How We Offer Fast and Affordable Shipping, and Easy Returns
When we partnered with ShipTop, everything at KOSTON got better–for us and our customers.
We started out like many e-commerce businesses before us: we were handling all of our own fulfillment and shipping, and we did so directly through a warehouse we rented. We’d spend hours at these warehouses assembling boxes, accounting for inventory, and shipping out packages before the post office closed.
At this point in our business, it felt like everything operated at a snail's pace; orders took much longer to send out, and keeping prices fair was a challenge. And don’t get us started on the return process.
On top of the time constraint, self-fulfillment impacted our prices, too, since we were paying fees for storage that seriously stacked up.
And when orders began to really take off, processing was taking even longer–a huge inconvenience for us and our customers' lives, as well.
At the rate we were going, there was no way we could keep up through self-fulfillment.
That's when we knew it was time to place our logistics in someone else's hands.
Why We Hired a 3PL
We partnered with a third-party logistics partner (3PL) because we knew it would make not just our lives easier, but our customers' lives, as well.
Here are the biggest differences a 3PL makes in your experience as a customer:
Before we partnered with a 3PL, we were performing all of our packing & shipping solo. This meant that orders often took several days to process–and this, of course, doesn't include shipping time.
By partnering with a 3PL, we knew we'd be able to process orders faster & more efficiently, which means customers get their packages sooner and with fewer hitches.
When you're shopping online, two things matter more than nearly anything else: shipping cost and shipping time.
Ever since the rise of Amazon Prime, consumers have shifted their expectations on the meaning of "speedy delivery." This change has prompted brands to keep up without raising prices.
However, this is simply not possible for all online retailers. According to ShipTop, most e-commerce brands can't provide fast shipping without adding more fees, so naturally, we're less likely to click "add to cart" for these sites.
In order to provide speedy free shipping, we knew that a 3PL was essential. 3PLs typically work through a team of fulfillment workers while partnering with several different couriers to create the fastest shipping.
And while not all 3PLs offer shipping that's both fast and free, we made sure to partner with a 3PL that gives us savings, which we can pass on to our customers.
One of the key benefits of a fulfillment partner is cutting back on costs and passing the savings onto our customers.
While self-fulfillment might sound like the more cost-effective method, warehouse fees can be steep. Luckily, the right fulfillment partners know how to reduce overhead through shipping, storage, and fulfillment.
We knew we wanted to find a fulfillment partner who would help us keep our prices fair without compromising the quality and care of our products.
And that's just what we found with ShipTop: no monthly fees, hidden costs, or surprise charges. We also love that they never raise their prices during busy seasons.
Why We Chose ShipTop as Our 3PL
We went with a fulfillment partner to save us time and money. But with ShipTop, we found some unexpected gains, too.
Here are three ways in which ShipTop made our brand better for customers everywhere.
Better Access for Customers
With the boom of the e-commerce market, accessibility is truly the name of the game in this industry. We know that customers like having options over where they can shop; it's no wonder why products sell better when they're on several different channels.
ShipTop is a multi-channel fulfillment partner, which means they can connect to most selling channels. This includes Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, eBay, and more.
What does this mean for KOSTON's customers?
- Easier shopping
- Better prices
- Fast, free shipping on orders over $100
Top-Notch Customer Service
All too often, client support is a glaring issue with some 3PLs, whether it is drawn-out support tickets, unhelpful representatives, or anything in between.
Perhaps the most issues, however, arise with 3PLs that aren't on-site.
It might sound surprising, but not all fulfillment providers own their warehouses; instead, they'll entrust their warehousing to a third-party service like Deliverr. However, these services don't own their warehouses, so they partner with other micro-fulfillment providers to fulfill orders. This means that client support representatives are rarely even located with the warehouse operations.
When considering other 3PLs, we often dealt with slow response times for client inquiries, which were handled through customer support tickets that took several days to resolve.
We chose ShipTop because they own their own warehouse and operations, so their knowledgeable team of shipping and fulfillment experts is always in touch with orders and operations. This also makes for easier returns, since operations overall are faster and more efficient.
Even better: any orders made before 1 pm will be sent out that very same day. Fast shipping just got faster.
They Have Their Own Tech
When it comes to tech, not all fulfillment partners are created equal.
To be exact, not all 3PLs are tech-enabled, meaning that they don't have direct integrations with selling channels like Shopify. In other words, brands aren't always able to offer the transparency and real-time tracking their customers want, making them feel left in the dark.
ShipTop, however, has developed its own technology, and its tech team is constantly updating it with new features and integrations, keeping us as straightforward and streamlined as ever.