As an eCommerce business, you must focus on providing your customer with the best possible service. That means having a warehouse that’s equipped to handle everything from incoming shipments and outgoing deliveries, as well as making sure that your inventory is always stocked. Hence, you never run out of goods.
According to the real estate firm CBRE, an additional 1.7 to 2.2 billion square ft. of additional dedicated space will be required by 2026 to support online sale logistics.
Here are some essential warehouse services that will help your business operate at its best:
Order fulfillment is a vital part of the supply chain. It is the process of receiving, inspecting, sorting, and shipping an order. It’s important to the success of an eCommerce business because it helps maintain customer satisfaction by ensuring that orders are shipped on time.
When you’re looking for fulfillment warehouse services, you need to find someone who can provide:
- Efficient service – Your supplier should be able to deliver products quickly so that your customers will be happy with their purchase and order again in the future.
- Customer care – For example, if there’s something wrong with an item or if it takes longer than expected for shipping purposes (like if weather conditions delay delivery), then your supplier should notify you immediately so that you can take action.
- Flexibility – Because businesses grow and change over time, choosing someone who understands how quickly things may change within certain industries is important.
Inventory management is a critical aspect of operating a warehouse. Without an effective inventory management system, your business cannot maintain an optimal level of efficiency or profitability. This can lead to poor customer service and low sales performance.
Inventory management systems help you track your inventory and forecast future needs to plan for growth, cut costs, and avoid stockouts. They also provide valuable insights into how best to manage your warehouse so that you can make informed decisions about scheduling, staff allocation, and more.
For eCommerce companies looking to improve their operations through an integrated solution that combines warehousing software with inventory management features, there are a variety of options available on the market today (including Shopify’s platform). However, choosing the right one requires careful consideration.
The ideal solution will fit well within your existing business processes while allowing for flexibility when necessary. It should also integrate seamlessly with other tools, such as accounting software or third-party fulfillment services if desired.
Kitting, Packing, and Assembly
Kitting, packing, and assembly are all components of the warehousing and fulfillment process. These services allow e-commerce companies to sell items that need to be assembled by the consumer. This can be anything from a bike or piece of furniture to an item that needs installation before it can be used.
These kinds of products are often referred to as “kits” because they come with many parts that need to go together in a specific order for the entire product to function properly (like putting together Ikea furniture).
Kitting involves assembling kits for storage before shipment so that only one box is needed for each order, making shipping more efficient and cost-effective.
Packing is the step where finished kits are placed in boxes ready for shipping using protective materials like foam padding and bubble wrap around each item so no breakage occurs during transport.
Assembly refers to assembling any products included in the kit once they arrive at their destination. For example, installing tires on wheels or attaching legs to tables.
Cross-docking is a warehouse management system that’s used to move products from one mode of transportation to another without the need for storage. This process reduces costs and increases efficiency by reducing handling time and labor requirements. Cross-docking operations are often used with cargoes that arrive by truck, rail, or ship.
Reverse Logistics and Reverse Supply Chain Management
Reverse logistics is essentially the process of managing returns, and reverse supply chain management is the process of managing returns, warranty claims, and exchanges.
Both these services are essential for eCommerce companies to ensure they have a good customer experience. They help companies make sure they’re handling products correctly while also making sure that the customer has a pleasant experience when dealing with returns or exchanges.
According to Allied Market Research, the reverse logistics market was worth $6335.6 billion globally in 2020. It is estimated to reach $958.3 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6%.
The benefits of a good reverse logistics provider include:
- Reduced costs
- Increased efficiency in processing orders
- Improved data accuracy to better manage inventory levels
The eCommerce industry is growing rapidly worldwide. According to Morgan Stanley, the global e-commerce market grew from 15% of retail sales in 2019 to 21% in 2021. The market has the potential to expand further from $3.3 trillion right now to $5.4 trillion in 2026.
As the number of online shoppers increases, the need for efficient logistics services increases exponentially. This is why it’s important to understand what warehouse services are required by eCommerce companies so they can ensure that their logistics operations run smoothly and efficiently.