The location of a logistics partner is a critical point in efficiently delivering packages to end customers as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Furthermore, the right location can help e-commerce businesses open doors to new international markets, thereby increasing growth and the competitiveness of their online shops.
The benefit of a fulfillment company’s location ultimately extends to the consumer, for whom delivery speed is a paramount factor when shopping online. These findings are confirmed by Statista, with up to 59 percent of respondents stating that fast delivery is the most convincing factor for making a purchase.
However, delivery speed is not only crucial for the first purchase but also for subsequent ones. In fact, 87 percent of online shoppers prioritize delivery time when deciding whether to shop again in the future.
When selecting the location of a 3PL (Third-Party Logistics) company, delivery speed is just one of the decisive factors for outsourcing logistics to a particular location. In this article, we’ve prepared the six most important points explaining why the fulfillment location is crucial and how it can help grow your e-commerce business.
1. Delivery Time Matters
One of the most current trends among online shoppers is the delivery of orders within 24 to 48 hours. A longer delivery time can lead to customer dissatisfaction, potentially causing them to choose a competitor in the vast e-commerce landscape.
Logistics must operate quickly and efficiently, but even if order processing is swift in the warehouse, delivering a package from Western to Eastern Europe significantly increases the time needed for shipment. By selecting an appropriate location, such as in the heart of Europe, you can ensure rapid delivery to both Western and Eastern Europe, especially if the company has its own transportation lines that depart for various parts of Europe daily.
2. Cost Reduction
The longer the distance a package must travel, the higher the shipping cost. Every e-shop and carrier must consider this; however, it doesn’t mean that delivery costs can’t be reduced.
Some fulfillment centers operate in multiple countries to minimize transportation costs. Others operate within strategic locations, such as throughout all of Europe, ideally positioning themselves in the center. This strategy allows e-shops aiming to sell across Europe to benefit from lower costs. Additionally, companies with their own transportation lines, planned daily trips to various countries, can further reduce transportation expenses due to their strategic location.
3. Expanding Opportunities
If your e-shop is growing rapidly and you need to outsource logistics, consider the markets in which you plan to operate in the future. The location of your fulfillment partner can be a key factor in simplifying entry into new markets.
When making your decision, take into account where the 3PL company is located and which markets it can reach. This can save you from complications and growth slowdowns in your e-shop, as well as the need to search for a new fulfillment provider.
4. Access to Highly Populated Countries
Larger countries naturally have a higher number of potential customers. If you intend to focus on densely populated countries that are economically strong, you should turn to a partner with access to these countries.
This way, you can offer, for example, fast delivery the next day or other benefits for online customers. Proximity to larger countries ultimately bears fruit during seasonal peaks, when logistics demand is at its highest. Shorter delivery times help prevent unnecessary delays.
5. Simplified Returns Management
Whether you like it or not, when selling online, you must account for a certain percentage of goods that customers will return. To ensure customer satisfaction and encourage them to shop with you, the return process should be as simple as possible for consumers.
However, if a customer has to send a product back to a distant country, they may opt to shop elsewhere. Therefore, the location of your fulfillment partner is crucial, as it saves costs, time, and the hassle of handling returns.
Many fulfillment centers across Europe have their own return branches, which also contribute to customer satisfaction. Companies with their own transportation lines take care of returned goods during the return journey to the warehouse.
6. Sustainability and a Reduced Carbon Footprint
Today’s consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their purchases and the influence of companies on the environment. This is one of the reasons why they are more likely to seek eco-friendly options and ways to reduce the carbon footprint of their deliveries.
Choosing the right location can save time, costs, and reduce environmental impact on shorter routes. In combination with the greener processes of a 3PL company, it’s an excellent solution for attracting a broader group of customers.
Ideal Fulfillment Location by FHB Group
Fulfillment by FHB Group has been assisting e-commerce clients with logistics for over 15 years. Warehouses are strategically located in the heart of Europe, near the capital of Slovakia.
The company’s location bridges Eastern and Western Europe, allowing clients to efficiently sell their products from Portugal to Romania and beyond. Complementing this advantageous location are transportation lines that depart daily to various parts of Europe, reducing delivery times and costs. For last-mile delivery, the company has partnered with relevant courier companies, ensuring competitive prices.
One of the key advantages of Fulfillment by FHB Group is comprehensive returns management, with returned shipments thoroughly processed at the main warehouse or at return branches.