Enjoy more successful peak seasons with expert support and insights only an experienced omnichannel 3PL can provide.
Why Delivery to Retail is Essential During Peaks
For many brands within the beauty, fashion and wellbeing space, a physical presence is at least as important as an online presence, with 45% of consumers now choosing in-store as their preferred way to make a purchase, according to the State of Fashion Beauty Report.
The importance of brand awareness during peak seasons is even greater when more and more shoppers will find gift inspiration by shopping in-person, so having an in-store presence is a must for brands wanting to gain greater visibility.
Not all fulfilment providers offer delivery to retail or wholesale fulfilment; this could be delivery to department stores, a brand’s own stores or pop-ups, or e-tailers. Partnering with a 3PL that gives you an omnichannel capability is an essential step to grow and reach your customers through all channels.
Why the increase in in-store purchases?
Despite the convenience of online shopping, there are some things that it can’t replace, such as the tangible benefits of being able to pick up, try on and experience the product before making a purchase.
Extra attention to details like presentation make a big impact – having a product that feels as good to hold as it does to use is a great boon to a product’s quality in the hands of consumers.
Industry experts in-part attribute the rise of buying in-person to the ongoing cost of living crisis; as costs increase, shoppers want to see for themselves that they are getting the best value from their hard-earned money.
Even for brands that had previously solely operated online, more and more are now moving to in-store sales (whether in multi-brand shops or a brand’s own stores and pop-ups), with hopes of benefitting from this shift in consumer behaviour.Find out more about our fulfilment services for peak seasons
How 3PLs Improve efficiency
Outsourcing your retail fulfilment to a 3PL has many benefits that would otherwise be difficult to achieve when utilising in-house resources.
Not only will you benefit from their strong knowledge and understanding of the logistics and supply chain management, an experienced 3PL will be well-versed in the demands of distributing your products to multiple retailers, and the specific requirements of each one. This includes any changes to packaging, delivery times and other requirements that are complex and difficult to manage in-house.
3PL providers often have established relationships with multiple retailers, allowing them to achieve economies of scale. This can result in cost savings for the brand compared to a brand managing individual relationships with each retailer.
Reduced lead times
By utilising their established distribution partnerships and networks the lead times of sending products from a fulfilment centre to a store are usually much shorter. This is critical for businesses that rely on quickly changing trends, but is also of great benefit during peak seasons when stock will need to be replenished regularly.
Most importantly, all of these benefits will free up more capacity for you to focus on your brand, putting the time into other areas that will help you grow – such as product development, marketing and customer service.
Growing in a crowded market
As the beauty and wellbeing sectors continue to grow, the number of businesses that operate within the same space also increases. Growing your business in this environment requires a focus on adding new distribution channels, helping to spread your touchpoints as well as global reach.
More and more brands that had traditionally sold online only are now finding success selling in physical retailers through retail fulfilment. The extra exposure to brands that customers may not otherwise choose, along with the tactile benefit of allowing customers to experience the products up-close before making a purchase are effective ways of engaging more people than via an online-only approach.
Customers increasingly expect a broad mix of channels to choose from. When working together, services such as ‘click and collect’ or ‘buy online, pickup in-store’ can also be used, all of which allow customers more choice and convenience.
Expanding into more territories also aids growth; the luxury sector is set to grow by up to 8% in the EU in the short term, with Asia & the US forecasted to see even higher increases. By expanding into new locations, your brand can be a part of this international growth, while effectively opening yourself to an untapped pool of potential customers.
When selling products in the EU, having fulfilment centres in or near your target region, such as our high-spec fulfilment centres in Poland (close to the border with Germany), cut down the time it takes to distribute products, by reducing cross-border delays and shipping costs. This is true for both e-commerce and retail fulfilment in those regions.
To foster growth from either of these approaches, a 3PL that offers omnichannel fulfilment and overseas distribution centres is essential.
Added benefits of outsourcing to a 3PL
A great 3PL isn’t just a means to distribute products to your customers; working with a high-quality fulfilment provider affords some other great benefits that will help elevate your entire delivery process.
Improved customer service
Timely and accurate order fulfilment contributes to better customer satisfaction. 3PLs with advanced technology and order tracking systems can provide real-time visibility into the supply chain, helping brands and retailers keep customers informed about their orders.
Advanced inventory management & analytics
Accurate views of stock levels, particularly during peak periods, means that you can better support your supply chain to retailers, and the more accurate the data, the better informed you can be about what is needed, where and when. Many 3PLs will grant enhanced inventory management, order processing and shipment tracking information, all without having to deal with the cost and resource of setting up an internal infrastructure.
Working with a trusted fulfilment partner
Not all fulfilment partners provide USPs such as omnichannel fulfilment, international fulfilment centres, personalisation and exceptional customer service, so ensuring you are partnered with a 3PL that can support your growth journey is critical.
We are fortunate to work with some wonderful clients on delivery to retail and e-commerce fulfilment across multiple sectors.
Here are just some of the retailers that ILG successfully delivers to, for some of our customers:
- The Hut Group
- Feel Unique
- Brown Thomas
- Matches Fashion
- Selfridges & Co
- Pretty Little Thing
- Parfümerie Akzente
- Harvey Nichols
- Sports Direct
- TK MAXX
- Cult Beauty
- House of Fraser
- Beauty Bay
- Face The Future Online
- Marks & Spencer
- The Very Group
- John Lewis
- Breuninger Dusseldorf
- Oliver Bonas
- World Duty Free Group
- Planet Organic
There is ample opportunity for brands that embrace offline retail as a growth channel, but the execution of this will play a big part in how successful that growth will be. Not only will the opportunities afforded by working with a credible, proven 3PL be greater, but also their ability to scale operations as your brand grows will mean that there is no cap placed on your growth either.
Find out more about how ILG can support your business with delivery to retail and e-commerce fulfilment here.