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Warehousing & Fulfillment

eCommerce Warehouse Best Practices for SMBs

Looking for the best practices for eCommerce warehousing. Check out this blog post to learn more.
eCommerce Warehouse Best Practices for SMBs
Alexandra Ortolani

By Alexandra Ortolani

 

December 13, 2021

Key Points:

  • An eCommerce warehouse ensures customers' satisfaction while saving valuable time and money with shipping and fulfillment
  • Planning for a perfect eCommerce warehouse begins with calculating how much warehouse space you need
  • Connecting your warehouse with a reliable shipping platform can help scale your business globally

One of the most critical development points for online businesses is the establishment of an eCommerce Warehouse.

An eCommerce warehouse ensures customers' satisfaction while saving valuable time and money with shipping and fulfillment. Plus, it doesn't require any high-end technology or practices. Still, it does call for a bit of planning for eCommerce warehousing.

We’ll go over all the best practices for eCommerce warehousing so you can handle warehousing like a pro.

Table of Contents

What is Warehouse Inventory Management for eCommerce?

The concept of an eCommerce warehouse differs from a traditional warehouse or storage facility. eCommerce warehousing is storing and managing inventories of physical goods before they are sold online.

eCommerce Warehouse

Plus, eCommerce warehousing refers to all the activities involved in safely securing and storing products in the storage space. It also includes:

  • Tracking and managing the location of a product
  • Time of arrival
  • Duration of storage (short term vs. long term)
  • Quantity available in the storage space

How Does eCommerce Warehousing Affect the Operations of Your Business?

Regardless of the size of your business, warehousing dramatically affects your business's operations and management. Below are the benefits of warehousing:

Ship to your customers faster

Merchants can reach their customers faster when choosing a warehouse location closest to their customer base. When merchants choose a strategic place to store their items, merchants can improve delivery lead times while boosting customer satisfaction.

Better organization of products

The organization of both incoming and outgoing products prevents mix-ups while delivering orders to customers. Customers' trust depends intricately on the accuracy of businesses to deliver the orders just the way the customer wanted it. Warehousing, which involves inventory management, ensures products are arranged and stock levels are in order.

Less stress with online store inventory management

Managing inventories, sorting, packaging, and transporting products becomes an easy task in an organized warehouse. As a result, it becomes less of a job and reduces errors.

While eCommerce warehousing solves these tasks efficiently, online businesses can monitor the processes and performances. Plus, merchants can use the data provided to grow and make better business decisions.

Save time

Forty percent of customers wish to deliver their products within two days with fast shipping, while 18% want next-day delivery. Therefore, customer satisfaction depends majorly on consistent, timely delivery. Plus, organized eCommerce warehouses result in timely and accurate package deliveries.

Best Practices of eCommerce Warehousing

Leveraging on best practices for eCommerce warehousing will provide the ideal solution to the exponential growth of your business. Here, we'll give you all the tips and tricks of inventory storage ideas. That way you can meet your goal of customer retention and satisfaction.

Determine the storage space needed for your eCommerce space

Planning for a perfect eCommerce warehouse begins with calculating how much warehouse space you need. Determining the storage space required involves planning for future extensions and developments.

However, most people determine the storage space needed for storing products and cartons only and forget other activities in the warehouse. These activities include:

  1. Receiving: Unloading, quality control, labeling, and arranging.
  2. Storage: Extra storage for the development phase
  3. Shipping: Includes packaging, labeling, quality control, and shipping.
  4. Space for returns and dead stock: Extra storage space for goods returned by customers or goods that couldn't be delivered.

Use the right warehouse management software

A warehouse management system specializes in different features that optimize an eCommerce warehouse. Below are some of its features:

  1. Inbound receiving and inventory control: The WMS controls the processes in receiving products and taking inventory as it leaves the warehouse.
  2. Pick/pack/ship workflow management: WMS schedules and directs the warehouse workflows.
  3. User-defined reports: WMS generates reports as Key Performance Indicator, KPI. KPI is a measurable result that effectively quantifies how a business achieves its key objectives and goals.
  4. Easy API integration: WMS can be integrated within the Application Programming Interface (API) by setting a communication interface between various software.
  5. Scale your business globally: WMS integrated with APIs have the ability to scale your business globally. Plus, it has the potential of reaching international customers all over the world.

Moreover, Easyship has warehouses spanning four continents, making it easier for eCommerce merchants to reach their global customers.

Integrate your eCommerce warehouse systems

The integration with API allows KPIs to share business data seamlessly and globally. It opens up many global opportunities by reducing costs and increasing business efficiency.

Systems that need to be integrated with APIs to create opportunities for scaling your business globally, such as:

  1. Shipping scheduling and calculator software
  2. Shopping cart payment software or POS
  3. Accounting system

Define KPIs for setting up your warehouse management system

Setting up a warehouse is a vast task, but converting sales is a step higher. Key Performance Indicators that measure the goal achievement process help identify customer reviews and satisfaction, inventory turnouts, and plan warehouse operations.

Depending on the goal of the merchant, there are KPIs for an optimal warehouse management system, which are:

  1. Inventory turnover: The number of times a company sells and replaces its stock
  2. Rate of returns: This refers to the frequency that customers return their online orders. The eCommerce return rate also highly impacts customer satisfaction and revenue
  3. Order lead time: The duration used to complete an order, from packing and shipping to customers' pick up.

Be organized and label locations and boxes

An excellent organizational system in a warehouse ensures active time management, accuracy in customers' orders, and a better inventory management system. The organizational system involves picking, packing, taking inventory, labeling, transporting, and tracking packages until they get to the customers.

Share your inventory across warehouses

Distributing your inventory across multiple warehouses across the globe reduces transportation or shipping costs. As customers place orders, they will be redirected automatically to the nearest distribution center or warehouse to the customer. This strategy will secure faster and cost-efficient delivery, improving customers' experience.

Implement mandatory inventory minimum points

Determining the right amount of product to order and stock is challenging. Ordering too many products than needed and stocking insufficient amounts of products affect the business and customer's experience.

The smart move to implement is setting a mandatory inventory minimum. Also, an efficient warehouse management software will notify the businesses once the stock reaches a specific threshold.

Connect with a reliable shipping platform

Connecting your warehouse with a reliable shipping platform can help scale your business globally. Other vital benefits include space to store your inventory, more staff to manage packaging and orders, and lowering storage costs. In addition, external shipping platforms reduce shipping costs and speed up delivery times.

Nothing beats reliability in this case. Networking with reliable shipping platforms adds more value to your brand and generates more traffic through professional methods and campaigns.

Test different methods to pick the right one

Practice makes perfect; choosing the right warehousing strategy takes time. This is because you have to test each of these strategies to know which best fit your policy and method. Implementing a trial and error pattern helps choose from the wide range of warehousing strategies.

How to Manage Inventory on eCommerce with Easyship

Applying the right eCommerce warehousing strategy can be challenging. This is why choosing the most efficient warehousing strategy is necessary for your business to improve scale, profits, and traffic.

However, choosing and implementing the most efficient warehousing strategy requires experts’ involvement to ensure a good customer experience.

Easyship warehousing and fulfillment team offer 24/7 support and insight. In addition, you can also have access to the following perks when you hire the Easyship Warehousing team:

  • Reduced logistics costs: Discounted shipping rates and global warehouse locations reduce costs and drive significant savings.
  • More happy customers: Shorter delivery times ensure the best customer experience. Package tracking also drives repeat customers.
  • Scale your business globally: Scale up your order fulfillment capabilities without increasing overhead costs.

eCommerce warehouse management is a vital strategy poised to bring about a skyrocketed increase in revenue in subsequent years. That’s why eCommerce businesses can cash in on the golden opportunity to scale their businesses.

Ready to optimize your eCommerce warehousing? Sign up for a FREE Easyship account to get started today


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