Should A B2B and B2C Use A 3PL?


What do you think about outsourcing your logistics or supply chain needs as a business owner? Is it worth the price tag? Should B2B and B2C use a 3PL? Read on to find out!

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Should B2B and B2C Businesses Work with a 3PL? 

If you’re asking this question, you’ve probably already realized the benefits of outsourcing. But what about when it comes to B2C? Do businesses that sell directly to consumers need to outsource? Here’s why B2B and B2C should use a 3PL:

  • It saves time. Outsourcing allows you to focus on other aspects of your business. By outsourcing this process, you can spend less time worrying about processes. You can then get extra time to work on different parts of your business that need attention.
  • It saves money. When you outsource your supply chain management, you’ll pay for quality! This is because you will focus on growing your company. This way, you will improve capital efficiency.

What is business-to-customers (B2C) order fulfillment? 

This is an order system that allows businesses to sell to consumers directly. Typically, this is done through a website or storefront. An excellent example of a B2C company would be Amazon. Amazon manufactures products but also sells other companies’ products as well. A consumer can purchase the effect on the site, and the seller will ship it to them at home.

B2C order fulfillment allows businesses with less capital to reach a broad audience. This system earns the company money with low overhead costs.

What is business-to-business fulfillment order fulfillment?

B2B order fulfillment entails receiving, processing, and dispatching orders. You can do this manually, through technology, or through third-party logistics. There are significant differences between B2C and B2B order fulfillment.

B2B and B2C e-commerce both have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s more important to select a fulfillment partner that fits your individual needs.

Shoppers prefer returning products to the initial purchase location. They have the option of free return shipping. However, businesses often want to find ways to save money on returns.

Companies will opt for a refund or an exchange instead of returning merchandise. This is because most retailers charge restocking fees for returned products. There are three stages in the fulfillment of orders. They are:

  • Pre-purchase 
  • Purchase
  • Post-purchase 

There are distinctions at every stage in the way orders are fulfilled by 3PL providers, both B2B and B2C.

Pre-Purchase 

Products 

Business-to-business orders are priced based on end business demands and requirements. It can differ depending on the quantity of the order. It can also be affected by pricing terms, recurring charges, and the length of the contract. Occasionally, brands that sell to retailers create a set price of 35% to 50% of the cost. This is because they purchase in bulk. Plus, they advertise the items through their specific channels. 

Payments are made per customer

Business-to-business freight is usually on a large scale. In contrast, business-to-customer orders deal with smaller quantities. It involves smaller, personal items. Due to this, B2C orders are basically in the tens or hundreds of dollars. Additionally, the purchases are made once. While B2B fulfillment orders can be in the millions of dollars. Business-to-consumer orders are straightforward. The inventory firm fixes the unit price, and that price rarely changes.

Sales manager 

Usually, a sales and account manager helps simplify the exchange of goods between B2B. But in B2C, there is no mandatory sales assistance. This is because the end customers usually place orders. They do this directly through an online platform, such as a website.

Purchase 

Procedure for Purchasing or Selling

The buying and sales process usually takes a long time for B2B. This is because it includes thorough negotiations, requests for quotes, and approvals. Retailers have a team of purchasers who spot products that will enhance revenue. They find work for their firm, bargain for bulk discounts, and manage relationships with the seller. But for B2C, the client can stroll around or visit a few outlets, and if they like the product, they buy it. They purchase their supplies from the first place they spot them.

Order quantity 

B2B carriers carry large-scale volumes, but they buy fewer orders. The items are sold separately through the retailer’s store. So, the retailer will order more only when they need to replenish their stocks. B2C sales are smaller orders and are usually dealt with in a single transaction.

Payments

B2B payments happen over a stipulated period. They utilize conventional payment methods such as credit and cash-on-delivery (COD). In the case of B2C, they are paid when items are purchased using a credit card, cash, or gift vouchers.

Post-purchase 

Shipping 

B2B shipments take longer, cost a fortune, and require intricate handling tools. Deviating from these requirements can lead to severing the relationship and other penalties. So, the 3PL partner must ensure they comprehend and stick to the contract requirements. On the flip side, B2C order fulfillment is cost-friendly because boxes and orders are light. Sometimes, free shipping can be added. The order fulfillment process is also fast, usually fulfilled the same day or a few days after.

Customer Service

Relationships are pivotal to forming them with customers. Most B2B order fulfillment involves large, recurring carriers and close partnerships. These partnerships are bargained over prolonged periods. Plus, they require constant monitoring and check-ups. Personal relationships are not to be mistaken with the customer satisfaction needed. Many factors enhance consumers’ satisfaction. They include marketing, precise order fulfillment, prompt delivery, and clear product display.

Reverse logistics 

All businesses must have a system to return and exchange items, whether B2B or B2C. Customer is happy when they get their money back if they buy something online and don’t like it. When you purchase something from a store, you get to take it home right away! But when you order something online, you have to wait until the package arrives at your house.

B2B EDI

This is electronic data interchange to swap documents between several companies. This is a new way for companies to share information without using paper. One company sends an invoice on their computer, and another will get it on theirs. It’s easier than writing letters or mailing things. You don’t have to put stamps on them or worry about getting lost in the mail! Through it, small and big firms can enjoy enhanced efficiency.

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Conclusion 

B2B and B2C order fulfillment are different. This includes product type, delivery time, and payment terms. Also, a much larger quantity of products is involved in B2B order fulfillment. This is not the case with B2C order fulfillment. It would be best to consider personal needs when selecting a 3PL company.

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