4 Proven Strategies On How To Improve And Manage Your eCommerce Warehouse

Brandon Ginsberg

Learning where to store your merchandise and how to handle it properly is one of the most important skills for eCommerce retailers. Effective eCommerce warehouse management can help you save time and money while maintaining customer satisfaction. 

Planning for storage and warehousing, however, frequently takes a backseat to more exciting activities. In fact, many online sellers tend to store products in their garage or guest room, at least in the beginning. This is where eCommerce warehouse management comes into play.

Keep reading to find out why eCommerce warehousing matters, what you should do to improve it, and how eCommerce inventory management software can help. 

Photo by Nana Smirnova on Unsplash

What is eCommerce Warehousing?

The process of storing products specifically for online sales is referred to as eCommerce warehousing. eCommerce warehouse management includes all of the procedures necessary to run an eCommerce warehouse, including:

  • Keeping goods secure
  • Managing the staff working in the warehouse
  • Inventory management
  • Equipment tracking 
  • Monitoring all processes in the warehouse from the moment goods arrive until they are shipped out to customers
  • Forecasting inventory to avoid having too much stock or running out of stock
  • Establishing safety precautions to protect inventory, employees, and equipment
  • Building relationships with shipping carriers

How Is eCommerce Changing the Warehouse

As technology advanced to allow the evolution of eCommerce business models, it compelled warehouses to become modernized for greater dependability, efficiency, and a better fit for clients. The following changes have occurred in warehouses over the last 20 years:

Advanced software solutions. Today, numerous eCommerce inventory management software systems are available, ranging from straightforward barcoding systems to sophisticated, real-time data-streaming ones that link everything in a single location. Some eCommerce inventory management software systems may even predict sales and draw conclusions based on the meaning of specific data patterns.

Improved tracking. Modern technology has helped make everything in warehouses easier to track. Each product that comes in, moves around, or leaves is instantaneously tracked with a simple scan or the press of a button. Nearly every employee of the company has instant access to precise location information about each given product. With better tracking, it is simpler to prevent product loss, which helps warehouses run more efficiently and makes it possible to give partners, suppliers, and end-users more information.

Innovative shipping and storage. Numerous eCommerce companies have created new systems in order to be able to fulfill customer orders quickly and efficiently. For instance, Amazon has introduced a “chaotic” storage system where new products are put on any available storage space and are trackable via technological devices. This disorganized method of storing is generally cited as one of the best strategies to approach warehouse inventory management

Improved relationships with suppliers. With today’s warehousing technology, warehouses and suppliers may rapidly communicate about demands and the status of various orders. This direct, transparent communication speeds up the process, resulting in fewer mistakes and necessitating less overall human attention.

eCommerce Warehouse Inventory Management Best Practices

Poor eCommerce warehouse inventory management can cause orders to be delayed and cost brands money. If you want your warehouse operations to run well, there are a few best eCommerce warehouse inventory management practices you should keep in mind. 

  1. Use a WMS (Warehouse Management System) 

A warehouse management system (WMS) is a piece of software that aids in controlling and managing a warehouse’s daily activities. Inventory tracking requires a lot of labor but thanks to the data your WMS offers, you can easily determine which products are moving the quickest and, as a result, decide how to store products in your eCommerce warehouse. Money-saving advantages come from setting up your warehouse so that your best-sellers are in an area that is simple to get to and that cuts down on the time it takes for your employees to obtain what they need.

The advantages of WMS software include:

  • Tracking goods as they are received, stored, picked, packed, and shipped in real-time
  • Guiding the receiving and storage of inventory
  • Optimizing the process of order picking and shipping 
  • Providing guidance on stock replenishment
  1. Store Your Inventory Across Several Warehouse Locations

Distribute your goods to several fulfillment centers all around the country so clients can receive their orders from the closest warehouse. In addition to ensuring they receive their products more quickly and enhancing the customer experience, this also lowers the shipping costs.

  1. Set Inventory Minimums

Inventory balance is always difficult to achieve. While ordering too few products can result in out-of-stock notices, angry customers, and lost revenue, excess inventory can hurt a company’s earnings and increase inventory carrying expenses. Therefore, setting mandatory inventory minimums is a wise precaution that companies should take. Any reliable inventory management software enables companies to create reorder points so they can be alerted when a product hits a certain threshold.

  1. Test Several Different Picking Systems 

There is a wide variety of picking systems available to eCommerce companies. The “one order at a time” picking process may be preferred by small businesses that only receive a few orders each day. Larger eCommerce companies might not find this approach to be the best, though. More sophisticated solutions in an eCommerce warehouse can enable batch picking and automatically generate picking lists based on how close together the ordered products are, reducing the amount of time it takes to pick an order.

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Benefits of eCommerce Warehousing

Regardless of the size of your online store, eCommerce warehousing offers a number of advantages. Here are some of the most important ones:

Improved product organization. eCommerce warehouse management can increase inventory control, tracking accuracy, and prevent missing items. With a proper warehouse management system in place, you’ll be able to track inventory levels and turnover rates and preemptively replenish inventory.

Faster shipping. As mentioned before, online shoppers want to receive their orders swiftly and affordably. By choosing to distribute your goods among several warehouses located all over the country, you make your inventory more accessible to more of your consumers, resulting in a shorter delivery time for their orders.

Time savings. Having an effective eCommerce warehouse management system in place allows you to free up valuable time which can be dedicated to expanding your business instead of sorting through boxes of merchandise. 

Reduced stress. eCommerce warehousing encompasses much more than simply stocking shelves with goods; removing the endless list of storage duties from your plate can be a tremendous relief. A better organized approach and the assurance that your products are in capable hands can significantly improve efficiency and reduce stress. 

The Bottom Line

eCommerce warehousing is sometimes overlooked in all the excitement and pressure of establishing and running an online business. However, it is a very important component of eCommerce and has a significant impact on your bottom line.

For your online store, an effective eCommerce warehouse management system can help you exceed customer expectations while saving money and time. Keep the pointers and advice in this piece in mind for a better warehousing experience, whether you store inventory internally or in partnership with a 3PL.

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