If you’re in the business of e-commerce, selecting the right 3PL partner can be your key to success and expanding your business network. These partnerships are one of the most important elements of running a successful business. Even though it might not be common knowledge, large companies like Amazon, Facebook and FedEx are successful because of their partnerships. These companies cover a lot of ground, serve a lot of clients, and have access to a lot of smaller, networked companies to make all of this happen.
Top Criteria for Selecting a 3PL Partner to Manage E-Commerce Experience
Once you’ve made the right partnership with another business, you’ve established a link. That is to say, you’ve gotten to know a business and you’ve found that your needs are the same. It’s symbiotic, and it’s useful.
Do you want your business to be bigger? The right third-party-logistics (3PL) partnership might be the right way to go. Here’s what should be your top criteria for selecting a 3PL partnership to better your e-commerce experience.
1. Startup versus Not
The first thing that should be said about partnerships is this: Don’t discount startup companies. Furthermore, don’t feel discouraged from approaching the idea of a business partnership if you are one yourself.
Startups have an advantage. Their initial growth, if approached in the right way, can be booming. It can be easier to form a strong partnership at an earlier point in the business. As a result, seek startups for a 3PL partnership. Jump right into the deep end (if you can handle the workload) as a smaller startup company who feels this is the avenue for them.
2. Earnings & Potential
Figures are important. Not a single day goes by in the business world without figures being considered, mentioned, worked through and going either up or down.
When considering a 3PL partner for your e-commerce needs, take a closer look at their earnings – but also consider the potential seen in these figures. Can you increase your capacity and their earnings at the same time? With the right partnership in place, the answer is yes.
3. Common Goals
A business partnership is always meant to be symbiotic. This means that it’s something that benefits both parties. When it isn’t, it’s either too early in the partnership to tell – or it’s not the right partnership.
Common goals are important when setting out to choose a company to partner with your business. Do you want to achieve the same thing? Can you both work towards achieving it? If the answer is yes and there is a practical manner to achieve it, then you’ve got a good partnership.
4. Tech Knowledge
Let’s not forget that we’re not just talking about 3PL partnerships and sales. In addition, we’re talking about e-commerce partnerships and sales. Companies with tech-knowledge have an advantage above companies who do not.
When dealing with e-commerce, a central system (and reliability of this system, their communication and their servers) become a crucial element that you can’t do without.
Screen potentials for their general knowledge on e-commerce and platforms – and how well their platform can integrate with yours. Some companies are just a better match than others.
5. The Color of Their Hat
With e-commerce comes marketing – and you should take a moment to consider the color of their hat.
Make sure their marketing techniques are based in ethical standards. This means white-hat SEO instead of anything that crosses over into black or gray hat SEO.
Why does this matter? Within e-commerce, bad marketing techniques in a partnership can pull down the stronger partner.
6. The Trial Period
Diamonds are forever, but business partnerships don’t have to be. The easiest way to introduce one business to another one is through a trial period. This means that the partnership is implemented for a certain period – months or weeks – during which it’s considered probationary.
If one party isn’t happy (or getting the results they want), the partnership can end their and each can go their own way. Even though you might have to do this a few times in a row in order to find the right partnership, trial-and-error is one of the best ways.
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