I'm brand new to every aspect of eCommerce businesses, not that I want that to hold me back, I'm very savvy and work in tech but I'm just not quite connecting all the pieces to this complicated puzzle.
I have some ideas about starting a niche grocery store that specializes in frozen foods but with only a limited number of products, let's say under 15 SKUs. I want to work with multiple vendors or with a focus on small manufactures/suppliers who are only available in select markets.
Once I have vendors and wholesale pricing agreements worked out I'll need a way to get that product to my 3PL provider but here is where things start to breakdown for me. The 3PL providers I've found online can offer 1-2 shipping via FedEx or ups for last-mile delivery. I have some more research I need to do but I suspect that I can cut down on expenses and waste if I'm not packing everything up with dry ice and paying FedEx or UPS for that 2-day shipping. The way I wanted to get around that is by focusing more in on-demand delivery but I haven't been able to find a 3PL with cold storage and on-demand services, yet. What I'm really after is probably closer to a 3PL dark store network.
To bring my idea to reality do I really need to hire my own delivery drivers, open my own dark stores, and hire my own drivers to move products between the 3PL warehouse and the dark stores?
I just want to start selling ASAP with minimal startup costs. I'm willing to buy my inventory upfront and pay everyone their cuts until revenues are high and stable enough to justify bringing some more components in-house.