Why Black Friday and Christmas is make-or-break for 3PLs and 2024 is no different!

The e-commerce landscape is constantly evolving, but one thing remains constant: the holiday season is a goldmine for online retailers – and by extension, for the ever-crucial Third-Party Logistics Providers (3PLs) that keep the supply chain humming. With Black Friday kicking off on November 29th, 2024, and the Christmas shopping frenzy following close behind, 2024 is shaping up to be a particularly critical year for 3PLs. Here’s why:

E-commerce Boom Shows No Signs of Slowing:

Despite the ongoing cost of living and economic challenges, experts predict continued growth in online shopping. Adobe Analytics reported in 2023, that the Black Friday period (October to December) results in £24.4bn spend (up 3.7% compared to 2022). This translates to a massive influx of orders for retailers, placing immense pressure on their fulfilment capabilities. 3PLs that can handle this surge efficiently will be in high demand.

The Rise of “Peak Season Creep”:

Black Friday used to be a one-day event, but savvy retailers have stretched it into weeklong or even multi month sale periods. Similarly, Cyber Monday’s influence extends beyond a single day. This extended peak season means a longer period of heightened activity for 3PLs, requiring strategic planning and flexible staffing models. Black Friday 2024 isn’t far away!

Customer Expectations Are Higher Than Ever:

Fast and reliable delivery is no longer a bonus – it’s an expectation. Today’s consumers demand transparency throughout the fulfilment process, with real-time tracking and prompt customer service. 3PLs that invest in technology to provide these features will have a clear advantage. Brands want to know they have a partner they can rely on, even when s**t hits the fan, so as a 3PL, showcase your capabilities and track record of dealing with high volume demand.

Labour Market Challenges Persist:

The ongoing labour shortage shows no signs of abating. This puts a strain on in-house fulfilment operations, making 3PLs with established workforces even more valuable. 3PLs that can attract and retain top talent will be well-positioned to navigate the holiday rush.

The Opportunity for Strategic Partnerships:

Retailers and brands are increasingly looking for 3PLs that offer more than just storage and shipping. Value-added services like pick-and-pack, personalisation, and accurate tracking (dashboards) can be a major differentiator. 3PLs that can provide these services will be seen as strategic partners, not just vendors.

Why 3PLs Need to Invest in Marketing Now

To thrive, 3PLs need a strong digital presence to attract new clients and solidify their position in the market. Here’s why investing in digital marketing is no longer optional for 3PLs:

E-commerce sector demand:

The e-commerce boom has fuelled the demand for efficient and reliable fulfilment services. But with countless 3PLs vying for clients, online visibility is paramount. A well-crafted digital marketing strategy can help your 3PL stand out from the crowd, attracting potential clients actively searching for solutions online.

Content is King:

Today’s businesses rely heavily on informative content to make informed decisions. By creating valuable content (enriched with SEO) like blog posts, case studies, and white papers that address common logistics challenges, 3PLs can establish themselves as thought leaders and trusted partners.

Targeted Advertising:

Digital marketing allows for highly targeted advertising campaigns. By utilizing platforms like Google Ads and LinkedIn, 3PLs can reach a specific audience of potential clients with laser precision.

Measuring ROI:

The beauty of digital marketing is its measurability. Unlike traditional marketing methods, online campaigns can be tracked and analysed, allowing 3PLs to see exactly what’s working and what needs improvement. This data-driven approach ensures a strategic allocation of marketing resources for maximum impact. Integrate your CRM data (Salesforce/HubSpot etc) with your marketing activity for end to end performance measurement.

By establishing a strong online presence, 3PLs can attract new clients, build lasting relationships, and solidify their position as trusted partners in the ever-evolving logistics landscape. Remember, in the digital age, the companies that are seen are the companies that succeed.

Get in touch with the team