E-Commerce Supply Chain Management: Optimizing Order Fulfillment with a 3PL

e-commerce supply chain management

By 2021, over 230 million people in the United States will be an online shopper in one way or another. While this number is staggering, there are still some barriers that keep people from shopping online.  According to a survey by Tinuiti, some of the top reasons for avoiding e-commerce in favor of in-store shopping include shipping costs (58%), waiting for delivery (34%), and a difficult return process (34%).  Fortunately, these obstacles can all be mitigated with a sound supply chain and fulfillment strategy. 

A significant advantage that e-commerce retailers have over traditional stores is the reduced overhead obligations of not having brick-and-mortar locations.  On the other hand, well-established national brands have developed strong supply chains and infrastructure that are turning their bricks-to-clicks.  This is where a third-party logistics (3PL) partner can step in and support an online or traditional retailer to compete this this new retail landscape.  Here are three strengths that a 3PL can provide to e-commerce supply chains.

Supply Chain Management for E-Commerce 

Each step of the supply chain has different challenges and requirements and keeping up with the logistics side of your e-commerce operations is a complex responsibility.  A 3PL not only provides flexibility to scale seasonal operations but should also have the operational expertise and industry experience to deploy best practices to improve service levels and reduce costs. 

Omni-Channel Fulfillment for E-Commerce

Consumers have more options than ever before in how, when, and where they place and receive their orders. This requires an agile supply chain and the ability to offer omni-channel fulfillment.  For example, over 34% of online sales are made on mobile devices, and this trend is growing.  A 3PL can be a valuable resource to manage the operational demands of omni-channel fulfillment.  

Online shopping and e-commerce will only continue to grow.  As the competition increases, supply chain management and fulfillment strategy will become even more critical to traditional and omni-channel brands.  Barrett Distribution Centers has been a trusted advisor providing warehousing, distribution and fulfillment services to hundreds of brands since 1941.