More than storage

The importance of warehousing in ecommerce fulfilment

Ecommerce fulfilment is about much more than simply sending products to your customers – it’s about providing them with a memorable, efficient experience. Though you may sometimes think of a warehouse as simply a place for storage - your warehouse is a critical piece of your business and plays a huge role in the experience your customers receive. Ecommerce warehousing is not only limited to storing goods in a safe environment. Effective ecommerce warehousing also involves keeping track of inventory, increasing order accuracy, and plays a huge part in shipping speed.

Conveyor belt in a warehouse

More and more shoppers are beginning to shop primarily online

More and more shoppers are beginning to shop primarily online, meaning online competition for retailers is likely to continue increasing. Your ecommerce warehouse setup needs to be better than ever in order to meet customer expectations and rising demand. Last year, the boom in ecommerce saw global sales rocket by 16.5%, which has led to unprecedented demand for warehouse space.

A great ecommerce warehouse setup is a good place to start in ensuring your ecommerce fulfilment exceeds customers’ expectations. Here, we discuss the important role that warehousing has on order fulfilment.

So, why is warehousing an important part of ecommerce fulfilment?

While warehouses provide a place for you to store goods before they are ready to be dispatched - warehousing and storage influence everything from effectively managing stock to getting orders dispatched to customers on time.

Delivery speed plays a huge role in customer satisfaction, and extensive market research of consumer trends in 2020 even found that long delivery times were grounds for cart abandonment in almost half of UK . Ecommerce warehousing plays a key role in the speed at which goods are delivered. Here are some of the key ways in which ecommerce warehousing is an important part of your e-fulfilment process:

Be in the know with supply and demand

Changes in product demand occur quickly, and a warehouse management system (WMS), used by your warehouse provider can ensure that the correct amount of a certain product is available when it's needed for shipment. Since warehouses essentially manage inventory, their WMS can ensure you are aware of products that need reordering or aren't selling as effectively as others. Effective ecommerce warehouse management can ensure your customers or clients aren't waiting for an item or service that's unavailable or out of stock. Checking your inventory can serve as a useful indicator of what products are selling out and what products might need that extra push.

Warehouse inventory control is therefore vital for making decisions on restocking purchases, production schedules, and warehousing needs!

Rows of metal warehouse shelving

Organised shelves = efficiency with shipping!

An ecommerce warehouse with organised aisles allows for optimal picking routes for accurate and faster delivery. Inventory management is crucial to a successful brand and ecommerce business. Getting your goods organised and storing goods conveniently can make the difference between efficient picking and a delayed picking process – which ultimately impacts order shipping speed! Well-placed inventory can ensure warehouse pickers find products faster. Products that are in high demand or are consistently popular, should be stored in a convenient warehouse location that is easy for the team to pick and pack. An organised warehouse results in efficient present and future fulfilment orders.

Thanks to the Amazon Prime Effect, online shoppers expect to receive their orders quickly and affordably every time they shop online. Ecommerce warehouses are built to store products safely and securely and keep them organised, allowing them to be shipped and distributed as quickly as possible. And with many third party logistics companies (3PLs) offering next day delivery, using an external warehouse can give you the flexibility you need to meet your customer’s needs.

Get smart with order management systems

Having order management systems in your ecommerce warehouse can allow your business to accept, ship, track, and deliver items to customers. A modern warehouse management system can help you to speed things up and prevent errors. Not sure where to start with this? Here are some basics you may want to consider:

  • Inbound receiving and inventory control
  • User-defined reports (reflecting your own KPIs)
  • Key alerts
  • Easy integration through APIs
Warehouse with augmented reality labels and barcodes floating next to parcels

Maintain control over stock management, delivery and reporting

Linney maintains high stock accuracy through regular perpetual inventory management (PIM). Our inventory management software enables you to maintain control over your products stored at our facilities and stay attuned to any products that are selling out fast and that need replenishing.

Our centrally accessible, online stock and delivery management tools and reports provide the visibility you need to facilitate stock management, replenishment, manage budgets, track orders and demand, as well as set automatic stock level triggers and regenerate any old stock. Find out more here.

Cardboard packaging with sustainable logo on

Get personal with packaging

Often, a distribution centre or fulfilment centre doubles as a warehouse - meaning you have everything in one place, saving you time and money. These ecommerce warehouses provide everything you need to store, move, package and process a customer order. This can include pallet racks, loading docks and packing materials, to name just a few.  The equipment, housed by the warehouse, can enable products to be packed and graded according to legal requirements and your brand’s needs.

For example, you may want to provide the options of personalised packaging for your customers or packaging that is unique to your brand. This can be helpful in building a personality for your brand to help make the experience feel more personal to customers. Delighting customers through personalised packaging is one of the key reasons why ecommerce companies choose to use a full service fulfilment centre that is able to create the packaging and labels on site. Find out more.

Read more about the importance of pick and pack fulfilment here. 

As a retailer, sustainable packaging is another great way to show corporate responsibility, and using eco-friendly packaging is a sure way to win over the modern-day consumer. Sustainable packaging can also make the difference between a one-time order and a loyal, happy customer. A study by Unilever even revealed that a third of consumers prefer sustainable brands.

Warehouse in the sun

When could a third-party ecommerce warehousing service be useful?

As an ecommerce company, it can be difficult to juggle the wide array of responsibilities you have. You may also simply be struggling with the space to store your goods. Whether you are looking for storage space or a reliable service to handle ecommerce fulfilment – a third-party provider can remove some of the stress of warehouse responsibilities and help you to save time and money. Choosing a service that suits your business values and understands your customer needs can ensure your consumers receive the same care, if not better, in the long run. Often, third-party warehousing services such as Linney can offer everything from inventory management, warehousing, pick and pack, and the distribution of goods. Giving you more time to manage your online business and create new sellout products!

Are you struggling to keep on top of ecommerce warehousing?

Find out how Linney can help

At Linney, we understand that making your customers happy is the end goal. Getting your products to your customers efficiently and exceeding their expectations is a key part of maintaining loyal customers. That’s why we provide much more than just warehousing and stock management. We offer a variety of services to help your ecommerce fulfilment process go smoothly – from managed ecommerce services to order fulfilment services, and bespoke packaging. To find out more about how we can help you provide your customers with the best service possible, contact us here.