A Technology-First, Direct-to-Consumer Fulfillment Process
There’s a lot of talk about what a modern third-party logistics (3PL) provider does, and how this compares to the work of a traditional 3PL company. Of course, 3PLs handle the order fulfillment process, including:
- Warehousing and warehouse management
- Picking and packing
- Inventory forecasting and inventory management
- Order fulfillment services
- Packing and freight forwarding
- Transportation services
- All the logistics operations of your supply chai
However, thanks to technology-driven integrations, machine learning, and the power of big data, modern third-party logistics partners, also sometimes referred to as 4PLs take on even more. This means that direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands and online retailers have access to more support than ever before, with assistance for things like:
- Logistics and strategy
- Analytics about transportation, capacity utilization, and carriers
- Freight sourcing
- Business planning and project management
- Coordinating a wide base of suppliers
So, with this kind of technology in place, what does modern logistics and fulfillment really look like? Here’s a quick glimpse.
Omnichannel Fulfillment Capability
Traditional eCommerce fulfillment partners have their eyes on one idea: A streamlined order fulfillment process. It might look like a producer selling goods only on a single, DTC platform. After a customer places an order, the brand’s warehouse fulfills the order and ships the goods to the consumer.
But this just isn’t how online brands operate anymore. With omnichannel fulfillment, eCommerce brands can sell on multiple platforms (including Amazon) and with many distributors. They have retailers both online and offline, and may even have subscription channels as well.
Omnichannel fulfillment is quite a bit more complicated than simple eCommerce fulfillment, and not all fulfillment partners are qualified to take on this kind of responsibility. It’s a sale strategy that pays off. In one study, 45 percent of retailers that implemented omnichannel selling saw an increase in purchase frequency, 44 percent were able to cross-sell more effectively, and 43 percent saw gains in revenue.
But this also means more orders to process and the ability to scale.
OceanX’s modern fulfillment technology captures order data in real-time for faster, more accurate order fulfillment from any channel. It offers a fully integrated, data-driven solution to handle omnichannel fulfillment unlike any other fulfillment partner in the beauty or wellness industries.
Intelligent Warehouse Distribution
Thanks to online retail giants like Amazon and Walmart, consumers have come to expect nothing less than 2-day shipping. The catch for online retailers? These same consumers also want to purchase from brands that place emphasis on sustainability, but “sustainable” shipping often also means “slower.”
To combat this, OceanX has three fulfillment centers located across North America. Thanks to robust fulfillment technology, we can harness both smart, multi-warehouse logistics routing and data-driven inventory forecasting and management to help our clients better predict what products they’ll need and when and also help them select the best fulfillment centers for these products to ship quickly and sustainably.
From unboxing to personalized subscriptions, consumers want their eCommerce purchases to feel as special and as individualized as if they had entered a brick-and-mortar store. This means that online retailers are giving as much thought to the personalization of their packaging and promotional inserts as they are to their kits and subscriptions.
eCommerce personalization on its own requires a great deal of logistics planning and strategy. But personalization at scale is an entirely different thing.
Personalization helps cultivate long-term relationships. It points to the lifetime value of working with one brand. Thanks to marketplace integrations and a powerful API that can handle a high volume of orders (as many as 3,000 per minute or more), OceanX empowers tens of thousands of customized orders every day for prestigious DTC brands across North America with prime flexibility and scalability.
Warehouse Kitting and Bundling
Warehouse kitting and bundling soars to a new level when under the direction of a fulfillment-as-a-service expert like OceanX, who will not only take over the manual labor of kitting and assembly for a more efficient fulfillment process but also helps to avoid errors along the way.
OceanX’s modern 3PL technology includes inventory forecasting and management, which means online retailers get reorder notifications long before kitted items go out of stock. Additionally, our warehouse kitting and bundling offers benefits like:
- Automated returns logistics and returns inventory management
- Shipping label generation for returns
- Fast refunds and exceptional customer service
Also, with intelligent warehouse distribution and management, kits ship quickly. They help sell down old inventory, make fulfillment faster and more efficient, and reduce the amount of warehouse space that online retailers have to pay for.
Shipping and Logistics
There’s a lot that factors into the cost of shipping for DTC and online retail brands. The cost of shipping must account for:
- Boxes and labels
- Labor to process and pack orders
- Actual shipping rates
- Additional shipping fees
Many DTC brands also pay for last-mile delivery services to get orders where they need to go, which can account for an astonishing 53 percent of total shipping costs.
Working with a modern 3PL partner means you don’t have to build these warehousing and shipping methods from the ground up—and it also means gaining access to valuable insights about how to best approach shipping based on previous performance.
When you hire a modern third-party logistics provider or another order fulfillment service, you don’t have to develop your warehousing and shipping methods from the ground up. Thanks to established industry connections, a modern 3PL provider can negotiate better shipping and warehouse costs at every stage of fulfillment including shipping, transportation, warehousing, payroll, inventory tracking, and more.
With a pre-existing, proven system in place, OceanX leverages years of experience and industry connections to develop a logistics and supply chain management strategy that makes sense for your operations and is also friendly to your bottom line. OceanX has extensive experience and the right partnerships and volume discounts so you pay less to get your products onto the doorsteps of your customers quickly and efficiently.
Your Fulfillment Partner from Marketplace to Doorstep
With innovative integrations and at-a-glance visibility of the entire fulfillment process, plus decades of experience working with DTC brands, OceanX offers data-backed support and personalization at scale from the moment your customers place their order to the moment they receive it—and then some.
To discover how a technology-first approach can transform your fulfillment process, contact our team today!