The eCommerce warehouse you choose for your business directly impacts your supply chain, delivery, operational efficiency, and customer satisfaction. For this reason, choosing the right warehouse is crucial to ensure your operations run with ease. Efficient warehouse management saves you money and helps boost your returns as you keep your customers happy.
What is eCommerce Warehousing?
eCommerce warehouse management refers to the administration, storage, and distribution of products provided for online retail businesses. As a critical component of the eCommerce supply chain, it aims to handle inventory and streamline order fulfillment efficiently.
This process involves storing inventory, managing orders, and fulfilling shipments, ensuring accurate and timely deliveries to your customers. It covers the following processes and benefits:
Inventory Storage: An eCommerce warehouse is a facility that stores a wide variety of products from various online sellers. The products housed inside the facility are organized using several factors, including demand patterns, product type, and stock-keeping unit (SKU).
Inventory Management and Tracking: Inventory is tracked and managed efficiently in warehouse facilities integrating the latest technologies. Our team at Warehousing Pro tracks the number of your products preventing stockouts and overstocking, optimizing inventory levels to ensure efficient operations.
Logistics and Shipping: Warehouse teams work closely with carriers to ensure prompt and timely delivery to customers and other distribution centers. Our team works hard to ensure all deliverables are transported within the promised timeframe. We can coordinate with carriers for trucking and freight flowing to different businesses.
Returns Processing: Various eCommerce warehouses can help your business handle returns. We can help you manage receiving, inspecting, restocking, and, if needed, refurbishing products returned by customers.
Scalability: eCommerce warehouses can significantly help your team as operations scale up and down throughout your business cycle. Sometimes you will experience fluctuations in demand and order flow due to seasonal trends. Our team at Warehousing Pro can accommodate these fluctuations without compromising the quality of our service.
Technology Integration: eCommerce warehouses can apply various technologies to process your products, applying barcodes, labels, and other warehouse management systems. These technologies optimize processes to make stock management more accurate and efficient.
Security and Compliance: Warehouses for eCommerce vendors prioritize the security of your goods at storage and during transit. We protect your inventory by implementing preventive measures to avoid property damage, theft, and unauthorized access. In addition, our team at Warehousing Pro helps your business comply with product storage and handling regulations.
Cost Efficiency: You save money when you work with eCommerce warehouse operators since you don’t have to deal with storage facilities maintenance. Business owners no longer need additional staff for facilities management and order fulfillment.
Choosing The Right eCommerce Warehouse for Your Business
Selecting the best-suited eCommerce warehouse is a crucial decision for any business. The efficiency and reliability of these facilities will directly impact your store’s supply chain, order fulfillment, and overall customer satisfaction. A warehouse that has all the checkmarks covered in the list below can be the best fit for your operations:
The first step to choosing the right eCommerce warehouse for your business is identifying your specific supply chain needs. It’s helpful to determine the average volume of inventory you need to ship and the types of products you usually move. Fragile, oversized, and perishable goods can cost you more since these items require special care and handling.
Consider the strategic location of a warehouse. Ensure that it is located close to your target customer base. A well-placed eCommerce warehouse will reduce delivery times, reduce shipping costs, and improve customer satisfaction. In addition, you can opt for warehouses near major transportation hubs. These warehouses can be used to expedite the movement of goods.
Determine the warehouse’s storage capacity and ensure they can accommodate your inventory needs. Evaluate shelving, available space, storage efficiency, racking, and other features they can offer.
Technology and Inventory Management Systems
Inquire about a warehouse’s inventory management and tracking systems. Ask about real-time monitoring, if available. These solutions will help you streamline your operations, inventory levels, and order fulfillment capabilities.
One factor you need to check is scalability. Your operations may experience seasonal increases in activity due to peak holiday times. In some months, orders may need to be faster due to increased demand. It is best to work with a warehouse team that can scale their offerings depending on your changing needs. Further, determine if the facilities can accommodate future operational growth. Choose a warehouse with the capacity to work with you without significant disruptions to your inventory flow.
Outsourcing your fulfillment services to a warehouse team can streamline your operations and make processes easier for your team. This frees up your capacity so you can pay more attention to fulfilling customer needs and fostering their loyalty. If a warehouse provider offers order fulfillment, look out for their capabilities, such as packing, picking, shipping,
Some products have specific handling requirements, which may require additional quality checks upon arrival at a warehouse facility. Ask the warehouse team if they can perform quality inspections to meet particular needs and maintain your brand’s reputation.
Security and Safety
Ask about security measures while your goods remain in storage and during transportation. Pay attention to fire prevention and access control measures. Your products should be well-protected from theft, shrinkage, damage, and other potential risks.
Enquire about security features you need for your products, which may include the following:
- Backup power
- Disaster management plan
- Fire extinguishers
- Centrally monitored security system
- Electronic code access doors
- Safety equipment
- Warehouse staff safety training
- Metal detectors at entrances and exits
- Access control features such as key cards, biometrics, etc.
- Interior and exterior surveillance systems
The best eCommerce warehouse can customize its services to your changing needs. Sometimes, orders are low, and you may require only one pallet per month or need them to handle small packages. However, the warehouse team should be able to accommodate your needs when orders start to pick up, let’s say, up to 10 delivery trucks a month. The best warehouse provider should be able to tailor their offerings to your business needs.
Shipping Partnerships and Professional Associations
Ask if the warehouse team has established partnerships with various shipping carriers. This detail ensures that your orders are delivered on time, allowing you to negotiate better shipping rates.
Communication and Customer Support
One of the most significant issues that many eCommerce businesses have is the need for more communication with the warehouse team they’re working with. It is a considerable frustration for sellers online. Outstanding communication and support from a warehouse team is crucial. Choose a highly responsive team that constantly communicates with your staff within expected timeframes.
There are warehouse service providers who require long-term contracts for their offerings. However, this setup may not be the best for your business, especially if you are downscaling things. Consider providers who can offer contracts that last month-to-month. This setup means the warehouse can accommodate your changing needs, so you don’t get tied up to a contract when you don’t need to use a lot of warehousing space or order flow support.
For small to mid-scale operations, it is best to work with an eCommerce warehouse service provider offering simple pricing. This inclusive pricing method makes accounting and costing easier and simpler for your business. Suppose a provider can provide streamlined pricing and fast onboarding. That is a good sign that they are flexible enough to work with any business size.
Check what equipment is available at the warehouse facility. The best eCommerce warehouses will have sufficient equipment to manage your stocks, such as airbag dunnage pillows, stretch wraps, pallets, dollies, pallet jacks, and carpet pole attachments for forklifts.
Bespoke Warehousing Solutions
Online retailers will require different warehousing solutions. Your businesses need to choose a warehouse solutions provider with flexible offerings that will suit the needs of your business. Some warehouses can accommodate requests that other warehouse teams are unwilling to do. Here are some of the warehouse solutions you should be aware of:
1. Pick and Pack Services
This warehouse service streamlines the fulfillment of small and individual orders. Items will be stored strategically so warehouse staff can quickly and accurately identify the goods that must be shipped first. This service benefits small businesses, drop shippers, retailers, and online wholesalers.
This service eliminates the need to store extensive inventories at any given time. It also helps streamline your supply chain process, reducing delivery and fulfillment costs.
2. FBA Prep Services
The Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) program allows online retailers and eCommerce businesses to use Amazon’s warehouse to store their goods for order fulfillment. This approach benefits online sellers by reducing postage rates while streamlining warehousing, order fulfillment, and product returns.
FBA prep warehouses help you meet the stringent requirements in Amazon’s FBA warehouse facilities. At Warehousing Pro, our team performs quality control checks on your products, ensuring that your items pass established quality requirements and are packed in accordance with Amazon’s guidelines. We efficiently prepare your products for shipment to designated Amazon FBA warehouses.
3. Short-Term Warehousing
Some eCommerce sellers only need short-term warehousing or temporary storage. They are usually covered by shorter lease periods, around 90 days or less. This service is ideal for businesses with variable storage requirements.
Flexible eCommerce Warehousing Solutions At Warehousing Pro
Do you need flexible eCommerce warehousing solutions that suit your business needs? Your Warehousing Pro team has over ten years of industry experience, handling almost every logistics, warehousing, and order fulfillment situation. Our communicative staff is highly responsive, providing the best customer service and updating you within the expected timeframes. Please fill out our online contact form for more information or to request a quote.