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Exploring the role of e-commerce and its importance for retailers

Mark Moody, Business Development Manager explains why providing e-commerce services is important for retailers...

SGB_3259-thumb - Mark Moody

Retailer's demands on Third Party Logistics (3PLs) providers are increasing, especially on their ability to handle e-commerce requirements.

Our shopping habits are evolving to a multi-channel model and as a result, there is an expectation from brands to provide customers with the option to shop via their website, or use mobile technology, alongside using traditional outlets.

But how do retailers know which 3PL provider to choose to ensure they offer the best e-commerce services to their customers?

At Core Management Logistics (CML) we manage e-commerce requirements for approximately 50 per cent of our clients which include many retailers such as L.K.Bennett, MiH Jeans, fashion designer Markus Lupfer and new British womenswear brand Finery London. 

When it comes to e-commerce, one of the key service requirements for a 3PL is how quickly they can respond to a customer order and how flexible they are at meeting varying demands.

We offer a tailored 24-hour fulfilment service and thanks to our location at Magna Business Park, in Lutterworth, we are in close proximity to the majority of parcel hubs. This ensures that if a customer orders through one of our client's websites before 9pm we can process and deliver their purchases by 9am the next day.

As well as a leading delivery service, 3PLs should also be able to offer a quality returns process, particularly when it comes to dealing with the fashion sector which traditionally sees high return rates.

CML has developed fully integrated returns processes for both national and international returns. We work with our courier partners to provide the most efficient service to bring our clients goods back to CML. Furthermore, our returns processes are designed to be quick, efficient and highly visible to enable for quick appraisal of the returned product and refund to the customer.

Our proceses have been developed to integrate with our client's exisiting systems in order to promote the sharing of data. This ability to share information allows quick returns transactions to take place and ultimately helps us to provide the best possible service to the end user.

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