Skip to content

6 Best Practices for eCommerce Warehousing

On average, 11.3 percent of total retail sales are through eCommerce channels, reports Bridget McCrea of Logistics Management. To take advantage of this increased opportunity, eCommerce warehousing managers need to follow a few best practices.

1. Implement Waveless Picking Strategies

The days of picking orders in batches are over, and the only way to meet surging demand in eCommerce warehousing is through waveless picking strategiesWaveless picking allows a steady flow of orders to pickers, which reduce the traditional feast-or-famine approach to labor management in picking.

2. Create a Returns Management Plan

Up to 44 percent of distribution center managers view returns as an added cost and problem. However, warehouse managers who implement stringent returns management plans can reap value while cutting operational cost. This includes reclaiming raw materials, recycling and resale of returned items, explains Patrick Burnson of Logistics Management.

3. Optimize Slots

If a facility or warehouse does not routinely review existing slotting practices and optimize slots, opportunities for revenue are lost. Unoptimized slots increase inventory carrying costs, and the increasing scope of products available through eCommerce channels means slotting optimization is crucial to eCommerce warehousing.

4. Tune Into Consumers ‘Data

Consumers’ actions online and in brick-and-mortar stores generate a proverbial ton of data. Before your facility can leverage this data, you need to have a means of accessing it. In other words, you need to implement warehouse and order management systems that communicate with your retailers’ point-of-sale systems and eCommerce platforms. Furthermore, integrate all systems together.

5. Outsource When Necessary

There will be times when your facility is unable to handle demand, but consumers will still expect affordable products and timely delivery. In these periods, it may be necessary to outsource certain order fulfillment needs to third-party logistics providers (3PLs). Furthermore, some eCommerce warehousing systems may not necessarily work together without a proper software patch, so working with a supply chain systems integrator (SCSI) may be necessary.

6. Focus on Omnichannel and ECommerce Warehousing Strategies

Regardless of your experience handling traditional and eCommerce order fulfillment, your facility should be designed with omnichannel and eCommerce warehousing strategies in mind. Due to increasing omnichannel demand, bring all disparate warehouses under one roof, including direct-to-consumer (D2C) retail, D2C eCommerce, and wholesale distribution.

Follow These Best ECommerce Warehousing Practices to Increase Your Bottom Line

Figuring out the best eCommerce warehousing practices can be challenging, but it is possible. Use these six best practices to increase profitability and productivity in your facility now.