The novelty of ordering a product online and receiving it on your doorstep in one to two days has become routine. Today’s consumers expect more – something in the delivery experience that is personalized or makes them feel unique. In the past, customers might have gotten that “something extra” while shopping in a retail store - a glass of champagne while browsing or assistance from friendly clerks.
Now, the only physical connection between the merchant and the customer is the delivery experience. Companies are very creative in developing ways to stand out from competitors, including two free wine glasses with a nice bottle of wine or a personalized note from the CEO on elegant card stock. However, as the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.” A missed shipment, a battered box, or even a delivery person who gets mud on the carpet in the foyer can undo all the intended good will and brand loyalty.
Creativity must be supported by excellent supply chain management, including well-managed product fulfillment and distribution, efficient warehouses operations, robust delivery services, and advanced technology.
For companies in the highly competitive personalized e-commerce space, partnering with an experienced third-party logistics 3PL partner can make all the difference. Expertise in both physical distribution and information technology are essential. The 3PL provider must also offer flexibility and ability to manage fluctuating volumes fluidly. Customers also want scalability.
What does scalability mean? It means being integrated with more than 200 online platforms that deliver fast and flexible customer on-boarding. It means a powerful omnichannel distribution platform that enables faster fulfillment turnarounds and timely access to your data. Lastly, it means a nationwide, multi-modal shipping network that reaches all your customers within two days or less.
Beyond these capabilities, e-commerce customers are also looking for less tangible, but equally important attributes when selecting a 3PL partner. The top five tend to be:
- Open lines of communication
- Ease, simplicity of processes
- Data visibility
- The ability to delight customers
- Trust in the 3PL to be a positive reflection of your brand
At the end of the day, it is personal. You are trusting a 3PL with your most precious commodity – your brand and reputation. That is why it is so important to find a 3PL with a cultural and business approach that mirrors yours. And, many customers are looking for proven experience. They want to partner with 3PLs that can do more than “talk the talk” – they want a provider that has also “walked the walk.”
For 70 years, Kenco has been leading the way with innovation, flexibility, and a commitment to adding value for our customers in traditional and evolving verticals. If you are looking at growing your -ecommerce practice, especially through personalization, we’re here to help.