A recent survey has revealed that many B2B companies are planning to add B2C channels to their network because B2C logistics provide an opportunity for businesses to engage with their customers directly and understand their needs and expectations building the brand credibility besides making the customers feel that they are a part of the brand.
Today, we are here to provide you with a thorough understanding of what B2C fulfillment is, why consider a B2C shipping partner and what crucial factors to look for while choosing the right B2C fulfillment service.
The Concept of B2C Fulfillment
Why to choose a B2C fulfillment Partner
Factors to consider while choosing the right B2C Fulfillment Service
Best 3PL companies for eCommerce Businesses in India
B2C Fulfillment simply means where shipments are delivered directly to the end customer, unlike B2B where orders are shipped to the business. Here, the user experience relies on parameters like delivery time, delivery updates, responsiveness of the delivery person and the handling of their product till it reaches their hand.
The process of delivery is quite straightforward in the case of B2C shipping if compared to B2B Fulfillment and intended to be comparatively quick.
There are 3 stages in the process of B2C Fulfillment:
Pre-purchase Stage: Here, the customer wants to purchase a particular item and is analyzing his options. E-Commerce businesses use modern digital marketing tools to inform the customers about their brand, quality and offers.
Purchase Stage: The customer is in the process of placing an order and he might need some help from customer support to answer his queries.
Post-purchase Stage: The order has been placed and the customer is expecting timely delivery of the product and in perfect condition.
In B2C business, it is required that the orders placed by the consumer must be shipped the same day. Companies like Flipkart, Amazon, etc. with their quick delivery system have increased the customers’ expectation of product delivery.
As a result, faster delivery of products requires more manpower as well as maximizes the use of automated fulfillment which eventually increases cost. The best way to reduce the cost and shipping products instantly is to locate DCs closer to the customer.
B2C orders are usually smaller in value/cost but are higher in volume as opposed to B2B orders. B2C fulfillment requires an increase in storage capacity thus companies dealing in B2B fulfillment have warehouses that have higher ceiling heights, narrow aisle widths and intensive manpower.
When customers place a return order, they expect the brand to make the return process efficient and trouble-free from them. Now making the return process simpler and faster and also ensuring safe return of products back in the warehouse becomes a challenge for the brand.
Survey has shown that merely one-fourth of the product placed by the customer’s online gets returned. Thus, having the distribution facilities situated near the target audience can result in quick arrival of the products back in the warehouse, reduction in transportation costs and instant refund of money to the customers which not only ensures customers satisfaction but also creates a positive image in the minds of the target audience.
B2C involves shipping small parcels as opposed to B2B. With the increasing expansion of e-commerce businesses, the cost of shipping the products is rising immensely. Now, as we all know that the parceling of small items requires the hiring of manpower in several cities where the target audience is situated which eventually puts a significant financial impact on the company budget.
Thus, establishing relationships with numerous shipping partners, understanding various price regulations becomes crucial to ensure affordable shipping rates for the products.
As mentioned above, in order to ensure less shipping cost requires forming relationships with numerous carrier partners, understanding numerous price considerations. Being a brand, whose focus is to provide the best possible services to customers, hiring a shipping partner will not only save you valuable time but also ensure a reduction in shipping costs.
A 3PL with extensive experience of pricing and an established carrier network will ensure less or optimal shipping cost, best delivery options and better-quality services.
A 3PL with experience in B2C fulfillment will provide the best solutions to arriving problems, effortless shipping transition, best customer experience. They will also be able to manage orders in different cities under one roof (with their army of manpower) and increase order velocity.
One of the most crucial steps is to figure out whether your business needs to outsource B2C Fulfillment or not. If you cannot figure out on your own whether you need it or not here are some of the questions you can ask yourself or discuss with your team members so as to attain clarity.
How many hours in a week are spent in packaging the products and shipping orders?
Do you have enough space to store your products/inventory?
Are you getting enough time to look after the other important aspects of your business? For Instance- future planning, strategic projects, etc.
Once you have taken a decision of hiring a B2C fulfillment partner for your business, the next step is to make a list of responsibilities you want a shipping partner to fulfill. For instance, you might want to hire a company that can do warehousing, picking of the products, timely shipping of the products, maintaining inventory and also if your target audience is spread countrywide, then the company should manage the entire distribution process in different areas of the country in a cost-effective manner.
While hiring the B2C fulfillment partner you must consider your long-term goals so as to ensure that you are hiring the right B2C fulfillment service for your business. For instance, are you planning on running your business pan national? Does your brand need a custom solution?
Your shipping partner can directly connect with your online platforms. So, the details for the order placed online can directly reach the 3PL automatically and they can start the work from their side like picking up the product, packaging and delivering it to the customer.
3PL using good software can provide you with data and analytics to give you a complete view of your orders, products, shipments and more.
A good customer support system is essential for a last-mile delivery business. They should be open with an option where customers can directly reach out to them and their issues can be resolved ASAP.
Ecom Express is one of India’s leading technology enabled logistics service providers. They provide forward, return, doorstep Quality Check (QC) return services and assure that the orders will be delivered on promised time. They have capability to delivery to more than 27,000 pin codes in India.
Some of their major clients are Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa, Decathlon, FabIndia, Zara, Tanishq, Meesho etc
Owned by DHL, Blue Dart has a huge network in more than 220 countries. They also provide service of weather-resistant packaging, scheduled delivery and computerized proof of delivery.
Delhivery is an Indian logistics company that handles logistics for more than 75,000 eCommerce businesses in India. They have more than 18,000 pin code reach in India. Flipkart, eBay, Snapdeal, Paytm Mall etc are some of their major clients.
Ekart Logistics is an Indian courier delivery company which was started by Flipkart. They are popular for low rate services and they also provide same day delivery in 13 cities and next day delivery in 50 cities of India.
So, B2C Fulfillment is all about providing the consumers with the best last-mile delivery experience. B2C is less complex and quite easier if compared with B2B delivery since here we generally deal with small packages, standardized pricing and low transportation cost.
Partnering up with a third-party logistics (3PL) for your customer-centric business is a great idea as they have expertise in this field and the required resources to work with. Thus, they will help you save a lot of time and effort. Do keep in mind the factors mentioned above while choosing a delivery partner.
A high B2C fulfillment rate will result in a good consumer experience which will lead to more sales and profit.