It is a fact that the e-commerce health and wellness market is gradually growing. Sales of vitamins and dietary supplements increased by 40% last year, with e-commerce playing a major role.
Online purchases of vitamins and dietary supplements are growing 12% faster than the average for overall e-commerce. New dietary supplements are constantly emerging and seem to be gaining in popularity. No wonder the online market is growing rapidly to catch up.
However, as the market grows, so does the competition. Especially online, new players with relatively low barriers to entry are constantly entering the market. Consumers find that their vitamin and dietary supplement options are almost endless. If you want to win their attention and loyalty, you have to exceed consumer expectations.
One great way to make sure that your online vitamin and supplement store has the best possible experience is to partner with an experienced third-party logistics provider (3PL). Experienced 3PL knows both inside and outside the industry and can meet customer expectations and provide the right fulfillment solution to grow the vitamin and dietary supplement business.
What should you know when choosing vitamins and supplements 3PL?
Especially in the world of vitamins and supplements, choosing 3PL to outsource fulfillment is not easy. Tracking expiration dates, monitoring inventory levels in real-time, and ensuring smooth order processing can be the focus of your interest. In addition to these, the appropriate 3PL for your vitamin and supplement business does:
- Automate online shop order processing
Instead of manually submitting an order to 3PL, look for an order processing provider that can integrate the technology into your online store with just a few clicks. Meaning, your order will be automatically sent from your e-commerce platform or marketplace to the 3PL fulfillment center.
This speeds up the retail fulfillment process so that dietary supplement and vitamin customer orders can be processed, selected, packed, shipped, and delivered as quickly as possible.
The automation of the fulfillment process includes bidirectional data transfer between the e-commerce shop and the fulfillment provider’s software. This two-way push comprises tracking information, order details, inventory levels, and delivery option assignments.
3PL’s technology needs to be able to automatically select carriers, services, and even fulfillment centers that can ship orders to customers in the most efficient and practical way. Once the order has been shipped, your chosen 3PL’s system will send a confirmation automatically to your e-commerce platform, which will further forward the tracking data to your customers.
Generally, having the e-commerce fulfillment process automated will improve the customer experience and allow teams to focus on growing their vitamin and supplement business.
- Providing data that can be used to discover trends
As mentioned earlier, the dietary supplement industry is changing rapidly, with new products and trends constantly emerging. It’s important to stay up to date not only with industry trends but also with your sales and customer trends.
Suitable for the vitamin and dietary supplement business, 3PL provides detailed inventory reports and analysis to identify which products reach which customers and to adjust marketing and manufacturing accordingly.
Working on the e-commerce supply chain decisions from a component-based perspective can help you survive in a market full of competition. 3PL software should provide reports that show past performance and help improve inventory predictions.
Sales metrics and analysis of sales, orders, deliveries and inventory allow companies to recognize trends, identify potential improvements, and celebrate their success.
- Meet customer expectations for delivery
With 73% of shoppers expecting fast delivery at an affordable price, meeting customer expectations for delivery speed and cost is critical to success as an e-commerce retailer. With the right 3PL, you can provide your customers with a two-day delivery at an affordable price.
One way to provide customers who buy vitamins and supplements with faster and cheaper shipping options is to split their inventory into multiple distribution centers or distribution centers. In case your customers are geographically dispersed across the country, we suggest choosing 3PL with fulfillment centers in or near major cities in different parts of the United States.
This brings inventory closer to the customer. This means not only can you provide expensive express air transportation, but you can also provide local customers with affordable two-day land transportation.