How 3PLs Help Support Same Day and Next Day Delivery Demands
If a business offered same day delivery a few years prior, it would have probably set them apart from their competitors. Today Amazon, Walmart and other ecommerce chains have made same day and next day delivery somewhat of a norm. Surveys show that roughly 80% of consumers would prefer a same day delivery option. This is why many businesses today are choosing to partner with a 3PL to ensure that their customers receive orders as fast as possible.
With a focus on being agile and scalable, 3PL’s have the resources and expertise to support your businesses goals. Their relationships and networks give them the ability to support customer needs while keeping shipping costs down for businesses and customers.
Predictive Analytics in 3PLs
In order to satisfy these customer demands, 3PLs are also relying on data science now more than ever. Businesses today are realizing that to gain a competitive advantage there must be a focus on the picture that the data is painting.
Predictive analytics are helping 3PLs determine where and how much inventory to position at a specific warehouse. The ability to forecast ahead of time what customers will be purchasing allows business to process and deliver orders at an expedited rate. If an item is stocked in a warehouse or hub where the demand is high, the greater the chance it gets delivered quickly. Out of stock rates are also reduced, and carriers can optimize scheduling pickups to be able to get customer their orders in sometimes as little as a few hours. If we use perishables as an example, being able to estimate the amount consumers will be purchasing gives 3PLs the ability to relay that information to suppliers. Instead of your business waiting for a new shipment of bananas to arrive, you would have an accurate amount on hand to prepare in anticipation of impending orders. The customer order that may have taken 2-3 days to arrive can now reach its destination a lot faster.
These results in factors such as an increase in customer satisfaction not to mention a reduction in costs. With more cash on hand, you’re able to reallocate those funds to generate more revenue. These changes can also have a positive impact on investor sentiment.
With the improvement in productivity, your business would also be doing its part in helping reduce the amount of food wasted. Estimates show that 30-40% of the US food supply is wasted which is both an enormous ethical and financial issue for companies. Your approach to addressing this matter preemptively will show your customers that your focus is not only on the bottom line.
3PL Presence in Multiple Markets
The data only goes as far as your ability to execute. You can know what products the market may be in need of, but your business needs to have an established presence there to capitalize.
3PLs have fulfillment centers in central locations to be able to tap into numerous areas at the lowest costs and at the fastest rates. If you have a fulfillment center in a specific region, you can decrease the amount of time it takes for an item to go from your inventory to the customers hands.
For instance, you have a customer in Connecticut looking to make a last-minute purchase for a birthday party they forgot about. With a 3PL having a fulfillment center setup in the north east, it can often commit to same day delivery. Customers do need to submit orders by a certain time to receive it on the same day as the cutoff time may vary by location.
Having a local fulfillment center helps decrease the shipping costs as the customer may be within the same zone as the FC. Carriers often use zoning maps to quote shipping costs which work in the customers benefit when a 3PL is within that zone. This contributes to even lower shipping costs as 3PL’s utilize economies of scale. The high volume 3PLs see make the process more cost effective for all parties.
Combating Shopping Cart Abandonment
Customers desert their shopping carts for a number of different reasons. Surveys show that 25% of customers abandon their carts if a same day delivery option is not available. When working with a 3PL, you maintain the ability to cross off that potential issue that you would have faced without a same day delivery option.
Return policies are a contributing factor when it comes to shopping cart abandonment. Sometimes customers may feel that return policies are opaque in nature which give them a cause to pause. Many 3PLs used cloud-based inventory management systems. These platforms give businesses and customers the transparency they need that contribute to getting them to complete their orders. The efficiency that they provide as well as the visibility that customers have access to make it easier to complete an order.
Last Mile Delivery Specialists
The part of supply chain that tends to get overlooked is what’s known as ‘Last Mile Delivery’. It’s essentially the process of the goods leaving the fulfillment center all the way to a customer’s doorsteps. It can be the most expensive part of the delivery and make up to 28% of the delivery costs. When orders leave a warehouse, factors such as traffic and government regulations that restrict trucks from entering certain area get overlooked. A 3PL utilizes a route optimization plan to combat these issues. This impacts the supply chain for your customers as the delivery process becomes more efficient leading to quicker delivery times. Being able to continue to improve your customer experience is advantageous for any business looking to compete in the new world. That is why as a 3PL, XPDEL maintains its focus on expanding into more markets to establish even more market reach.