Small businesses make big contributions to the United States. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, there are more than 33 million businesses with less than 500 employees in the country, and many are eCommerce businesses. During the pandemic when people had to stay at home, online sales rocketed and global e-commerce grew, increasing by 19% as compared to pre-COVID levels, according to the International Trade Administration. Today, eCommerce sales account for 14.8% of all retail sales. With the rising popularity of online selling, today is an opportune time to consider expanding your business from out of your home or garage and into an eCommerce warehouse space.
What Is Ecommerce Warehousing?
Ecommerce warehousing offers a secure place for receiving, storing, organizing, and shipping goods for small companies.
Benefits of Ecommerce Warehousing
It’s common for new eCommerce businesses to operate out of your home and store goods in a garage. However, these are not the best options for a growing company. ECommerce warehousing solutions offer you benefits beyond being able to use your garage again.
First, how organized is your garage? If you use the garage for both personal and business use, your products could easily become lost. Ask yourself: can you easily determine stock levels, know when to reorder products, or decide if you can fulfill a customer order? It can be hard to answer these questions with unorganized inventory spread across your home and garage.
A small warehouse space solves organizational hurdles by providing you with everything you need to receive shipments, organize, and store all your eCommerce items. A well-organized facility allows you to accurately determine when to reorder goods and to keep track of the ones that you have. You’ll reduce problems with lost inventory and the added costs of reordering products too often. To learn more about all of the amenities that WareSpace offers visit our full amenities list and breakdown.
If you store goods in your garage, a spare room, or the living space of your home, finding items that you sell online may require you to sort through several locations around your home. This wastes precious time that you could otherwise use toward running your business.
ECommerce warehouse solutions solve this problem by keeping everything you need where you can easily find them. Plus, small warehouse spaces have the room required for you to package and ship the goods that you sell. Better organization of your inventory and adequate space to prepare items for shipping saves you time.
Reduce Shipping Delays
By having your inventory meticulously organized, you reduce the chances of sending the wrong order to customers. Incorrect orders eat into your time and profits given the attention required to process returns and correct orders. Plus, your customer satisfaction can drop when you send out the wrong items. When you know where everything is in your warehouse and that you have enough items in stock to fulfill customer orders, you can get your shipments out quickly.
Another way that ecommerce warehouse solutions reduce shipping times is by putting your products closer to your customers. Depending on how you choose to leverage the benefits of warehousing and shipping for ecommerce businesses, you may choose to store goods in small warehouse spaces around the country. Distributing your inventory from multiple places reduces the shipping time, allowing customers to get their products as quickly as possible.
By moving your ecommerce operations into a small warehouse space, you return your garage and home living spaces to the rest of your household. You and your family regain more room at home when you have a warehouse dedicated to storing your business inventory.
What to Look for in an Ecommerce Warehouse Space
When looking for an eCommerce warehouse space, search for ecommerce warehouse providers that offer the following perks:
- On-site security
- Proximity to your customers
- Facility management
- Regular cleaning
- Adequate storage space for your needs with scalable solutions for the future
- Loading docks for receiving and smaller package receiving
- Logistics equipment to move goods around your warehouse, such as dollies
With the above features, an eCommerce warehouse provides your business with an upgrade in inventory storage.
Ecommerce Warehouse Management Best Practices
An organized ecommerce warehouse makes practicing good management easier. By implementing a warehouse management system (WMS) and connecting your online store to it, you’ll more easily be able to establish inventory reordering processes and make the most of the space. Scaling up for future growth becomes easier.
Use a Warehouse Management System
As your ecommerce business grows out of your home and into a small warehouse space, your inventory tracking method should also scale up. The most powerful tool for organizing and managing your small warehouse space is a WMX. A WMS tracks product availability, helps you to plan when to reorder products, facilitates order fulfillment, and manages your supply chain. You will save a lot of paperwork and will streamline your business operations when you have your eCommerce inventory managed by your WMS.
Connect Your Store to Your WMS
Another way to make the most of your WMS is by connecting it to your ecommerce store. When you do this, the system can speed up order fulfillment, send customers updates on shipping, and facilitate operations across multiple sales channels and ecommerce sites.
Determine Inventory Reordering Frequency
Keep track of your inventory and how quickly it sells. This information will allow you to calculate the inventory turnover ratio (ITR). The turnover ratio reflects the strength of sales of your eCommerce business. Larger numbers indicate stronger sales. To find it, divide the cost of goods sold by the total inventory value. Determine how often you should budget for restocking by dividing 365 by the calculated ITR. This gives you the average number of days your business needs to go sell its full inventory.
When choosing to reorder individual items in your inventory, set a minimum number of products to have on hand to fulfill orders until the new products arrive. Each product minimum should be based on past sales. Fast-selling products may have a higher minimum number than goods that sell at slower rates. If you have a WMS for your ecommerce warehouse, set up the system to reorder as soon as inventory items reach minimum levels.
Choosing eCommerce Warehousing Solutions
When choosing a small warehouse space, consider your business needs. You may need a space that offers the flexibility to serve both as inventory storage and as an office. Quality solutions will have amenities to do both and to securely store your eCommerce inventory without breaking your small business budget.
Check out our options at WareSpace. You’ll find small warehouse spaces ideal for those transitioning away from home-run businesses. Plus, you get perks that you won’t find from other eCommerce warehousing companies. We offer an on-site manager, package receiving, scalable spaces, Wifi, and much more for one affordable rate.
Your Space Is Ready
In 2022, we saw ecommerce businesses generate greater sales during and after the pandemic. With a bright future ahead, now is the time to move your ecommerce business forward. Your ecommerce warehouse space is ready. Are you prepared to upgrade your business? Find out more about how your ecommerce business can grow with wholesaling and warehousing ecommerce solutions from WareSpace.