Chances are you’ve never considered getting Internet marketing expertise from your 3PL provider. Companies who are experts in freight, warehousing and pick & pack aren’t generally known for their e-commerce capabilities. However, with today’s new pace of commerce, winning big requires a new mindset of what is possible and what is required in the internet marketplace.
A new breed of 3PL companies can help guide your market strategies across all retail channels, including a full range of web-based, e-commerce services like Shopify or OpenCart. Ask the 3PL provider you’re currently vetting if they have an experienced internet e-commerce team that can optimize your success on Amazon and other third-party marketplaces. Be sure to inquire about specialized services like building B2B web platforms that will help sell and market your brand in difficult-to-reach wholesale channels.
3rd Party Marketplace Support
There are many things to consider when searching for a 3PL company with expertise in the e-commerce fulfillment space. Many areas require competence from a department in your company or the need to find the capabilities from an outside source. This might require the time, money and responsibility of assembling a team within your own company or finding an “Internet/E-commerce specialist” for a large fee. The smart solution is to seek these services from the right 3PL that can handle your product over numerous channels. Here’s a checklist of the services you should request from your 3PL company when selling on Amazon and other marketplaces — all of which are services provided by M. Block & Sons.
- Choosing the right Amazon platform on which to sell
- Amazon Direct
- Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
- Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)
- Combination of All
- Initial Product Set-up
- Listing Page Builds
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Brand & Selling Management
- Merchandising: Store Fronts, Enhanced Brand Content, A+ Content, Videos
- Order Processing
- Business Intelligence – Amazon Algorithms
- Getting the Buy Box
- Improve Rankings
- Selling to other E-commerce Sites
- Pricing Strategies
- General Retail MAP and E-commerce Policies
- Keeping other retailers MAP compliant
- Listing Page Maintenance
- Multi-Channel Selling
- Real-time Product Monitoring & Protection (rogue sellers, violations)
- Reporting Analytics
- Inventory Management
- Web Portal Management
- Customer Service
Wholesale B2B Support
Websites provide a huge opportunity to make frictionless sales to a range of retail buyers. Think about what a dedicated B2B Portal could do for your wholesale business. As an example, here’s a listing of the capabilities that are built-in to the dedicated B2B sites created and maintained by M. Block.
- Full Featured E-commerce Functionality
- Real Time Inventory
- Customer Specific Pricing
- Account Sales History
- Custom Product Ordering Lists
- Customer Password Protection
- Account Order History; Order Lists
- Auto PO Updates (including tracking information)
- Mobile Device Compatible
- Sales Rep and Manufacturer Login Access
B2B sales require a lot more than just putting up a site and hoping for the best. It takes an integrated suite of digital web-based services from tracking orders to creating business-building marketing campaigns.
And surprisingly, yes, distribution experts can be e-commerce experts.
In all probability, an independent web-design firm isn’t going to understand the ins and outs and unique needs of a retail web portal. That takes a distribution company with detailed and specific knowledge of what retailers need to select, price, procure and track product flow. In this case, “getting into the weeds” by using a depth of experience and services to support real time inventory is a huge advantage for you and your customers.
So to sum it up, if you’re looking for a competitive edge for your business, you must give serious consideration to choosing a 3PL that can offer value-added services which give your e-commerce and B2B business a remarkably efficient boost. – PL