If your Shopify store business is expanding, you may wonder whether it’s time to outsource order fulfillment to a 3PL partner. Or perhaps you already have, and your needs are changing. Whether you are outsourcing for the first time or are looking for more robust order fulfillment services, take a look at our 3PL checklist of five must-have capabilities to look for when choosing your next 3PL partner.
Shopify 3PL Integration Expertise
To capture the market, you need a 3PL with seamless Shopify integration capabilities who works closely with you and understands the unique requirements of your business. Quick, cost-effective onboarding through established Shopify API integrations delivers the benefits to your business. Expert integration accepts customer order details accurately and in real time—while also transmitting shipping status details back to your Shopify system immediately. This allows you to update customers on order status throughout the order fulfillment process.
A capable 3PL partner can also work the entire feature set of the Shopify API to implement any customizations you may need. For example, you may be working with trading partners or retailers. You may need to pick up custom attributes for gift-wrapping. If you are accepting returns directly to your 3PL’s warehouse, you may need to manage refund and inventory transactions.
FIDELITONE teams take the time to get to know your business in a Shopify integration process. Explains Rich Lebron, Manager, Web/Reporting at FIDELITONE, “We work very closely with our clients to assist them in customizing whatever they may need. We can apply knowledge and expertise to ensure that all information coming and going through the Shopify integration is exactly what they want and need.”
D2C and B2B Fulfillment Capabilities
A prospering business with a Shopify store sometimes expands to other channels. If you expand into an omnichannel business model, there can be major advantages to choosing a 3PL that provides seamless, integrated order fulfilment through multiple channels including B2B and D2C. It’s important that your 3PL partner provide real-time visibility to inventory across multiple locations and order management to improve service and customer experiences. A full-service 3PL can deliver on the expectations of your customers and earn their loyalty, while maintaining the consolidated data you need to run your business in real time.
Provides Full Inventory Visibility
A warehouse management system should accurately allocate and track your products, allowing orders to be picked, packed, and shipped quickly and efficiently. As order fulfillment activity occurs, the data flow between Shopify and your 3PL partner is essential to maintaining an up-to-date storefront with real-time inventory visibility. Current supply chain challenges and customer expectations make inventory visibility more important than ever.
The continuous synchronization of inventory data gives you visibility into dwindling stock so that you can replenish inventory and avoid backorders or customer disappointment. It also gives you visibility into excess inventory, affecting carrying costs. As products arrive at the 3PL warehouse, you can be alerted to problems and exceptions, such as a vendor shipping damaged goods. The bottom line is that comprehensive, real-time inventory visibility accounting for all scenarios can advance your business performance.
Has Multiple Fulfillment Center Locations
The size and geographic span of your customer base can have major impacts on shipping time and costs. Don’t let your brand’s growth become bottlenecked by inconvenient warehouse locations and inefficiencies. A valuable 3PL partner will maintain a nationwide network of strategically placed warehouses to reduce shipping costs, get orders to customers quickly with same-day or two-day shipping, earn customer loyalty, and protect your bottom line. Expanding internationally? Consider your 3PL’s capabilities for global fulfillment services.
Scales to Your Needs
Business volume on your Shopify storefront can change rapidly. Whatever your 3PL solution, you need to know it will scale to your needs to ensure seamless and satisfying customer experiences. Look for a 3PL that has the capacity to allocate more warehouse space and/or add locations. And look for a robust 3PL that has processes, people, and technologies in places to make rapid adjustments in fulfillment services based upon shifting demand.
A top 3PL and recognized leader in Shopify integration, FIDELITONE offers the experience and bench strength to meet and exceed the exacting demands of your Shopify business. What challenges does your business face today? Get in touch; we’d love to hear.