There are many types of eCommerce companies, but they all have one thing in common- a warehouse. Whether you’re an online retailer or reseller, you need to be able to ship products and handle returns. That’s why it’s so important to choose a warehouse service provider that can handle all aspects of your operations and not just shipping.
Here are seven essential services every eCommerce company needs from its warehouse partner:
Fulfillment warehouse services are the process of receiving and processing orders. It includes everything from receiving products from vendors to packing them for shipment to shipping them to customers.
Fulfillment is a critical part of the eCommerce supply chain because it allows you to get your product in front of customers quickly and efficiently. Several different fulfillment services include picking, packing, shipping, and returns.
Inventory management is the most important service that a warehouse service provider can offer. It’s also one of the most crucial components of your eCommerce success and growth. A good inventory management system will ensure that your stock keeps up with demand, so you don’t lose money on any part of the sales process.
The goal is to minimize both costs and risks by making sure every item is properly accounted for and kept in its place.
Quality control is the process of inspecting a product to ensure that it meets the required standards. It is an essential part of the warehouse management process, as products are often inspected before they are shipped out and again once they arrive at their destination.
Quality control helps to ensure that products are safe for customers and meet their expectations.
Returns and Reverse Logistics
Returns and reverse logistics are the processes of returning items to the warehouse after they have been sold. According to Forbes, return rates are growing faster for 91% of retailers than revenue growth rates. In the U.S., consumer returns now account for almost 16.6% of total retail sales.
Returns and reverse logistics are an important part of any eCommerce business as it helps you to reduce costs, improve margins and increase customer satisfaction.
Returns can be a complex process, but it is important to get it right for your business.
- Why do returns happen?
- What causes returns?
- How do you prevent them?
Packaging and Labeling
Packaging and labeling can be a real lifesaver when it comes to your eCommerce business. Not only does packaging help ensure that your products stay intact during shipping, but it also helps you to increase sales and customer satisfaction in the process.
There are several reasons why packaging and labeling are so important for eCommerce companies:
- Packaging can reduce costs. Packaging protects the product from damage during shipment, which means less product will need to be replaced after delivery. This saves you money because you don’t have to spend as much on returns or replacements.
- Packaging makes customers happier with their purchases by making them feel more secure about their purchase before they even receive it.
Kitting and Assembly
Kitting and assembly is a process where products are packaged together in one box. This makes it easier for the customer to buy multiple products at once. For example, you could buy surgical gloves and medical masks together in one box instead of buying them separately.
Kitting is usually done during the packaging or printing phase, but assembly can be done later on as well. With kitting, there are additional costs associated with labeling, materials used for packaging (like plastic wrap), and set-up costs because you need more equipment than usual to do kitting correctly, such as machines that pack boxes tightly so they don’t fall apart during shipping.
Kitting is great because it reduces your fulfillment costs by reducing the number of packages shipped out per order while simultaneously increasing the conversion rate due to the ease of purchase experience. It also enables you to give customers discounts when they buy multiple items at once.
Reporting and Analytics
A good warehouse operations management software will allow you to track key metrics that provide insights into the performance of your warehouse.
According to Supply & Demand Chain Executive, video cameras, when combined with analytics, can serve as the ultimate sensor that provides real-time insight into a wide range of critical warehouse functions. The global video analytics market was anticipated to reach USD 6.35 billion by the end of 2022.
You can also use it to identify areas where there’s room for improvement. For example, if a lot of customers are complaining about receiving damaged products from certain facilities or delivery routes. You might then look at how they’re packing the boxes, which products are more prone to damage during distribution, and whether there is anything else going wrong during transit that could be improved upon.
It’s important to find a warehouse that can meet the needs of your business. According to Money Control, as eCommerce gains popularity, warehousing is emerging as the next big investment opportunity with numerous players foraying or expanding into it.
After reading this guide, you should have a better idea of what kind of warehouse services are right for your eCommerce company. If you’re still unsure about which ones to choose after reading through this article, we recommend starting with one that offers fast delivery times and good fulfillment service.
This way, customers will be happy with their purchases and more likely to come back for more.