Apparel Drop-Shipping as Handled by Your 3PL

Drop-shipping is a smart, streamlined way to handle order processing for online businesses. It offers organizational and financial benefits that make it easier to maintain a large inventory with minimal investment. Understanding drop-shipping's functionality will help you choose the best 3PL provider to manage this type of shipping for your company.

Understanding Drop-Shipping

Apparel Drop Shipping

Drop-shipping is the practice of moving goods directly from the manufacturer to the buyer. This bypasses the retailer, as products move directly from the warehouse to the purchaser. When a retailer utilizes drop-shipping, its primary responsibility is marketing the product and closing the sale. Once the customer decides to purchase the product, the retailer steps back and lets a 3PL provider take over the next steps.

How Drop-Shipping Works

Drop-shipping eliminates the need for retailer inventory and on-site shipping. In a traditional sales model without drop-shipping, products are transported from the 3PL company to the retailer's location. When a customer places an order, the retailer pick and packages the item, ships it to the customer, and handles any follow-up activities, such as processing returns.

When you turn to drop-shipping, those middle steps disappear. The retailer markets the products on its website and takes orders. These orders are then transmitted to the 3PL provider. The 3PL picks, packages, and ships the items. In the ideal situation, your 3PL provider will also handle returns and exchanges, so you as the retailer are free to focus on the sales aspect of your business.

The Benefits of Drop-Shipping

Drop-shipping streamlines sales so that small apparel retailers can keep their focus on customer service and marketing. Using drop-shipping, the retailer is free from the expense of maintaining an on-site warehouse and organizing inventory. This allows even a small startup to offer an impressive range of products. Retailers are also freed from the expense of hiring employees to pick, package, and ship items. This is extremely beneficial for online businesses with limited startup funds.

The 3PL provider benefits from the drop-shipping approach as well. By mailing items directly from their facility, the 3PL provider is able to control turnaround and streamline order fulfillment. Drop-shipping eliminates one major leg in the shipping process, so products travel fewer miles on the way to the consumer.

Important Considerations

Working with a 3PL company for drop-shipping services is an efficient way to manage your online retail business. However, it's important to choose a provider who can meet all your needs. Look for a shipper who offers quality control, inventory control, apparel packaging, and returns processing. Make sure the company has systems in place to properly import and export data, so you can maintain a watchful eye over the process and communicate closely with customers regarding their orders.

If you're looking for a 3PL provider to help you with drop-shipping, you can request a free online consultation now from The Apparel Logistics Group, Inc. Services include drop-shipping, accounting, customer support, IT support, and more to ease the strain on retailers who want to focus on apparel selection and marketing. Find out more about how drop-shipping can work for you.

Posted: 9/12/2017 3:22:26 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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