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Order fulfilment

Top 10 things to consider while selecting an ecommerce warehouse

Versha Kamwal
March 5, 2022
6
mins read

The surge in ecommerce has revolutionised how customers shop online and also changed the perspective of ecommerce business owners. Today's customers expect faster delivery times. However, running fulfilment operations in warehouses to meet customer expectations at lower costs has become extremely difficult—no matter how essential.

The growing need and strong demand for warehouses that can support the changing demands of customers is now an essential factor for enabling a seamless supply chain. Likewise, finding the right warehouse significantly determines the speed and efficiency of your ecommerce logistics.

This exerts immense pressure on ecommerce brands, especially for ramping up ecommerce fulfilment operations and improving last-mile deliveries.

In this blog, you will learn what is an ecommerce warehouse and how ecommerce brands can select an ecommerce warehouse for their fulfilment operations.

What is an ecommerce warehouse?

An ecommerce warehouse is a storage facility where ecommerce brands store their inventory intended for online sales. Once an order is received, items are picked and packed in the warehouse and shipped to the customer's location.

How to select an ecommerce warehouse for your online business?

Here are some factors ecommerce brands should consider to find out the most suitable warehouse:

1. Location

When it comes to choosing an ecommerce warehouse, location is the first thing you should prioritise. Location is crucial when selecting a warehouse for ecommerce brands. This will help you deliver orders fast and reduce shipping costs.

Customers value fast shipping as much as product quality, and if you can provide both, you will get an edge over the competition. You can split your inventory into multiple warehouses across India to reap the benefits of multi-warehousing and enhance the customer experience.

Eshopbox's distributed network of ecommerce warehouses
Eshopbox's distributed network of ecommerce warehouses

2. Accessibility

While the warehouse location is essential, so is access to the warehouse. Your orders can be delayed if the warehouse is not easy to reach while receiving inventory in the warehouse or shipping orders from the warehouse. It's essential to check the following things before selecting an ecommerce warehouse:

  • Condition of the roads
  • Traffic conditions
  • Proximity to highways

Such issues can also result in accidents, higher fuel consumption, and wastage of time.

3. Integrated warehousing solutions

An ideal warehouse should facilitate smooth storage and distribution of inventory by providing integrated features like highly trained manpower, transport facilities and well-designed storage facilities (optimised warehouse layout). Such integrated ecommerce warehousing solutions are often offered by tech-enabled 3PLs like Eshopbox that can give you a superior quality of service. Moreover, they can help you optimise your warehouse operations and rise above common warehouse management problems.

4. Integrated fulfilment solutions

Apart from streamlined order management (picking, packing and shipping), you need a warehouse where you can take advantage of all the fulfilment services.

Modern ecommerce warehousing solutions go beyond traditional storage that provide value-added services like returns management, quality checks, labelling, custom packaging and more. Such ecommerce warehouses are a one-stop-shop for all your ecommerce order fulfilment needs.

5. Technology

Technology has changed the way ecommerce logistics work, and the warehouse you choose should allow easy integration with your inventory management system, warehouse management system, and sales channels. This will help speed up the entire fulfilment process.

Thus, you need the technology to automate your warehouse operations instead of carrying them out manually. These functions include inventory management so that you can track your inventory in real-time.

6. Suitable for business size

Ecommerce brands should select a warehouse depending on their daily order volume and the inventory that needs to be stored. An ecommerce warehouse that handles smaller order volumes does not have the infrastructure to handle large volumes. Likewise, a small to medium-sized business shouldn't opt for high-capacity warehouses since you might have to pay extra costs for services you might not even need.

Moreover, highly specialised or niche businesses, such as Food & Beverage (F&B) that need custom storage, packaging and shipping conditions, should not select a warehouse with standard solutions. Instead, you should opt for a warehouse according to your business volume and special needs.

7. Expertise in warehouse and fulfilment operations

Relevant experience is much crucial in ecommerce warehousing, especially in handling the specific product categories as well as standard warehouse operations. These can include warehouse safety regulations, the use of forklifts, and more.

Let's take an example, if you deal in fragile items, the warehouse staff should be well versed in using secure packaging to protect the items in transit. Such expertise will help you avoid common packaging mistakes, minimise errors and improve order accuracy.

Fortunately, some ecommerce logistics companies like Eshopbox enable businesses of all sizes to leverage warehousing services with pay-as-you-go pricing.

8. Productivity and efficiency

The productivity and the efficiency of all the warehouse operations depend on the workforce. Therefore, while selecting an ecommerce warehouse, you need to ensure that the staff is trained and follows standard operating procedures (SOPs). These step-by-step procedures will help you increase productivity, improve efficiency, quality and ensure uniformity in the ecommerce order fulfilment process.

9. Membership of professional associations

If the ecommerce warehouse is part of a professional association such as the International Warehouse Logistics Association or the Warehousing Association of India, you can be assured of the standard of quality that is guaranteed by such a professional body. This means you can expect a high level of service from such warehouses.

10. Security and protection

Things can go wrong even with the best ecommerce warehouses. You need to ensure that your inventory is protected against any hazards, such as breakage, shrinkage, theft, and natural calamities. An ideal ecommerce warehouse must have the best safety measures to protect your inventory.

For instance, ‍Eshopbox's warehouses are equipped with state-of-the-art devices and gadgets to provide utmost security.

  • Security cameras to monitor operations 24/7
  • Multiple sources of power backup
  • Access control measures such as bio-metrics, key-cards, and more
  • Metal detectors at entrances and exits
  • Highly-trained arehouse staff
  • Fire extinguishers and other safety equipment
  • Plan for disaster management

Bottom line

Ecommerce warehousing is a critical part of the ecommerce fulfilment process that helps speed up the delivery process-but it all comes down to your choice of warehousing service. Your ecommerce brand needs an efficient ecommerce warehouse to rise above common warehouse management problems, improve profits and scale confidently. Therefore, while evaluating your warehouse options, you must consider that you need the ultimate solution that can help you ensure seamless order fulfilment.

Connect with our fulfilment expert today.

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