5 Questions to Ask Before Selecting the Right E-Commerce Warehouse

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E-commerce warehouses are often assumed to be the same, but they can vary greatly in terms of cost and quality.

Fulfillment centers allow online retailers to outsource their storage and shipping operations. This frees up the physical space required for online companies to keep all goods, which is advantageous when you find a suitable storage facility for your requirements.

To select the right e-commerce warehouse, you should consider the cost, shipping speed, and location of their services. Moreover, it helps if the warehouse company provides branding to encourage brand loyalty. Ship With Premier’s warehouse is an example of a warehouse that is capable of this.

Before you decide on one e-commerce warehouse over another, make sure you ask yourself these 5 questions before selecting the right e-commerce warehouse for your business! This article will discuss essential features to consider when picking a warehouse. I will also give some examples of warehouses available for businesses of any size.

What’s Important To Consider in an E-Commerce Warehouse

It can be a big pain it can be to manage your own inventory and shipping.

You don’t want to store products in your home or office because of the space costs and security risks. What should you do? It turns out there is one option that is surprisingly affordable: renting warehouse space for your e-commerce business.

You should have goods available while you’re anticipating demand, not waiting for orders to be placed.

If this is how your e-commerce company often works, you will need to acquire a warehouse since home storage will not be enough as your business grows.

Many e-commerce businesses rely on efficient warehousing to support future growth. Many variables go into identifying the right e-commerce warehousing solution for you, and I will discuss them below.

What Are The Costs?

Ordinarily, using a third-party warehouse would incur some initial expenses. However, in the long term, you will save money on labor, overheads, and more.

In an ideal world, you’d choose a warehouse that charges no fees for long-term storage. Some warehouses can negotiate lower carrier rates due to the amount they ship, so you want to ensure they pass along some of these savings to their customers.

These cost savings could help you compete with big retailers like Amazon by providing free or discounted delivery.

How Fast Are The Shipping Speeds?

Consumers now demand quicker delivery than ever before, all thanks to Amazon Prime. As a result, you must choose a business that offers expedited delivery to your consumers to increase retention rates.

Otherwise, you risk losing income from the 53% of customers who have abandoned an online purchase due to bad delivery times.

In order to compete in this new e-commerce landscape, you’ll need to be able to have your products delivered within 3-5 days or sooner.

Where Is The Location?

A significant factor in delivery speed is the warehouse’s closeness to the customer. Therefore, when selecting a fulfillment provider, it is critical to know the location of their fulfillment facilities.

A fulfillment firm with just a few warehouses would almost certainly be unable to meet your foreign clients’ delivery deadlines. Collaborating with them may degrade your user experience.

In short, it’s best to pick warehouses near your consumers.

What Is The Returns Management?

Around 30% of all e-commerce purchases are returned. It helps if your warehouse is capable of handling returns without your participation so that you can stay focused on the rest of your business. The fulfillment firm of the warehouse should be willing to collaborate with you to minimize returns.

The software used by your fulfillment provider should be able to assist you in identifying consumers who make purchases and return them. This function would help you in preparing for the unavoidable.

Additionally, you can identify these serial returners who abuse your policy and urge them to alter their behavior, or even stop doing business with them altogether. For instance, you might send them emails emphasizing positive evaluations from happy customers about the product they just purchased to prevent a return.

Do They Provide Branding and Packaging Options?

Sending your goods in generic packaging does not accurately reflect your business since it results in a disengaged, detached consumer experience. 

Selecting an order fulfillment warehouse with branding capabilities may assist you in promoting your name and increasing client loyalty.

Along with branding, you’ll want to work with a warehouse that offers a diverse range of packaging choices. Having choices for the appropriate kind of packaging will assist in reducing shipping damage to your product.

In addition to packing, ensure you have various insulating materials to choose from, including foam rolls, bubble wrap, air pillows, and others. Consumers are more inclined to interact with businesses that give them a tailored experience.

Here Are Some E-Commerce Warehouses To Consider

Picture of E-Commerce Warehouse
Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

While all eCommerce warehouses perform the same fundamental tasks, they come in various setups. You will find many of these warehouses in your area, and knowing how they function will help you make a better decision for local storage.

Each has unique advantages for various kinds of eCommerce businesses:

  • Cooperative warehouses. These storage facilities are owned by their members, who benefit from lower storage costs for their goods.
  • Distribution warehouses. Within these facilities, products are often moved in and out quickly rather than being kept for extended periods.
  • Smart warehouses. Smart warehouses use artificial intelligence to simplify and automate as much of the eCommerce warehouse operation as feasible.
  • Bonded warehouses. Bonded warehouses are designed for importers that need a duty-free storage facility for their imported goods until they are purchased by customers.
  • Consolidated warehouse. These warehouses combine numerous shipments from various vendors into one huge cargo that goes to a single location.
  • Public storage facilities. Government agencies operate public warehouses and lease space to companies and people. These may be simplistic in their functioning, but they are inexpensive.
  • Government warehouses. Compared to public warehouses, the management agency has more control over the storage area, which results in improved security. However, if you miss your rent, they may recover their expenses by auctioning off your goods.
  • Private warehouses. Private warehouses are held by private wholesalers, distributors, or bigger shops that lease space to independent merchants. These often feature more sophisticated eCommerce warehouse management systems and are thus more expensive.

Here are various warehouses of different types that are available for entrepreneurs living in the United States.

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA Warehouse)

Amazon’s distribution warehouse is available to businesses of all sizes. All sellers need to do is submit their goods to Amazon, which will warehouse and process all of the orders as they come in. However, they can be quite expensive.

Amazon is responsible for all shipping, returns, and refunds, as well as selecting and packaging. Your only responsibility is to ensure that Amazon remains supplied with your goods.

Of course, the warehouse charges a fee. The vendor is responsible for storage and fulfillment costs.

The more goods you keep and the longer it sits in the warehouse, the more it costs. However, this fee comes with many advantages:

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Up to 200 units of a single item may be stored. 
  • Logistics are simple. For a modest price, you can significantly reduce you and your workers’ workloads.
  • Rapid Delivery. FBA products are immediately assigned the Prime emblem and qualify for Prime’s free delivery and expedited shipment.
  • Fulfillment through multiple channels. FBA enables you to sell your goods on various venues, including eBay, while Amazon fulfills them.

There are also several disadvantages:

  • Cost. Amazon has a convenient FBA calculator that may assist you in determining if this is a lucrative move.
  • Fees for long-term storage. After 180 days of storage, Amazon charges an extra price.
  • Requirements for product preparation.
  • Before making any payment to you, Amazon will deduct any costs due to them.

Ship With Premier’s Warehouse

Ship With Premier is a fulfillment warehouse that offers reduced prices on shipping with all major carriers, including UPS, FedEx, and DHL.

Similar to Amazon’s FBA storage, Ship with Premier’s staff can fulfill thousands of orders each day with no work on your part.

The most noteworthy aspect is that they provide customized packaging, packing slips, and shipping alerts to match your brand.

Additionally, this warehouse has its own online platform for handling all of your orders in one location.

Among the other advantages of this warehouse are the following:

  • Aftership
  • Daily inventory reports
  • Live inventory numbers
  • Customer service is available 24 hours a day
  • Orders are automatically retrieved from over 100 order sources
  • View the quantities of inventory that have been reserved and those that are required

Final Thoughts

The warehouse you choose has a significant impact on the speed and efficiency of your supply chain.

Entrepreneurs have always been in rivalry throughout the eCommerce industry’s development. However, storage may help your products flow quicker when done correctly and give you an advantage over the competition.

As an entrepreneur, you should choose a warehouse that meets the criteria in this post and other primary warehouse goals, which Izaak and Brandon explain in their video:

And while you wait for your shipments to arrive, how are your product photos? Skyline FBA specializes in e-commerce product photography to make your brand stand out among the competition with premium content. Contact us today to discuss your next project!

Benjamin

Benjamin

Hi, I'm Benjamin, Digital Media Strategist and product photographer for Skyline FBA. I have been involved in content creation for over 10 years and love helping people develop strategies to grow their business. My wife and I are Product Photographers that are experienced in Amazon FBA, eCommerce, Lifestyle, and Advertising photography.

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