eCommerce has become more accessible with solutions, like Shopify and WordPress, allowing even non-technical entrepreneurs to create online stores. The global eCommerce market is projected to reach $6.07 trillion by 2024, growing at 11.34% annually. Running an eCommerce business has its allure and challenges. It’s gaining popularity worldwide, but competition is fierce, requiring constant adaptation. eCommerce shares the need for storage with physical stores, from home-based setups to larger warehouses. Essentially, this article provides comprehensive insights into eCommerce warehousing. A warehouse is a centralized space where businesses store products and manage inventory, streamlining order fulfillment from one location to the end user.
What is eCommerce Warehousing?
Now here comes the big question: What is eCommerce warehousing? Is it different from a normal warehouse? Let’s find out! eCommerce warehousing is a space used to store physical goods so that they can be sold online easily and effectively. Warehouses tend to keep your products safe and secure. Also, you get to track where the product is, whether it has arrived in the hands of customers, whether there is an adequate amount of stock, reordering additional items to avoid stockouts, and a lot more. eCommerce warehousing is no longer a new concept with lots and lots of people buying products online.
Now what happens if there is no such centralized space or system? Well, you might end up facing unwanted situations such as mismanaged inventory, inefficient fulfillment, poor-performing staff, low-profit margins, and skyrocketing operating costs. And above all, you lose your valued customers as well as end up compromising the brand reputation.
When you have an eCommerce warehouse, you can receive products from suppliers, store them, and pack them as well as ship them to the customers seamlessly. So what is the difference? Well, eCommerce warehouses most of the time tend to take care of large chunks of orders. Companies such as Amazon, Walmart, Flipkart, eBay, and several other big e-commerce brands definitely incorporate E-commerce warehouses to run their respective business smoothly and seamlessly.
When to Consider eCommerce Warehousing?
- If you have outgrown in terms of storage space
- If you are compelled to buy a separate space for storing excess stock
- If you are willing to introduce new sales channels
- Expand business by opening a centralized distribution center
- If you are willing to evolve as a global brand, an eCommerce warehouse is a must!
Benefits of eCommerce Warehouse Management
Moving on! Here are a few benefits offered by eCommerce warehouse management.
- Quick Shipping: Apart from quick responses or instant reactions, customers these days also crave quick shipping and delivery. And here the eCommerce warehouse system comes into play. I am pretty sure you have gained Amazon-esque experience, online shoppers tend to receive orders in a day or maybe two. These large organizations store their inventories in different locations and distribute them among multiple warehouses across the country.
- Cost-effective: E-commerce warehouse management systems turn out to be cost-effective in the long run. At first, you may find it costly but trust me when you see it as a whole, the price of bearing unwanted misconceptions, and misunderstandings can be quite huge. Installing a warehouse management system can save lots and lots of time and money.
- Reduced Stress Levels: Creating an eCommerce store might be a cakewalk but running one is not that easy. There are a plethora of things to do right from preparing orders to ship to keeping regular tabs on the stock levels, keeping a close eye on near-expired products, and getting rid of them within time.
- Seamless Inventory Management: If you want to succeed in the eCommerce business, it is very important to ensure a good amount of inventory is stored in warehouses. If not, how will your customers get the product delivered on time? Overstocking and understocking can be pretty harmful and subsequently increase overall warehousing costs as well as consume lots of space. So make sure you end up storing products in an adequate amount.use managers tend to follow.
Types of eCommerce Warehouse Systems
Now you must be wondering are there different types of warehouse management systems available around? Of course, yes! You see not all eCommerce stores have the same requirements which means no same warehouse management systems can work wonders for them. No cookie-cutter formula fits here. The answer is choosing the right system depends on your pre-defined needs and requirements. Without further ado, let’s get started with the different types:
- Standalone warehouse management systems: Standalone warehouse management systems focus on inventory tracking and warehouse management with advanced features like picking, counting, and reporting. They can integrate with other eCommerce tools but lack real-time updates, potentially causing delays. This integration cost can be high, and they often lack features found in integrated systems, such as real-time updates and seamless integration.
- Integrated warehouse management systems: Integrated WMS enhances eCommerce logistics by merging with ERP software. ERP manages various business aspects, including software, HR, sales, finance, inventory, and CRM. Although integrated WMS can be pricier, it streamlines operations by replacing multiple interfaces with one, boosting efficiency for eCommerce businesses.
How to Choose the Right Warehouse Management System for your eCommerce Business?
Well, as mentioned earlier, different businesses have different needs and requirements so there is no cookie-cutter formula when it comes to choosing an ideal warehouse management system for your business. However, what we can do is stick to certain criteria or aspects that can assist us well in choosing the ideal warehouse management system for your needs. Let’s dive in :
- Accurate Information: The first and foremost factor to take into account is ensuring all the information regarding the system is accurate and then choosing accordingly. If not done so, you might end up running into different problems and issues later on.
- Training: Ensure the WMS is intuitive for your staff, avoiding the need for extensive training that can impact profits, especially with temporary staff. A robust training program is essential to equip warehouse staff with the necessary software skills.
- Scalability: Choose a WMS that can grow with your business, enabling backend improvements and scalability as your customer base expands.
- Data: Effective data handling is crucial. WMS should not leave you with either a lack of data or overwhelming amounts. A top-tier WMS gathers and processes client data to inform operational decisions, identify growth opportunities, and provide regular reports on business trends and product performance.
What Makes Megaventory the Ideal eCommerce Warehouse Management Software Solution?
Megaventory stands out as the ultimate eCommerce warehouse management software solution due to its comprehensive features and tailored benefits that significantly enhance warehouse efficiency.
Here are some key features of Megaventory:
- Inventory Tracking: With Megaventory, you can access real-time inventory tracking, offering precise insights into stock levels, locations, and movements within the warehouse. This feature guarantees impeccable inventory control, minimizing the likelihood of stockouts or overstocking.
- Shipping Management: Megaventory excels in streamlining shipping processes for businesses. It facilitates the seamless creation of shipping documents, shipment tracking, and the generation of shipping labels, ensuring efficient and punctual order deliveries.
Megaventory integrates with Shipstation an efficient shipping software for retailers:
- Multi-Warehouse Support / Multiple Location Warehouses: Megaventory caters to businesses with multiple warehouses or multiple location warehouses. It provides centralized management of inventory across different locations, allowing for efficient allocation and movement of stock between warehouses.
- Integration with E-commerce Platforms: Megaventory integrates with various e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento. This integration ensures the synchronization of inventory, orders, and customer data between the warehouse and the online store, facilitating efficient order management.
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The Bottom Line
For long-term eCommerce success, consider a professional warehouse and management system. They store and manage stock efficiently, ensuring timely deliveries. Select wisely, as not all facilities and systems are equal. Making the right choice now can prevent costly errors later. Evaluate your current and future needs and choose from the listed proven management systems to boost long-term success.
Author Bio: Firoz Irani is a highly skilled technical business analyst with years of experience at TatvaSoft. He has a background in design, data analysis, and project management. He strongly believes that knowledge is meant to be shared, for there is a lot we can learn from each other.