overall supply chain process.

The specific expertise that a 3PL partner brings to the table unites each facet of the logistics process. By addressing the challenges of retail order fulfillment, they allow retailers to concentrate on their core competencies, including customer satisfaction.

Find out more about the benefits of outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL here.

How Can a Retail Fulfillment Center Improve the Customer Experience?

Two warehouse workers inspecting palletized cargo.

Outsourcing logistics can have a direct, positive impact on your relationship with the lifeblood of your business: customers. Working with a 3PL company is a smart way to enhance your customer’s experience, from purchase to delivery.

These centers make sure every step in getting the product to the customer leaves a good impression. They pay attention to the small things and ensure that every product is delivered on time and in perfect condition. This turns casual customers into long term fans of your brand.

Here’s how a 3PL makes the customer experience better:

  • Fast and Accurate Deliveries: Quick deliveries make customers happy and bring them back for more.
  • Easy Returns: Simple and fast returns build trust and make customers feel valued.
  • Track Orders in Real-time: Letting customers know where their order is at any time increases trust and satisfaction.
  • Right Inventory Levels: Having the right products and warehouse space available means fewer cancellations and happier customers.
  • Brand Boosting: A smooth unboxing experience improves the brand image and helps keep customers in your retail pipeline.

In short, 3PLs help create a bond between the brand and its customers. They make sure products are delivered according to your brand’s quality and customer satisfaction standards.

Transform Your Retail Strategy With Fulfillment and Distribution

From supply chain management to improved customer service, a 3PL can help you take your retail business to the next level.

At Fulfillment and Distribution, we have the experience and resources to address all of your retail 3PL needs. Our services include:

Give your business an advantage in the highly competitive retail industry. Call our team of logistics experts at (866) 989-3082 or request a risk-free quote online and get started on the road to flawless fulfillment.

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