Posted on: 17 May 2023
If you currently have or are considering starting a small art and craft supply business, the first hurdle is securing property that is large enough for inventory. To overcome this initial hurdle, using third-party logistics (3PL) could be the solution.
Many small businesses that sell art and craft supplies have a virtual storefront without a physical location. This helps keep overhead costs more manageable. Depending on your needs, you can choose to work out of a studio or at home. Oftentimes, these businesses have some dedicated space to do marketing videos, such as tutorials. Using 3PL allows you to run an entire business that has a large selection of inventory with little space. Additionally, employees can work remotely, which can be more affordable.
When you're a small online business, you want more customers to make your business successful, but sometimes an increase in volume is difficult to handle. Unfortunately, taking several business days to ship orders can prevent customers from becoming return customers. Since you are not relying on a small number of in-house employees to pick and pack orders, shipping times are greatly improved. Much of the handling at 3PL warehouses is done in automated ways and there are more employees available to ship orders. The opposite can also be true. 3PL can handle returns and exchanges allowing customers to settle any issues quickly. Since there are employees handling returns, they can investigate the item to be certain it is in a returnable condition, such as unopened, before issuing a refund or replacement.
Transit times can be another hurdle for small businesses. If you have an online store, you are often shipping from a single location. This causes great variability in the transit times for packages. Those who receive their items many days later might be less inclined to order from your store, especially if you have a competitor with faster transit times. With 3PL, stores often have warehouses in a central location so there is less variability in transit times across the country without the need for upgraded shipping. Some 3PL providers may have warehouses across the country. This allows you to divide your items among different warehouses and ship from the warehouse closest to the customer's address.
Becoming a small art and craft supply business requires significant space to store inventory. Instead of spending money on renting business space, you can have the same benefits with 3PL and not worry about needing additional space.
To learn more, contact a 3PL warehouse provider in your area.Share