Logistics is the pillar of any successful direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand.
Ship out the hottest products on the market shipped out with long lead times to your diehard customers, and you are bound to witness your brand loyalty crumble.
Are you a brand owner or retailer selling online, offline, or both?
You’ve built a business with sweat, grind, and tears that is growing fast with at least 50 orders each day via online channels alone. Maybe you have 2 or more physical outlets that require distribution.
Lucky for you, your brand has achieved product market fit and attained a stage of stardom. Consumers love your products. With your brand successfully established, you just want to focus on business growth.
Yet, even though you know great customer experience should be your priority, it has taken a backseat in your to-do list because you are too busy stressing over logistics.
As your brand grows, you continue to face complex logistics processes.
Perhaps they are issues of:
i) manpower – lack of staff during peak seasons
ii) recurring fulfillment errors – order inaccuracy is piling up, customers are unhappy
iii) managing customer escalations – influx of complaints by the day which you do not have immediate solutions to
iv) time – you personally handle logistics due to core issues, where is the time you need to scale your business?
Bumping into roadblocks hiring power for eCommerce DTC fulfillment?
Invested in building your own eCommerce system and failed?
Caused long-serving customers to ‘cheat’ on you by flocking to another brand that handles logistics better than you… but with a subpar product compared to yours?
Driven home upset that you no longer work on building your brand but drown in the chaos of everyday logistics?
If you said yes, you are not alone.
Darkside of Direct-to-Consumer Brands
Direct-to-consumer retail logistics need to flow melodiously all the way from sourcing or manufacturing your inventory, to fulfilling last mile delivery.
There are usually no third parties involved in a direct-to-consumer supply chain.
There comes a point where you need to outsource your DTC fulfillment to a fulfillment partner.
Based on 2019 studies, eCommerce retailers outsourcing order fulfillment over the subsequent 5 years are predicted to increase from 12% to 18%.
The Direct-to-Consumer model calls for substantial need for 3PLs. With this concept giving way for millions to start new businesses, it has attracted strong relationships between DTC brands and fulfillment services.
But let’s not head too deep into those waters.
Let’s look at some core challenges of a DTC brand.
1) Customer Expectations
DTCs are all about the customer.
Because this retail strategy sells directly to consumers with no wholesalers, distributors, or agents in the chain, seller success and customer happiness are unavoidably related.
In a direct-to-consumer approach, you have full control writing the narrative for the consumer experience you want for your buyers.
Consumers think it’s all about them- that their inputs matter most, that everything before the moment they place an order should be seamless and perfect. This is why customer experience has been the laser-focused aspect for many DTC brands.
Additionally, digitalisation has speed-tracked the way word spreads. Mess up a little with one customer and his disappointment escalates – either on social media or Google reviews – exuberantly expressing disappointment with everyone he can. Word-of-mouth is the strongest arena of day to day marketing that, if left unresponded to, dismantles a whole facet of messes you have to invest resources in to clean up.
The best advertising you can have is a loyal customer spreading the word about how incredible your business is.
~ Shep Hyken
2) Logistics Processes
Besides that, a poor logistical process causes customer relationships to depreciate.
Maintaining order and system through technology curtails the loss of brand loyalty and consumer interest. Unfortunately, as DTC sellers are mainly reliant on their team and time, they overlook the crucial aspect of seamless DTC fulfillment and logistics.
Naturally, this dilemma translates into a source of anxiety for DTC sellers. Loss of time, order inaccuracy, poor customer experience and retention, and stress on manpower are all aftermaths of challenges faced in DTC retail.
Due to those strains on business resources, DTC brands may find it overwhelming and most likely get personally involved in every day operations and logistics. This is not something you want to do, because your time is stolen into managing details that someone else, such as a fulfillment center, was made to care for.
By outsourcing storage, pick, pack, and ship to an understanding fulfillment service provider, these mistakes can easily become obsolete, giving you focus on buyer retention and satisfaction.
What Being an SnT Customer Looks Like
Over the years, SnT has freed up precious time and mind space for direct-to-consumer brand owners to focus on scaling their business.
A fulfillment center should be a scalable partner, assessing your business needs and revolving solutions around those areas.
What does it look like being an SnT customer?
1) Never lack manpower
SnT has the manpower to handle 10X the regular order volume during campaigns and peak seasons. Our warehouse operators are specially trained to man equipment in the warehouse, facilitate storage of your items safely, pick and pack, and get your items shipped by due time. Scalability is hard to come by with self-fulfillment.
2) Dedicated account manager
Enjoy the privilege of an account manager you can directly consult with about your business plans and innovations. With the account manager’s expertise and insight, we can execute your specific fulfillment requests.
3) No more fulfillment errors
We get your products delivered fast to your customer’s doorstep. Plus, you can keep track of inventory, ground-level operations, and order statuses.
4) Free up your time
Regurgitate data insights into useful blueprint for campaigns and ads. With the help of an experienced fulfillment partner, you regain valuable time for scaling and marketing efforts. Futile hours spent over boxes and crates can be reinvested into business growth, such as mapping out new marketing strategies and product designs.
5) Access data and inventory from fingertips 24/7
As an SnT customer, you have full visibility of inventory and ground-level operations through iWeb. Your eCommerce stores and/or brick and mortar outlets integrate with our warehouse software for synchronised management.
6) Decrease lead time
Get your products delivered fast to your customers with our selection of last mile delivery partners. An added advantage of fulfillment centers is their partnerships and geographical distribution of warehouses that help them forge better deals on shipping prices. With multi-warehouse fulfillment, your customers can expect their orders to arrive in time.
Find out more about SnT’s last mile delivery: SnT Global Last Mile Delivery Service
7) Expand overseas easily
Fulfill your vision of cross-border fulfillment to Southeast Asia with our breadth of services and international network. Navigating customs, regulation, foreign disciplines and legality is tricky. Having a fulfillment center that can support your expanding business becomes a valuable asset when expanding to uncharted borders.
Want to expand to Singapore? Read full article here: Fulfillment in Singapore: 5 Things to Know
Weighing the wins against the odds, it is far less time- and cost- consuming outsourcing DTC fulfillment service to a fulfillment center rather than self-fulfilling. While Direct-to-Consumer brand owners keep their office tidy, they also save on operations, overhead, warehousing, storage, upkeep, and labour costs.
Moving forward with a capable top order fulfillment center in Malaysia, you are set to scale your business for maximum impact.
Flexibility – SnT is flexible to customise solutions and processes according to the needs of the brand. From value added services to service-level lead times, SnT can create the right solution for you.
Service-oriented – SnT is a best-in-class fulfillment service partner which means providing the best service from onboarding all the way to go live and beyond. Our service is proven by our relentless pursuit of better speed, accuracy, and cost.
Technology – Get access to your inventory and order statuses 24/7 through SnT’s in-house developed technology from the comfort of your home.
About SnT Global
SnT Global Logistics is a Best In Class Omnichannel Fulfillment Partner in Southeast Asia that offers order fulfillment services for both online and offline retail businesses.
Our order fulfillment services are enabled by state-of-the-art technologies to meet the fast-changing requirements of the New Retail revolution. We offer fully integrated logistics services such as warehousing, order fulfillment with multi-channel integration, cross border management, and customer service helpdesk.
We offer flexible solutions that fit your channel strategy, meeting the demands of you and your customers. We execute our services with the highest integrity to ensure that your customers are delighted by our best-in-class fulfilment service.
With our expertise in fulfillment, we benefit brands ranging from Retail, FMCG, Consumer Electronics, Fashion and Apparel, Skin Care, Cosmetics and many more.